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News, 22-28/7/01

News, 22-28/7/01

Favourite articles this week: in ŒMilitary Matters¹, *  Rogues Are No
Missile Threat; MAD Isn't Crazy by Thomas Friedman; *  Bush's ideal
'democracy' is the stuff of fiction; *  US used hallucinogenic drugs against
Iraq. And in ŒIraqi/UN relations, *  Sanctions on Iraq.


*  Iraq builds new war technology [Ballistic missiles, as confirmed by the
recent test Œin violation of the spirit of its agreements with the United
Nations¹ - but not, we assume, of the letter. The article comes from the
Bangkok Post. One wonders why there is so much interest in this matter in
Bangkok. The explanation probably lies not in ŒBangkok¹ but in the ŒPost¹]
*  Iraq says may have hit Western plane
*  US: Pressure on Iraq to Continue After Attempted Shoot Down [of U2 spy
plane. Apparently the same incident as the previous. I don¹t immediately see
why this is different from other Iraqi attacks on planes illegally invading
their air space in violation of both the spirit and the letter of agreements
with the UN]
*  Rogues Are No Missile Threat; MAD Isn't Crazy. [Thomas Friedman¹s doubts
about the Strategic Defence Initiative, which, he says Œhas to be judged by
what it really is - a defense system that will always be, at best, a
supplement to mutual assured destruction, which is neither out of date nor
going away. It is like wearing suspenders along with a belt.¹]
*  Cleared director loses £1m claim for compensation [Ali Daghir, ŒA former
company director wrongly convicted of supplying arms to Iraq lost his claim
for compensation yesterday¹. Difficult to see why, though the judge was
presumably the same Judge Gray who presided over the Irving trial]
*  Iraq says defuses bombs dropped by Western planes
*  Bush's ideal 'democracy' is the stuff of fiction [spirited attack on Paul
Wolfowitz in Irish Times: ŒBasra (referring to the massacre of the
retreating Iraqi army at the end of the Gulf War ­ PB) reduces a Slobodan
Milosevic to Aladdin's little helper.¹]
*  US used hallucinogenic drugs against Iraq, says spy [ŒWouter Basson, the
spy and mastermind behind the apartheid government's chemical warfare


*  Sanctions on Iraq [very well argued letter to Irish Times from the Irish
oil exploration company, Petrel. On smart sanctions: ŒShrewd Foreign Office
Arabists knew that the proposal would sound good to Western ears while being
unacceptable to any sovereign state.¹ Refers readers to the CASI website.
Big business is clearly good at this sort of thing]
*  UN postpones talks on Iraq [since the Security Council can¹t agree on
policy its faithful servant, K.Annan, has nothing to discuss]
*  Iraqi prices approved for crude shipped to U.S.
*  UN Gives $75M to Iraq Program


*  Hyundai Motor to ship 400 buses to Iraq


*  Saddam says anti-globalization to gain momentum
*  9,000 Iraqis Die in June due to UN Sanctions [according to Iraqi figures]
*  [New Deputy Prime Minister appointed in Iraq - extract from article which
goes on to deal with Iraq-Turkey trade deal. See below]

NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN [and see separate ŒKurdish supplement¹]

*  PUK-KDP Study A Joint Response To Saddam's Call For Dialogue
*  Iraqi businessmen visit Kurdistan to boost trade
*  Police investigate 'missing millions' linked to Archer [it is with a
feeling of despair that I notice the Archer story has sudddenly acquired an
Iraqi dimension. I promise not to give all relevant items]


*  Kuwait: "National resistance groups" attack oil facilities - Iraqi agency
report [a rather sinister development which could suggest that the Iraqi
government is backing sabotage initiatives in Kuwait, of the sort many US
strategists want to back in Iraq]
*  Iraq dismisses Saudi charges on smugglers [response to item, in last
*  Turkey, Iraq Sign Memo of Understanding on Trade


Bangkok Post, 23rd July [editorial]

The trouble with the United Nations is that it requires officials from
civilised countries to sit down and talk over their international problems
and disagreements. A particularly arrogant or unsociable nation can take
advantage of such conflict resolution. In 1990, Iraq simply invaded Kuwait
and brutally occupied its smaller neighbour. Ten years on, Iraq continues to
ignore even the international agreements it signed.

Earlier this month, Baghdad conducted a test of its newest missiles in
violation of the spirit of its agreements with the United Nations. The Iraqi
military fired ballistic missiles. This is a major escalation in the Iraq
game and counter-game of snubbing international obligations while avoiding
actual punishment. The actual development of such weapons of high technology
makes even Iraq's potential allies uneasy. In Kuwait, authorities are
calling on the United Nations to take action.

Ballistic missiles are arguably the most dangerous weapons systems, the
reason they figure on the list of every disarmament meeting. They can
deliver any payload faster, and thus more covertly, than any other type of
platform. The first ballistic missile was the Nazis' V-2 Vengeance Weapon
used by Germany against London in World War Two. They have come a long way
since then, and are even more terrifying.

Among the extremely small number of nations developing ballistic missiles
are North Korea and, now, Iraq. UN inspectors have been out of the country
for more than three years. Even before the Saddam Hussein regime kicked out
the UN teams, the Iraqi military was developing methods to hide the
stockpiling of weapons and the development of new systems.

The United Nations is largely helpless to stop such weapons programmes by
irresponsible countries like Iraq. The world body works, quite rightly, on
consensus. It depends on reasonable men and women to come to agreement after
reasonable and rational arguments. It also depends on those men and
women-and the countries they represent-to live up to the agreements. Most
do. That leaves the question of how to handle the Iraqs of the world.

Baghdad, rightly, sees the disagreement at the UN Security Council as a
victory for its aggression and threats. When Britain and the US failed to
convince Russia to accept a new form of inspection for Iraq last month, many
thought it strange that Mr Saddam was happy to suffer yet another five
months of economic sanctions. It is because new proposals to lift the
sanctions on Iraqi civilians will automatically tighten the embargo on
weapons bound for Baghdad.

A recent study by the Federation of American Scientists ranked the ballistic
missile as the most dangerous weapon. It carries a payload-explosive,
chemical, biological, nuclear-across borders in a short flight time. The
Gulf war proved that defences against such missiles are still partly
ineffective, even against the relatively outdated Scuds.

In exchange for an end to allied attacks in 1991, Iraq agreed to get rid of
its offensive missiles and to stop any serious weapons development. The test
firing of new ballistic missiles has to be taken as a major snub to the
United Nations. For now, Mr Saddam is targetting allied warplanes patrolling
the Iraqi skies. But the missiles are a threat to the entire Gulf and
Mideast area, given the nature of Iraq's government.

Iraq's decade of shameful behaviour seems destined to continue. That is what
makes it a matter of urgency that the United Nations come up with a serious
plan to handle Baghdad. The potential allies of Iraq-chiefly Russia, China
and France-all recognise the harm Baghdad has done and may still do. The
people of Iraq deserve to have the economic sanctions removed quickly. The
actions of their government, however, make it imperative that the UN devise
a system of control to keep those missiles grounded.

Baghdad, Reuters, 24th July

Iraq said its anti-aircraft defences might have hit one of a group of
Western planes yesterday as they patrolled a no-fly zone over northern Iraq.

"American and British planes violated Iraq's air space at 11:33am today
coming from Turkey and flew over provinces of Duhouk, Arbil and Nineveh,"
the official news agency INA quoted an Iraqi military spokesman as saying.

He said Iraq's missile force and ground-to-air defences fired at the planes
and "evidence indicates that one of them may have been hit". There was no
immediate confirmation of the Iraqi report by the United States. Britain's
ministry of defence was not available for comment.

Western forces set up two no-fly zones after the 1991 Gulf War to protect a
Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq and Shi'ite Muslims in the south from
possible attacks by Iraqi forces. Baghdad doese not recognise the zones.

U.S. military sources in Washington said on Friday that Iraq had fired a
missile into Kuwait airspace in an unsuccessful attempt to hit a U.S.
aircraft patrolling a no-fly zone over southern Iraq. They said information
was sketchy about the incident, which occurred on Thursday.

by Dale Gavlak
Voanews, 26th July

The Pentagon is calling Iraq's attempt to shoot down a U.S. spy plane over
its southern no fly zone "reckless and aggressive behavior." The Bush
Administration has vowed to keep the pressure on Iraq.

The Pentagon says Tuesday's attack against a coalition aircraft was not the
first by Iraq. A spokesman, Rear Admiral Craig Quigley said he could not
provide any details.

But a senior defense official says what is believed to have been an unguided
surface-to-air missile just missed a U-2 spy plane. Such a missile could be
fired without the benefit of targeting radar on the ground.

 Rear Admiral Craig Quigley Admiral Quigley had no comment when asked
whether the attack signaled a shift in Iraq's tacticsby targeting slower
moving monitoring aircraft rather than warplanes that patrol the no-fly
zones over northern and southern Iraq. "It just continues the pattern of
Iraqi aggressiveness of shooting down a coalition aircraft," Admiral Quigley
said. "Saddam has had a long-standing goal of downing a coalition aircraft
by any means he can. Why do we have a northern watch and a southern watch?
It is to stop Saddam from going after his own people and threatening his

Admiral Quigley also would not comment on what the U.S. pilot saw or felt
from the impact of the missile. That, he says, would compromise U.S.
military intelligence. But he says the Pentagon is closely examining the
incident and may consider making coalition flights less predictable.

"We are assessing what, or if there should be, any modifications to our
patterns of flight activity-both tactical and strategic aircraft. We will
adapt if we need to, but that is still under consideration," he said.

Admiral Quigley says the United States will respond to what he calls Iraq's
aggression in a manner, time and place of its choosing. He said a U.S.
strike in February against Iraq's monitoring system had disrupted Baghdad's
ability to detect patrol aircraft. But he added that the Pentagon does not
think that strike permanently disabled Iraq's capabilities.

by Thomas L. Friedman
International Herald Tribune (from The New York Times), 25th July

WASHINGTON: I welcome the news that the Bush team will open missile talks
with Russia, because it might bring some clarity to the Bushies' arguments
on missile defense, which have been at best incoherent and at worst

Look at the Republican arms expert Richard Perle's Senate testimony last
week. He was trying to justify why we need missile defense against rogue
leaders, who, he claimed, cannot be deterred by the classic doctrine of
mutual assured destruction (MAD), which has kept the peace for 50 years.
Some say "you can count on Saddam to be deterred by our deterrent," said Mr.
Perle. "I frankly don't want to count on the rational judgment of a man who
used poison gas against his own people."

Let's dissect that statement. Mr. Perle is comparing the Iraqi people to the
American people, and suggesting that since Saddam used gas against his own
people, you never know, he may do the same to the United States.

Well, there is one small difference between America and the Iraqi people:
The United States has nuclear weapons to retaliate with and they did not.

During the Gulf War Saddam had poison gas warheads. He was warned by the
elder President Bush that if he used that poison gas against U.S. troops,
his regime would be wiped off the planet. And he didn't use it. Not only did
he not use it against our troops in a war on his own border, with his whole
regime and maybe his own life in the balance, he did not even put poison gas
on the Scuds he fired at Israel, which would have been enormously popular in
the Arab world. Why not? Classic deterrence. He knew the Israelis would
destroy Baghdad. Saddam understands something the Bushies refuse to admit:
that there is a difference between evil and crazy. Saddam is evil. But he
has survived all these years because he's not suicidal.

This gets to the core problem with the Bush approach to missile defense. It
is based on flimsy or dishonest arguments, including:

(1) We need a missile shield because the Cold War doctrine of mutual assured
destruction, is out of date. The truth: We will continue to rely on MAD for
decades to come. Indeed, the United States is now so overpowering, the only
thing that might be new about MAD is that it is no longer mutual. Any rogues
firing a missile at us would end up with TAD - Their Assured Destruction.

(2) Classic deterrence can't be relied upon to work against rogues because
they are crazy. The truth: All evidence proves the opposite. The Bushies
resort to these tall tales because they are theologically obsessed with
missile defense. So to justify spending $100 billion on a system to deter
rogues who are already deterred by classic deterrence they have to make
exaggerated claims that we are in a new era and the old ways won't work. I
am not theologically against missile defense, but it has to be judged by
what it really is - a defense system that will always be, at best, a
supplement to mutual assured destruction, which is neither out of date nor
going away.

It is like wearing suspenders along with a belt.

Sure, it would be nice to have some extra protection against rogues. But if
the Bush team wants us to pay huge money for such suspenders it must prove
that missile defense works under battlefield conditions, which it hasn't;
that it can be deployed without alienating Russia and China, which can
overwhelm any system by simply selling missiles to rogues; and that the
system will not cost so much that it will divert needed resources from
weapons and army units, which already do work against real threats. "Missile
defense isn't like abortion, where the only issue is whether you're for or
against it," says Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins foreign policy
expert. "The question is, what are the economic and strategic costs, and
what are the alternatives?" These require honest arguments, not theology,
and the Bushies have not made them.

by Chris Blackhurst
Independent, 27th July

A former company director wrongly convicted of supplying arms to Iraq lost
his claim for compensation yesterday.

Ali Daghir brought the action against Customs and Excise, alleging malicious
prosecution and abuse of process over his original trial in 1991. He was
seeking a minimum of £1m in damages, maintaining he has never been able to
resume his successful business career because of the case, which saw him
jailed for five years before the Court of Appeal overturned the verdict in

Despite being cleared, Mr Daghir, 61, is still on the US banned list of
businessmen, and American citizens are forbidden from dealing with him.

In the High Court yesterday, the judge, Charles Gray, called a sudden halt
to the proceedings which were in their fourth week. The judge rejected the
abuse of process application and discharged the jury on the malicious
prosecution claim before ruling Customs had no case to answer. Malicious
prosecution cases are one of the few instances in which civil cases can be
heard by juries.

Mr Daghir, who lives in Esher, Surrey, and holds dual Iraqi-British
nationality, is one of the few business people wrongfully accused of selling
arms to Saddam Hussein's regime not to be compensated. So far, seven former
executives tied up in the Arms to Iraq litigation have received damages,
with one of them, Reginald Dunk, being paid more than £1m.

Mr Daghir's case, for which he received legal aid, took the jury back to the
days of 1990 when Customs was trying to prevent potential weapons from the
West reaching Baghdad. Documents released in the subsequent Arms to Iraq
inquiry show that at times, Customs was acting on its own, not consulting
other Whitehall departments, not heeding their advice and not aware that
they were, in some cases, happy for the British firms to continue trading
with Iraq. Mr Daghir was a target of Operation Quarry, a joint investigation
mounted by British and American Customs to thwart Iraq's nuclear
weapons-building programme. Margaret Thatcher, as Prime Minister, endorsed
the transatlantic effort.

The businessman ran a small electrical supply company from offices at Thames
Ditton, Surrey. They were raided and a quantity of electrical capacitors,
said by Customs to be nuclear triggers, was seized. After having his
conviction overturned in 1994, Mr Daghir spent a further seven years trying
to take his compensation claim to court. The reason for the delay was the
tardiness of the authorities in making available documents helpful to his
cause. Many of these papers were not disclosed in his original trial. One, a
file note from GCHQ made by officer "D", said: "There is no GCHQ evidence
(or I believe Secret Intelligence Service information) to connect these
capacitors with an Iraqi nuclear programme."

The Foreign Office also advised Customs not to base a prosecution on the
claim that the capacitors could be used only for nuclear weapons. Customs
chose to ignore that advice and the Foreign Office's caution was not
disclosed to Mr Daghir at his trial.

In a preliminary ruling yesterday the judge said that in Mr Daghir's case
there was not "a sustainable argument that Customs and Excise should have
obtained the documents from other government departments". The judge
accepted the argument from Customs that at the time interdepartmental
communications were the subject of Public Interest Immunity ­ in other
words, they could be withheld from Mr Daghir's defence.

On appeal, the conviction was quashed because the judge told the jurors they
could convict if they were satisfied the equipment was capable of military
use ­ quite different from Customs' assertion they were specifically
intended for nuclear weapons. Lord Chief Justice Taylor took less than three
hours to throw out the conviction, saying that Mr Daghir had suffered "a
grave miscarriage of justice".

Mr Daghir said he was especially anxious for his compensation claim to be
heard by a jury, but that was barred by the judge. Mr Daghir said: "I can't
work, I've devoted 11 years of my life proving my innocence. I have suffered
what the Appeal Court judge said was 'a grave miscarriage of justice', yet I
have nothing."

His solicitor, Lawrence Kor- mornick, said he was "extremely surprised and
disappointed that the judge has ruled there are no questions for the jury to
decide". Mr Daghir is now deciding whether he will appeal.

Baghdad, Reuters, 27th July

Iraq has defused 623 bombs of different types and sizes dropped by Western
warplanes in Anbar province 110 kilometres west of Baghdad, the Iraqi News
Agency INA said yesterday.

The agency quoted head of the civil defence of the province as saying the
bombs, defused this month, were found in areas about 50 and 80 kilometres
from Rutba district. It said civil defence teams have defused 56,490 bombs
of different types and cruise missiles in the province since the end of the
1991 Gulf War.


by Medb Ruane
Irish Times, 27th July

The CIA backs an unknown for president and secretly funds an ad campaign
designed to scare the US out of its mind. Television slots show foreigners
from rogue states with vastly inferior militaries developing nuclear
arsenals designed to take the US by surprise. The CIA director reassures his
allies that the US defence industry will go on to win, win, win. The
candidate's ratings soar.

That was fiction: John Grisham's The Brethren. Grisham, a former Democratic
representative in Arkansas, pulled the plug. Other fictions nourish
amazingly similar scare tactics from George Dubya and his father's merry men
this week, not least as argued on this page by Paul Wolfowitz, US Deputy
Secretary of Defence.

Mr Wolfowitz is a man who spent many years waiting to stand still. He was
undersecretary for defence in George Bush I's cabinet, back when current
Vice-President Dick Cheney was defence secretary. The peace dividend of
ending the Cold War wasn't paying off. Bush's popularity was plummeting:
from an approval rating of 80 per cent in January, after invading Panama,
down to 60 per cent and falling, on July 25th, 1990.

Today the 11th anniversary of the day after the day after George Bush I
realised he needed help to win over the American people and maintain his
sponsors, let us commemorate with a story from the late Bill Hicks, an
adopted Arkansas man.

Hicks was a stand-up performer and commentator who challenged the Gulf War
by quoting the movie Shane. Jack Palance forces a small farmer to pick up a
gun. "Pickitup, pickitup!" The man won't. "Pickitup!" He still won't, he's
scared and he's only in town to buy candy for the kids and a roll of gingham
for his wife. Palance commands him: he picks it up. Kapow! Palance blasts
him away. "You saw him," says Palance. "He had a gun."

How could poor, small countries collect the arsenals Bush - and Wolfowitz -
claimed and how did the US know? All the US had to do was look at the
receipt, Hicks said. As soon as the cheque cleared, they'd be goin' in to
fight that little country in the name of God, democracy and whoever they
currently liked.

Hussein got the weapons that Wolfowitz says enabled him to make war because
the Gulf War was for Aladdin, Hicks imagined. Bush (and Major) supporters
would sell "machine tools" or "`farming equipment" to Iraq for rakes that
transformed magically into armaments, as in "Wow, first it was a chicken
coop, now it's a nuclear reactor."

Bush I played footsie with Saddam Hussein until the Gulf War. The pretext
was "American interests" and the defence of Kuwait, meaning the US's life
blood, oil. Kuwait had used the Iran-Iraq war to sell above OPEC guidelines,
drilling from a territory it contested with its former national partner,

AT its height, the US controlled 500,000 military in the Gulf, more than it
did in Europe during the worst of the Cold War. The Iraqi people were
torched, bombed and deprived of basic facilities that still aren't back to
the same level.

Hundreds of thousands of children continue dying needlessly, because of
economic sanctions. Then-general Colin Powell was asked to estimate how many
Iraqis died during the war. "It's really not a number I'm terribly
interested in," he said.

Wolfowitz wrote passionately about the destruction of a US barracks in
Dhahran, with 28 fatalities and 99 casualties. He didn't mention the Baghdad
shelter where US bombs did so much damage that people watching a television
video - not broadcast in the US - vomited when they saw bodies burned so
badly the limbs were charred away.

Or the road to Basra, where retreating Iraqi people and Kuwaiti refugees
were bombed into the sand. Bush refused to let Iraq retreat with any honour.
Even the late Timothy McVeigh was shocked.

Joe Seidl, a US pilot, said bombing Basra was "almost like, um, hitting the
jackpot. It is a very lucrative target. I mean, we can actually go out here
and just kind of almost, I don't want to sound sarcastic or whatever, but we
could really do some damage.

Because I mean, there are thousands and thousands of vehicles out there and
they're all heading north, and you know, they're probably all bad guys. Or
they are all bad guys. And we can really put hurt on 'em."

Back at camp a lieutenant listening to the Basra debriefing called it
"murder". Gen "Bull" Baker told him: "That wasn't murder, that was war, just
to give him a little taste of reality." Basra reduces a Slobodan Milosevic
to Aladdin's little helper.

But only small leaders are accountable to the war crimes tribunal. The US
won't even support a ban on germ warfare, allegedly for security and
industrial reasons. Are they afraid women in Africa will use the know-how to
wash their whites whiter than the Moms at home?

"This is democracy. With 56 cable stations, all showing Gladiators, you are
free to do as we tell you," Hicks signed off. "Go back to bed, America, your
government is in control again."

Dawn (Pakistan), 28th July

PRETORIA, July 27 (AFP): Wouter Basson, the spy and mastermind behind the
apartheid government's chemical warfare programme, claimed on Friday the
United States had used hallucinogenic weapons against Iraq during the Gulf

Basson told the Pretoria high court television footage shot during the war
showed clearly that elite Iraqi troops who surrendered en masse were under
the influence of hallucinogens. He said their faces were expressionless,
their pupils were dilated and they were drooling at the mouth - typical side
effects of a particularly dangerous type of hallucinogenic drug.

Basson, a former military officer, was testifying about the 1993 destruction
of hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of drugs such as cocaine, Mandrax and
Ecstasy, manufactured or bought by the South African army for use in crowd
control. He told the court: "Analysis of video material showing surrendering
(Iraqi) troops emerging from their underground bunkers show that they had
dilated pupils, were drooling and had vacant stares."

"It appeared like the clinical profile of a BZ variant. The variant was also
tested in laboratory animals in South Africa but it was stopped because it
caused permanent damage to the subject. "I had good reason to believe that
America used a BZ variant against Iraq during the Gulf War."

Basson said BZ was a hallucinogenic which altered a person's ability to act
rationally. It could either make somebody completely passive or
uncontrollably aggressive, to the point where he would attack his own
colleagues, he said. Basson is facing 46 charges ranging from murder to
fraud for acts allegedly committed while he was a high-ranking member of the
apartheid-era military.

Dubbed "Dr Death", he was the mastermind behind the regime's secret
programme to develop biological and chemical warfare capabilities and this
week testified that he had bought a zoo to research the use of animal
hormones to control crowds.


Letter in Irish Times, 25th July

Sir, - The British Ambassador, Sir Ivor Roberts (July 21st), did not display
his usual thorough briefing on Iraqi sanctions.

Nobody who has worked under the UN rules would claim that "there are no
restrictions on legitimate trade with Iraq". In practice, business is
extremely difficult and subject to arbitrary delays. That is why former UN
programme administrators (Irishman) Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck
(son of the general executed for plotting against Hitler), resigned from
their UN posts and now condemn sanctions.

Many of the import refusals are farcical: oil drilling rigs are vetoed
because they "could excavate missile silos". Has anyone heard of spades? The
Royal Mail halts medical journals though these are exempt. Heart drugs have
been refused because they contain nitroglycerine.

Yet when you notify Heathrow Airport officials that you are bringing these
medicines to Iraq they raise no objection. In one case stud bulls were
blocked because their medication could be harmful if taken by humans!
Chlorine for water purification is refused because armies (including British
and Iraqi), once used it in chemical weapons.

Count von Sponeck believes that such antics are a charade to pressure Iraq
beyond the spirit of UN resolutions and international custom on siege
warfare against civilians. We are causing the mass destruction that we claim
to avoid.

Sir Ivor's assertions contradict Britain“s Department of Trade and Industry
and many UN officials. Money lies unspent in UN accounts because of Western
vetoes. Iraq preferred to halt oil exports rather than concede because there
are already billions locked in UN accounts; Iraq had nothing to lose by
interrupting exports.

While true that Britain objects to only some items, these are often critical
bottlenecks without which the remainder of the shipment is worthless; A
refinery cannot safely function without controls. It is usually impossible
to import telecom or computer aids essential for industrial development or
even maintenance. As a result Iraqi oil production has fallen steadily and
workers are forced to take avoidable risks. We once saw a welder repairing
gas vessels without any inert gas or even protective gloves! What should
have been routine maintenance has become life-threatening. How does this
serve Western interests?

The ambassador's argument about better conditions in Kurdistan is
disingenuous: the Kurds are not similarly restricted and anyway are less
short of potable water. Impure drinking water is the major reason, according
to UNESCO statistics, for the avoidable deaths of 5,000 children monthly.

Sir Ivor's point about Syrian smuggling, while true, is breathtakingly
silent on the fact that most smuggled oil since 1991 has gone through
Britain“s NATO ally Turkey. Such arguments reinforce cynics' suspicions that
the British Foreign Office is interested in spin rather than substance.

The stillborn initiative, misleadingly called "smart sanctions" was an
attempt to maintain a fraying embargo in the face of rising unease, not
least in Britain itself. Shrewd Foreign Office Arabists knew that the
proposal would sound good to Western ears while being unacceptable to any
sovereign state. That is why it was opposed by Iraq and vetoed by Russia.
But the British government is increasingly out of step with informed
opinion, including Pope John Paul II. A sense of fair play among ordinary
Britons has provoked misgivings among a wide spectrum of religious,
political and business leaders. Readers can gauge the arguments on the
Cambridge University based website:

Almost none of the embargo critics participating support the Baghdad regime.
The embargo has long since de-fanged Baghdad but failed to topple the
regime. It is now counter productive.

Sanctions boost Arab nationalism. And Iraq holds 15 per cent of the world
oil reserves. The suffering of innocent civilians, particularly infants, is
disproportionate to any benefits.

The Irish Government is right to review UN practice and bring it to an
acceptable standard of morality and common sense. Yours, etc.,

DAVID HORGAN, Petrel Resources' Clontarf Road, Dublin 3.

Arabic News, 25th July

The UN secretary general Kofi Annan has proposed to postpone convening a
second round of talks with Iraq until the end of the current year as a
minimum due to the standing differences between members of the UN Security
Council over the policy that should be taken towards Iraq.

News reports quoted Annan as saying to journalists on Monday evening that
the second round of the negotiations will be held immediately after the UN
Security Council will conclude its consultation to this effect. Annan
explained that it will not be useful to hold these talks at higher levels
while members of the UN Security Council are still split concerning the
policy to be taken concerning Iraq.

Annan held the first round of talks with the Iraqi delegation by the end of
February in an attempt to bridge the gap between the two sides on the two
issues of inspecting for the Iraqi weapons and lifting the UN sanctions
imposed on Iraq since 11 years.

New York, Reuters, 26th July

Prices for Iraqi crude shipped to the United States from July 21-31 were
approved yesterday by the UN Iraqi sanctions committee, UN officials said.
Iraq resubmitted higher oil prices for July 21-31 U.S.-bound shipments after
last week's initial proposals were rejected by the committee as too low.

Iraqi Basrah Light crude prices were approved at second-month West Texas
Intermediate (WTI) minus $6.75 a barrel, up 25 cents from prices rejected
last week and up 80 cents from July 10-20 prices.

Iraqi Kirkuk crude prices were approved at first-month WTI minus $6.05 a
barrel, up 30 cents from a proposal rejected last week and up 80 cents from
July 10-20 prices.

U.S. and Britain diplomats on the committee were the only ones among the
committee's 15 members to reject Iraqi crude prices that had been
recommended for approval by the UN oil sale overseers, as were the prices
rejected last week.

Both nations are keen to shut Baghdad out from collecting illegal payments
outside of the UN escrow account that holds UN oil-for-food program revenue.
Oil industry sources say Iraq has demanded a surcharge since last fall and
attempts to low-ball its prices to allow oil buyers to pay the illegal fees
and still make profits.

Iraq has consistently denied that the charges exist, but oil industry
sources have been just as consistent in saying that the surcharges have been
part of doing business with Iraq since last fall.

"This is only the beginning of the fight," said a UN diplomat who wished to
remain anonymous. "As long as Iraq keeps insisting on the surcharge, the
United Kingdom and the United States will insist on high official selling

Some diplomats say that Iraq may suspend oil exports or delay shipments as a
result of the tight control over oil prices, as it did last December.

Prices for Iraqi July 21-31 shipments to Europe were approved by the
committee last week for Kirkuk at Dated Brent minus $2.50 and Basrah Light
at Dated Brent minus $3.45. August prices for Basrah Light to Asia were set
at Oman/Dubai minus 20 cents.


UNITED NATIONS (Associated Press, Fri 27th July) ‹ The U.N. office that runs
the oil for-food program in Iraq has transferred $75 million in excess
administrative funds to the account used to purchase humanitarian supplies,
a U.N. spokesman said.

The oil-for-food program allows Iraq to sell unlimited amounts of oil ‹
provided the money goes into a U.N.-controlled account to be spent primarily
on humanitarian relief, oil industry repairs and war reparations.

The U.N. Iraq Program, which runs the oil-for-food operation, receives 2.2
percent of Iraq's oil revenue for administrative costs. U.N. spokesman Fred
Eckhard explained Thursday that because oil prices vary, the program
sometimes accumulates excess funds in its administrative account.

Benon Sevan, who heads the U.N. Iraq Program, informed the U.N. Security
Council committee that monitors sanctions against Iraq of the $75 million
transfer, Eckhard said.

It was the second transfer from the administrative account this year. Sevan
earlier authorized $52 million in excess administrative funds to be
deposited in the humanitarian account, Eckhard said.

The Security Council imposed sanctions on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of
Kuwait. It established the oil-for-food program in 1996 to help alleviate
the impact of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis.



SEOUL, Jul 23, 2001 (AsiaPulse via COMTEX) -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Sunday
that it had completed loading 400 buses ordered by the Iraqi education
ministry for shipment.

The deal for the Super Aero City model buses is worth US$17 million, and
they will be used primarily to transport school children in the major
cities. They will also be operated by various education organizations.

Hyundai, has been making inroads into the Iraqi bus market, having sold 425
vehicles last year. This constitutes 28 per cent of the 1,520 buses imported
by Baghdad last year, and easily outpaces Mercedes-Benz, which controls 17
per cent of the market after Hyundai.

"We won the right to supply the schoolbuses after fierce competition from
companies like Volvo," said a Hyundai official, who added that Iraqi
authorities selected the Korean manufacturer because of superior quality,
performance and cost competitiveness.

Hyundai said that though the country is still subject to a UN embargo, once
restriction are lifted it would become one of the largest automobile markets
in the middle east, and is vying to strengthen its brand image to potential


CNN, July 22

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has given his
support to the anti-globalization movement, saying it will gain momentum and
attract more supporters, the official news agency INA said on Sunday.

Saddam comments related to anti-globalization demonstrations that broke out
Friday as G8 leaders gathered in the Mediterranean city of Genoa.

"The youth in the West are living in a state where there is no case that
boosts their humanitarian values, so they discovered ... that by opposing
globalization they will save themselves from this environment," Hussein was
quoted as saying during a cabinet meeting.

"We expected that the anti-globalization movement would increase to
(include) political parties and movements and change into a well-organized
state," he added.

Commenting on a call at the summit for a decrease in crude oil prices, the
Iraqi leader blamed high prices for oil products in the West on high taxes
imposed by Western industrialized countries.

"These taxes have to be decreased and not crude oil prices," he said.

People's Daily, 27th July

More than 9,000 Iraqis died in June due to the 11-year-old United Nations
sanctions against Iraq, bringing the country's death toll of the sanctions
to 1,508,006 since August 1990, Iraqi Health Ministry said in a report
released on Thursday.

In June, some 6,078 children under the age of five died of diarrhea,
pneumonia, respiratory infections and malnutritions, said the report, adding
that 3,012 elderly people died of heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and
malignant neoplasms.

Such a high mortality rate, resulting from malnutrition and severe medicine
shortage caused by the sanctions, was in sharp contrast with the same 1989
period, when only 387 children and 434 elderly people died, the report said.

Iraq has long urged the U.N. to totally lift the sanctions, imposed after
its 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait.

Moreover, Iraq has often accused the United States and Britain of impeding
the implementation of the U.N. oil-for-food program by blocking the
contracts Iraq signed with foreign countries to buy food, medicine and other
basic necessities.

The U.N. humanitarian program, launched in 1996, allows Iraq to sell crude
to finance imports of humanitarian goods to help offset the crippling
impacts of the sanctions.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday, Iraqi
permanent delegate to the U.N. Mohammad al-Duri said that a total of 1,373
contracts, worth 3.4 billion U.S. dollars, have been put on hold by the U.N.
Sanctions Committee "under the pretext of dual use."

"The suspension of contracts has reached an unbearable level," Duri said in
the letter.

Arabic News, 27th July

The Iraqi President on Wednesday appointed the minister of military industry
Abdul al Tawab al-Mulla Hweish as a deputy prime minister, together with his
post as responsible for the military industry.

This is, however, the second decision following the decision according to
which he appointed on July 5th the chairman of the Presidency court Ahmad
Hussein Khudeir also a deputy for the prime minister. Therefore the Iraqi
president, in his capacity as a prime minister, has five deputies. They are
Hweish,Khudeir, Taha Yassin Ramadan, Tareq Aziz and the finance minister
Hikmat al-Azzawi.



Kurdistan Observer, July 24, 2001

A column published by the London-based Al Hayat today reports that Iraqi
Kurdish leaderships have focused their talks on drafting a joint response to
a call by Saddam Hussein for dialogue.  A KDP delegation met their PUK
counterpart in Sulamaniah yesterday to discuss and draft a joint rebuttal to
the call by Iraqi president.  The two delegations are expected to meet again
tomorrow or Thursday for further talks. A Kurdish source refused to 
elaborate of the progress achieved so far except to say "the Kurds have
always called for a negotiated settlement with the Central government to the
Kurdish question.  The question is whether conditions for success of the
negotiation exist.  These conditions are now under investigation."

Meanwhile the peace process between the two Kurdish parties advanced further
yesterday after the repatriation to Sulaimania and Arbil of hundreds of
displaced families resulted from past conflicts.  On the other hand, no
progress was made regarding unifying the parliaments.  One of the stumbling
blocks seems to be the issue of naming the common parliament.  In this 
regard, Al-Hayat reported that efforts are now underway to schedule a
meeting between Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talebani, leaders of the KDP and
PUK respectively to resolve the outstanding issues.

Kurdistan Observer, 24th July 

BAGHDAD, July 24 (AFP) - A delegation of Iraqi businessmen has visited
northern Kurdish provinces of Iraq, areas outside Baghdad's control, to
examine ways of boosting trade,  a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The delegation, led by Zuhair Abdul Ghafur Yunis, head of Iraq's chamber of
commerce  federation, visited Suleimaniyeh "to study with the town's chamber
of commerce ways to boost  trade," said Al-Iraq, mouthpiece of Kurds loyal
to President Saddam Hussein.

According to the paper, the two sides noted "the importance of taking
advantage of the benefits  offered by the free-exchange agreements Baghdad
has sealed with other Arab countries."

The paper did not specify when the visit took place.

The three provinces of Arbil, Suleimaniyeh and Dahuk have since 1991 been
controlled by rival  Kurdish factions in defiance of Baghdad.

On July 15, Saddam Hussein called for the Kurdish factions to engage in
dialogue to find an  equitable solution to the Kurdish problem.,3604,527063,00.html

by Kevin Maguire
The Guardian, 25th July

Scotland Yard is to study accusations that millions of pounds in donations
went missing in a fundraising drive for the Kurds of Iraq headed by Jeffrey

The Metropolitan police yesterday said it would investigate a complaint
lodged by former Tory vice-chairman Emma Nicholson, who has repeated claims
by Iraqi Kurds that just a fifth of the £57m raised by Archer reached its

The decision adds to the potential problems facing disgraced Archer, serving
a four-year sentence for perjury over lies told in his 1987 libel trial
involving prostitute Monica Coghlan, with the inland revenue thought to be
investigating his tax affairs.

A police spokesman said yesterday: "We can confirm that the commissioner
received a letter from Baroness Nichol son today. The Metropolitan police
service is carrying out a preliminary assessment of the facts."

Any formal investigation would involve interviewing Archer in prison but
officers will consider what evidence is already available ahead of any full
scale inquiry. "A decision will be made in due course as to whether further
action may or may not be appropriate," the police spokesman added.

Lady Nicholson, a Liberal Democrat MEP after defecting from the Tories, has
said she long suspected that the Kurds were short changed.

Archer won plaudits when he claimed to have raised £57m in 1991 shortly
after the Gulf war to help the Kurds, particularly those in the north of
Iraq who had suffered from Saddam Hussein's crackdown on opponents.

Archer has consistently denied any wrongdoing and suggested that Baghdad may
have seized some of the aid, but the international development secretary,
Clare Short, at the weekend questioned Archer's role.

A police inquiry would be another nail in Archer's reputation as discussions
continue over stripping him of his peerage over last week's conviction for
perjury .

The Daily Star and News of the World newspapers are suing Archer for around
£3m in damages, costs and interest.


Hoover's (from INA news agency, Baghdad, in Arabic), July 22

Kuwait, 21 July - Informed sources revealed that national resistance groups
in Kuwait carried out several heroic operations in the past few weeks
against the interests of the traitors, who rule over the brethren in Kuwait.
A worker in the oil sector, who left Kuwait on a summer vacation, said that
Al-Shu'aybah refinery was one of the targets of those operations, which took
place in the last week of June and led to the suspension of a refinery with
a production capacity of 200,000 bpd. He said that the security units of the
traitor rulers rushed to the scene to contain the incident, clamp full
blackout, and leak out reports to the press, claiming that refining
operations were suspended for technical reasons.

AFP cited an official source in the Kuwaiti Oil Company as claiming on 26
June that a steep rise in the temperature in one of the kilns during the
operation process prompted controllers to suspend operation for a period
that might extend to 10 days.

The oil worker on leave said that the opposition groups against foreign
occupation of Kuwait carried out yet another heroic operation against
Al-Ahmadi refinery early in July. He said that the operation caused damage
to the pipelines and refining units and that this led to explosions and
fires that caused injuries to several workers and security men.

The traitor rulers admitted the incident on 1 July. But, Kuwait News Agency
claimed that it was caused by some leakage in the main feeder lines in the
refinery, which is considered the biggest in Kuwait.

A spokesman indicated that opposition groups have included oil refineries
among their targets to deprive the occupation US and British forces in
Kuwait of free oil, which the puppet regime supplies them, and to move the
Kuwaiti public strongly against the traitors, who use people's resources to
serve their masters, protect their thrones, and satisfy their pleasures and

Baghdad, Reuters, 24th July

Iraq has dismissed charges by Saudi Arabia that smugglers crossed into its
territory from Iraq last month and fired on a Saudi patrol, the state INA
news agency said yesterday.

Iraq's UN envoy Mohammed Aldouri, in letters to the UN Security Council and
Secretary General Kofi Annan the texts of which were carried by INA, said
Saudi authorities had persistently complained in the past two months to the
United Nations about "alleged violations" of its borders.

"The American and Zionist media machine circulates them (the allegations) to
give the false impression that there is a state of tension on the Saudi
borders," Aldouri said. Riyadh asked the United Nations last week to press
Baghdad to improve policing on its borders, charging that drug smugglers had
crossed into Saudi Arabia from Iraq last month and shot at a Saudi patrol.

In letters to Annan and the Security Council, Saudi Ambassador Fawzi bin
Abdul Majeed Shobokshi asked that the Iraqi authorities be urged to halt
border violations and prevent illegal entry into Saudi territory. These
activities undermined security and stability in the area, he said.

Aldouri said Iraq was committed to maintaining the safety of the Iraqi-Saudi
borders and good neighbourly principles with Saudi Arabia. "In return, the
Saudi authorities are...providing bases for American planes that attack
civilian targets in Iraq daily," he added.

Aldouri urged Annan and the Security Council to take "immediate measures to
stop daily American-British aggression on its territory". He held the two
countries responsible for human and material losses, saying that Saudi
authorities were a prime accomplice "in this hateful aggression."

U.S. and British planes based in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia patrol a no-fly
zone over southern Iraq. They have frequently bombed targets when they are
challenged by Iraqi defence forces. Tension has flared periodically between
Riyadh and Baghdad since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing Gulf

Saudi Arabia has twice complained to the United Nations in recent months
about Iraqi troops entering its territory or firing at border outposts from
the Iraqi sides. It said an Iraqi soldier was killed in such an attack on
May 23. But there was no indication in the latest letter that the June 11
incident involved Iraqi soldiers.

People's Daily, 27th July

Turkey and Iraq on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding on
promoting cooperation in the oil sector and trade.

The document was inked by Turkish State Minister Edip Safter Gaydali and
visiting Iraqi Oil Minister Amir Muhammad Rashid at the end of three-day
meetings of the Turkey-Iraq Joint Economic Commission (JEC).

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gaydali noted that the memo of
understanding would make a "valuable contribution" to the further
improvement of the economic and commercial relations between Turkey and

Underlining the importance of putting into practice the memo of
understanding, he said that the two countries would continue making efforts
to encourage the business circles.

Rashid said that both Iraq and Turkey have the "necessary will" to improve
their commercial relations.

During his stay in Ankara, Rashid, leading an Iraqi delegation to the JEC
meeting, met with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and a number of
senior officials.

Complaining repeatedly about the huge economic losses, caused by the
11-year-old U.N. sanctions on Iraq, Turkey has tried hard to boost trade
with Iraq in recent years.

Iraq was Turkey's fourth largest trade partner before the 1991 Gulf War,
with the trade volume standing at 2.5 billion U.S. dollars. But the U.N.
sanctions, imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, almost eliminated
the trade between the two neighbors until recent years.

In 1999, the Turkish-Iraqi trade volume amounted to 661 million dollars, and
to 1.26 billion dollars in 2000.

Rashid is expected to return to Iraq on Friday.
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