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News, 5-11/8/01 (1) The news is of course dominated by the raids on the defense installations on the Southern no-fly zone¹. Discussion is dominated by the question of linkage¹ - how can you secure Arab support for the war against Iraq without addressing Arab concerns about Israel/Palestine? I suspect that one of the most important pieces of news, however, is the visit to Baghdad of the Syrian PM, Mohammed Mustafa Miro (in the Middle east section). This is the first such visit (though there have been several such Iraqi visits to Damascus) and the Syrians had been anxious to deny Iraqi claims that a similar visit had been planned last May MILITARY MATTERS * 'Iraq has rebuilt air defences destroyed in raids' * U.S. Planes Bomb Targets in Iraq [in the northern no-fly zone] * U.S. puts Iraq strike 'on hold' [Yes. Well ...] * Western Planes Bomb Iraqi Air Defenses [the Iraqi version of the northern no-fly zone bombing] * U.S. denies Iraqi claim of hitting allied plane * US, British planes bomb Iraq sites [this is the bigger raid, in the southern zone. The article mentions that some of the planes took off from unidentified land bases in the region¹. See Bush delivers stern message¹ below.] * US-Iraq Chronology [specifically relating to military strikes] * Iraq Airstrikes Kill One, Wound 11 [the Iraqi version] * Russia Blasts U.S., Britain for Iraq Raids * Bush delivers stern message to Baghdad [Approving editorial from the Times. It includes the interesting detail that the RAF planes took off from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, both of which claim not to be involved in these raids. It may be that Tonto isn¹t allowed to do any of the actual shooting but then what becomes of the claim made by the Times¹ sister paper, the Sun, that the RAF blitzed¹ Iraq?] BLOCKADE * Navy Force Rescues Iraqi Tanker Crew [after causing their ship to sink. Since the beginning of the year, the Maritime Interception Force has questioned 1,472 ships, boarded 748 and diverted 62 vessels in its work to enforce the sanctions.¹] * Ship with Iraq oil sinks in Gulf fleeing patrol * Iran Team to Clear Up Slick From Sunken Gulf Ship IRAQI/US RELATIONS * Nothing Comes From Nothing in the Middle East [extracts. Jim Hoagland says get tough and don¹t worry about what the Arabs think] * Work, Play in Bush's Day [extract. Nothing immediately relevant to Iraq but important for those of us who want to know what keeps Little Bush a balanced person¹ (holidays on his ranch in Waco. Presumably that also helps to explain why David Koresh was such a balanced person] * Changes of historic magnitude [Short extracts from an interesting general article on the Kyoto agreement, the Strategic Defence Initiative and the withdrawal from the germ warfare agreement. The American author concludes, rather optimistically in my view, that if this keeps on, world leadership will pass to Europe] URL ONLY http://www.iht.com/articles/28596.html * Bush Approach to Israel Policy May Be Hurting U.S. Gulf Aims by Alan Sipress (Washington Post Service) International Herald tribune, 7th August [Article suggesting that, contrary to the argument of J.Hoagland above, the US should get tough on Sharon if it wants to get tough with Saddam] IRAQI-MIDDLE EAST/ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * A new Kuwaiti approach on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion [extract. The extract, not typical of the general content of the article, has Kuwait endorsing Egypt¹s attack on the US bombing raids] * Jordan businesses to spend 4.5m dollars to help rehabilitate Iraqi factories * Iraq aims to overtake Saudi in oil reserves * An iron wall against Saddam [extracts from the Jerusalem Post, singing the praises of Vladimir Jabotinsky who is often presented as the founder of the Fascist wing of Zionism: It is unfortunate that they (Israel and the US) did not heed the words of Jabotinsky, who wrote in 1923 that the only way to deal with Palestinian Arab rejectionism was to build an "iron wall" that would shatter any illusions the Arabs might have about achieving victory.¹ This is an editorial. Does support for Jabotinsky mark a change in the Jerusalem Post¹s editorial line?] * New Iraqi agreements with Algeria, Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan * Saddam denounces Saudi, Kuwaiti oil policies [principally the Kuwaiti/Saudi offer to compensate for the Iraqi oil lost when Iraq suspended sales] * Rafha camp transformed into a modern city in the middle of the desert [How the Saudis built a paradise for Iraqi refugees in Saudi Arabia] * Syrian Leader Arrives in Iraq AND, IN NEWS, 5-11/8/01 (2): CAMPAIGNING * Activists Protest Iraq Sanctions [Voices in the Wilderness in New York. Article concentrates on Halliday and Von Sponeck] * Fasters protest Iraq sanctions [Same, but article concentrates on individual fasters and their experience of Iraq] * Sanctions on Iraq [letter to Irish Times from Irish MEP, Niall Andrews] * Sanctions on Iraq [letter to Irish Times from director of Irish Catholic charity, Trocaire] IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * Guardian Diary [on the comparative diets of UN sniffer dogs and Iraqis. Though is it not the Iraqi government who decides what each individual Iraqi receives in the way of food from Oil for Food money?] NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * U.S. should intensify pressure on Hussein [The word Kurd¹ does not appear in this article, but that is what explains why these particular Iraqis¹ are calling for tough sanctions against Iraq] * 35 illegal Iraqi Kurdish immigrants [expelled from Iran] * Iraqi Kurds cross Lebanese border [expelled from Israel] * Asylum-seekers chance Channel crossing to the promised land [expelled from Britain] URL ONLY: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/monitoring/media_reports/newsid_14800 00/1480745.stm * Iraqi Kurds face uncertain future BBC, 11th August BBC journalist Hiwa Osman has just returned from the little-visited Kurdish region of northern Iraq¹ It seems to be quite a frequently visited region these days. This article adds little to what we¹ve already seen except perhaps the following surprising contribution from a Turkoman leader in Arbil: "This is a golden age for the Iraqi Turkomans." IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Last vessel carrying wheat leaves for Iraq [from Pakistan] URL ONLY: http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=8590945&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * Iraq's Oil Money Undermines Sanctions The Associated Press, Sun 5 Aug 2001 How the Iraqis give contracts to nations helping them in the struggle against sanctions and withhold them from those who don¹t. The article is written in a tone which suggests this is a reprehensible thing to do. INSIDE IRAQ * Going for an Iraqi dig? Don't forget the AK [One of the best, or most readable, articles on the state of antiquities in Iraq. Suggests things are improving a little thanks to the money earned illegally outside the Oil for Food scheme. So it doesn¹t all go on whiskey, palaces and enriched plutonium] MILITARY MATTERS http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1224743239 * 'IRAQ HAS REBUILT AIR DEFENCES DESTROYED IN RAIDS' Times of India, 5th August WASHINGTON: Iraq has rebuilt its air defences destroyed in US and British air strikes since the Gulf war and has been successful "qualitatively and quantitatively" in improving it, US defence secretary Donald H Rumsfeld has said. "It does appear that Iraq has been successful in quantitatively and qualitatively improving their air defences," he told a Pentagon news conference here on Friday. Asked about the possibility of fresh US air strikes, Rumsfeld said, "decisions as to what one does about it involve looking at a cost-benefit ratio." "One tends to want to do things that will have somewhat more lasting effects," he said. A defence department official, commenting on Rumsfeld's statement, said "Rumsfeld, in his opaque reply, was referring to the fact that at this time Israel and the Arab states are in turmoil over the targeted killing of Palestinian extremists by Israel and any massive US attacks on Iraqi defences could lead to fresh political problems in the Arab world". Retired marine general Anthony C Zinni, who until last year commanded US milerations in the middle east, told the 'Washington Post' that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein may be trying to provoke an American response to further strain US-Arab relations. "Saddam," he said, "might welcome an attack right now." Iraq has used its rebuilt air defences to target US and British planes which fly regularly over southern and northern Iraq to enforce "no fly" zones. Iraq considers the flights to be violations of its sovereignty. ( PTI ) http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=8625067&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * U.S. PLANES BOMB TARGETS IN IRAQ The Associated Press, Tue 7 Aug 2001 WASHINGTON: U.S. Air Force planes bombed an air defense site in northern Iraq Tuesday and President Bush pledged to keep Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's military ambitions in check. In a brief announcement on Tuesday's attack north of the city of Mosul, the U.S. European Command said U.S. pilots acted in self-defense after Iraq launched surface-to-air missiles and fired anti-aircraft artillery. Officials said it was not a planned attack in response to the recent near-miss Iraqi attack on a U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane. European Command said the U.S. aircraft, which flew from an air base in south-central Turkey, departed Iraqi airspace safely. In Baghdad, the official Iraqi News Agency quoted an unidentified military spokesman as saying Tuesday that ``American and British warplanes bombed civil and service installations.'' ``Our heroic missile units confronted the enemy warplanes, forcing them to leave our skies for Turkey,'' the spokesman said. The Iraqi News Agency reported no casualties. Vacationing in Texas, Bush defended the missions as a necessary response to Iraqi provocations. ``Saddam Hussein is a menace and we need to keep him in check and we will,'' Bush told reporters. ``He's been a menace forever and he needs to open his country for inspection so we can see whether he is making weapons of mass destruction.'' Bush said he had been briefed on the U.S. retaliation. ``Our military can make decisions as they see fit to protect our pilots, unless of course it's close to Baghdad, in which case it requires my approval. The missions that took place were fully in accordance with established allied war plans.'' Tuesday's incident was the latest in a long-running series of attacks and counterattacks in northern and southern Iraq, where U.S. and British aircraft enforce no-fly zones established shortly after the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq considers the no-fly zones to be illegal and has mounted a sustained effort to shoot down a U.S. or British plane. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last Friday that Iraq has rebuilt its air defenses since U.S. and British warplanes attacked radar and communications targets around Baghdad on Feb. 16. A Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm. Craig Quigley, said Tuesday that two Iraqi fighter jets entered the no-fly zone over southern Iraq on Saturday. A pilotless Air Force reconnaissance aircraft was flying over southern Iraq at the time but no manned aircraft were patrolling, he said. ``The motivation of the Iraqi air crews is unknown to us, but they were in roughly the same airspace at the same time'' as the pilotless aircraft, Quigley said. http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/08/06/us.iraq/index.html * U.S. PUTS IRAQ STRIKE 'ON HOLD' CNN, 7th August WASHINGTON: The United States has "put on hold" plans for large-scale retaliatory airstrikes on Iraq after a missile attack on a U.S. spy plane last month, Pentagon sources said Monday. America is back to its usual policy of striking smaller targets that threaten coalition planes on an "as needed" basis in response to violations of the U.S.-imposed "no-fly" zone and attacks on U.S. aircraft by Iraqi air defenses, sources told CNN. The decision was taken, sources said, because of concern that the negative reaction from U.S. allies in the region is not worth the limited effect the bombing would have on Iraqi air defenses. Officials said the United States also has had difficulty in recent days finding appropriate targets because Iraq has dispersed most of its anti-aircraft missiles and radars in anticipation of a major strike. Meanwhile, Iraq continues to violate the no-fly zones, sources reported. Sources said that on Saturday an Iraqi MiG-23 flew some 60 miles into the southern no-fly zone near where a U.S. predator unmanned aerial vehicle was conducting surveillance. The Iraqi jet left the no-fly zone before U.S. planes could respond. U-2 spy plane The United States also has returned to its usual naval complement in the Persian Gulf -- one aircraft carrier and attendant ships. It briefly had two carriers in the gulf last week when the USS Enterprise arrived to relieve the USS Constellation, which left Saturday. On July 26, a military response was planned following an attempt to shoot down a U-2 spy plane over Iraq's southern no-fly zone, two days earlier, sources said. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry later denied the attack on the U-2 and said the intended target had been a U.S. F-15 fighter. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered a reward for the shooting down of any allied plane patrolling the no-fly zones. http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20010807_323.html * WESTERN PLANES BOMB IRAQI AIR DEFENSES ABC News (7th August) [.....] Iraq said U.S. and British warplanes had attacked targets in the north of the country, but did not report any casualties. "At 12:25 p.m. (8:25 GMT) today, U.S. and British warplanes violated our air space carrying out 14 sorties flying from Turkey," an Iraqi military spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Iraqi news agency INA. "The planes flew over the provinces of Duhouk, Nineveh and Arbeil attacking civilian and service installations in Nineveh province," the spokesman said. He said Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses had fired at the planes and forced them to flee. [.....] http://www.sunspot.net/news/nationworld/sns iraq.story?coll=sns%2Dnewsnation%2Dheadlines * U.S. DENIES IRAQI CLAIM OF HITTING ALLIED PLANE by Sameer N. Yacoub Baltimore Sun, 8th August BAGHDAD (AP): Hours after Saddam Hussein warned allied forces to retreat from Iraqi skies, Iraq claimed Wednesday its gunners hit an allied aircraft patrolling the northern no-fly zone. U.S. and British officials denied any warplanes were hit. "There are signs that an enemy plane has possibly been hit over northern Iraq," an unidentified Iraqi military spokesman told the official Iraqi News Agency on Wednesday, the 13th anniversary of the end of the eight-year Iraq-Iran war. "Our heroic anti-aircraft missile units confronted the enemy warplanes and forced them to leave our skies for Turkey," the Iraqi official said. But Maj. Scott Vadnais, a U.S. Air Force spokesman in Incirlik, Turkey, called the claim "totally false." Vadnais said allied planes came under Iraqi fire while patrolling the no-fly zone but did not return fire. "It is not a bombing mission as long as we conduct the patrolling (and) we don't fire back," he said. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman and the British Ministry of Defense also said no U.S. or British planes had been hit. Over the last three years, Iraq has occasionally claimed to have hit an allied plane, but so far, no downing has been confirmed. The United States and Britain patrol no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq established shortly after the Gulf War to protect Kurdish and Shiite rebels against Iraqi government forces. Iraq sees the zones as violations of its sovereignty, and in 1998, began firing missiles and artillery guns at the U.S. and British patrols. The claims and counterclaims follow accusations made by Saddam earlier Wednesday accusing American officials of lying about the reasons behind U.S. airstrikes on Iraq. "They are saying Iraq is threatening the aggressive American aircraft that violate Iraq's air and trespass upon its skies and the sanctity of its sovereignty, its land, its people and its wealth. This is what their leader is saying." "How strange it is that those politicians still imagine that people can be deceived by these lies," he said. Saddam, whose desire to one day shoot down an American plane patrolling Iraq's skies is well known, also delivered a warning in his 70-minute televised speech marking the 1988 anniversary of the end of the war. "If you care to keep your pilots and your planes from harm by the fire of the weapons of the active fighters, the believers of the great Iraq, then take your aircraft and battleships home and stop your violence toward Iraq," he said. The warning came a day after President Bush called Saddam a "menace" and defended U.S. bombing strikes on Iraq as a necessary response to Iraqi provocations. Iraq still poses a "potential threat to its own people and to its neighbors and has to be prevented from acquiring weapons or other means to carry out any threats, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in Washington. U.S. Air Force planes bombed near the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday. Iraqi officials said civil and service installations were hit; the U.S. European Command said an air defense site was hit in self-defense after Iraq launched surface-to-air missiles and fired anti-aircraft artillery. Iraq reported no casualties. http://salon.com/news/wire/2001/08/10/iraq/index.html * US, BRITISH PLANES BOMB IRAQ SITES by Robert Burns Salon, 10th August WASHINGTON (AP): U.S. and British warplanes bombed three sites in southern Iraq on Friday in response to increased efforts by Iraqi air defenses to shoot down allied pilots, defense officials said. It was the largest allied strike against Iraq since February. Friday's strike was carried out by nearly 20 U.S. and British attack planes supported by about 30 electronic warfare and other aircraft, one defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The U.S. planes were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in the Persian Gulf, the official said, and from land bases in the region which the official would not describe in detail. Some of the support aircraft apparently flew from bases in Saudi Arabia. The planes struck targets described by the defense official as a military communications center, a surface-to-air missile launching site and a radar -- all elements of Iraq integrated air defense network. All three targets were in southern Iraq, where U.S. and British planes have been enforcing a "no fly" zone since shortly after the end of the 1991 Gulf War to protect Shiite rebels against attacks by government forces. [.....] http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010810/pl/us_iraq_chronology_1.html * US-IRAQ CHRONOLOGY by The Associated Press Yahoo, 10th August Recent strikes by allied forces against Iraq, including some of the most significant since the Persian Gulf War: -Friday: The United States and Britain bomb three sites in southern Iraq after Iraq increases efforts to shoot down allied pilots. -Aug. 7, 2001: The United States bombs a northern Iraqi air defense site, saying it was self defense after Iraq launched surface-to-air missiles and fired anti-aircraft artillery. -May 18, 2001: American and British warplanes attack an air defense installation 180 miles southeast of Baghdad to counter Iraqi firings of surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery in the ``no fly'' zone in southern Iraq. -April 30, 2001: Responding to Iraqi anti-aircraft fire, U.S. jets strike Iraqi air defense sites in a northern no-fly zone. -April 19, 2001: U.S. warplanes bomb a mobile early-warning radar in southern Iraq in response to Iraq's aggressive action against U.S. and British planes monitoring a ``no fly'' zone over southern Iraq. -Feb. 16, 2001: Two dozen U.S. and British jets attack air defense sites around Baghdad after Iraq takes steps to improve its ability to target - and potentially shoot down - pilots patrolling ``no-fly'' zones. -April 4, 2000: Coalition aircraft target four Iraqi military sites with precision-guided munitions - including a military radar site at Nasiriyah, 17 miles southeast of Baghdad. Iraq says two killed in U.S.-British air raid in the south. -Nov. 22, 1999: Navy fighters fire missiles at a ``surface-to-air missile site'' after Iraqi anti aircraft artillery fire at a coalition aircraft. The site was located near the city of an-Najaf, about 85 miles south of Baghdad. -Feb. 24, 1999: Air Force and Navy aircraft attack two Iraqi surface-to-air missile sites near Al Iskandariyah, about 30 miles south of Baghdad, in response to anti-aircraft artillery fire and an Iraqi aircraft violation of southern no-fly zone. -Feb. 10, 1999: U.S. and British warplanes fire at two air defense sites in Iraq after three waves of Iraqi fighter jets violate southern ``no-fly'' zone. -Dec. 16, 1998: Weapons inspectors withdrawn from Iraq. Hours later, four days of U.S. British air and missile strikes begin, pounding Baghdad. -June 30, 1998: A U.S. F-16 fighter fires a missile at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile battery in southern Iraq after Iraqi radar locks on four British patrol planes. -November 1996: Two U.S. F-16 pilots fire missiles at Iraqi radar sites near the 32nd parallel in the southern no-fly zone. -Sept. 11, 1996: Iraqi forces fire a missile at two F-16s in the northern no-fly zone. United States responds by sending more bombers, stealth fighters and another aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region. Iraq accuses Kuwait of an ``act of war'' for allowing U.S. jets into Kuwait. -Sept. 3-4, 1996: U.S. ships and airplanes fire scores of cruise missiles at Iraqi anti-missile sites to punish the Iraqi military for venturing into the Kurdish ``safe haven'' in northern Iraq. -April 14, 1994: Allied planes enforcing no-fly zone shoot down two U.S. helicopters carrying a U.N. relief mission, mistaking them for Iraqi helicopters. Twenty-six people are killed, including 15 Americans. -June 27, 1993: U.S. warships fire 24 cruise missiles at intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in retaliation for what the United States calls plot to assassinate President Bush. -Jan. 7, 1993: After Baghdad refuses to remove missiles that United States says it has moved into southern Iraq, allied warplanes and warships attack missile sites and a nuclear facility near Baghdad. -Aug. 27, 1992: United States, backed by Britain and France, declares ``no-fly'' zone over southern Iraq to protect Shiite Muslim rebels. United States and some allies begin air patrols. -April 1991: United States, France, Britain declare 19,000-square-mile area of northern Iraq ``safe haven'' for Kurds and impose no-fly zone north of 36th parallel. -Feb. 26, 1991: U.S.-led coalition forces Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. Baghdad accepts cease fire two days later. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010810/wl/iraq_us_3.html * IRAQ AIRSTRIKES KILL ONE, WOUND 11 Yahoo, 10th August BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The largest U.S.-British airstrikes on Iraq in almost six months killed one person and wounded 11, the official Iraqi News Agency said Friday. An unidentified air defense spokesman told the agency that the warplanes hit Nassiriyah province and Wassit in southern Iraq. ``The American and British planes of evil have conducted a cowardly operation targeting civil and service installations,'' the spokesman was quoted as saying. The report did not say where the casualties occurred. About 20 U.S. and British attack planes plus about 30 support aircraft took part in the airstrikes, according to Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Steve Campbell. The U.S. planes were launched from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise in the Persian Gulf and from land bases in the region. However, the Iraqi spokesman said the aircraft flew from bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. [.....] http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010811/wl/russia_iraq_strikes_dc_1.html * RUSSIA BLASTS U.S., BRITAIN FOR IRAQ RAIDS Yahoo, 11th August MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia condemned Britain and the United States on Saturday for a new wave of air strikes against Iraq and called for an immediate end to military action against Baghdad. Dozens of U.S. and British warplanes struck three air defense sites in southern Iraq on Friday. Baghdad said the planes had attacked civilian targets, killing one Iraqi and injuring 11. ``Statements by the Pentagon that August 10 strikes were launched against a communications center, an anti-aircraft battery and a radar station in no way justify the use of force by the United States and Britain against a sovereign state,'' Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. ``Such action, carried out in circumvention of the U.N. Security Council, is a blatant violation of the norms of international law and does nothing but complicate the search for a solution to the Iraqi problem,'' it said. U.S. defense officials said the attack was a pre-emptive strike against President Saddam Hussein's increasingly sophisticated air defenses which endangered the lives of U.S. and British pilots patrolling ``no-fly'' zones over Iraq. The Foreign Ministry urged an immediate cessation of attacks against Baghdad to pave the way for the resumption of talks between Iraq and the United Nations on the return of international arms inspectors to Iraq in exchange for lifting of trade sanctions. British and U.S. pilots patrol ``no-fly'' zones over northern and southern Iraq that were set up after the 1991 Gulf War with the stated aim of protecting Kurds and Shiites in those regions from Saddam's forces. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,3-2001274967,00.html * BUSH DELIVERS STERN MESSAGE TO BAGHDAD by Bronwen Maddox, Foreign Editor and Michael Evans, Defence Editor The Times, 11th August IN BOMBING Iraq yesterday while the streets of Jerusalem were still being cleaned of blood and glass, President Bush has made at least one thing clear about his Middle East policy: he will not be swayed from taking a tough line on Iraq by the morass in Israel. In a co-ordinated operation, 20 bombers, supported by 30 reconnaissance, electronic counter-measures, air defence and tanker aircraft, attacked three targets at the bases at an Numaniyah, 70 miles southeast of Baghdad, and an-Nasiriyah, 170 miles southeast of the capital. They fired precision-guided weapons. Mr Bush has emphatically turned his back on the old doctrine of ³linkage²: that all Middle East policy should be linked to that on Israel and guided by the fear of alienating friendly Arab governments perched precariously on restive populations. That doctrine dates from the 1970s and concerns about the Arab grip on the world¹s energy supplies. Mr Bush is known to have become frustrated with the drift of policy on Iraq since the February airstrikes, and sensitive to the growing criticism that his Administration has a muddled approach to the Middle East. Yesterday Israel¹s Ambassador to France accused Mr Bush of mishandling the US role in the Middle East since taking office. ³I think they are not doing much. What they do is little and not well done.² At a National Security Council meeting last week, Mr Bush is said to have made his exasperation clear. He walked away from the meeting with one firm conclusion: he would not let the area where he was clear toughness on Saddam be held hostage by the difficulty of the US role in Israel. Concerns about Arab reaction did have some effect in scaling down yesterday¹s raid. American and British military sources have indicated that a much bigger operation was being planned. But it appears that Washington decided to mount a more modest mission because of fears that another raid on sites around Baghdad might cause a serious backlash in Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and Syria. Yesterday¹s targets were a fibre-optic communications node, a surface-to-air missile site and a long-range early warning radar. It was the biggest raid since February. For yesterday¹s dawn raid, the RAF provided four Tornado GR4 bombers which took off from Ali al Salem in Kuwait, up to three Tornado F3 air defence aircraft, based in Saudi Arabia, and a VC10 tanker from Bahrain. The American strike aircraft consisted of US Navy FA18 Hornets and F14A Tomcats from the US aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise, in the Gulf, and US Air Force F16 Fighting Falcons which are also based in the Gulf region. [.....] BLOCKADE http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=8608264&template=baghdad/inde xsearch.txt&index=recent * NAVY FORCE RESCUES IRAQI TANKER CREW The Associated Press, Mon 6 Aug 2001 [.....] Since the beginning of the year, the Maritime Interception Force has questioned 1,472 ships, boarded 748 and diverted 62 vessels in its work to enforce the sanctions. The force is comprised of 12 nations, including the United States, Britain, Australia, Italy and Canada. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=23958 * SHIP WITH IRAQ OIL SINKS IN GULF FLEEING PATROL Dubai, Reuters, 7th August A ship apparently smuggling Iraqi oil sank in the Gulf, with all 12 crew rescued, after it was intercepted by a U.S.-led naval force monitoring U.N. sanctions against Baghdad, a force spokeswoman said yesterday. The Multinational Interception Force spokeswoman told Reuters by telephone from Bahrain that the Honduras-flagged Georgios went down on Sunday in international waters 111 kilometres off the coast of Kuwait while trying to evade the navy ships. A U.S. ship rescued all 12 crew members, who were "oil-soaked but in good condition", she added without giving further details. An official at the Bahrain-based Marine Emergency Mutual Centre (MEMC) said the ship had been carrying around 900 tonnes of crude, but added that the resulting oil slick posed no danger to any nearby countries. "It sank right in the middle of the Gulf. According to our modelling, the slick would not reach any coast in the Gulf," the official added. Iraq often uses aged vessels to smuggle crude in violation of the UN oil-for-food programme. The U.S. spokeswoman said the Georgios had been intercepted three times in the past. The MEMC official said the ship had no log and lacked safety standards. In April, a tanker smuggling Iraqi fuel oil sank off the United Arab Emirates, causing the Gulf state's worst environmental disaster in decades. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010807/wl/iraq_un_ship_dc_1.html * IRAN TEAM TO CLEAR UP SLICK FROM SUNKEN GULF SHIP Yahoo, 7th August MANAMA (Reuters) - A ship that sank in the Gulf this week while apparently smuggling Iraqi crude oil is still leaking and an Iranian team has been sent to clean up the spill, a regional marine organization said on Tuesday. The Bahrain-based Marine Emergency Mutual Center (MEMAC) said the oil slick was still close to where the Honduras-flagged Georgios sank as it fled a U.S.-led naval force monitoring U.N. sanctions against Baghdad. It said the slick could reach Saudi Arabia's eastern coast or hit operations at a nearby Iranian offshore oil field if it was left untreated. ``The oil slick, due to the calm weather is still close to the incident position...but if it is left without combating, it will reach the Saudi coast in the form of tar after three weeks,'' a MEMAC statement said. It also revised its estimate of the ship's cargo from 900 tons to 1,900 tons. [.....] IRAQI/US RELATIONS http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51411-2001Aug8.html * NOTHING COMES FROM NOTHING IN THE MIDDLE EAST by Jim Hoagland Washington Post, 9th August Any administration can come up with a Middle East policy that fails. The Clinton team did, as a flurry of recent revisionist accounts of the Camp David peace effort last summer shows. The originality of George W. Bush's approach to the world's most volatile region could be to have a non-policy that fails. President Bush is said to be aware of this risk, and somewhat frustrated about it. He wants clearer, more conclusive answers than he has received from aides who have spent six months asking each other, Arab emirs, Israeli politicians and American academics what to do about Saddam Hussein, Israeli-Palestinian bloodletting, the price of oil and the erosion of the rule of law in Egypt. [.....] This "linkage" argument goes back at least to the early 1970s: To secure America's position in the Persian Gulf, it was said that Washington had to lean on the Israelis to give back Arab land captured in 1967. Linkage comes in handy for those who always want Washington to lean on the Israelis or not to take the risk of angering the Arab "street" by resisting an Arab dictator, whatever the circumstances. [.....] Rejecting linkage is Step One toward forming a sound Iraq policy. Step Two is to stop acting as if weakness and timidity are the core U.S. attitudes on Iraq. Sending envoys out to tell the Arabs that Washington understands how upset they are over the Iraq sanctions and the Israeli violence, as this administration has done, simply makes the Arabs and the Europeans run for cover. "It is like going to the corner grocer and asking him what he thinks should be done about the Mafia goons who are shaking him down for protection," said one unhappy administration insider. "Is he going to risk his business and life to help people who openly say they don't know what to do?" [.....] http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/whitehouse/la 000064386aug08.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dpolitics%2Dwhite%5Fhouse * WORK, PLAY IN BUSH'S DAY by EDWIN CHEN Los Angeles Times, 8th August [.....] "But I am the kind of person that needs to get outdoors. I like to be outdoors. It keeps my mind whole. It keeps my spirits up. I think it's important for people to get outside and to work. I'm making a lot of improvements on the ranch. I find that to be a good part to keeping me a balanced person." [.....] www.dawn.com/2001/08/11/op.htm * CHANGES OF HISTORIC MAGNITUDE by Huck Gutman Dawn, 11th August [.....] Several days later, the Bush administration rejected an agreement, hammered out at and by the United Nations, to append enforcement provisions to the 29-year-old treaty against germ warfare. Seven years in the making, the agreement provides for international inspection of suspected biological weapons sites. (One of the justifications for the bombing of Baghdad by President George Bush, Mr. Bush's father, was that the Iraqis were producing chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction at uninspected sites. But that was Iraq: The United States, apparently, is a different matter.) [.....] In its rush towards isolation, the United States has abdicated the mantle of leadership in the post-modern world. It may still be the most powerful of nations, but the combined force of the European Union has been augmented, especially as it provided the leadership the Americans were unwilling to assume. As an important American environmentalist, Mr. Philip Clapp of the National Environmental Trust, remarked, "There's really a new force on the world stage. If the United States will not lead, Europe can and will." Echoing that statement in an even larger global context, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan described the result of the American rejection of the UN draft accord on germ warfare. The United States is "practically alone in opposition to agreements," he said, "that were broadly reached by just about everyone else." The combined nations of the world, and their legislature the UN, have left America sitting on the sidelines while significant moves toward a more harmonious and peaceful world are being crafted. Thus, it seems possible that the balance of global power has shifted. The writer is Professor of English at the University of Vermont, US. IRAQI-MIDDLE EAST/ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010804/2001080414.html * A NEW KUWAITI APPROACH ON THE OCCASION OF THE 11TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE IRAQI INVASION Arabic News, 4th August [.....] Repling to a question on his opinion towards statements made by the Egyptian foreign minister Ahmad Maher three days earlier in which Maher expressed rejection to directing an American strike against Iraq, Sheikh al-Sabah said:" we support the Egyptian statement," [.....] http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20010805670.2 _3d7d0008c1bc1d64 * JORDAN BUSINESSES TO SPEND 4.5M DOLLARS TO HELP REHABILITATE IRAQI FACTORIES Hoover's, 5th August (Source: Jordan Times web site, Amman, in English 5th August) Amman: The Iraqi government is planning to rehabilitate its factories in Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere which were damaged during the 11-year-old sanctions, Jordanian and Iraqi businessmen said on Saturday [4 August]. Mahmud Qazaz, deputy chairman of Iraq's Union of Industrial Chambers, said Iraq will sign contracts to rehabilitate these factories "soon", adding that Jordanian industrialists are expected to play a major role in this process. Qazaz, who was speaking during a meeting at the Amman Chamber of Industry, did not mention the value of these contracts nor the number of factories that are targeted. He indicated that Jordanian businessmen will allocate 4.5m dollars to purchase raw material for the factories in Iraq - mostly in the textile, wood, chemicals, construction and steel industries. Qazaz said that the amount will be part of the 450m-dollars trade protocol between Jordan and Iraq. He added that over 200m dollars will be used for this purpose from Iraq's revenues it receives in line with the oil-for-food agreement. Chairman of the Amman Chamber of Industry Uthman Bdayr said that Jordanian businessmen are ready to supply Iraq with the equipment and know-how to revive these factories. Following the 1990-91 Gulf crisis many of the Iraqi factories have been seriously damaged and forced to halt operations. The sanctions also forced factories which were established abroad, mostly in Arab countries, to stop their activities due to financial problems. Jordan and Iraq are linked with a 450m-dollars trade protocol which allows Jordanian businessmen to export humanitarian and pharmaceutical goods to Iraq, the kingdom's major trade partner. Qazaz said that signing a free trade agreement between Amman and Baghdad is necessary to enhance Jordan's exports to Iraq and enable it to compete with other countries, especially Syria and Egypt, which have recently signed agreements with Iraq. He indicated that the prices of goods imported from Syria and elsewhere are cheaper than those imported from Jordan. "Such an agreement will reduce the price of Jordanian-made products because they will enter the Iraqi market without customs and other duties," Qazaz said... http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1615515859 * IRAQ AIMS TO OVERTAKE SAUDI IN OIL RESERVES Times of India, 5th August BAGHDAD: Iraq aims to increase its oil reserves to 270 billion barrels and overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's top reservoir, oil minister Amer Rashid was quoted on Saturday as saying. "By transforming potential reserves into proven reserves, Iraq will occupy the top position in the world with 270 billion barrels and overtake Saudi Arabia," Rashid said in a government daily, Al-Jumhuriya. "To achieve this objective, we must step up efforts in oil prospecting in Iraq," the minister said. Iraq's proven reserves currently stand at 112 billion barrels, leaving it in second place behind Saudi Arabia, whose reserves are estimated at 261 billion barrels. According to Iraqi oil experts, Iraq has an additional 214 billion barrels in potential reserves. "Studies have proven that between 70 and 90 per cent of the potential reserves can be transformed into proven reserves," said Rashid. He said the Iran-Iraq conflict in the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait and UN sanctions in force since Iraq's 1990 invasion of the emirate had all hampered Baghdad's efforts to develop oil reserves. In a separate interview, Rashid said Iraq had 74 operational oilfields, and that "several other fields which are not being used could allow Iraq to raise output to six million barrels per day", double current production. "Several foreign companies have expressed their wish to cooperate with Iraq in this area," he told the weekly Al-Ittihad. Iraq has signed contracts with a number of foreign oil companies, notably from Russia and China, to develop oilfields, but the deals can not be implemented until sanctions are lifted. Under a UN exemption to the sanctions regime, Iraq exports crude to finance imports of essential goods.(AFP) http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/08/05/Opinion/Editorial.31842.html * AN IRON WALL AGAINST SADDAM Jerusalem Post, 5th August Two important anniversaries passed by last week, both of them largely unnoticed, though they are very much worthy of being recalled. It was 11 years ago last Thursday, August 2, that Iraqi tanks rolled into Kuwait, setting into motion the events that precipitated the Gulf War. Last week also marked the 61st yahrzeit of Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the great Zionist leader whose ideology led to the creation of the Herut Party, which later came to be known as the Likud. Though these two disparate events would seem to have little in common, the complementary lessons they contain for Israel and the West are both useful and informative. [.....] But the sad reality is that it does not. The Middle East remains a dangerous place, as Saddam and his comrade-in-arms, Yasser Arafat, make demonstrably clear. In dealing with this duo over the past decade, both Israel and the United States have been guided more by wishful thinking than well-reasoned determination. It is unfortunate that they did not heed the words of Jabotinsky, who wrote in 1923 that the only way to deal with Palestinian Arab rejectionism was to build an "iron wall" that would shatter any illusions the Arabs might have about achieving victory. Radiating strength, rather than proffering weakness, is the only way to deal with the likes of Saddam and Arafat, as Jabotinsky foretold long ago. Until this lesson, as painful as it may be, is digested by Western leaders and put into practice, men such as Saddam and Arafat will continue to wreak havoc. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010808/2001080828.html * NEW IRAQI AGREEMENTS WITH ALGERIA, YEMEN, LEBANON, JORDAN Arabic News, 8th August After signing agreements to establish free zones with Syria, Egypt and Tunisia, during the few coming months agreements will be made on setting dates to sign agreements on establishing free trade areas between Iraq and each of Algeria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Jordan. These countries showed desire to eliminate customs barriers and establish free trade areas which have become urgent needs at the meantime to revitalize the role played by the Arab economy to counter International economic blocs and the consequences of globalization. Iraq has scored great strides towards the establishment of the common Arab market after it had signed bilateral agreements with each of Syria, Tunisia and Egypt for eliminating barriers and customs restrictions to be a nucleus for this market. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=24158 * SADDAM DENOUNCES SAUDI, KUWAITI OIL POLICIES Baghdad, Reuters, 10th August President Saddam Hussein denounced on Thursday the oil policies of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, claiming they aimed to steal Iraq's share of the market and harm the country's interests. Saddam, who has been raising the ante of defiant rhetoric against the West, gave the same reason for invading Kuwait in August 1990, when he accused its ruling family of being behind a fall in prices that hurt the Iraqi economy. "A while ago they (the United States) invented what is called smart sanctions. What was the Kuwaiti response? They announced a hike in oil production and there have been similar statements from Saudi Arabia," Saddam told a group of top army officers. "They announced their decision to compensate for Iraqi oil. Doesn't this constitute aggression? It represents the rape of an inalienable right of Baghdad," Saddam said in remarks carried on state television. The Iraqi president appeared to be referring to Saudi and Kuwaiti statements in June expressing readiness to cover a supply gap arising from Iraq's decision to halt oil exports. Iraq stopped exporting 2.1 million barrels a day in United Nations-supervised oil sales on June 4 for of one month to protest U.S. and British plans to alter the Gulf War sanctions to a "smart" variety targeting the Iraqi regime and trying to limit damage to the overall economy. The trend in Gulf Arab countries so far this year has been to limit crude supplies. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed last month to curtail the oil production of its 10 members by four percent to 23.2 million barrels daily to bring crude prices to a $25 a barrel level. Saudi Arabia exports 7.86 million barrels daily compared with 1.86 million for Kuwait. Iraq exports an estimated 300,000 barrels a day in addition to the 2.1 million under the "oil for food" program. "The Kuwaiti people should not accept that their rulers appoint themselves agents for Western oil companies," Saddam said. "The rulers of Kuwait, assisted by Saudi Arabia, are working to harm Iraq every day, increasing the blood on their hands - blood from Iraqis dying because of the sanctions." http://www.ain-al-yaqeen.com/issues/20010810/feat7en.htm * RAFHA CAMP TRANSFORMED INTO A MODERN CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT Ain-al-Yaqeen, 10th August During the last period, the media has circulated news about the conditions of the Iraqi refugees in the Rafha camp which the Saudi government had built on its own expenses. These media talked with a lot of defamation and false accusation about the Saudi government claiming that the Iraqis there are tortured, and deprived from living in security, peace and tranquility. A lot of Iraqis, who have left the camp, appeared on the Iraqi satellite, and other satellite channels which are seeking to distort the Saudi government's reputation by all means. These channels interviewed the Iraqi refugees who have voluntarily left for Iraq, and whom the Saudi government has granted amounts of moneys in order to be able to improve their living conditions. But those people received the kindness with outrage, and started to heap accusations upon the Saudi government. The Saudi "Al Watan" newspaper sought to uncover the fallacies, accusations and lies of the Iraqi propaganda mouthpieces, through a visit to the Rafha camp which lies near the Saudi Iraqi borders. The newspaper toured inside the camp to see the security, protection, services and humanitarian assistants that the Saudi government is offering to the Iraqi refugees. By the end of the second Gulf war and the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion in mid 1411 H., the end of 1990, 37000 Iraqis sought refuge in Saudi Arabia through the Saudi Iraqi borders. They were in very bad state, and were lacking a lot of things i.g food, water and shelter in the first place, besides that most of them came with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, and some arrived in a very bad health condition after walking from Iraq to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia welcomed the refugees, hosted them and offered them all support and assistance. It sat up temporary tents as a quick solution to accommodate them, until the cement building units were finished. Every unit was fully equipped to receive an Iraqi refugee family. It also offered them food, medicine and the other services which they need so as not to feel that their living conditions are different from the ones they had in Iraq before coming to Saudi Arabia seeking asylum from the oppression of the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Since then, and till now, the Saudi government has been doing this for 11 years, and has spent millions every year, without getting tired or becoming weary of, or asking help or support from the UNHCR. When the refugees started to arrive, the Saudi government replaced the tents with the buildings which were set up in different sizes according to the numbers of family members, and equipped them with all they need such as furniture, air-conditioning and kitchen tools, as well as feeding all units with electricity. All other facilities, such as clinics, ambulances and drinking water were taking care of. The Saudi government also offered, for free, all other educational, medical, food and entertaining services. The government also built inside the camp a big library, a religion affairs center, a police station to investigate in case of any problems and to look after the security and rights of the refugees, a civil defence unit, a fire brigade, a Red Crescent center and a bank. Many sports fields are established inside the camp so as the refugees, especially the young, to practice and compete in sports tournaments among themselves during Ramadan. The Saudi government pay for the trophies, medals and financial awards for the winning teams. It also takes care of the camp's team and its transportation to the near cities to join in the friendly championships, and even transport their supporters. The government also pays the monthly salaries of these teams' Iraqi trainers. Every refugee, even the children and newborn, receive more than SR 300 as a relief, beside SR 10000 for every one decides voluntarily to go back to Iraq. Earlier, this amount was SR3000 but it was raised to SR5000 and then to SR 10000 in response to the refugees' request in order to assist them in rebuilding their damaged houses during the war. [.....] During the tour, "Al Watan" met with Brigadier General Mohamed Al Owainan, who has got a lovable and kind character, and he talked about the services and facilities that are available in the camp. [.....] "Al Watan" also met with Sultan Mohamed Khaljy (Pakistan), the director of UNHCR office in the camp, who said that the Rafha camp is considered one of the best top camps in the whole world regarding the services extended to the refugees and which are not available in any other camp such as education, accommodation, housing and food. [.....] It is worth mentioning that the number of Iraqi refugees in Rafha camp is 5207 refugee from a total of 33595 amongst whom 25107 have been resettledin a number of countries while 3346 returned with their free will to Iraq with the help of UNHCR The Chairman of UNHCR delegation in Saudi Arabia and the commission regional coordinator in Saudi Arabia Musatafa Omar had lauded in a speech he made last month the care given by Saudi Arabia to the refugees and said that the Saudi authorities has increased the financial help for those who wish to return and resettle in Iraq for SR 3000 to SR 5000 and lately to SR 10000 ($2667). He said that the Saudi government has spent around SR 3 Billion ($ 800 million) on the camp since its establishment, i.e SR 32,000 ($ 8534) for each refugee per year or (SR 87) ($23) per day. [.....] http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010811/wl/iraq_syria_3.html * SYRIAN LEADER ARRIVES IN IRAQ Yahoo, 11th August BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP)- Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa Miro arrived in Baghdad on Saturday, becoming only the second Arab head of government to visit Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War. Arriving at the airport named after President Saddam Hussein, Miro said he expected to sign an agreement to boost trade and cultural cooperation, the official Iraqi News Agency reported. He also called for the lifting of U.N. sanctions maintained against Iraq since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the agency said. Later Saturday, Miro met Saddam and other Iraqi officials. INA said Saddam told his guest that ``the enemies will keep on working on harming the Arab nations because they know what the relations between our countries mean.'' He did not name those enemies, but that is usually a reference to the United States and Britain. There were no other details on the discussions. 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