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News, 14-20/10/01 (2) IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Iraqi Citizen Planned to Kill Russian President [Happily doesn¹t seem to have any real significance with regard to Russian-Iraqi relations] * Iraq 'determined' to thwart any US-British strike [The interest of this article lies in the recent visit of a Russian envoy to Iraq, keeping up relations] * TCP [Trading Corporation of Pakistan] considers Iraq's plea for replacing wheat * Saddam Sends Condolences to American IRAQIMIDDLE EAST/ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Saddam criticizes Arab nations in U.S. airstrikes * U.S. Assures Turkey, No Separate State in Iraq [The American ambassador to Turkey informs the Turks that once peace had been brought to the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans then Turkey would be the leading country in these regions.¹ Is this a declaration of US policy?] * Turkey offers help, is wary of involving Iraq INSIDE IRAQ * 487 brides in mass wedding * Seven Iraqis killed in mine explosions * Sanctions bring unintended result, observers say [They hit necessities and don¹t touch luxuries] * IRAQ: Years of sanctions hurt Iraqis more than regime [This seems to be essentially the preceding article with the paragraphs in a different order] MILITARY MATTERS * Iraq Says U.S. Navy Set Ship Ablaze in Gulf * Saddam moves chemical weapons factories into no-go zone [Considering that the existence of chemical and biological weapons stocks in Iraq is supposed to be a matter of controversy the authors of this article seem to know a lot about them] OIL * Iraqi exports drop slightly under UN's 'Oil-for-Food' program GENERAL POLICY * Don't repeat the misery inflicted on the Iraqis [by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury. Not quite the prophetic anger that the subject merits but nonetheless to his credit] * "Why do they hate us?" [One of the dumbest sentiments that has been touted about lately is that at least Sept 11 has had the good¹ effect of pulling the US out of its isolationist¹ mode. The end of US isolationism means the murder of hundreds of thousands of people. Buchanan is, to his credit, the arch-isolationist. His article gives the best account I have seen by an American of how the US appears in the eyes of the Muslim world. The paragraph giving the indictment¹ of the US by the Imams¹ is particularly fine.] * Global Eye -- Idiot Wind [On Bush Sr¹s involvement in SH¹s pre-Gulf War crimes. Talking about idiocy¹ the constant repetition of the phrase he gassed his own people¹ rather glosses over the fact that the incident occurred in the middle of a civil war. Is the other side your own people¹ in the middle of a civil war? Was General Sherman attacking his own people¹ when he attacked Atlanta?] IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectid=8758F481-73E3-4902 B43D009BACD3EC1B&Title=Iraqi%20Citizen%20Planned%20to%20Kill%20Russian%20Pre sident&CatOID=45C9C78D 88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C * IRAQI CITIZEN PLANNED TO KILL RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VOA News, 16th Oct 2001 Vladimir Putin The Azeri Secret Service chief says an Iraqi national planned to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Azerbaijan in January this year. Namik Abbasov revealed the plot in an interview published Tuesday in the state-run newspaper Bakinsky Rabochii. The Russian leader visited Azerbaijan on January 9 and 10 amid unprecedented security. Mr. Abbasov said that three to four months before the visit the Azeri security service received a tip-off about the plot, investigated it and then arrested a man with explosives about 10 days before Mr. Putin's visit. Namik Abbasov identified the man as Iraqi citizen Kianan Rostam. He has since been tried and sentenced by a court in the capital Baku to 10 years in prison. The Kremlin had no comment on Mr. Abbasov's report. The United States has identified Azerbaijan as one of 34 countries where the al-Qaida terrorist organization has a presence. Tuesday's disclosure of the foiled plot in Azerbaijan seemed designed to bolster that country's reputation as being tough on terrorism in the wake of the September 11 attacks against the United States. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=88765029 * IRAQ 'DETERMINED' TO THWART ANY US-BRITISH STRIKE Times of India, 18th October BAGHDAD ( AFP ): Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said on Wednesday Iraq was "determined" to thwart any US-British military offensive against his country. Iraq "is determined to defend its sovereignty and confront any form of military or economic aggression," Ramadan said in a meeting with Russian envoy Nikolai Kartuzov, quoted by the state news agency INA. "The people of Iraq, under the leadership of President Saddam Hussein, are determined to confront any American and British aggression aimed at maintaining the 11-year embargo imposed on Iraq," he said. Iraq says it expects to be a target of the US-led military campaign now focusing on Afghanistan and which Washington has indicated will later be expanded to include other parties accused of supporting terrorism. Kartuzov, who arrived in Baghdad earlier Wednesday, also met with Foreign Minister Naji Sabri who "praised Moscow's positive stand toward Iraq," INA reported. The Russian envoy said Moscow wanted to "boost cooperation with Iraq through joint projects in the industrial, hydraulic and agricultural sectors," according to INA. Iraq has been under UN sanctions since its August 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait. A US-backed British bid at the UN Security Council to revamp the sanctions regime was shelved in early July due to Russian opposition. http://www.dawn.com/2001/10/19/ebr7.htm * TCP CONSIDERS IRAQ'S PLEA FOR REPLACING WHEAT Dawn (Pakistan), 19th October HAMBURG, Oct 18: The Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) is considering a request from Iraq that it replaces 52,000 tons of wheat rejected on quality grounds, a corporation official said on Thursday. At the beginning of October, Iraq rejected 45,000 tons of a 96,000-ton consignment of Pakistani wheat because Baghdad objected that it contained sand and stones. The total rejected had now risen to 52,000 tons, the TCP official told Reuters from Karachi. Talks between a Pakistani delegation and the Iraqi grain board were held earlier this week in Iraq. "In these talks the Iraqis proposed that we replace the wheat with a new shipment with zero per cent content of sand and stones," the official said. "The TCP is now seeking to determine whether we can meet this request." He added: "Pakistan has only recently started wheat exports and we lack some of the extensive grain cleaning facilities held by other exporting countries." Iraq had indicated its interest in making more purchases in future, he said. About 31,000 tons of the rejected wheat had been resold to the National Flour Mills of Dubai which was negotiating to buy the rest of the material. "We think the willingness of such a company to buy this wheat also shows that the quality is good," he said.-Reuters http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,36954,00.html * SADDAM SENDS CONDOLENCES TO AMERICAN Fox News, 20th October An American citizen who e-mailed Saddam Hussein received a letter of condolence from the Iraqi president, Fox News reported Saturday. In the letter, Saddam offered his personal condolences for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the United States the first time Saddam has publicly expressed any such sentiments but said he would not offer his condolences to President Bush until Bush apologized for the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqis Saddam blames the deaths on the United Nations' 11-year sanctions against Iraq. Baghdad said the U.S. is behind keeping the sanctions in place. The letter, described by the Reuters news service as a "traditional Iraqi message of condolence," was sent to Christopher Love, an American who e-mailed Hussein after the attacks, Iraqi officials said. "We are belonging to God and to Him we are returning and may God protect your life as we Muslims say to anyone who loses somebody dear to him," Saddam wrote. Love had sent an e-mail to Saddam calling on him to speak to Bush and resolve differences. No details on Love were immediately available. Iraqi officials put out a copy of the letter Saturday. Prior to the letter, Hussein had not joined other world leaders in condemning the attacks that killed more than 5,000 people. Iraq has claimed to have sent private condolences to individual Americans sympathetic with Baghdad. Love's email had asked Saddam to make peace with Bush. "Mr President, please for the sake of humanity, please contact George W. Bush. Tell him why you are angry. I hope for all of our sakes he will listen with compassion and understanding, as I believe he will. "How much it would mean to this world right now if you were to put aside your differences and side with the world, not just the U.S." Saddam said in his reply: "I do not think your administration deserves that Iraqis condole with it on what happened, unless it condoles with the Iraqi people on the death of one and half million Iraqis who it killed." He said he did not know who was behind the Sept. 11 attacks and said the U.S. had not produced enough evidence to prove Usama bin Laden was the mastermind. The U.S. includes Iraq in a list of states it believes sponsors terrorism. Saddam has denied any connection with bin Laden. Though the U.S. has said they do not have hard evidence linking Iraq to the Sept. 11 attacks, some lawmakers support attacking Iraq as part of the current military effort. In his letter, Saddam also said U.S. warplanes, enforcing no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq, had killed several Iraqis. U.S. and British warplanes patrol no-fly zones in southern and northern Iraq to protect Shi'ite Muslims in the south and a Kurdish enclave in the north from possible attacks by Baghdad's troops. IRAQIMIDDLE EAST/ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/10/16/ret.attacks.iraq.ap/index.html * SADDAM CRITICIZES ARAB NATIONS IN U.S. AIRSTRIKES CNN, 16th October BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- President Saddam Hussein criticized Arab nations on Tuesday for doing little to oppose the U.S. air campaign against Afghanistan. "I am sorry for the stand governments of Arab countries have adopted toward Afghanistan because it does not please Muslims," the official Iraqi News Agency quoted Saddam as saying. His comments followed an Oct. 10 meeting of foreign ministers representing the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which failed to condemn the attacks on Afghanistan. Saddam said he felt the "sorrow" non-Arab Muslims felt at the "weak stands" taken by Arab Muslim nations, who should be examples to follow. Few Muslims in Afghanistan are Arab. Iraq has denied any relation to Afghanistan's Taliban rulers and Osama bin Laden's al Qaida network, though a newspaper owned by Saddam's eldest son recently praised bin Laden. Also Tuesday, Iraqi religious leaders issued a fatwa, or religious edict, banning Muslims from "helping blasphemers." The statement, which was carried by the official news agency, warned Islamic nations "not to fall into the trap ... set during the aggression against Iraq in 1991," a reference to those that sided with the United States during the Gulf War. Pakistan and Turkey, two nations with Muslim populations, have offered the United States logistical support in its military campaign against Afghanistan. Other Arab Muslim nations have frozen the assets of individuals or groups named by the United States as being linked to terrorism. http://members.home.net/kurdistanobserver/17-10-01-tdn-us-assures-tky-nostat e nirq.html * U.S. ASSURES TURKEY, NO SEPARATE STATE IN IRAQ by Kemal Balci Kurdistan Observer, 17th October (from Turkish Daily News) Ankara: United States ambassador to Turkey Amb. Pearson visited the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee and briefed them on the war against terrorism and on developments within the region. Pearson offered assurances there was no question of a separate state being formed in northern Iraq, an issue that Turkey is very sensitive about. Foreign Relations Committee chairman Kamuran Inan said that Pearson himself had requested the visit and noted that Pearson had handed out an 11-page report to each member. The meeting lasted an hour or so and was closed to the press. While Pearson renewed the message that the "war against terrorism would go on for some time," he noted that at the end of it Turkey would be the leading country in the region. One commission member spoke later about the meeting and said that the report handed out was headed "Information against the al-Qa'ida" and supported the view that this terrorist organization carried out the attacks on Sept. 11. The report stated: "Inspection of the passenger list of American Airlines flight number 77, which struck the Pentagon, showed that the names of at least two of the passengers were the same as names known to be al Qa'ida members. These were Saudi national Halid el-Mihdar born May 16, 1975 and Saudi national Navaf al-Hazmi born Aug. 9, 1976. We have information stating they were al Qa'ida members." The report also held the view that the al-Qa'ida terrorist organization knew there was going to be a major terrorist attack prior to Sept. 11 and lists other attacks carried out by them, underscoring similar ones. The U.S. ambassador thanked Turkey for the sensitivity it showed when it came to combating terrorism and added that the United States shares Turkey's problems in the matter. Amb. Pearson concurred with Turkey's worries and findings that certain European countries had supported separatist terrorist organizations like the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He said that once peace had been brought to the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans then Turkey would be the leading country in these regions. Pearson replied in clear and concise terms to the questions put to him by Committee members. He reportedly expressed the pleasure felt by the United States over Turkey's great support of the decisions taken within NATO. Kamuran Inan also briefed the press following the meeting. He criticized the fact that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was so late in going to the United States following the terrorist attacks. "Now is not the time to sit at home. While conditions are at their best for Turkey, he should have gone to the United States. As for what happens next, a parliamentary delegation needs to go and visit Congress and express Turkey's problems and wishes to the Congress members," he said. http://www.washtimes.com/world/20011019-73457856.htm * TURKEY OFFERS HELP, IS WARY OF INVOLVING IRAQ by Peter F. Sisler The Washington Times, 19th October ISTANBUL In dire need of Western assistance to stave off an economic crisis, Turkey is playing a crucial, if somewhat contradictory, role in the U.S.-led campaign against terror offering wide-ranging assistance in Afghanistan while cautioning against extending the effort to Iraq. Turkey says its special forces, who have fought Kurdish rebels for 15 years in the southeast, could train fighters with the Northern Alliance. In an address before Parliament last week, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said Turkey has long had contacts with Afghan opposition groups, especially the forces of Gen. Rashid Dostum, and it could help build them into an effective fighting force. Gen. Dostum's fighters are largely Uzbeks, a group that has close ethnic links with Turks. The Taliban are mostly ethnic Pashtun. "The struggle in Afghanistan against the archaic regime which hosts terrorism must be carried out until the end," Mr. Ecevit told Parliament. NATO's only majority Muslim member is also assured of a "very strong role" in postwar Afghanistan, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said yesterday. He was in Ankara for a meeting with Mr. Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Turkey has also offered to assemble a peacekeeping mission from Muslim countries. A strong Turkish role in such a mission could ease the potential antagonism of Afghans. For Turkey, it could alleviate tension at home, where many oppose U.S. strikes against a Muslim country and most are against sending Turkish troops. Above all, Turkey is hopeful that its cooperation in the military and political effort will buy it international goodwill in its effort to stabilize an acute economic crisis. The Turkish lira has dropped 60 percent against the dollar since February, inflation is expected to top 70 percent this year and up to 1 million Turks have lost their jobs. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have offered loans of $15.7 billion. But the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism have doomed Turkey's prospects of recovering with exports and tourism. [.....] INSIDE IRAQ http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,3062916%255E40 1,00.html * 487 BRIDES IN MASS WEDDING The Advertiser (Australia), 17th October BAGHDAD: It might have been the ill-fitting dresses or the fact they had to share their wedding day with hundreds of others but the Iraqi brides were far from beaming on their supposedly happy day. Nearly 500 Iraqi couples tied the knot yesterday at a mass wedding in Baghdad sponsored by President Saddam Hussein to cut the cost of ceremonies in the sanctions-hit country. A spokesman for the Union of Iraqi Youth said the mass wedding of 487 couples was "sponsored by President Saddam Hussein and . . . directly supervised by his elder son, Uday, to help young people under the unjust embargo imposed on Iraq" since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The union, headed by Uday, supplied the suits and dresses for the young couples and organised the ceremony in a posh Baghdad club on the Tigris river, he said. It was also paying for a three-day honeymoon in first-class hotels, he added. The mass wedding coincided with the sixth anniversary of a referendum in which Saddam received 99.96 per cent of the vote for a seven-year term. Mass weddings are held in Iraq mainly to commemorate that day as well as on Saddam's birthday on April 28 and on the August 8 anniversary of the end of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. Arab countries have argued that sanctions against Iraq are depriving citizens there of food and medicine. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1666414538 * SEVEN IRAQIS KILLED IN MINE EXPLOSIONS Times of India, 17th October BAGHDAD ( AFP ): Seven Iraqis were killed and 15 others wounded in southern Iraq when mines dating from the 1991 Gulf War exploded, the weekly al-Rafidain reported Tuesday. "The mines went off while the victims were digging for objects hit with depleted uranium (DU), dropped on southern Iraq" during the war, the weekly said without giving a date for the incident. Quoting a defense ministry spokesman, al-Rafidain said the casualties were members of "a team set up to dig for, and get rid of, objects hit with DU." Baghdad says the United States and Britain fired more than 940,000 DU weapons during the Gulf War. Iraqi authorities estimate there are some 370,000 unexploded mines, bombs and artillery shells from the Gulf War era on Iraqi soil. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/printedition/chi 0110190213oct19.story?coll=chi%2Dprintnews%2Dhed * SANCTIONS BRING UNINTENDED RESULT, OBSERVERS SAY by Michael Slackman Chicago Tribune (and Los Angeles Times), 19th October BASRA, Iraq -- Inspectors with high-tech gear and a United Nations mandate charge around this southern seaport, on this day examining ships loaded with beans and rice to make sure they are not concealing electronics, or chemicals or even weapons, banned under the strict sanctions imposed on Iraq a decade ago. But at a nearby pier docks the Jabal Ali, a passenger liner that cruises between this impoverished city and the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. The inspectors never so much as glance at its cargo--even though it frequently holds smuggled goods, according to merchants and local officials. The sanctions imposed on Iraq are supposed to allow delivery of humanitarian goods under a United Nations-administered "oil-for-food" program and keep out anything with a possible military application. But inspectors have no authority to check ships or trucks transporting anything that is not designated as part of the program. So essential items such as food, medicine and parts to rebuild the country's water and electricity systems get caught up in red tape, while computers, DVD players, microwave ovens and other banned wares glide right in. "You can buy anything you want here if you have the money," said George Sommerwill, a spokesman for the UN program in Iraq. "A lot of stuff available is clearly outside the oil-for food program." [.....] Once a prosperous oil town, Basra today is a crumbling Third World dustbin. Raw sewage runs into the streets and contaminates tap water. Electricity is intermittent. Refrigeration is achieved with huge blocks of ice sold on roadsides. Sheep graze in piles of trash, and barefoot children run around dusty streets. At one of the local ports, at least 20 huge cargo ships are lining up to bring products into Iraq. This is not the Umm al Qasr port, where purchases made under the oil-for-food program undergo daily inspections -- and may become subject to delays that can last years. This is a "private" port, where goods are received outside the sanctions regime. Iraq considers these legal imports, and charges the appropriate duties; the United Nations views them as illegal but has no authority to intervene. Officially, it is the duty of exporting countries to control smuggling into Iraq. These deliveries have brought luxury items such as high-end electronics and late-model Jaguars and BMWs into the country. They also have allowed Iraq to rebuild its air defense system in the south, U.S. officials say. U.S. and British planes patrolling the southern "no fly" zone established after the Persian Gulf war have recently stepped up strikes in the Basra region, citing hostile actions by the Iraqis. Even before Iraqi occupiers were driven from Kuwait by a U.S.-led coalition, the UN Security Council put a noose around the Iraqi regime in the form of sanctions. Security Council Resolution 661 prohibited any imports or exports except food or medicine. That meant Iraq could not sell any of its oil. After the war, the United Nations reported "an imminent catastrophe ... if minimum life support needs are not met rapidly." The Security Council in August 1991 offered Iraq the chance to sell oil as long as the proceeds would be controlled by the United Nations. Hussein rejected the proposal and tried to go it alone. But conditions grew so bad that, five years later, he agreed to the oil-for-food formula. Eventually, a spending cap was lifted and Iraq was allowed to use the program to rebuild its devastated infrastructure, including water, electric and sewage systems. Since 1996, the program has sold more than $35 billion in oil. But only $11 billion in goods were actually distributed in the country, according to the United Nations. About $14 billion worth of goods has been approved, some of it as long as three years ago, and is slowly working its way through the system. Some U.S. officials say Iraq is undermining the program to use the suffering of its people as a public-relations tool. Humanitarian supplies are stockpiled instead of distributed, they charge, and Iraq has not used all the money available to buy more. But Sommerwill, the UN spokesman, said the "government of Iraq is cooperating." The problem is more one of structure and bureaucracy, he said. Under the oil-for-food program, one-third of the cash raised goes to pay war reparation claims. About 2 percent goes to cover UN-related expenses. The remaining money is to be spent on Iraq. But it must wind its way through a tangled bureaucracy, including a committee that must certify that all commodities purchased with the money do not have a dual military use. Since most items needed to rebuild the infrastructure -- or in many cases to provide health care -- can have some dual use, about $4 billion in contracts, some going back to 1998, have been put on hold by the committee. The delays in getting goods where they are needed has alarmed UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who in a recent report said he is "gravely concerned." The UN reports chronic problems in every sector of society. In agriculture, for example, the failure to release 850 tons of pesticides for fruit and vegetable production resulted in a "grave outbreak of whitefly," affecting thousands of acres. At the same time, there is frustration among many in Iraq who witness the disparities. It is widely believed that Baghdad smuggles oil to Jordan and Turkey, bringing in $1 billion to $3 billion annually, while the United States looks the other way. One non-government official estimated that for every truck that comes across the border from Turkey under the sanctions program, 200 more cross with smuggled goods. Wamidh Nadhimi, an Iraqi political science professor, believes that, at least for the short term, sanctions have empowered the government by making all of Iraq's people dependent on it to survive. He would have his country seek a compromise -- one that allows weapons inspectors in Iraq for a finite period in exchange for dropping the sanctions. But given the recent tensions, he is not optimistic that a compromise can be found. "If there is no compromise and if Americans achieve success in Afghanistan, I think in November and December they will deal with Iraq with a very heavy hand," he said. "Psychologically, America is not prepared to accept losing the war on sanctions." http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/epaper/editions/saturday/news_b31d61d081b54 11700d4.html * IRAQ: YEARS OF SANCTIONS HURT IRAQIS MORE THAN REGIME The human toll and crushing poverty have turned the pariah into a victim in the eyes of much of the world. Larry Kaplow Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 20th October Nehran Omar Village, Iraq: In the dirt streets between the block houses, children go without shoes, ducks drink from the open sewage trenches, and American missiles land in the vegetable patch. [.....] In Basra, a city of 2 million, leukemia patients at the children's hospital can't get the medicine needed to send them into remission. Underweight toddlers, their legs like sticks and their hair thinning, come in with diarrhea and malnutrition that was much less common 10 years ago. Tuberculosis has made a return. UNICEF says child mortality rates in Iraq have doubled. One independent American researcher in 1999 calculated that up to 225,000 children have died since the sanctions started over the normal pre-sanctions levels. [.....] Farmers in Nehran Omar village bear the brunt of both sanctions and air strikes. Since the sanctions, their water system has collapsed, and there is no equipment to fix it. Now they bring water from a river. The Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries once nearby are long gone, locals said. Military vehicles, including tanks, keep watch on the road, but too often, the farmers complain, their fields get the missiles. ''Even to farm, you start to get afraid,'' one farmer said of the air strikes. ''It's like a fixed time in the afternoon: Everybody tries to get home by then.'' MILITARY MATTERS http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011018/wl/iraq_usa_ship_dc_1.html * IRAQ SAYS U.S. NAVY SET SHIP ABLAZE IN GULF Yahoo, 18th October BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq on Thursday accused the U.S. Navy (news - web sites) in the Gulf of setting a civilian vessel ablaze near its southern port of Mina al-Bakr. ``A civilian vessel owned by an Iraqi citizen was attacked on September 26 by a unit of the American Navy in the Arab Gulf,'' a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the state news agency INA. The spokesman said the ship was forced to return to port after its bridge was badly damaged by fire. ``These acts are ... disapproved of by the international community and represent a blatant violation of the charter of the United States and basic principles governing relations between states,'' the spokesman said, adding Iraq ``reserved the right to respond.'' The U.S. Navy is policing the Gulf to prevent the smuggling of goods banned under United Nations (news - web sites) sanctions imposed on Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/10/21/wirq21.xm l&sSheet=/news/2001/10/21/ixhome.html * SADDAM MOVES CHEMICAL WEAPONS FACTORIES INTO NO-GO ZONE by Jessica Berry Daily Telegraph, 21st October SADDAM HUSSEIN has relocated his chemical weapons factories after the first case of anthrax poisoning in America, in apparent anticipation of an imminent bombardment by the US-led coalition. A senior Western intelligence official said that since the death of the British-born picture editor Bob Stevens in Florida on October 5, there has been a "mass movement of weapons" to protected "no-go" areas in the north, north-west and west of the country. He said: "The entire contents of their chemicals weapons factories around Baghdad have been moved through the night to specially built bunkers." Before the September 11 attacks the Iraqi dictator had put his troops on high alert, but little was done at the time to move crucial weaponry. When the Pentagon said that it was investigating the possibility that Iraq might not only have been involved in the assault on the New York towers but may also have been behind the anthrax attacks in America, it began moving its chemical weapons factories. Western intelligence officers said last night that the north-east region of Hemrin was the centre of most activity. Saddam ordered his troops to dig 60ft-deep holes in the area and to bury chemical and biological cargo arriving from the capital. Six pits have been dug. Meanwhile, they said, factories which make missiles and chemical weapons have been relocated to the areas of Baiji and al Safar in the north-west. One officer said: "These are heavily protected no-go areas with massive infrastructure. They have everything - bunkers, sophisticated communications systems and living quarters for the military and senior intelligence officers." Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector between 1991 and 1998, cautioned against blaming Iraq for the attacks. Mr Ritter said that while it was true that the regime "had not fully complied with its disarmament obligation, particularly in the field of biological weapons", the failure did not "equate to a retained biological weapons capability". He said that accusations that Iraq is the source of the anthrax were unsubstantiated and irresponsible. In a further sign of preparation for eventual conflict, Izzet Douri, one of the state's vice presidents, last week ordered a conference of 300 Islamic clerics to issue a fatwa, or religious order, denouncing the US and Britain and defending the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. OIL http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/25194421.htm * IRAQI EXPORTS DROP SLIGHTLY UNDER UN'S 'OIL-FOR-FOOD' PROGRAM Tehran, Oct 17, IRNA (Iranian news agency): United Nations Oil-for-Food Program Tuesday reported a slight drop in the level of exports of crude by Iraq under the humanitarian scheme which allows Baghdad to use a portion of its oil revenues to purchase relief goods. The U.N. Office of the Iraq Program said that in the week ending October 12, Baghdad sold 14.7 million barrels of oil, earning an average of euros 19.90 or dlrs 18.15 per barrel, and generating another euros 292 million or dlrs 266 million in estimated revenues. The previous week, Iraq had sold 18 million barrels for euros 357 million. The value of contracts placed on hold by the Security Council sanctions committee continued to decline over the past week. By Friday, dlrs 3.85 billion worth of contracts was on hold, down from the previous week's total of dlrs. 3.9 billion. The drop came after the Committee released 11 contracts worth dlrs 62.3 million while placing new holds on 37 new contracts worth dlrs 47.3 million. According to the Office of the Iraq Program, contracts are generally put on hold because they lack technical specifications or because the goods in question have the potential to be used for purposes other than those stated. GENERAL POLICY http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,248-2001360666,00.html * DON'T REPEAT THE MISERY INFLICTED ON THE IRAQIS by GEORGE CAREY (Archbishop of Canterbury) The Times, 16th October How to punish the guilty without hurting the innocent, uproot evil without eroding the common good? These are some of the strands of the moral knot that political and military leaders have been trying to untangle in responding to the terrorist attacks on the United States a month ago. It is an unenviable but a necessary task and one certain never to be resolved to the satisfaction of all. As a spiritual leader, I know how intensely challenging these questions can be. We look for the guidance of God, but our understanding has all too many human frailties and deficiencies. The terrain for our current agonising is, of course, Afghanistan. A country of desperate poverty with a history of endless conflict and rivalry, how can good be brought out of the bad, new hope out of so much suffering? While the practical decisions the world¹s leaders wrestle with may be prescribed in time and place, the moral principles underlying them are much more general. Some of the challenges presented by Kabul are also presented, for example, by Baghdad. In both cases, we want to know how best to respond to a regime that many revile, without doing yet more damage to the people who feel oppressed and threatened by it. I welcome wholeheartedly the priority being given to the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people and I pray that such work proves effective. It is vital that the alleviation of suffering and the protection of the vulnerable remain high on the agenda for international action. That priority is morally right and, I imagine, politically astute. And if that is the case for Afghanistan, then I believe we should also take a fresh look at the humanitarian issues in Iraq. I need no persuading that Saddam Hussein and the regime he runs are deeply and morally repugnant. The way the international community through the United Nations has sought to hold him to account over the past decade is through sanctions. Well, we have had 11 years of sanctions and there is no doubt they bite. Unfortunately, they have bitten the wrong people. Those who have suffered most are ordinary Iraqis, especially the children. It is claimed that one in every ten babies fails to reach its first birthday. Attempts to mitigate the humanitarian impact of sanctions through the ³oil for food² programme have had only limited success. There are arguments about the extent to which that is Saddam¹s own fault and I do not dismiss nor seek to diminish them. But the evidence still suggests that the negative effect of sanctions is out of proportion to the good achieved. >From a Christian perspective, shared I believe by those of other faiths, such humanitarian considerations should become the principle informing any sanctions policy. This suggests at the very least that they need to be reconfigured so that they focus on those they are intended to target. That could be done in part by concentrating on arms supplies and financial and travel restrictions. Moves in this direction have been pursued in recent times but have foundered. Some will argue, no doubt, that a change in the sanctions policy now would be seen as ³going soft² on Saddam, and so send the wrong message. But can it really be claimed that the current set-up is sending the right message to ordinary Iraqis whose goodwill may become a precious asset? I fear this policy will simply feed misunderstanding and deeper resentment in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. The international coalition needs to be for, as well as against, something. And that push for the positive should include a developed vision of a world that is not only more secure, but also one that is more just and equitable. Indeed, part of making it more secure must surely involve making it more just and equitable. That is not to say that poverty and deprivation can explain away or excuse evil deeds but they can provide fertile ground for evil to flourish. The sanctions against Iraq are mandated by the UN Security Council. In the words of one British parliamentary report on sanctions, ³the UN will lose credibility if it advocates the rights of the poor whilst at the same time causing, if only indirectly, their further impoverishment². And credibility is vital for the UN at a time when, after the atrocities of September 11, there is at least a willingness in the international community to look afresh at many of the intractable challenges with which the organisation has tried to wrestle. I believe UN credibility can be strengthened by a fresh look at the santions policy. This is surely a significant moment of opportunity for the UN, having just been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I believe the crisis should also provide new impetus for meeting another longstanding challenge, the reform of the Security Council itself. It would be absurd to seek to deny powerful and influential nations their due status and proper influence. But the realisation that the world has not only changed, but has to go on changing, must be reflected in some tangible way by the council. It¹s not just about money and power. Knowledge and experience are also valuable currencies. But they have to be circulated and invested wisely not hoarded. It is not for me to offer detailed prescriptions for reforming the Security Council. There are many ideas around already which have at least two things in common they all call for change, and none of them has been implemented. Reform would be both a symbol and an expression of a different way of visualising the world and of working to meet its challenges peace and justice for all in Kabul and Baghdad, and too many other places in our God-given but fractured world. peace had been brought to the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans then Turkey would be the leading country in these regions. Pearson replied in clear and concise terms to the questions put to him by Committee members. He reportedly expressed the pleasure felt by the United States over Turkey's great support of the decisions taken within NATO. Kamuran Inan also briefed the press following the meeting. He criticized the fact that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was so late in going to the United States following the terrorist attacks. "Now is not the time to sit at home. While conditions are at their best for Turkey, he should have gone to the United States. As for what happens next, a parliamentary delegation needs to go and visit Congress and express Turkey's problems and wishes to the Congress members," he said. http://english.pravda.ru/main/2001/10/17/18403.html * "WHY DO THEY HATE US?" By Pat Buchanan Pravda, 17th October A month after the massacres, and the ugly scenes of Arabs and Moslems cheering the wounding of America, millions are still asking the question: What did we do that they should hate us so? Last week, the president professed himself "amazed" to "see that in some Islamic countries there is vitriolic hatred of America." "I'm amazed that there's such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us ... like most Americans, I just can't believe [it]. Because I know how good we are." But if they misunderstand us, do we also misunderstand them? National Review says we are "hated ... because we are, indeed, powerful, rich, and good." Other journalists and politicians say we are hated because we are a democracy, with freedom of speech, of the press, and of worship, as though bin Laden's cave-dwellers had stumbled onto a copy of the Bill of Rights, and gone berserk. Now, nothing can justify the atrocities of Sept. 11. Nor need we hear out unctuous plea bargains for those who murdered 5,000 of our countrymen in a crime that dwarfs the evil for which Timothy McVeigh was rightly put to death. But after the Taliban go down and bin Laden is run to earth, America had best reflect before launching a second Cold War. We need to know why scores of millions of Arabs hate us. Why does the Islamic sea seem so hospitable to the likes of Osama? Why do crowds from the Philippines to Pakistan to Palestine riot for the Taliban? Why are all the Islamic nations so reluctant to back us? And if we truly wish to know why they hate us, ought we not listen to them? For as the poet Robert Burns wrote, the greatest of gifts is to "see ourselves as others see us." How do the Arab and Islamic peoples see us? How do we appear in their eyes? In the imams' indictment, here are America's alleged sins: First, America props up puppet regimes of parasite-princes who squander the oil wealth of Arabia in the fleshpots of the West. Second, U.S. presence on Saudi soil defiles the land on which sit the holy places of Mecca and Medina. Third, we pollute their culture and countries with drugs, alcohol, abortions, blasphemous books, filthy magazines, dirty movies and hellish music that capture and corrupt their young. Fourth, we starve Iraqi children with sanctions, because Saddam defies U.N. resolutions, as we give Israel the weapons to defy the U.N., persecute Palestinians and deny them the liberty we champion. To those who hate us, it is America that is the Evil Empire. To some commentators, it is un-American even to repeat such charges. Yet, it seems unintelligent not to. For as Sun Tzu wrote: "Know thy enemy, know thyself, in a thousand battles, a thousand victories." If we must fight these people the rest of our lives, we should know why they hate us and we delude ourselves if we believe the slaughters of Sept. 11 came about because we are "good." Inhuman as these crimes were, they were not "senseless" or "irrational." They were purposeful acts of political terror. Having seen how Reagan pulled out of Lebanon after the Marine massacre, how Clinton pulled out of Somalia after Mogadishu, bin Laden believes we have less staying power than the Red Army that left Afghanistan after a decade of bloodshed and 15,000 dead. Terrorism is a weapon employed for centuries by the weak, the desperate, the fanatic, for a reason: It works. Consider three recent Nobel Peace Prize winners. In 1946, Menachem Begin blew up the King David Hotel, full of British nurses, to force the Brits out of Palestine. They left. His Irgun perpetrated the massacre at Deir Yassin in April of 1948. The Palestinians fled, as he had hoped. Nelson Mandela was not sentenced to life in prison for a sit-in at the Five-and-Dime. His ANC "necklaced" its enemies, i.e., the burning to death of selected individuals by forcing gasoline-soaked motor tires around their arms and neck, and the ANC prevailed through terror. Arafat's PLO was a nest of organizations, all of which, including his own Fatah, committed acts of terror. And, in part, through such acts, Hezbollah drove the Israelis out of Lebanon and Arafat brought them to Oslo. The goal of bin Laden is to drive America out of his region by first drawing us deeper in. And, as one reads of new U.S. security ties to Uzbekistan, promises to rebuild Afghanistan, new pledges to Pakistan, and commitments to help resolve the Palestinian conflict, one wonders if bin Laden's lasting achievement will not have been to draw the American Empire into a vast second Vietnam, from Algeria to Afghanistan, as a prelude to driving us out of his world forever. Let us pause and think before plunging into another Big Muddy. Pat Buchanan has been a senior adviser to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. During his White House years, Buchanan wrote foreign policy speeches and attended four summits, including Nixon's opening to China in 1972 and Reagan's Reykjavik summit with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986. On leaving the White House, Buchanan became a columnist and founded three of the most enduring talk shows in TV history: "The McLaughlin Group," CNN's "Capital Gang" and "Crossfire." Buchanan has written six books, including the New York Times best-seller, "A Republic Not an Empire" and a Washington Post best-seller about growing up in the nation's capital, "Right From the Beginning." His newest book, "Death of the West" will be out in January. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2001/10/19/107.html Friday, Oct. 19, 2001. Page VIII * GLOBAL EYE -- IDIOT WIND by Chris Floyd Moscow Times, 19th October Anthrax is riding the autumn winds in America. Where does it come from? Some say from bin Laden's terrorists although for people who can murder 7,000 victims in a matter of minutes, this parceling out of spores seems a bit on the retail side. Then again, why expect consistency from such disordered minds? Others say it's those right-wing 'Heartland' militants who dabble in toxins and have been celebrating Sept. 11 as a blow against the cities they hate most, or the 'Army of God' anti-abortion terrorists who have used similar tactics to spread the Lord's word in the form of deadly chemicals. But savvy White House hard-liners increasingly point the finger at Saddam Hussein. 'There's no question that the leader of Iraq is an evil man,' one hard-liner said last week. 'After all, he gassed his own people. We know he's been developing weapons of mass destruction.' Thus U.S. President George W. Bush fires his first shot across Baghdad's bow, warming up the homefolks for the big grudge match ahead 'Gulf War II: The Empire Strikes Back.' Bush's words are accurate but even here, right-wing white man speak with forked tongue. For it's true that the Iraqi despot gassed his own people, and that for 20 years he's been developing weapons of mass destruction. But what Bush's statement elides is that Saddam's development and use of these weapons was enthusiastically abetted and countenanced by a previous occupant of the Oval Office named George Bush. For years, Pa Bush and Ronald Reagan shoveled money, weapons and 'dual-use' technology at Saddam ignoring warnings from the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department and others that the dictator was using this technology to develop ballistic missiles and augment his arsenal of unconventional weapons. Some of the materials sent to Iraq with the OK of the Reagan and Bush administrations included the chemical agents for botulism, tetanus, West nile Fever and anthrax. The atrocity that Bush Jr. mentioned last week occurred in 1988, when Saddam murdered some 4,000 Iraqi Kurds with poison gas. This was carried out with helicopters purchased from the United States. The next year, with Pa firmly in the Oval cockpit, the CIA informed the White House that Iraq was greatly accelerating its secret nuclear program and had become the world's leading producer of chemical weapons. So what did Pa do? Why, he signed a national Security Directive ordering even closer ties to the poisoner. He also overrode his own Cabinet to force through $1 billion in agricultural credits to Saddam, after international banks had stopped giving him loans. Once again, Bush was shown evidence that the aid was being diverted to military uses but Pa had faith in his old ally. There was too much oil and backdoor money binding the two leaders: an alliance sealed with the blood of Saddam's many victims. no need to worry. By the summer of 1990, Saddam was clearly gunning for Kuwait and openly threatening to 'burn half of Israel' with his biochemical weapons. But Pa was indulgent with his frisky protZgZ: In the two weeks before the invasion of Kuwait, Bush approved the sale of an additional $4.8 million in 'dual-use' technology to factories identified by the CIA as linchpins of Saddam's illicit nuclear and biochemical programs. Shortly before Saddam sent his tanks across the border, Pa obligingly sold him more than $600 million worth of advanced communication technology. Then came the war and the messy divorce of the Bush-Saddam union. nowadays, apologists for Bush's prolonged appeasement of the bloodthirsty megalomaniac like to say that he was simply practicing realpolitik: supporting Saddam in order to thwart Iran who was America's designated 'Great Satan' at the time. Saddam, say the apologists, was a bulwark against the spread of Islamic fundamentalism; by wooing him, Bush could prevent Islamic extremists from becoming powerful enough to attack the United States. That was an effective strategy, wasn't it? now another George Bush has launched another war against former allies in the volatile region, with the same kind of secret deals and wink-wink mollycoddling of despots and kleptocracies from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. Is he, like his father before him, also sending dangerous chemicals and missile components to budding maniacs he finds useful? What form will the inevitable blowback take next time? How many more rough beasts are even now slouching toward Bethlehem to be born? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind along with all those anthrax spores. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.