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News, 14-20/10/01 (2)



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 Œonce 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 Œgood¹ effect of
pulling the US out of its Œisolationist¹ 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 Œindictment¹ of the US by the ŒImams¹ is
particularly fine.]
*  Global Eye -- Idiot Wind [On Bush Sr¹s involvement in SH¹s pre-Gulf War
crimes. Talking about Œidiocy¹ the constant repetition of the phrase Œhe
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 Œown people¹
in the middle of a civil war? Was General Sherman attacking Œhis 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 protZgZ: 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.
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