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News, 21-27/10/01 (1) This mailing is still dominated by the argument that the war against Afghanistan should be extebnded into a war to overthrow S.Hussein or, even more widely, to take on, all at once, the whole Arab and Muslim world, at least that part of it that constitutes a threat to Israel. The advocates of this position, which seems strangely to complement the ambitions of Mr bin Laden and his friends (an all-out Muslim jihad against the West), are still a little vague as to how the Arab and Muslim world should be rebuilt once it has been destroyed. For the moment, Arab Zoran Djindjics seem to be in short supply, but who knows? As Napoleon said: ŒOn s¹engage et puis on voit¹. The bomb Iraq lobby have scored a little coup in that the Czech interior minister has now confirmed that Mohammad Atta met the Iraqi diplomat, Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al-Ani, (ŒCzechs Confirm Atta Met With Iraqi Œ below) though the details are a little vague. Its still small stuff beside the Times of India story (12 October 2001, http://www.timesofindia.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1454238160, recently circulated on the Emperors New Clothers website, http://emperors-clothes.com/f.htm) that the head of Pakistani intelligence has been asked to resign since it emerged that he paid the same Mohammad Atta $100,000. We would probably hear more about that if Pakistan was a nearer neighbour of Israel. Recommended below are the articles on oil politics and on Saudi politics, both in the ;¹General¹ section (news, part 2); and once again the whole Kurdish supplement, turning on the tensions that have been created between Iraqi Kurds and Turks by the possibiity of an imminent US assault on Iraq. IRAQI/US RELATIONS * Saddam Shows Yank Poison Pen [This is the same story that appears elsewhere as ŒSaddam sends condolences to the US¹. It only goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder] * Defence chief [Air Force General Richard Myers] hints at widening conflict * With results like Iraq, who needs a coalition? [Extracts. Charles Krauthammer argues that if the US had finished Saddam off in 1991 they wouldn¹t have had to impose the embargo and so Arabs wouldn¹t hate them as much as they do] * Security and Peace Don't Come to Faint Hearts [Extracts. The Washington Post believes that everyone who might do something wicked should be offed before they have a chance to do it. This seems to be Saddam Hussein¹s philosophy as well.] * Advance the Story About How Saddam's Men Help the Terrorists [William Safire feels this is the story of the moment. Note his admiration for Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker exposing Saudi duplicity. Did he admire the same Seymour Hersh, we wonder, when he exposed the illegal US massacre that followed the legal massacre on the road to Basra at the end of the Gulf War? Note also the reference to Œbin Laden's supply this year of 400 fanatic "Afghan Arabs" to Saddam to attack free Kurds in Iraq's no-flight zone¹. Readers will learn more about that in the Kurdish section] * U.S. Seems To Ease Rhetoric On Iraq [Extracts. Includes G.Bush Sr defending his decision not to seize power in Iraq in 1991] * Disease is Bush ploy, says Baghdad * U.S. Seen Set to Resurrect 'Smart Sanctions' in Iraq [Quotes from one Neil Partrick, head of the Middle East programme of the Royal Unit Services, saying a major attack on Iraq after Afghanistan is unlikely] * U.S. Magistrate Refuses to Release Iraqi Suspect * Building the case against Iraq [Tough talkin¹ from J.Woolsey] * Poll shows public wants Saddam targeted * Aziz: Iraq Expects U.S. Attack URLs ONLY: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/printedition/chi 0110220223oct22.story?coll=chi%2Dprinteditorial%2Dhed * America holding its fire on Iraq Chicago Tribune, 22nd October Defence of current policy. Not to be thought of as being soft on Iraq. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=10041374&template=baghdad/ind exsearch.txt&index=recent * Ex-CIA Chief Suggests Iraq Involvement The Associated Press, 23rd October We learn from this that James Woolsey¹s law firm represents the Iraqi National Congress. Gosh! REMNANTS OF DECENCY * Vietnam days shape lawmaker's distaste for war [Account of career of Rep Jim McDermott who opposed the terrorist attacks on Afghanistan] THE CZECH CONNECTION * Atta Visited Prague at Least Twice, Police Say * German report links Iraqi ambassador to Al-Qaida terror network [The Iranian news agency, IRNA says ŒUS investigators believe that Al-Ani supplied Atta with deadly Anthrax spores during that meeting.¹] * Iraqi agent with terror link was expelled by Czechs * Czechs Confirm Atta Met With Iraqi URL ONLY: http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/32396.htm * U.S. CZECHS OUT ATTA'S TRIP by DEBORAH ORIN, WILLIAM J. GORTA AND WILLIAM NEUMAN New York Post, 23rd October [I don't usually leave in photo captions but I thought readers might appreciate this one: Three kids in Dasht-i-Qala, Afghanistan, yesterday snack on one of 70,000 ready-to-eat meals dropped to the Afghan people by U.S. cargo planes Sunday night. - Associated Press] WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION * Bio-warfare Means and Motive Anthrax: Is Saddam the missing link? [By Khidmir Hamza who, it appears, in addition to directing the Iraqi nuclear weapons programme also served Œas a director general of the Department of Military Industry, which oversaw much of the work on biological and chemical weapons¹ at the time of the Halabja incident. Leaving us wondering why he hasn¹t been prosecuted as a war criminal]. * Khidhir Hamza: Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi weapons program [Fairly lengthy interview. His basic thesis is that we should get Saddam before he gets us, which he is due to do, according to German intelligence, in 2005. He argues that the Iraqi opposition should be placed in Southern Iraq where, he thinks, they would secure overwhelming support. But Southern Iraq is Shi¹i and the Shi¹i are not well represented in the INC. They have their own organisation which is actually engaged in fighting without seeking US permission. They use the only tactics possible under the circumstances Œterrorist¹ tactics] * Iraq Seeks Anthrax Tests on 2 Letters * Anthrax reveals Iraq trademark: Report * Senate anthrax could be domestic AND, IN NEWS, 21-27/10/01 (2): IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Russian oil company develops cooperation with Iraq, Iran * Migrant Ship Sinks Near Indonesia [More victims of the US/British sanctions policy] * Obituary: Ismat Kittani [This man seems quite extraordinary, representing Iraq through several changes of regime and achieving high office in the UN while remaining faithful to Saddam. Was this Iraq¹s Talleyrand?] * Malaysia, Iraq to Enhance Bilateral Ties * JETRO [ Japan External Trade Organization] pulls out of Iraq trade fair * And what about the other prime suspect? [The state of the debate in Australia as to the desirability of going after Iraq] IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iran-Iraq Air Service to Resume * Rich Harvest of Mines Near Turkey's Iraqi Border * Kuwait denies air bases used for Afghan strikes [Suggests that Kuwait¹s backing for the US war against Afghanistan is less than whole hearted] * [Syrian vice-president Abdul Halim] Khaddam confers with Moroccan premier, Iraqi trade minister * Iraqi accusations against Kuwait * US paying for giving it to Iraq: Rafsanjani [Rafsanjani thinks Iraq is the source of the anthrax in the US] * On Syrian- Iraqi trade exchange INSIDE IRAQ * War May Help Women in Iraq * Iraqi Archaeologists Find Ancient Temple to Ishtar * U.N.: Iraqis Face Persecution, Torture [Human Rights report to General Assembly from Andreas Mavrommatis. Refers to apparent murder of Shi¹i leader Ayatollah Hussein Bahr Al-Aloom] * Iraqis ponder Afghan conflict OIL FOR FOOD * [Irish minister for Foreign Affairs] Cowen says Saddam fails to feed people [on strength of UN Sec Gen¹s report. Ireland is currently chairing the UN Security Council] * UN Gives First Evidence of Illegal Iraqi Oil Sales GENERAL INTEREST * US wants global command against terrorism [The US prepares to take over military management of the world] * Media's role in war [Eric Margolis points out the obvious pro-Israeli orientation of many of those who have been pushing for war on Iraq] * Interview with the Prime Minister [Very short extracts from a very long interview. Need to do away with civil liberties; attempt to differentiate US policy and Israeli policy; International Criminal Court; importance of armed forces to our well-being independent of actual defence needs. And the following outrageous exchange: ŒHave the Taliban actually tried to negotiate at any point? Not as far as I am aware, no.¹] * The last oil rush [Interesting article speculating on what should be done if Saudi Arabia closes the oil tap - as they should have done a long time ago] * The United States Ought to Be Applauding Israel's Self-Defense [William Safire argues that it is hypocritical to be tough on the Afghans and criticise Israel for being tough on the Palestinians. One can see that he has a point ...] * An unholy alliance [An interesting and coherent view of a pan-Arab anti-US alliance which is centred on domestic struggles in Saudi Arabia and successfully manages to turn the tide which had been running in the US¹ favour until 1995/6] URL ONLY:http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,56-2001371246,00.html * A man alone The Times, 25th October Tony Blair appears as a lonely, heroic figure while The Times gives us a rundown of the debate as to whether or not a new round of terror attacks should be launched on Iraq. The Times thinks it should. IRAQI/US RELATIONS http://www.nydailynews.com/2001-10-21/News_and_Views/Beyond_the_City/a 129261.asp * SADDAM SHOWS YANK POISON PEN by Don Singleton New York Daily News, 21st October Saddam Hussein wrote an angry letter to a surprised American who had e-mailed the Iraqi tyrant after the World Trade Center attack. Software engineer Christopher Love, 44, of Willow Grove, Pa., sent the e-mail to the "Butcher of Baghdad" via the official Iraqi News Agency last week. Love said he was moved to write by two events ‹ the attack on the twin towers and the death in Iraq of a friend's father. "The image of planes flying into populated skyscrapers in our largest city along with government buildings will be everlasting in my mind," Love wrote. He also cited a friend's visit to his dying father in Iraq a few months ago. "He could have been saved with penicillin, but none was available," Love wrote. "Something must change. Someone must lead the charge for human rights. ... I believe that you, Mr. President, would be the likely candidate." Saddam ‹ who is suspected by some of having aided the hijackers ‹ is an unlikely candidate to lead the charge for human rights. He heads the U.S. list of nations supporting terrorism, gassed an entire village that had defied him, invaded and looted Kuwait before being chased out by a U.S.-led coalition, and is thought to be developing nuclear, biological and germ-warfare weapons. Despite the sympathetic tone of the Love letter, he got a rocket back from Saddam. "Do you know that your administration has been promoting terrorism against us, calling for ending our regime by force and allocating funds for this purpose?" the Iraqi news agency quoted Saddam as asking in response to the letter. Saddam also accused the U.S. of "committing acts of genocide against Iraq by imposing the 11 years of sanctions that led to the killing of 1.5 million people." Love was taken aback by Saddam's response. "I looked at the response on the news agency's Web site ‹ it was quite long, and I'm still trying to absorb it," Love said yesterday. "I'm amazed that he actually wrote back." Love says he hasn't received an e-mail yet, but he believes it was sent to his computer at work, which he can't get to until tomorrow. "I'm behind our government ‹ I'm not going to jump on the Iraqi bandwagon," he said, "but the response is enlightening. I'm thinking of forwarding it to the White House and asking President Bush for his opinion." http://www.reuters.co.uk/news_article.jhtml?type=worldnews&StoryID=307745 * DEFENCE CHIEF HINTS AT WIDENING CONFLICT Reuters, 22nd October WASHINGTON: The top U.S. military officer has said that Afghanistan was only a "small piece" of what he suggested might be the broadest campaign since World War Two, possibly lasting more than a lifetime. Air Force General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not answer directly when asked in a television interview whether he had "started to prepare targets in Iraq" -- an old U.S. foe that some U.S. officials would like to make their next target. "This is a global war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction," he replied on the ABC program "This Week." "Afghanistan is only one small piece. So of course we're thinking very broadly." "I would say, since World War Two, we haven't thought this broadly about a campaign," Myers added, referring not just to the military action but to multifaceted operations by emerging international alliances against alleged terrorists and their suspected state sponsors. By citing weapons of mass destruction, Myers seemed to set out a possible new rationale for attacking Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Since the late 1990s, Saddam has barred U.N. weapons inspectors who had been documenting breaches of the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire pact outlawing Baghdad's biological and chemical weapons programs. Since the September 11 airliner-hijacking blitz that killed an estimated 5,400 people in the United States, President Bush has cast the enemy as terrorists and their state sponsors -- without explicitly mixing deadly-weapons capabilities into the equation. In launching air strikes against targets in Afghanistan on October 7, for example, Bush said: "Today we focus on Afghanistan," but "the battle is broader." He warned states that sponsor or protect "outlaws and killers of innocent" that they were taking a "lonely path at their own peril." Myers said U.S. forces in Afghanistan would capture Osama bin Laden, the U.S.-accused mastermind of the September 11 attacks, alive if possible but "bullets will fly" if they must defend themselves. [.....] In the ABC interview, Myers was asked about Vice President Dick Cheney's comment to the Washington Post that the U.S.-led campaign may "never end. At least not in our lifetime." "I think that may be correct," he said. "I think this is going to be a long, hard-fought conflict, and it will be global in scale." [.....] http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/134357032_krauthamme r22.html * WITH RESULTS LIKE IRAQ, WHO NEEDS A COALITION? by Charles Krauthammer Seattle Times, 22nd October WASHINGTON ‹ The great coalition debate rages. On the one hand are those who argue that the key to winning this war is to establish as broad a coalition as possible. "To succeed in the present conflict, it is essential that we repeat the coalition-building of the Gulf conflict," writes former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. [.....] Scowcroft's view, expressed in a Washington Post op-ed (Oct. 16: "Build a Coalition"), is important not just because of his distinguished service as soldier and adviser, but because he has just been appointed chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and thus will be influential in shaping the conduct of the new war. Scowcroft begins his advocacy of coalition-as-centerpiece by defending our decision in the last war, when he was national security adviser to President George H.W. Bush, to stop the Gulf War before going to Baghdad and toppling Saddam. Why? Because of the coalition. "Our Arab allies," explains Scowcroft, "would have deserted us, creating an atmosphere of hostility to the United States in the region." Creating? We did not go to Baghdad and yet, regardless, the hostility toward us is such that it inspired the worst massacre of Americans in our history. Much of that hostility derives from that fateful decision to leave Saddam in power in Baghdad in deference to our coalition partners, because we then had to spend a decade containing him with sanctions that have clearly hurt the Iraqi people and inflamed anti Americanism in the region. Bin Laden himself, in giving reasons for his jihad on America, never fails to cite the starving and bombing of Iraq. Scowcroft goes on: "In addition, the situation of the United States' being in hostile occupation of an Arab land" ‹ i.e. Baghdad, had we kept going ‹ "might well have spawned scores of Osama bin Ladens." Good grief. What spawned the real Osama bin Laden ‹ his oft-repeated, No. 1 reason for his war on America ‹ was the infidel's "occupation" of Saudi Arabia, home to Mecca and Medina, the holiest cities in Islam. And why are American soldiers still there 10 years after the Gulf War? It is precisely because we stopped short of Baghdad, allowing the very regime threatening Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to remain in power, that we need to retain an American garrison in the region. Thus, if we wish to make a "why do they hate us" inventory, we have from bin Laden's oeuvre that the gravest U.S. offenses are the very policies ‹ the American military presence in Arabia and the sanctions on Iraq (his love of Palestine is a recent, post-Sept. 11 flourish) ‹ that are the direct consequences of our failure to finish off Saddam in 1991. [.....] http://www.iht.com/articles/36463.html * SECURITY AND PEACE DON'T COME TO FAINT HEARTS by Fred Hiatt The Washington Post, 23rd October WASHINGTON: Just four years ago, in September 1997, a UN inspector grabbed a briefcase from two Iraqi officials running out the back door of their laboratory building. In the case she found reagents used for testing biological weapons such as anthrax, and documents about Saddam Hussein's secret biological weapons program. When other inspectors tried to follow up by visiting the headquarters of the agency referred to in the documents, guards blocked them at gunpoint. The inspections were never completed. [.....] The Australian diplomat Richard Butler, who led the UN inspection effort for a time, described in a book published last year the possible consequences. His fictional scenario is worth recalling now: "A hit squad from somewhere in the Middle East travels to New York City carrying a one-liter bottle filled with one of the several chemical weapons agents we have long known Saddam Hussein to be developing. Using a simple sprayer (like one that a gardener or house painter might own), they diffuse the contents into the air over Times Square on a Saturday night or into the main concourse at Grand Central Station at 5:30 p.m. on a weekday evening. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people die agonizing deaths as a result. "Because of their own handling of the substance and the strategic concern to maintain ambiguity over the source of the attack, the terrorists may have to be prepared to die themselves. ... Identifying them ... may prove difficult, but even if their identities became known quickly, it may not be clear whom they represented ... Under these circumstances, it's quite possible that Saddam could get away with the act." [.....] The Bush administration, pending further evidence, is right to make Osama bin Laden's networks its first priority in the war on terrorism. But the attacks clarify two points. One is that there are people evil enough to use the basest of weapons. (Saddam Hussein is credibly alleged to have tested germ weapons on prison inmates in 1994 and 1995, but when UN inspectors visited the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad the files covering those two years had been removed.) The second point is that avoiding conflict cannot always be the primary objective. As Iraq increasingly resisted inspection, because inspectors were drawing near the weapons that Saddam most wanted to protect, the goal for many became avoiding another war. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special UN envoy to Iraq called in June 1998 to avoid "at all costs the potential for any conflict situation that might involve the use of military force in the region." [.....] In Iraq, conflict was avoided, save for a few days of largely ineffective U.S. air strikes, but the absence of conflict does not mean that peace was served. Saddam Hussein has had three years to work unimpeded on his weapons. Osama bin Laden's terrorists similarly have had years to train and plan unimpeded in Afghanistan and many other places. The United Nations vowed after Sept. 11 to deny them such sanctuaries from now on, but you already see wavering as to what that means. It is by no means ensured that governments will stick with this war any longer than they stuck with inspectors in Iraq. This time, though, no one will be entitled to claim any surprise at the consequences of faintheartedness. http://www.iht.com/articles/36473.html * ADVANCE THE STORY ABOUT HOW SADDAM'S MEN HELP THE TERRORISTS by William Safire International Herald tribune (from The New York Times), 23rd October WASHINGTON: Veteran reporters and creaking commentators have a single goal in writing about great events: Advance the story. Unearth facts that policymakers do not want to know. For years, U.S. officials kept mum about the duplicity of Saudi Arabia in financing anti-U.S. incitement. But because The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, the oldest investigative reporter alive, held his ear trumpet to America's ultra-secret Big Ear, we now have telephone intercepts between Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador in Washington, and his father, the defense minister. The Saudis never have been on America's side in the war on terror. American leaders have long known it but most Americans did not. What about a connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? Because the Scowcroft set at the National Security Council is still in denial about its blunder a decade ago that permitted Saddam to stay in power, the CIA professes to see no collaboration in Baghdad. That wearing of blinders by U.S. intelligence agents was recently revealed by the Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland, who interviewed a defector from Saddam's elite militia now in the United States who recounted the hijacking and assassination training carried out in the Salman Pak suburb of Baghdad. This was independently confirmed by an Iraqi ex intelligence officer now in Turkey who reported "Islamicists" training on a Boeing 707 in Salman Pak only a year ago. Both sources were unsought or dismissed by CIA and FBI officials aware of topside resistance to evidence of Saddam-bin Laden connections. Allow another journa-geezer to dodder in with a few more details to advance the unwelcome story. Faruq Hijazi, in 1994 Saddam's secret service director and now his ambassador to Turkey, has had a series of meetings with bin Laden. These began in Sudan and continued in Afghanistan. The conspiracy was furthered in Baghdad in 1998 between bin Laden's No. 2 man, Ayman el-Zawahiri, and Saddam's vice president, Taha Yasin Ramadan. To strengthen Saddam's position in the Arab world during his 1998 crisis with the United Nations, bin Laden established the "World Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and the Crusaders." The Muslim-in-name Iraqi dictator reciprocated by promising secure refuge in Iraq for bin Laden and his key lieutenants if they were forced to flee Afghanistan. Bin Laden sent a delegation of his top Qaida terrorists to Baghdad on April 25, 1998, to attend the grand celebration that week of Saddam's birthday. It was then that Saddam's bloody-minded son Uday agreed to receive several hundred Qaida recruits for terrorist training in techniques unavailable in Afghanistan. That Baghdad birthday party, according to an unpublished spying report, celebrated something else: Uday Hussein's agreement with bin Laden's men to formally establish a joint force consisting of some of Qaida's fiercest "Afghan Arab" fighters and the covert combatants in Iraqi intelligence unit 999. This information does not include reports of the most recent contacts between the terrorist group and the terrorist state. However, combine that late-'90s groundwork with what is known of (a) bin Laden's supply this year of 400 fanatic "Afghan Arabs" to Saddam to attack free Kurds in Iraq's no-flight zone, and (b) this summer's observed contacts of Qaida's suicide-hijacker Mohammed Atta with Iraqi spies under diplomatic cover in Prague. A pattern manifests itself. Does this web of eavesdropped-upon communication provide proof positive of Saddam's participation in the Sept. 11 attack? No indisputable smoking gun may ever be found. But it is absurd to claim, in the face of what we already know, that Iraq is not an active collaborator with, harborer of and source of sophisticated training and unconventional weaponry for bin Laden's world terror network. "One war at a time" goes the coalitionaries' mantra, which U.S. spymasters take to mean "Don't follow leads to Iraq." Nobody has come close to my New York Times colleagues in covering the cataclysm and the war it triggered, but it would be good to see a new wave of reporters beat the old media bigfeet in advancing this story. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42347-2001Oct23.html * U.S. SEEMS TO EASE RHETORIC ON IRAQ by Karen DeYoung and Rick Weiss Washington Post, 24th October [.....] Asked Monday if he believed the anthrax came from al Qaeda, or if he had any idea of the source, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld answered succinctly: "I don't. And no." Former president George Bush, who rarely gives public counsel to his son's administration, said in a CBS interview yesterday that the United States had to be "very careful about what we do now" in the Persian Gulf region, "and I'm sure the president is being and will be." Asked if he had any regrets about not going after Saddam Hussein in 1991, Bush said: "The answer is no. What would have happened if we'd have done that is we would have been alone. We would have been an occupying power in an Arab land. . . . And we would have seen something much worse than we have now, because we would have had the enmity of all the gulf. Egypt would have been gone. Jordan, who came back, would have been gone; Turkey, you name it. So I think we did the right thing." A similar argument was made last week about the current conflict by the former president's national security adviser. If anything, Brent Scowcroft wrote in a Washington Post opinion article, Washington needs Arab support now more than it did in the Gulf War. [.....] http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/10/24/wthrax224 .xml&sSheet=/news/2001/10/24/ixhome.html * DISEASE IS BUSH PLOY, SAYS BAGHDAD by Anton La Guardia Daily Telegraph, 24th October IRAQ accused President Bush's government of spreading anthrax as a pretext to widen its bombing campaign. As American officials suggested Iraq as a possible source of bio-terrorism, Baghdad newspapers printed denials that the country had anything to do with letters and packages containing anthrax spores. "It is a joke," said Al-Thawra, the mouthpiece of the ruling Ba'ath Party. "All evidence and details prove that the United States is the source of the anthrax. This anthrax has been prepared in American laboratories and the packages have been sent from inside the United States - and this incriminates the American authorities. "American authorities do not wish to kill Americans but are seeking to spread a scare around the world." The paper added that the aim was to create suspicion around countries listed by America as sponsors of terrorism "in order to commit aggression against them". Iraq has sent mixed signals about the September 11 attacks. At first President Saddam Hussein gloated. Later, as some senior American officials signalled that the war against terrorism could be extended to Iraq and other countries, he kept a lower profile. In an e-mail to an American citizen at the weekend, he sent a personal message of condolence over the deaths at the World Trade Centre. But he said he would not say the same to the government. This week Iraq has criticised the bombing as a repetition of the 1979 Soviet invasion. Washington and London have said that there is no evidence pointing to Iraq's involvement in the New York and Washington attacks or the anthrax cases. Western officials have said that Iraq is working on a biological weapons programme, but no biological agents have ever been found. Iraq has not re-admitted United Nations weapons inspectors since they left in 1999. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011023/pl/attack_iraq_sanctions_dc_1.html * U.S. SEEN SET TO RESURRECT 'SMART SANCTIONS' IN IRAQ by Nadim Ladki Yahoo, 23rd October [.....] Neil Partrick, head of the Middle East program at the London-based Royal United Services Institute, agreed that military action did not appear to be in the offing. ``Even if it turns out to be a quick operation in Afghanistan, it is unlikely the United States would decide now to overthrow Saddam and commit forces on the ground in Iraq,'' he said. Partrick expected the United States to increase military pressure on Iraq by ``toughening up'' its air patrols of two no-fly zones over north and south Iraq, a measure the Bush administration had been keen on even before last month's attacks. He said discussions on a reformed sanctions package at the U.N. had been overtaken by the attacks but that Washington would try to get it passed in December. Although there were no guarantees of success this time, Russia might find it in its interest to lift its objections but Partrick doubted the five permanent members at the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia -- would agree to force Iraq to take back inspectors. [.....] http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=topnews&StoryID=317900 * U.S. MAGISTRATE REFUSES TO RELEASE IRAQI SUSPECT Reusters, 24th October PITTSBURGH: Ignoring the advice of federal prosecutors, a U.S. magistrate on Wednesday refused to release an Iraqi immigrant jailed in a crackdown on hazardous materials haulers after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. Fadhil Al-Khaledy, one of 22 men of Middle Eastern descent to be indicted for fraudulently obtaining commercial driver's licenses from Pennsylvania, has pleaded not guilty to the charge against him but was jailed as a flight risk after his Sept. 27 arrest. The 33-year-old lives in Detroit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Teitelbaum told a hearing on Wednesday that Al-Khaledy could be released to house arrest with electronic monitoring equipment that would allow the man to return to his industrial cleaning business. "Home confinement with electronic monitoring and work release would assure his appearance at future hearing," Teitelbaum told Reuters. But U.S. Magistrate Robert Mitchell was not satisfied and refused to release the suspect from custody in an Allegheny County facility, the prosecutor added. William Schmalzried, Al-Khaledy's lawyer, plans to appeal the magistrate's decision to a federal judge. "Quite frankly, this is very unusual," Schmalzried said. "It definitely has to do with the tone and tenor of the times." Al-Khaledy moved to the United States in 1993 as part of a government-sponsored refugee program. He has returned to the Middle East twice, including last month when he traveled to Jordan to be married, said his lawyer, who believes Al-Khadey has probably lost his business franchise in Detroit because of his detention. ttp://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/10/26/wirq26.xml &sSheet=/news/2001/10/26/ixhome.html * BUILDING THE CASE AGAINST IRAQ by Toby Harnden Daily Telegraph, 26th October [.....] Mr Woolsey said: "We ought to seriously consider removing Saddam's regime, if he has been involved in any terror in recent years against us." Saddam had attempted to assassinate President Bush Snr in 1993. He had also defied UN mandates by developing weapons of mass destruction. He added: "In my judgment that's enough." President Clinton's response to the assassination attempt was "to shoot some Cruise missiles back into empty buildings in the middle of the night" but this type of limited, ineffective action had been discredited by September 11. Mr Woolsey said: "Some of the states, such as Iraq, and some of the people, such as bin Laden, saw our behaviour over the last decade or two and may have a false impression that they can bludgeon the United States into submission. He added: "I think some day - hopefully soon - they will come to the same conclusion that Admiral Yamamoto did after Pearl Harbor, which was to remark that Japan had awakened a sleeping giant. " If the government chooses, based on the information that it has, to take military action against any other state outside Afghanistan, I believe that the world will see our reaction in that case will be ruthless, relentless and devastating. He concluded: "In the American vernacular - you ain't seen nothing yet." Coming from the man entrusted with gathering that "information", Saddam would perhaps be well advised to mark Mr Woolsey's words. http://www.washtimes.com/national/20011026-49246219.htm * POLL SHOWS PUBLIC WANTS SADDAM TARGETED by Joyce Howard Price THE WASHINGTON TIMES, 26th October Americans overwhelmingly support making Saddam Hussein a target of the U.S. war on terrorism, with three-quarters of those contacted saying the Iraqi dictator should be attacked, according to a new Reuters/Zogby poll. The survey of 1,023 registered voters found that 56 percent of respondents "strongly agree" and 18 percent "somewhat agree" the war against terrorism ‹ now focused on Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan's Taliban regime ‹ should be expanded to include Saddam's regime in Iraq. In contrast, 10 percent said they "strongly disagree" and 12 percent said they "somewhat disagree" with the idea of going after Saddam. Four percent of respondents said they were not sure how they felt. Neal Boortz, talk-show host on Radio WSB-AM in Atlanta, is not surprised by those findings. "My callers say that if the war on terrorism doesn't include Saddam, it's a fraud," Mr. Boortz, one of the nation's most-listened-to radio-talk hosts, said in an interview yesterday. Mr. Boortz said he has not heard from one caller who favors giving Saddam a pass in the U.S.-led anti-terrorist campaign. In fact, he said, "They all say we should be taking care of Saddam at the same time" as U.S. troops attack Afghanistan. Mr. Boortz said his callers compare the current situation to one in which there is a neighborhood fire in which a house is threatened by houses on both sides that are burning. It doesn't make sense to put out one fire and delay acting on the second, he said. [.....] http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2001/oct/27/102702200.html * AZIZ: IRAQ EXPECTS U.S. ATTACK Las Vegas Sun, 27th October LONDON (AP) - Iraq's deputy prime minister says "it is just a matter of time" before Britain and the United States attack his country, and accused them of trying to remove Saddam Hussein's government under the pretext of a war on terrorism, a British newspaper reported Sunday. Tariq Aziz also denied any Iraqi involvement in anthrax attacks on the United States and said Iraq's anthrax supply had been destroyed during United Nations inspections in the 1990s. In The Sunday Telegraph's interview, carried out last week in Baghdad, Aziz reportedly said Iraq was aware of plans for Western countries to strike "300 targets with 1,000 missiles." "We know they are preparing for such an attack," he was quoted as saying. "We are watching what is being said and what is being done in the United States and Britain and we know it is just a matter of time before such an attack." He said that would be a "very grave mistake," and although he did not expect Arab military retaliation to follow an attack on Iraq, he believed the coalition against terrorism would fall apart as a result, the newspaper reported. The report said Aziz claimed that Iraq's armed forces had recovered from the devastating effects of the 1991 Gulf War and were "capable and in a position to defend the country." He said suggestions of Iraqi involvement in the release of anthrax in the United States were "baseless" and "ridiculous." "When America decides to attack Iraq, it will be for their own agenda," he added. "It will be because they want to replace this government. ... It will not be because of what is happening in the United States. Although they might use that as a pretext." Iraq has already strongly denied any involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that the U.S. government has blamed on the al-Qaida network led by Osama bin Laden. In the interview, Aziz rejected the confirmation Friday by an official of the Czech Republic that Iraq's consul in Prague had met there with Mohamed Atta, one of the alleged hijackers of the airliners used in the attacks, before the consul was expelled in April for conduct incompatible with his diplomatic status. Aziz said he had checked with the diplomat about the allegations and "I can say categorically that they are false." "We do not know bin Laden in person," he said. "We cannot make a judgment about him. We simply do not know enough about him." REMNANTS OF DECENCY http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal te.mcdermott23oct23.story?coll=bal%2Dnationworld%2Dheadlines * VIETNAM DAYS SHAPE LAWMAKER'S DISTASTE FOR WAR Baltimore Sun, 23rd October WASHINGTON (Associated Press): As a Navy psychiatrist during the Vietnam War, Rep. Jim McDermott determined whether young men were fit to fight. The job left him with a distaste for war and an appetite for politics. Three decades later, those feelings were manifested in McDermott's public questioning of President Bush's decision to attack Afghanistan less than four weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes. The Washington state Democrat said he's unsure the Bush administration spent enough time looking at alternatives. "Sure, people are angry and upset. I am angry and upset," he said. "But that doesn't mean what you do is go out and immediately fly off and bomb the other side." McDermott's stance has made him a target of conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and others, though constituents in his liberal-leaning district have been supportive. Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, is the only other member of Congress to directly and publicly question military action. She was the only House member to vote last month against a resolution authorizing the use of force. McDermott voted for the resolution, but said he's uneasy that the bombing occurred so soon afterward. "It's a very complicated situation," McDermott said, sitting at his roll-top desk that was once used by Rep. Davy Crockett of Alamo legend. "The hard part is figuring out how you come out of it in a situation where you haven't made more enemies." McDermott, 64, spent two years in Vietnam and saw a long line of soldiers who felt the government wasn't behind them. The experience shaped his life and his political philosophy. "If you are going to run a war by polls, what happens if things don't go well?" McDermott said. "You better be sure you are doing what you really believe is right." After Vietnam, McDermott moved to Seattle in 1970 and almost immediately won a seat in the state Legislature. After 14 years and three unsuccessful bids for governor, he went to Zaire to practice psychiatry in 1987. McDermott returned to run for an open House seat in a Seattle district in 1988. McDermott, the only psychiatrist in Congress, has easily won re-election six times. His medical background makes him a key player on health care issues -- he favors a national health care plan that would provide universal coverage. And his experiences abroad have given him a voice in foreign policy debates. He also has gained notice as the defendant in a lawsuit brought by a fellow House member, Republican Rep. John A. Boehner of Ohio. Boehner sued, claiming that his free-speech rights were violated, when McDermott allegedly leaked a secretly recorded phone conversation in 1996 among Boehner and other House GOP leaders. McDermott now is focused on Afghanistan. He has traveled extensively in the region, and is concerned that the United States will only make more enemies with its military action against the Taliban. He points to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as evidence that military might doesn't always produce the political changes the United States favors. "The destruction of the infrastructure did not work in Iraq a decade ago. It's deja vu," McDermott said. "This sounds an awful lot like Iraq. Saddam Hussein is still in power." THE CZECH CONNECTION http://news.excite.com/news/r/011023/09/news-attack-czech-atta-dc * ATTA VISITED PRAGUE AT LEAST TWICE, POLICE SAY Excite, 23rd October PRAGUE, Czech Republic (Reuters) - Mohammed Atta, one of the suspected hijackers of the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center last month, visited the Czech Republic at least twice, police said Tuesday. "Czech security units have proof that Mohammed Atta was in the Czech Republic two times, one of which he was only in (Prague airport's) transit area," police spokeswoman Ivana Zelenakova told Reuters. A U.S. source recently told Reuters Atta had met an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague in June 2000 and April 2001, but cautioned that the meeting was not evidence Iraq was connected to the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11. U.S. officials have made similar cautions in private, but U.S. diplomats say a second visit to meet an Iraqi intelligence official would provide a more compelling clue to possible Atta links to Baghdad. As recently as last week Czech officials said Atta had made only one visit, in transit in summer 2000, and that they have no evidence he met Iraqi intelligence. Zelenkova gave no details of the second visit. "If there were further cases (visits), he did not use documents in his own name, and police and other security agencies are investigating," she added. Atta, an Egyptian suspected of being at the controls of one of two aircraft that crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, lived for much of the 1990s in the northern German port of Hamburg where two of the other suspected lead pilots of the attacks were also students. [.....] http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/02144022.htm * GERMAN REPORT LINKS IRAQI AMBASSADOR TO AL-QAIDA TERROR NETWORK Berlin, Oct 24, IRNA -- The Berliner Morgenpost reported Wednesday on a terror link between Iraq's current ambassador to Turkey, Faruk Al Hijazi and Osama bin Laden's Al Qaida network. Hijazi, a trusted confidante of President Saddam Hussein and former deputy head of the Iraqi intelligence service, met on at least two separate occasions with Osama bin Laden in Sudan and Afghanistan, dating back to 1994 and 1998. The Iraqi envoy is considered an expert in the weapons of mass destruction field. Hijazi also worked in the past with Iraq's consul to the Czech Republic, Al-Ani who met twice last year with one of the September 11 terrorist pilots, Mohammad Atta, in Prague. US investigators believe that Al-Ani supplied Atta with deadly Anthrax spores during that meeting. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/europe/story.jsp?story=101360 * IRAQI AGENT WITH TERROR LINK WAS EXPELLED BY CZECHS by Anne Penketh Independent, 25th October An Iraqi intelligence agent who is believed to have had two meetings with Mohamed Atta, the alleged ringleader of the World Trade Centre attack, was expelled from the Czech Republic earlier this year, it emerged. Foreign ministry official Hynek Kmonicek informed the Iraqi chargé d'affaires in Prague last April that his number two, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, would have to leave the country within 48 hours. "His presence was not in the security interests of the Czech Republic. He was not behaving like a diplomat," Mr Kmonicek said yesterday. However, Mr Kmonicek, who is now his country's UN ambassador, added that reports the Iraqi agent had met Atta in Prague would remain "media speculation" until Czech police publish the results of their own investigation. "Atta went to Czechoslovakia twice. Once was in transit, the second time he entered the country and remained there for 24 hours. Of course, if they did meet it would be suspicious," the ambassador said. According to US officials, Atta met Mr al-Ani in June 2000 and April 2001, but they have cautioned that the meeting was not evidence Iraq was connected to the 11 September attacks. Czech police are now investigating whether he may have taken more trips to Prague, possibly using a false name and passport. The Iraqi was expelled after he was seen photographing the Radio Free Europe building in Prague, which had broadcast programmes critical of Saddam Hussein. The Czech counterintelligence agency said in a report yesterday that terrorists could have established a covert infrastructure in the country thanks to Prague's former ties to Iraq and Afghanistan under communism. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=10135265&template=baghdad/ind exsearch.txt&index=recent * CZECHS CONFIRM ATTA MET WITH IRAQI The Associated Press, Sat 27 Oct 2001 PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) ‹ A Czech cabinet minister on Friday became the first official to acknowledge that suspected suicide hijacker Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence agent during a trip to the Czech Republic. Interior Minister Stanislav Gross said the meeting between Atta and Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al-Ani took place several weeks before Al-Ani was expelled from Prague on April 22, 2001 for conduct incompatible with his diplomatic status. ``We can confirm now that during his ... trip to the Czech Republic he did have a contact with an officer of the Iraqi intelligence, Mr. Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al-Ani,'' Gross said. Gross would not reveal the precise date or venue of the meeting but his comments confirmed a link between Baghdad and those who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks. Iraq has vehemently rejected suggestions that it was involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A Czech intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, indicated that his American counterparts had been told of the meeting, but he did not provide specifics or say whether U.S. intelligence was tipped off about the meeting before the Sept. 11 attack. ``If we have any information which could be of interest for our U.S. partners, they will learn it from us,'' the intelligence official said. Atta, an Egyptian who studied in Germany, is believed to have been on American Airlines Flight 11 that smashed into the World Trade Center. Czech officials are investigating the number of trips Atta made to the country. Gross said he first entered the Czech Republic by bus from Germany on June 2, 2000 and then flew to the United States from Prague the next day. Gross did not provide further details or reveal al-Ani's whereabouts. A Czech official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they were investigating whether Al-Ani may have also met with another hijacker in the Czech Republic. Government officials told The Associated Press earlier this month that Al-Ani had been under the surveillance of Czech intelligence, which believed he might have been involved in plotting an attack on the headquarters of Radio Free Europe. [.....] WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION http://www.sfgate.com/cgi bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/21/ED1387.DTL * BIO-WARFARE MEANS AND MOTIVE ANTHRAX: IS SADDAM THE MISSING LINK? by Khidmir Hamza San Francisco Chronicle, 21st October Washington -- There has been much talk, but little proof, of Iraq's connection with Osama bin Laden since September 11. With the frightening appearance of anthrax, however, it's useful to know now what Saddam Hussein can bring to the germ- war table. Having spent two decades as a senior official in Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission, I learned a great deal about Baghdad's bio-warfare capabilities. >From 1987 until the Persian Gulf War, I directed the Iraqi nuclear weapons program, as well as serving as a director general of the Department of Military Industry, which oversaw much of the work on biological and chemical weapons. When Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Iraq possessed a vast bio- warfare arsenal and was but a few months from having a working nuclear device. Despite its defeat in the Persian Gulf War, Iraq still has the capability to produce bio-war agents, including anthrax, in large quantities. Not just raw anthrax in liquid form, which is not difficult to produce, but as a sophisticated, highly milled powder, which can be a deadly terrorist tool. Washington knows this not only from discrepancies between Iraq's records and what United Nations' inspectors found, but also from the testimonies of a constant stream of defectors who followed my own escape from Baghdad in 1994. Now we have the appearance of a highly sophisticated powder form of anthrax in the Washington office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. At first, anonymous law enforcement sources told ABC News it was "weapons grade." Later, ABC backed off slightly, saying it "was definitely not the work of an amateur. " Reports late Friday were that the anthrax sent to Daschle's office was not only "not weapons grade," but "indistinguishable" from samples that turned up in New York and Florida. The proliferation of anonymous sources on such an important public health issue not only adds to our alarm and confusion, it obscures the fact that, outside of domestic cranks and rogue Russian scientists, only Iraq has both the means and motive to unleash professional level bio-war agents on the United States. Hussein, moreover, is the only leader who has actually ordered the use of chemical and biological weapons on humans -- and not just on a battlefield. The tests began in 1984, when about 100 Iraqi Shiite prisoners were transported to a West German-built pesticide factory at Samara, about 65 miles north of Baghdad, and subjected to chemical agents. None returned. In March 1988, the Iraqi regime dropped nerve gas on the Kurdish village of Halabjah, a name that became synonymous with My Lai when pictures of some 5,000 corpses, some of them of mothers holding their infants, were published in the West. Less well known is that Hussein also tested biological weapons on Kurdish villagers. In 1987 typhoid agents were dumped into the water supplies of villages around Sulimaniya, a city in the remotest part of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Deaths, estimated to number between 100 and 400 people, were calculated from the testimony of victims who showed up at Turkish hospitals with a particular strain of the disease. Iraq's germ warfare equipment and stocks were supposedly destroyed under the direction of U.N. inspectors after the Persian Gulf War. But Hussein managed to hide much of his arsenal and some of the biologists who worked on the weapons. An UNSCOM inspector told me years later that he tracked one of them to Baghdad University, where he found her hiding in a class pretending to be a student. Most of the equipment for the production of bio-war agents was, and still can be, produced in Iraq, including fermentation tanks and dryers. Moreover, Iraq did not turn over much of the precision manufacturing equipment, such as computer-controlled lathes, that it imported from U.S. and European vendors in the 1970s and 1980s for its nuclear program. Such equipment would enable Iraq to reconstitute its bio-warfare program with only minor imports from abroad. Indeed, every Iraqi defector in recent years has reported that Iraq rejuvenated its programs for the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, which German intelligence officials have estimated could produce three atomic weapons by 2005. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, crop dusters came under special scrutiny when the FBI discovered many of the hijackers and their associates had taken flying lessons and had inquired about crop-dusting planes. Here, too, there's a connection to Iraq, which managed to modify crop dusters for spraying bio-warfare agents, even before Desert Storm. Another reason to worry about Iraq: It still possesses a huge, underground network of spies and purchasing agents abroad. I became intimately acquainted with it during my 20 years in the nuclear weapons program, both as an end-user and active purchaser myself. For example, Iraqi agents have illegally purchased 130 classified reports from Germany alone on the manufacture of centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Bin Laden's operatives -- most notably, Mohammed Atta, one of the September 11 suicide pilots -- were reportedly in contact with this Iraqi network, and could well have received both the material and expertise to unleash bio-war attacks on the West. There is no proof yet that any such exchange has taken place, nor that the anthrax attacks here are the work of bin Laden -- with or without Iraqi support. But any such attack requires both means and motive, and Hussein most certainly has both. Not just anyone can mix up a batch of chemical or biological weapons, much less deploy them effectively on a target. That takes a reliable supplier, skilled scientists and practice. Hussein has plenty of that, too. Khidmir Hamza is the author, with Jeff Stein, of "Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda" (Scribner, 2000) which has just been issued in paperback. http://europe.cnn.com/2001/COMMUNITY/10/22/hamza.cnna/ * KHIDHIR HAMZA: SADDAM HUSSEIN AND THE IRAQI WEAPONS PROGRAM CNN, 22nd October Dr. Khidhir Hamza was educated in the United States, then was deceptively persuaded to return to Iraq by Saddam Hussein, where for over 20 years he was forced to work at developing an atomic weapon. In 1994, he defected to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary. Dr. Hamza now works as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy, and is the author of "Saddam's Bomb Maker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda." Hamza joined the CNN.com chat room to discuss the Iraqi weapons program and Saddam Hussein CNN: As a nuclear scientist educated at MIT, how did you end up returning to Iraq and working for Saddam Hussein? HAMZA: I was teaching at Florida State University in 1969 when I was contacted by one of his pointmen here who was enrolled as a student, although he was too old to be a student. He told me that if I don't go back, there could be problems for my family. I was enticed to go back this way. CNN: How did Hussein intend to use the weapon, once it was completed? HAMZA: Saddam has a whole range of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, biological and chemical. The nuclear program is his primary weapon, and that would give him the ability to use the biological and chemical better. According to German intelligence estimates, we expect him to have three nuclear weapons by 2005. So, the window (actually, he's being careful right now), will close by 2005, and we expect him then to be a lot more aggressive with his neighbors and encouraging terrorism, and using biological weapons. Now he's using them through surrogates like al Qaeda, but we expect he'll use them more aggressively then. There could also be the angle of him using nuclear weapons through surrogates also, if he can achieve it. CHAT PARTICIPANT: Is it possible that Saddam or Iraq is supplying the terrorist with the biological agents that are being found in different parts of our country as well as the world? HAMZA: I believe he [could be]. There are several points that indicate that the biological agents used are of the more sophisticated kind, and that a state is behind it. The states that produce anthrax and the required specs that can be used to spread the disease widely, say in the powder form, very few states can do that. The others are not U.S. antagonists, like Russia, some of the European countries, and the U.S. So it could only be that Iraq is the state behind supplying that expertise, which is the same thing as producing the anthrax spores. There are also many biologists that inspected the Iraq programs, like Dr. Richard Spertzel, including Richard Butler, the head of ANSCAM [sic - PB]. There are several experts, not just me, who have detailed knowledge, who are pointing fingers toward Iraq, too. CHAT PARTICIPANT: How many Iraqis support Saddam Hussein? HAMZA: I don't believe many. I think most Iraqis have suffered so long under Saddam, that if there is a supported opposition that can go into Iraq, they will defect to it and go against the regime. That happened in 1991, when Saddam lost 14 of 18 provinces in Iraq. Only the lack of support to the insurrection or rebellion helped Saddam to crush it with his tanks, and the U.S. allowed him to fly military helicopters to crush the insurrection, and he used that opportunity to crush his enemies. We believe now that the situation is even worse, and that Saddam has cut food rations to the north and south. In the north, the UN took over, and started supplying the Kurds with part of the money generated by the oil for food program, so the Kurdish region is a little better off, because of the UN and U.S. assistance. However, there is no such program in the south, which is the majority of the population, and Saddam already cut rations in the south, especially the rural areas. The Iraqi opposition believes that any small nucleus of army, U.S. trained, will be able to take over in the south, because they're already in a desperate situation. All it needs is U.S. air support to prevent what happened in 1991, and that is Iraqi tanks, Saddam's tanks, and heavy artillery, bombarding the areas of the rebels. CHAT PARTICIPANT: Did the U.S. succeed in getting rid of many of his weapons over the years the teams were there? HAMZA: This is a false security. The security of taking a number of equipment from a state and destroying them, leaving the total infrastructure, the knowledge base, the scientist, the military structure intact, only means that the state will just rejuvenate its program, especially a state with huge resources, like Iraq. The whole structure of the biological program is there. What the U.S. destroyed is some of the product, biological agents, some fermenters, and some dryers, which can be replaced very easily, and most of them actually through local engineering capability. Much of the precision machinery, computer-controlled machines that can machine anything you want, are already there. They were not delivered to the inspectors, so Iraq can easily, and probably already did, remake the destroyed equipment and put them in place, but in different locations than those the inspectors knew. So, we believe it was a false security to just destroy a few pieces of equipment, and take away some of the weaponized agents, and believe that's it. The scientists are there, the agents are there, and most of the infrastructure is there in addition to Saddam's network of purchasing agents and front companies that can smuggle back into Iraq the needed critical parts. CNN: You were in Iraq for 24 years. Describe personal encounters with Hussein. HAMZA: I met him a few times, and he is not what he seems on TV. In private, he is an abrupt, overbearing bully. There is not much nice about him in private. All you see is the arrogance of power, in the true sense. He knows that you have to do everything he says, and he's not nice about it. So, one limits encounters, usually. I used to deal with him through his son-in-law, mostly, though despite his reputation of a bloody butcher, he was much nicer to work with in person. He was my boss. [Saddam Hussein] is really the sole dictator, the ultimate power. He's under pressure, he's tired, edgy, nervous. Meeting him is not a pleasure in any sense of the world. He keeps his smiles for TV appearances, and there is nothing nice about him in private. CHAT PARTICIPANT: If America could just do one thing in Iraq, what would you like see happen? HAMZA: I would like to see the Iraqi opposition better trained, some two or three thousand persons, trained and sent back into south Iraq, and supported by U.S. Air Force, no U.S. troops, just Air Force, doing what it is doing now, but a little more intensely. By watching Saddam's troop movement and making them stay in their box, is all that's required right now. Just send the Iraqi opposition trained militia, and support them there. That's the only thing we need now. That's the official position right now of the Iraqi opposition, they want to be supported this way, with some resources provided, say food and some equipment. Minimal cost opposition. Much less than is being done in Afghanistan right now, for instance. This way, the U.S. would eliminate the major terrorist government in the Middle East right now, probably the world. CHAT PARTICIPANT: Who is Saddam's successor? HAMZA: Saddam's successor right now is designated to be his younger son, Qussay. His oldest son, Uday, has been put aside and relegated to the control of the media. He controls the Iraqi media. He has a newspaper, magazine, and a TV channel. He speaks in the name of the government. Actual control of the special security organization, Saddam's body guards, is now headed by Qussay. Through this, he controls all Iraqi military and intelligence services, and the military industry. So he's in control of the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. He is as vicious as his father, even more if that's possible. He's been doing the actual killing when he goes out on forays against rebellious areas. He surrounds towns, kills everybody. He's been experimenting with all kinds of control mechanisms, such as blockading areas from getting food and supplies. He's doing the real dirty work for the government right now, and it's his government. He's the heir to the throne in Iraq. It's a monarchy of some sort...in reality. CNN: Do you believe there is any link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? If so, should the U.S. resume attacks on Iraq in the name of stopping terrorism? HAMZA: I think there are several links between Osama and Saddam. The Iraqi ambassador in Turkey, Hajazi, visited Afghanistan, and met with Osama and his associates. He's a powerful figure in Iraq. There are several reported meetings between him and Osama's associates. Osama was sighted in an Iraqi hotel in 1996, by the lawyer for Arkan, the Serbian leader. [Regarding] the reported sighting by the Czech intelligence of Mohammed Atta, and the Iraqi intelligence agent -- to do this meeting, Atta had to drive from Germany and Czechoslovakia, a long drive, meet him, and go back. Which means it was an important meeting for supplies, coordination. It couldn't have been by accident. Many other meetings were reported between Osama associates and Iraqi intelligence. There are reports by Iraqi defectors of bin Laden's people being trained in Iraqi terrorist camps. They are credible stories, because they don't contradict each other. They confirm each other in types of training, places, the people trained. In a covert operation like this, you don't expect much more information. There will be no smoking gun. All sightings confirm a multi layered coordination between Saddam and bin Laden, in terms of training, support, and supplies. That could have included anthrax. CNN: Do you have any closing comments to share with us? HAMZA: Just that this is the new probably type of war the U.S. will be waging. The U.S. is too powerful to fight directly by terrorists like Saddam. [They] tried once and failed miserably, in the Gulf War. So the efforts and energies of people like Saddam will be channeled to these types of dirty terrorist acts. We believe that the best way to deal with it is eliminating the source, not chasing after the foot soldiers, but not just limited to chasing soldiers. Go to the source. Even in Afghanistan, the U.S. goal should be to remove the Taliban group that supported bin Laden, and get a new government, and not leave the situation unresolved. CNN: Thank you for joining us today HAMZA: Thank you very much. Khidhir Hamza joined the chat room via telephone from Virginia and CNN.com provided a typist. The above is an edited transcript of the interview on Monday, October 22, 2001 at 1 p.m. EDT. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36017-2001Oct22.html * IRAQ SEEKS ANTHRAX TESTS ON 2 LETTERS by Colum Lynch Washington Post, 23rd October UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 22 -- Iraqi diplomats in New York and Washington have asked American authorities to test two letters containing white powder for contamination with anthrax spores, U.S. and Iraqi officials say. U.S. diplomats said they suspect the Iraqi government is the target of a hoax but that federal and local law enforcement authorities have not provided a definitive explanation of what was in the letters. A U.S. official said the U.S. mission to the United Nations expected to receive an official response from the New York Police Department on the results of its tests as early as Tuesday. A State Department official, saying he was unaware of the anthrax concerns at the Iraqi interest section in Washington, referred calls to the FBI. Calls to the FBI press offices in New York and Washington tonight were not returned. The episode provided an unusual twist in the ongoing anthrax scare. Some observers, citing Iraq's weaponization of anthrax in the late 1980s, have suggested that Baghdad may be a source of anthrax spores in letters to media and government officials in Washington, New York and Florida. But there is no evidence Iraq obtained the strains of anthrax bacteria found recently in the United States, and the FBI has said it has found no link among the letters, Iraq and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The letters arrived Friday at the Iraqi mission to the United Nations on East 79th Street in New York and the Iraqi interest section on P Street NW in Washington, said an Iraqi official, who requested anonymity. The official, who works at the Iraqi mission, said police officers and FBI agents arrived at the diplomatic mission in New York on Friday and took the letter for testing. "We did receive a package that contained some white powder; it was handed over to the New York police," the official said. "They haven't really informed us whether they have found anything. They told us if it contains something serious, they would be on top of it." http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=135314918 * ANTHRAX REVEALS IRAQ TRADEMARK: REPORT Times of India, 27th October WASHINGTON ( AFP ): Initial tests on anthrax sent to Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle found a chemical additive that keeps the spores airborne and is a trademark of Iraq's biological weapons program, ABC News reported Friday. Three well-placed but separate sources told ABC News World News Tonight that the chemical agent, called bentonite, helps keep the tiny anthrax particles in mid-air by preventing them from sticking together. Bentonite is a trademark of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program, the report said, although it could be used by other countries. The report said the substance was discovered during a series of tests performed at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and at other sites. http://www.washtimes.com/national/20011027-5292152.htm * SENATE ANTHRAX COULD BE DOMESTIC by Bill Sammon The Washington Times, 27th October The White House yesterday revealed that anthrax sent to the Senate last week could have been made in a small laboratory without the help of a nation-state sponsor, while President Bush approved a set of tough anti-terrorism measures that the Justice Department began using immediately. Top Stories "It could have been produced by a Ph.D. microbiologist at a small, well-equipped microbiology lab," said White House press secretary Ari Fleischer of the anthrax sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle,South Dakota Democrat. "On the good news side of it, that would indicate that this is not necessarily state sponsored," he said. "On the bad news side of it, it does indicate there is a broader universe of people, individuals, groups that have the know-how to produce it." [.....] -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.