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News, 3-10/11/01 (1) Canıt think of anything to say of a general nature about all the following. Still no reports of bombing in the No Fly Zones. Further unease in the Kurdish autonomous zone. Baghdad trade fair and, it seems, general international relations continuing as, or getting back to, normal. I recommend the articles (in the Fingerı section) Who developed anthrax?ı; and, in the Generalı section, though it isnıt really about Iraq: Contextualizing Afghan Warı. FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ * Final US ultimate warning to Iraq [Tony told Abdullah that George told Tony to tell Abdullah to tell Saddam that Iraq will be blown to bits if they donıt let the inspectors back. This comes from sources at the British House of Commonsı] * A Nixonian Notion: Help Turkey Overrun Iraq [William Safire fanstasises on the advantages of encouraging Turkey to take - or re-take? - Kirkuk] * The Czech connection implicates Baghdad [Somewhat more detailed account than weıve had so far of what the Czechs have said about the Atta/al-Ani meeting. The article goes on with a general account (which Iıve cut since it contains little that isnıt obvious) of Czechoslovakiaıs pre-1989 links to the bad guys of the world. It forgets that pre-1989, Saddam was one of the more or less good guys in the world.] * Bush Sr still irked by Saddam [Bush Sr it seems stopped the war in 1991 because if we had gone on 24 hours more, shooting down 25,000 Iraqi troops running away from Kuwait, which admittedly they had pilfered and raped and plundered, the world would have turned on usı, which leaves us wondering just how many retreating Iraqi troops they did massacre on the road to Basra. We donıt know because they immediately bulldozed all the bodies into the sand, and no-one has ever suggested that the specialists in mass graves who have been busy in Bosnia and Kosovo could be usefully employed in digging them up again] * No Plan to Hit Iraq [Powell in Egypt says: concerns like the kind that you have just raisedı (about a possible attack on Iraq) are not concerns that should worry anybody seriously, in any serious wayı] * Iraq to be scrutinised after Afghanistan war [Powell in Kuwait says that nations such as Iraq, which have tried to pursue weapons of mass destruction, should not think that we ... will not turn our attention to them.ı] * Iraqi Defectors Detail Secret School for Terrorists [The INC reveal the existence of a Special Ops/SAS style training camp in Iraq. Gosh.] * Who developed anthrax? [Eric Margolis suggests that US/British involvement in S.Husseinıs development - and use - of chemical weapons goes much deeper than I for one had imagined. And that there is a scandal concerning British scientistsı to be uncovered that is much more interesting than the foolish arms to Iraqı affair] * Bin Laden envoy was in Iraq: Iraqi dissident [Bin Ladenıs associate Ayman el-Zawahri, of Egyptian Jihad, has visited Iraq. Which doesnıt really seem very surprising.] * A war for the pipelines? [Extract which makes the interesting point that, thanks to oil, the US CANNOT launch a war against Iraq without permission from the Saudis.] * Pro-Israeli lobby pushing for attack on Iraq [It appears that the lobby demanding extension of the terror campaign to include Iraq is grouped under the portentious title Project for a New American Centuryı, and it includes Francis Fukuyama] * U.S. Regards Iraqi Report As a Nuclear Threat [If this article is to be believed, S.Hussein has openly admitted to an ongoing nuclear weapons programme] * Zeman: Atta Contacted Agent on Plot [The Czech Prime Minister seems to be wanting to atone for his earlier remarks saying he had no evidence of an Atta/al-Ani meeting. Now he seems to know eactly what they discussed] URLs ONLY: http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3DQAX3QTC&liv e=true&tagid=ZZZAFZAVA0C&subheading=europe * Moscow is 'pivotal' to Iraq monitoring by Carola Hoyos at the United Nations and Stephen Fidler in Washington Financial Times, 6th November http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3TJ599NTC&liv e=true&tagid=ZZZOMSJK30C&subheading=US * US TO PRESS UN OVER IRAQI WEAPON INSPECTIONS by Stephen Fidler and Roula Khalaf in Washington and Carola Hoyos at the United Nations Financial Times, 4th November Both articles are just a summaries of what we already know with regard to the debate whether or not to extend the terrorist campaign to include Iraq. IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Dhaka urges Iraq, Kuwait to recruit more manpower [Strange little article in which Kuwaiti and Iraqi envoys appear to be acting together as a single delegation in Bangla Desh. Bangla Desh it seems wants to send more workers to Iraq (on the eve of a US invasion?). Last week we had an item saying Iraq had lifted travel restrictions on Malaysians, which also implied that Iraq was a desirable place to go to work] * Lifting a veil on prejudice [Interesting account of Arab American commnity in Dearborn, Michigan. Iıve only retained opening account of Iraqi police brutality in 1982] * Iraq to sign oil deal with Indian, Algerian firms * KARACHI: Iraqi property taken over fraudulently * Philippino oil excavation in Iraq * Iraq to buy 1m ton wheat next year * Russian president to visit Baghdad URL ONLY: http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011106/2001110606.html * Iraqi deputy premier confers with deputy chairman of the French national society (parliament) Arabic News, 6th November A not very clearly identified Important French Political Figure visiting Iraq. AND IN NEWS, 3-10/11/01 (2): IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Kuwait seizes Iraqi oil tanker: newspaper * Gulf War radicalised bin Laden - ex-spy chief [Interview with ex-Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal. It seems the Taliban may have been about to give OBL over to the Saudis in 1998 but the project was aborted when Clinton launched his missile attacks. If this is the case then Sept 11 can be pinned on Clinton]. * Iraqi oil smuggling through Persian Gulf down by 50 percent, U.S. admiral says [Unexplained Iranian crackdown on Iraqi oil exports] * Iraq, Syria to set up nine joint venture cos * On Syrian- Iraqi relations [Rather obscurely worded article which suggests that Syrian Socialists, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution and Syrian - I think - Kurds are all in favour of closer Syrian/Iraqi relations. So thatıs all right.] INSIDE IRAQ * Hussein Putting His Mark on Islamic Faith [Faith campaignı, which began in Iraq in 1994] * As Saddam builds his monuments, mothers abandon their babies [Contrast between wealth of Baghdad and misery of Basra, to convey the impression that the suffering is the fault of the Iraqi government not of the blockade] * The changing face of Iraqi marriage * Fair to help fight sanctions: Iraqis [Major trade fair taking place in Iraq] * Iraq: a quiet time during another Middle East war [Rather vague evocation of UN efforts to encourage individual economic initiatives in Iraq] * Saddamıs son [Qusay] targeted in attempted assassination * Iraq discovers major gasfield IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * UN General Assembly adopts Iraqi proposed resolution [on depleted uranium] URLs ONLY: http://www.worldoil.com/news/newsstory.asp?ref=http://220.127.116.11/feeds/wo rldoil/new/article_e.asp?energy24=243808 * UN programme faces 1.63-billion-dollar shortfall World Oil (AFP), 6th November http://ogj.pennnet.com/articles/web_article_display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticl es&ARTICLE_CATEGORY=TOPST&ARTICLE_ID=125944 * US expected to delay Iraq oil-for-aid reform plan proposal Oil and Gas Journal, 8th November Nothing of any interest in the article that isnıt in the title. GENERAL INTEREST * Contextualizing Afghan War [Fine critique of the US terror campaign from a democratic, secularist, anti-Taliban Pakistani position. Argues, probably rightly in broad outline, that the US wants to keep S.Hussein in power as a means of justifying their continued military presence in the region] * Shameful affair that exposed a secret world [I reproduce this piece of trivia just for the amusing suggestion that during the Iran/Iraq war Britain favoured Iraq ... because of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie! The article attempts to convey the impression that Matrix Churchill war profiteering was really courageous espionage on behalf of MI6] AND IN KURDISH SUPPLEMENT, 3-10/11/01 * Iraqi Kurds' story of expulsion [Arabisation policy in region of Kirkuk] * Iraqi Kurds Get New Assurances From Washington [Flurry of diplomatic activity in the autonomous Kurdish zone. Washington ticks the KDP off for cosying up to Iran (and perhaps Baghdad). PUK cozies up to the Turks. Am I not right in thinking it used to be the KDP who were pro-Turk and the PUK who were pro-Iran?] * Rival Kurdish groups clash in north Iraq [Further PUK/Islamist confrontations] * Kurds facing acute fuel shortages [The Iraqi government has radically cut back on oil supplies to the Kurdish autonomous region] * Iraq Says United Nations Squandering Its Money In Kurdish North * PKK: We Will Not Leave Iraqi Kurdistan * Iraq and counterterrorism [PUK leader tells Washington conference what it wants to hear: the Kurds want to remain in Iraq and feel theyıve got a lot in common with the Arabs, no threat to turkey, Iraqi children dying because of Saddam, the Oil-for-Food program ... assures Iraqi citizens resources that were never available to them before because it compels the Iraqi government to spend the money on themı (where have we heard that one before?), Jund al-Islami was set up by OBL 9without denying this we remind readsers of the article in Kurdish Supplement, 21-27/10/01 in which Nechirvan Barzani said The KDP had no evidence proving the claim that the Jund-ul Islam group was being directed by Osama Bin Ladenı] FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011105/2001110505.html * FINAL US ULTIMATE WARNING TO IRAQ Arabic News, 5th November The Kuwaiti daily al-Seyash issued on Sunday quoted sources at the British house of commons as saying that the British prime minister Tony Blair asked the Jordanian King Abdullah II during his visit to Amman to convey a final warning from the US administration to Iraq on the need of accepting the return back of the UN inspectors to Baghdad within three weeks, otherwise the next station of the war against terrorism after Afghanistan will be Iraq. The sources indicated that Iraq was told about the warning through an envoy in the Jordanian royal court. The sources also told the paper about information reported from Moscow that the Russian foreign minister Igore Ivanov conveyed to the Russian administration following his meeting with the US secretary of state Colin Powell about a conviction formed within himself that a British- American attacks at Baghdad has become very near. http://www.iht.com/articles/37914.html * A NIXONIAN NOTION: HELP TURKEY OVERRUN IRAQ by William Safire New York Times, 6th November [.....] With the world dazed and everything in flux, seize the moment. I'd make a deal with Ankara right now to move across Turkey's border and annex the northern third of Iraq. Most of it is in Kurdish hands already, in our no-flight zone - but the land to make part of Turkey is the oil field around Kirkuk that produces nearly half of Saddam Hussein's oil. Q: Doesn't that mean war? Nixon: Quick war, justified by Saddam's threat of germs and nukes and terrorist connections. We'd provide air cover and UN Security Council support in return for the Turks setting up a friendly government in Baghdad. The freed Iraqis would start pumping their southern oil like mad and help us bust up OPEC for good. Q: What's in it for the Turks? Nixon: First, big money - northern Iraq could be good for nearly 2 million barrels a day, and the European Union would fall all over itself welcoming in the Turks. Next, Turkey would solve its Kurd problem by making its slice of Iraq an autonomous region called Kurdistan. Q: But that would mean new borders, and don't Arab states worry about dismemberment? Nixon: Turks are Muslims but not Arabs. When Syria was the base for terrorist operations against Turkey, the Turks massed troops on the border and Damascus caved, kicking the terrorist boss out of the country and he's now in a Turkish jail. And what's the big deal about new borders? Iraq was a 20th century British concoction. Only 50 years ago Israel became a state, and soon there'll be a Palestinian state. New times, new borders. [.....] http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20011107/774474.html November 7, 2001 * THE CZECH CONNECTION IMPLICATES BAGHDAD by Brian Whitmore National Post (Canada, from The Boston Globe), 7th November [.....] Mr. al-Ani is widely believed to be a member of the Mukhabarat, Iraq's feared intelligence service. Jabir Salim, Mr. al-Ani's predecessor at Iraq's embassy in Prague, disappeared in 1998 with at least US$100,000. The money, according to press reports, was intended to fund an attack on Radio Free Europe. On Oct. 26, Stanislav Gross, the Czech Interior Minister, confirmed that Mr. Atta and Mr. al-Ani met in April and possibly on other occasions. Mr. Gross said Mr. Atta had travelled to the Czech Republic from Germany on June 2, 2000, and had flown to the United States from Prague the next day. "We can confirm now that during his next trip to the Czech Republic, he did have a contact with an officer of Iraqi intelligence, Mr. Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al-Ani," Mr. Gross said. At first, he said, Mr. Atta aroused no suspicion. But a closer look at his itinerary suggests he was eager to visit Prague, and went to extraordinary lengths to do so. He tried to enter the Czech Republic on May 30, 2000, but was turned away at the border. He then flew back to Germany, where he was a student, got a Czech visa, and took a bus to Prague, arriving on June 2. The next day he flew to the United States. He flew to the Czech Republic again on April 8 of this year, when Mr. Gross said he met Mr. al-Ani, but three days later he was back in the United States. Why was an Egyptian-born architecture student living in Germany so interested in making such brief trips to Prague, always right before flying to the United States? In the absence of facts, rumours have swirled around Prague. Some reports have suggested the Iraqi diplomat assisted Mr. Atta with logistical support and false documents. Citing unidentified Israeli intelligence sources, the German daily paper Bild reported on Oct. 25 that Mr. Atta may have carried anthrax spores to the United States, allegedly obtained from Iraqi agents in Prague. Initially, Czech officials denied this. But in an interview published in the daily newspaper Hospodarske Noviny on Oct. 31, Mr. Gross backtracked, saying he could not rule it out. "We looked into whether it was possible to buy anthrax from a Czech source, but it was not proven," he said. "Responsibly, I cannot say it is possible or it is impossible." [.....] http://www.smh.com.au/news/0111/07/world/world8.html * BUSH SR STILL IRKED BY SADDAM by Hamish McDonald Sydney Morning Herald, 7th November [.....] Sure, he could have sent the 82nd Airborne rolling into Baghdad "in 48 hours" after liberating Kuwait, Mr Bush said. But he painted a grim picture of what might have happened then: heavy casualties in urban guerilla war, Saddam made a hero among the Arabs, and the prospect of Arab-Israeli peace talks derailed. "And if we had gone on 24 hours more, shooting down 25,000 Iraqi troops running away from Kuwait, which admittedly they had pilfered and raped and plundered, the world would have turned on us," he said. Mr Bush said he did not believe in a war "where you just count the extent of your victory by how many fleeing soldiers you shoot down". About his son's new war against terrorism, Mr Bush admitted it was much more difficult to envisage a "clean ending" but he was encouraged by the range of countries which supported the campaign, particularly China. "Australia has always been out in front of the United States in relations with China, and I think it's a good thing because I believe that the one relationship which can mess up my optimistic predictions is if we mishandle the US-China relationship. "I think it's that big, I think it's that important," he said. http://www.nydailynews.com/2001-11-07/News_and_Views/Beyond_the_City/a 131227.asp * NO PLAN TO HIT IRAQ, New York Daily News, 7th November Secretary of State Powell tried to reassure Egyptians yesterday that the United States was not planning any attacks on Iraq but he never ruled out the possibility. "Our first phase right now is in Afghanistan," Powell told Egyptian Television in answer to a question on whether Iraq was a possible target in an expanded campaign, "but there are no plans at the moment to undertake any other military action. "We will see where we are as we go forward, but the concerns like the kind that you have just raised are not concerns that should worry anybody seriously, in any serious way." The Bush administration, fearful of the reaction in the Arab world, has fended off conservative demands to attack Iraq, saying there's no hard evidence linking Baghdad to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Asked about a possible link, Powell noted reports of contacts between Iraqi intelligence and Mohamed Atta, believed to be the ringleader of the 19 suicide hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "But there is no direct link at this point between what happened on the 11th of September and what happened in the anthrax events ... and Iraq," he said. http://www.reuters.co.uk/news_article.jhtml?type=worldnews&StoryID=354831 * IRAQ TO BE SCRUTINISED AFTER AFGHANISTAN WAR by Jonathan Wright Reuters, 8th November WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Colin Powell has said the United States will turn its attention to Iraq and its weapons programs once it has dealt with the al Qaeda organisation and the Taliban through its military campaign in Afghanistan. "With respect to our activities in Afghanistan, that is our first priority. We must defeat al Qaeda, we must end (al Qaeda leader) Osama bin Laden's terrorist threat to the world and deal with the Taliban regime who has given them haven," Powell said. "After that ... we will turn our attention to terrorism throughout the world, and nations such as Iraq, which have tried to pursue weapons of mass destruction, should not think that we ... will not turn our attention to them," he told reporters after talks with a Kuwaiti minister. [.....] Powell, standing alongside Deputy Prime Minister Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah of Kuwait, was answering a question about reports Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz had again asserted an Iraqi claim to neighbouring Kuwait. [.....] "Mr. Tareq Aziz has been making these rather ridiculous and threatening statements for many years, so I take them all with a grain of salt," Powell said. [.....] The State Department has Iraq on its list of seven "state sponsors of terrorism," although its annual report says Baghdad has not attempted an attack on Western interests since an alleged plot to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during his visit to Kuwait in 1993. [.....] http://www.iht.com/articles/38229.html * IRAQI DEFECTORS DETAIL SECRET SCHOOL FOR TERRORISTS by Chris Hedges International Herald tribune (from New York Times), 8th November Two defectors from Iraqi intelligence said Wednesday they had worked for several years at a secret Iraqi government camp that trained Islamic terrorists in rotations of five or six months since 1995. They said that the training in the camp, south of Baghdad, was aimed at carrying out attacks against neighboring states and possibly Europe and the United States. The defectors, one of whom was a lieutenant general and once one of the most senior officers in Iraqi intelligence, the Mukhabarat, said they did not know if the Islamic militants being trained at the camp, known as Salman Pak, were linked to Osama bin Laden. They also said they had no knowledge of specific attacks carried out by the Islamic radicals trained in the camp. But they insisted that those being trained as recently as last year were Islamic radicals from throughout the Middle East, noting that they had special prayer times, were usually bearded, wore traditional Islamic dress and spoke with distinctive foreign accents. The men said they also had knowledge of a highly guarded compound within the camp where Iraqi scientists, led by a German, produced biological agents. "There is a lot we do not know," the general, who asked that his name not be printed, said in an interview with The New York Times as part of an ongoing reporting project with "Frontline," a PBS program. "We were forbidden to speak about our activities among each other, even off duty. "But over the years you see and hear things. These Islamic radicals were a scruffy lot. They needed a lot of training, especially physical training. "But from speaking with them it was clear they came from a variety of countries, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco. We were training these people to attack installations important to the United States. The Gulf War never ended for Saddam Hussein. He is at war with the United States. We were repeatedly told this." The reports mesh with statements by Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami, a captain in the Iraqi Army who emigrated to Texas in May after working as an instructor for eight years at Salman Pak, which is located at a bend in the Tigris River. United Nations arms inspectors suspected that such activities, including simulated hijackings carried out on a Boeing 707 fuselage set up in the camp, were going on at Salman Pak before they were expelled from Iraq in 1998. But this is the first look at the workings of the camp from those who participated in its administration. The former lieutenant general, who admitted his involvement in some of the worst excesses of the Iraqi regime, including direct involvement in the execution of thousands of Shiite rebels after the uprising after the Gulf War in 1991, spent three days in Ankara being interviewed by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But he said that the decision by the CIA to include Turkish intelligence officials in the interview led him to fear for his own security. He has since fled Turkey, where he had sought asylum, and was interviewed in another Middle Eastern country that they asked not be identified. The assertions of terrorism training by the Iraqi defectors will most likely fuel one side of an intense debate in Washington over whether to extend the war against Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan to include Iraq. The Iraqi National Congress, an opposition group headed by Ahmed Chalabi in London, facilitated the meeting and interview with the men. The group was involved in an abortive CIA attempt to build an alliance in northern Iraq to oust Mr. Saddam. The collapse of the effort soured relations between the Iraqi National Congress and some senior officials in the State Department and the CIA. American officials, however, confirmed that they had met with the former general in Turkey but said they had not learned all that much from him. They said it was unlikely that the training on the fuselage was linked to the hijackings of Sept. 11. The camp is overseen by the highest levels of Iraqi intelligence and those that worked there were compartmentalized into distinct sections. On one side of the camp, these men said, young Iraqis who were members of Fedayeen Saddam (Saddam's Fighters), were trained in espionage, assassination techniques and sabotage. The other side of the camp, separated by a small lake, trees and barbed wire, was where the militants were trained. The militants spent a lot of time training, usually in groups of five or six, around the fuselage of the 707. There were rarely more than 40 or 50 Islamic radicals in the camp at one time. "We could see them practice taking over the plane," said one of the defectors, a former Iraqi sergeant in the intelligence service who spent nearly five years at the camp. The general, wearing a black suit and sporting a gold ring on each index finger, said that the terrorist teams were trained to take over a plane without using weapons. They were also trained in the use of booby-trapped explosive devices and were taught how to kill with their hands. Although the Islamic militants were carefully segregated from the Iraqi units there was haphazard contact, he said. "One day after work, my car broke down as I was leaving the camp, and a Toyota van filled with these Islamic fighters came out behind me," the general said. He added: "The driver was a man I knew and he got out to help push the car. There were various nationalities on the van, including an Egyptian who, unlike the rest was clean shaven. Six of them came out to help." The general gave a wry smile and answered what he knew would be the next question. "No," he said of the Egyptian, "he was not Mohamed Atta." Mr. Atta is thought to have been the leader of the Sept. 11 hijackers. The report of Iraqi ties with Islamic radicals comes on the heels of an announcement by the Czech Interior Ministry that Mr. Atta met last April with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir Ani, an Iraqi diplomat identified by Prague as an intelligence officer. There are unexplained gaps, some as long as 15 months, during Mr. Atta's stay in Hamburg, Germany, suggesting that he may have been training abroad. http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/08/op.htm#4 * WHO DEVELOPED ANTHRAX? by Eric S. Margolis Dawn (Pakistan), 8th November As our world continues to spin out of control, two horrible events last week had special resonance for me: the spreading anthrax terror, and the death of my old Afghan comrade-in arms, Abdul Haq. First, anthrax. In late 1990, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, I was in Baghdad, covering the impending Gulf War. In a futile effort to prevent threatened US air attacks, Saddam Hussein rounded up foreigners and held them hostage in Baghdad hotels. This brutish act - which provoked outrage around the world - was a typical example of Saddam's uncanny knack for negative, self-defeating, public relations. Among the hostages, I discovered three British scientists who had been employed at Iraq's top secret Salman Pak chemical and biowarfare plant. Two of the Britons confided to me they had been working to develop a weaponized form of anthrax for Iraq's army. At the time, no one yet knew that Iraq was trying to use anthrax as a weapon. My dispatches from Baghdad were the first indication that Iraq had progressed beyond crude, World War I - style chemical weapons. The Iraqis threatened to hang me as a spy. What made this news so fascinating was: 1) the British scientists told me they were part of a large technical team secretly organized and 'seconded' to Iraq in the mid-1980s by the British government and Secret Intelligence Service, MI6; 2) the feed stocks for all of the germ weapons being developed by Iraq came from an American laboratory in Maryland. Iraq received full approval from the US government to buy anthrax, plague, botulism, and other pathogens. Here is a prime case of what spooks call 'blowback.' Why did Britain and the US covertly help Iraq to develop biological weapons? When an Islamic revolution overthrew the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979, the US and Britain decided to overthrow the new regime in Tehran, which was seen as a threat to their Mideast oil interests. Washington and London urged Saddam Hussein to invade Iran in 1980 and march on Tehran. US and British money, arms, and military assistance flowed secretly to Baghdad. But by 1983, Iraq was on the defensive and near to losing the war. Iran, with nearly four times Iraq's population, was fighting back ferociously, swamping Iraqi defences with human wave attacks. In desperation, Iraq, America and Britain began a crash development programme to produce chemical and biological weapons to break Iran's attacks and offset its numerical superiority. Iraq's chemical arsenal savaged Iran's infantry and helped Baghdad win the war by 1988. Over 500,000 soldiers died in the conflict. In the Anglo-American view, chemical and biological weapons were fine - so long as they were used to kill or maim Iranian Muslims who opposed western interests. Such monstrous weapons, it seems, are only associated with terrorism when used against westerners. My view: what goes around, comes around, as the old song goes. [..... This includes, however, an account of Margolisı personal relations with Abdul Haq, the Pashtun mujahedin recently killed by the Taliban.] http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Artic le_Type1&c=Article&cid=1005260823128&call_page=TS_World&call_pageid=96833218 8854&call_pagepath=News/World&col=968350060724 * BIN LADEN ENVOY WAS IN IRAQ: IRAQI DISSIDENT Toronto Star, 8th November CAIRO, Egypt (AP) An Iraqi dissident said Thursday that a key deputy to Osama bin Laden visited Iraq shortly before the bombing of the U.S. embassies in east Africa in 1998. The deputy, Ayman el-Zawahri, discussed plans to attack U.S. interests abroad with senior Iraqi officials, said Hamid al-Bayati, the British representative of a key anti-Sadam opposition group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. His claim, which could not be independently verified, follows reports that the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has had at least limited dealings with the bin Laden network. The United States holds the Saudi-born millionaire responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Czech Republic has said one of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, Mohammed Atta, met an Iraqi agent in Prague. Iraq has denied that and says it has no links to bin Laden's Al Qaeda network, which is based in Afghanistan. Speaking in a telephone interview from London, al-Bayati said el-Zawahri visited Iraq for six days in June 1998, meeting Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan and touring an army training camp in the southern city of Nasiriya. "Saddam Hussein was looking for allies to help him plan attacks on American targets," al Bayati said. El-Zawahri is an Egyptian Muslim militant who led the group Islamic Jihad, which he merged with Al Qaeda in 1998. Al-Bayati said Saddam tried to persuade bin Laden to take refuge in Iraq after the United States demanded Afghanistan surrender him after the embassy bombings. But, al-Bayati said, bin Laden feared a double-cross. However, al-Bayati said, Saddam and bin Laden maintained relations and bin Laden used to send representatives to attend Islamic conferences in Iraq and to Saddam's birthday parties. Bin Laden helped Saddam by assisting the guerrilla group Mujahedeen Khalq in its infiltration of Iran to carry out sabotage, al-Bayati said. Separately, a Kurdish party in northern Iraq says that an Islamic militant group with ties to bin Laden has set up bases in the Kurdish autonomous zone of northern Iraq. The group, Jund al-Islam, comprises Arab veterans of the Afghan-Soviet war of 1979-89 and Islamic fundamentalists, said Hazim al-Youssefi, the Cairo representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. While the Kurdish zone is outside the control of Baghdad, a challenge by Islamic extremists to the U.S.-backed administration in northern Iraq would suit Saddam's interests. Jund al-Islam, which is reportedly linked to Al Qaeda, seeks to establish an Islamic state in northern Iraq along the lines of the Taliban administration in Afghanistan. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1644000/1644813.stm * A WAR FOR THE PIPELINES? by Andrew North BBC, 8th November [.....] "The key thing is Saudi's spare capacity - 51 per cent of the world total - and that would be even more important if the US decided to expand war to attack Iraq, thereby almost inevitably leading to Baghdad suspending exports." Such concerns have made the Bush administration very careful in what it has said about the Saudi government, despite anger in some US military and intelligence circles over allegations that the monarchy turned a blind eye to fundraising for Osama bin Laden within the kingdom. "We're hostage to oil, that's as simple as you can put it. We have let the economic considerations take precedence," said Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer with close links to serving intelligence officials. [.....] http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/09/int17.htm * PRO-ISRAELI LOBBY PUSHING FOR ATTACK ON IRAQ by Jim Lobe Dawn (Pakistan), 9th November WASHINGTON: A determined band of self-styled Cold War "intellectuals", heedless of US allies and officials, continues to push President George W. Bush to extend his "war" against terrorism at least until he deposes Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. At the centre of this effort is the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a network that includes key members of Bush's national security team and their associates in government and the media. In the wake of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks on the US, the group has intensified its public and behind-the-scenes efforts to bring about Saddam's removal. In an open letter to Bush that has become their current mission statement, 38 PNAC associates urged Saddam's ouster "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the (Sept 11) attack". Lebanon, Syria, Iran and the Palestinian Authority should be punished, they added, if these do not take immediate steps to shut down "terrorists", such as Hezbollah and Hamas, opposed to Israel. Washington's closest European allies strongly oppose the idea of going after Saddam in the absence of credible evidence tying the Iraqi leader to the Sept 11 attacks. Loyal Arab allies - including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan - have warned that an attack on Baghdad would make their continued support politically impossible and would risk setting the entire region aflame. Secretary of State Colin Powell, backed by heavy-hitters from Bush's father's administration, has argued that even talking about widening the "war" would be counter-productive at a time when Washington is desperately trying to rally faltering Arab support for its efforts in Afghanistan. Powell's cohorts include former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker. Within the administration, the most visible advocate of attacking Iraq is Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Ten years ago, as defence undersecretary, he clashed with Powell over whether to send US forces all the way to Baghdad after evicting Iraqi troops from Kuwait. Behind Wolfowitz lies a network of veteran Washington hands whose political savvy, talent for polemics and bureaucratic intrigue, media and intelligence contacts, and lust for ideological combat have made them a formidable influence on foreign policy for almost 30 years. Their core is made up of "" - former Democrats, often passionately committed to Israel, who broke with the party over the Vietnam War and moved steadily to the right. They recruited prominent New Republicans, like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as fellow travellers. The best-known members of the network include former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, "End of History" guru Francis Fukuyama, former CIA chief James Woolsey, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. The more influential in the policy realm include administration insiders like Wolfowitz; Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby; Iran-Contra veteran Elliott Abrams, now Bush's top aide for global issues, democracy, and human rights; Douglas Feith, the defence undersecretary for policy; and Richard Perle, who currently heads the Defence Policy Board. William Kristol, former Vice President Dan Quayle's chief of staff and currently editor of Rupert Murdoch's Weekly Standard, is perhaps the group's most public agitator. In the neo-conservatives' view, the United States is a force for good in the world; it has a moral responsibility to exert that force; its military power should be dominant; it should be engaged globally but never be constrained by multilateral commitments from taking unilateral action in pursuit of its interests and values; and it should have a strategic alliance with Israel. Saddam must go, they argue, because he is a threat to Israel, and also Saudi Arabia, and because he has hoarded - and used - weapons of mass destruction. Ardent supporters of US military intervention, few neo-cons have served in the armed forces; fewer still have ever been elected to public office. Numerous polls show that large majorities of the public repudiate their main principles - especially their ceaseless quest for global military dominance and contempt for the United Nations and multilateralism more generally. The 25 signers of its statement of principles include Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, Wolfowitz, Abrams, several others in the Pentagon and National Security Council, and Bush's brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush. http://mywebpage.netscape.com/kurdistanobserve/9-11-01-world-tribue-irq-thre at-with nuclear.html * U.S. REGARDS IRAQI REPORT AS A NUCLEAR THREAT Kurdistan Observer, 9th November WASHINGTON The United States has concluded that Iraq has threatened nuclear retaliation for any attack on the regime of President Saddam Hussein. On Wednesday, the Baghdad-based Babel daily, published by Saddam's son, Uday, reported that the president met with the head of the nation's nuclear and defense programs. The newspaper, reserved for the most authoritative messages from the regime, said Iraqi nuclear chiefs have pledged to accelerate their nuclear programs in defense of the nation. U.S. defense sources said intelligence agencies and the Pentagon agree that the report constitutes Saddam's most explicit threat to use nuclear weapons since the 1991 Gulf war. They said Iraq appears to be preparing either nuclear or radiation bombs in response to any U.S.-led attack on the regime. Babel reported that the defense and nuclear chiefs said they would dedicate themselves and their nuclear expertise "to Iraq, its leader and the proud Iraqi people," according to Middle East Newsline. The members of Iraq's Nuclear Energy Authority were described in the report as "warriors." "Therefore, progress continues and will accelerate in order to shame the depraved and enemy forces," the newspaper said. "There is plenty of reason to watch Iraq," U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said. "There is plenty of reason to make very clear to the Iraqis that the United States does not intend to let the Iraqis threaten their own people, threaten their neighbors, or threaten our interests by acquiring weapons of mass destruction." Western intelligence sources have not determined Saddam's progress toward achieving nuclear capability. They said the Iraqi regime had revived elements of the nuclear program after the expulsion of United Nations inspectors in 1998. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=10432032&template=baghdad/ind exsearch.txt&index=recent * ZEMAN: ATTA CONTACTED AGENT ON PLOT The Associated Press, 10th November WASHINGTON (AP) Suspected terrorist Mohammed Atta contacted an Iraqi agent to discuss an attack on the Radio Free Europe building in Prague, just prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman said. Zeman said Friday that Atta twice had met the Iraqi agent, Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al Ani, in the days before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. ``At first, Atta contacted some Iraq agent not to prepare the terroristic attack on'' the twin towers, ``but to prepare terroristic attack on just the building of Radio Free Europe,'' Zeman told CNN. Al-Ani was expelled from Czechoslovakia two weeks after the meeting. Czech intelligence officials have said Iraqi spies were plotting possible terrorist attacks on the headquarters of the U.S.-financed Radio Free Europe, but Zeman's comments were the first to link Atta to the plot. U.S. investigators believe Atta piloted one of the jetliners that crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. They also believe he led the terrorist cell for Osama bin Laden, the FBI's top suspect in the attacks. The government of Iraq has long complained about Radio Free Europe's broadcasts into the country. When the broadcasts began in 1998, the Baghdad government called the programming an ``act of aggression'' and vowed to halt all trade with the Czech Republic. Iraq has denied taking part in any bomb plot or having connections with bin Laden's group. IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS http://www.dailystarnews.com/200111/05/n1110508.htm#BODY2 * DHAKA URGES IRAQ, KUWAIT TO RECRUIT MORE MANPOWER Bangladeshi Daily Star, 5th November UNB, Dhaka: Dhaka yesterday requested Iraq and Kuwait to resume recruitment of manpower from Bangladesh to the two Gulf states. Labour and Employment Minister Abdullah Al Noman made the proposal when envoys of the two countries met him at his office. Iraqi Charge d'Affaires Mustafa M Taufik and Kuwaitis Ambassador Ali Hussain Al Sammak both praised measures being taken by the new government, said an official handout. During the meetings with Noman the two diplomats discussed their respective bilateral issues, particularly recruitment of Bangladeshi people. Mentioning government steps taken so far, including training people for skill development and formation of databank on export of manpower and "one-stop service centre", the minister requested recruitment of more skilled and semi-skilled Bangladeshi people by Iraq. Kuwaiti Ambassador Sammak said that his country needed skilled doctors, engineers, agriculturists and nurses. He appreciated the 100-day programmes of the government. During the meeting, Sammak and Noman hoped to resume exporting Bangladeshi manpower to Kuwait, which remained postponed following an incident of killing by a Bangladeshi worker there. "Bangladeshi workers are polite, industrious and loyal and working in different Middle Eastern countries with good repute," said the trade union leader-turned minister and called upon the Kuwaiti envoy to recruit more Bangladeshis. http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/index.cfm?id=121128&keyword=the * LIFTING A VEIL ON PREJUDICE by Robert Tait The Scotsman, 6th November Fatima Hassan was not drawn to the United States by visions of untold riches or the American Dream. She had been born into considerable wealth in Iraq. But the sumptuous lifestyle her family once enjoyed in Baghdad had been no protection against the unspeakable depravities of Saddam Husseinıs secret police. For her, the magnetism of America lay in its promise as a place of greater safety. Hassanıs family were local philanthropists, which made them a threat in the paranoiac imaginings of the Iraqi leader. Hassanıs first husband was tortured to death, before her eyes, in a bath of acid that caused his skin to dissolve. Her brother was killed. She herself suffered extensive torture during two spells in jail, the second while she was pregnant. Both her shoulders were broken and her finger nails were removed . "I was supposed to be killed by Saddam but I escaped from prison," she says. Years of living like a nomad followed that escape in 1982. First she went to Iran, then Dubai, then briefly - when it looked as if the Iraqi regime might collapse after the Gulf War - to southern Iraq, then to Saudi Arabia and on to Lebanon. At no time did she feel safe. So last year, Hassan, 47, who has a masterıs degree in English literature, arrived in America. A shabby basement in a rundown suburb south of Detroit became a perfect refuge, a paradise removed from a world of torment. "This is my country," she used to say. "Nobody asks or cares if you are Muslim." All that changed on 11 September. Suddenly an America that had been indifferent to her black Muslim chador and covered head took notice. "They look at us as if we are Osama bin Laden," she says. "The beautiful life is gone. Psychologically, everything is changed." Hassanıs harrowing tale is not unusual among exiled Iraqi women. So much so that she has become a counsellor for other female refugees from the regimeıs malevolent clutches. All of them, she says, are traumatised by what happened in New York and Washington. "They are scared to go out," she says. "People are saying that Arabs should be put in camps, others say we should leave the country. They should realise we too are victims of terrorism." According to ACCESS, the Arab Community Centre for Economic and Social Services - for which Hassan works - the post-11 September sense of alienation and isolation among Americaıs ethnic Arab citizens is leading to a "community mental health collapse". People in unprecedented numbers are seeking help for depression and other mental disorders. The setting for this mass misery is Dearborn, a city of just under 100,000 on the periphery of Detroit. Here, and in a cluster of nearby towns, live the biggest concentration of Arabs in America . There are some 270,000 Arabs in this corner of south-eastern Michigan. About half are Muslim, the other half Christian. Arabs have been coming to Dearborn since the 1890s. The motor car was the driving force behind the early migrations. For while Detroit may be the Motown of the public imagination, Dearborn is the original motor city. The economic migrants who made up the early waves of Arab arrivals have been followed in the past generation by a very different breed. Their migration, like that of Fatima Hassan, has been a flight from oppression. The biggest group were those fleeing the civil war which ruptured Lebanon for 15 years before 1990. Close behind have been the Chaldean Iraqis, fleeing Saddam Hussein. Others have come from Egypt and Yemen. Freedom from fear was the guiding motive behind their odyssey to America. [.....] http://www.worldoil.com/news/newsstory.asp?ref=http://18.104.22.168/feeds/wo rldoil/new/article_e.asp?energy24=243825 * IRAQ TO SIGN OIL DEAL WITH INDIAN, ALGERIAN FIRMS World Oil (Reuters), 7th November A consortium of Indian and Algerian oil firms will sign a contract with Iraq to develop the Tuba oilfield in the south of the country, an Iraqi oil industry source has revealed. The source said India's ONGC Videsh Ltd and Reliance together with Soundtrack of Algeria would carry out the project between Zubair and Rumaila in southern Iraq. "Delegations from these companies will soon come to Iraq to complete discussions on the contract and hopefully it will be signed soon," the source said. OVL signed last year with Iraq's Oil Exploration Company a contract for exploration of Block No. 8 in the country's western desert. The source said the Indian company had already started gathering information on the block. The block has high prospects as it is located close to Abu Khema oilfield which ONGC discovered in 1974-77. [.....] http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/08/local10.htm * KARACHI: IRAQI PROPERTY TAKEN OVER FRAUDULENTLY Dawn, 8th November KARACHI, Nov 7: The Board of Revenue, Sindh, has handed over an enquiry into an allegedly fraudulent occupation of a residential house of Iraqi Embassy in Karachi to the Inspector General of Registration (IGR) , Hyderabad, asking for a report within 30 days. The IGR has placed the services of Sub-Registrars, Sikandar Ali Qureshy, and Shahid Raza Shah, under suspension under the Sindh Civil Servants' Efficiency and Discipline Rules, 1973. In a meeting under the chairmanship of home secretary, in Oct 2000, an enquiry had been ordered into the circumstances under which House No F-13, Gizri Street, Phase-4, DHA, Karachi - originally a property of the Embassy of Iraq - was handed over to M/S Murad Jalal and Aughan on the basis of allegedly fake documents. The government of Iraq had purchased the house on a plot measuring 2000sq yards from Mrs Akhtar Amannullah, wife of Amanullah Sardar, vide registered sale deed dated May 14, 1979. The property was converted into the residence of Iraqi Consul General, who remained in the occupation of the property till the outbreak of the Gulf War in 1991, when the office was temporarily closed. Thereafter, the property remained under the custody of the DHA, till it was handed over to the police for its safe custody. The facts showed that Murad Jalal and Aughan managed to get the property transferred in their names through Deedar Hussain, on the basis of allegedly fake documents. [.....] http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011108/2001110816.html * PHILIPPINO OIL EXCAVATION IN IRAQ Arabic News, 8th November The Philippino national company for oil on Wednesday announced that the excavation unit at the company will delegate a technical team to Iraq in 2002 to excavate for oil. News reports quoted Pedro Akino, the company's deputy chairman as saying on the sideline of a conference in Kuala Lumpur saying that the team will head to area no 9 of the southern district of the western desert in Iraq by the beginning of 2001. He explained that a decision will be taken after discussions of studies concluded by the technical committee. The said Philippino company delegated its first excavation team to Iraq in 1997 and since then some 3 excavation teams were sent. http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/09/nat18.htm * IRAQ TO BUY 1M TON WHEAT NEXT YEAR Dawn (Pakistan), 9th November LAHORE, Nov 8: Iraq has committed to purchase one million ton wheat from Pakistan next year that would effectively take care of the country's major problem of surplus yield. This was stated by Export Promotion Bureau chairman Tariq Ikram while speaking to businessmen here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday. Ikram, who has recently returned from a visit to Iraq, said Iraq would purchase 500,000 ton wheat in the first half of 2002 and the remaining during the second half of the year. He said the Trading Corporation of Pakistan was working out the details of the commitment received from Iraq regarding the wheat purchase. Iraq imports three million ton wheat every year to meet its needs. Pakistan had signed an agreement with Iraq under which the latter had committed to make the former a major supplier of wheat. The EPB chairman said the order, however, hinged on Pakistan's ability to deliver such a large quantity to Iraq according to its specifications and its success to replace (substandard) wheat supplied to it earlier. He said Iraqi specifications allowed presence of one per cent 'foreign content' like sand and stones in the wheat to be supplied to it. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=10421504&template=baghdad/ind exsearch.txt&index=recent * Yerevan and Baghdad intend to stir up efforts for development multilateral cooperation Worldnews.com [from Caspian News Agency, 9th November Yerevan, November 9, 2001. (CNA). The necessity of stirring up efforts for development of cooperation between Armenia and Iraq and readiness of heads of the two states to closer interaction were stressed at todayıs meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markarian and Iraq Charge dıAffairs in Armenia Abbas Al-Badri. Armenian governmental press service informed CNA that at the meeting the Armenian Prime Minister mentioned Armenia is at the crossroads of the Near East and Europe and aspires to setting constructive relations with all states of the region. Developing versatile relations with Arabic states and Iran takes a special place in the foreign political course of Armenia. The Armenian Prime Minister mentioned that Armenia and Iraq could fruitfully cooperate not only in the economic sphere, but also in the cultural and education. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011109/2001110902.html * Russian president to visit Baghdad Arabic News, 9th November The Russian ambassador in Amman Alexander Ivanov has disclosed that the Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Iraq shortly. But he did not give a timing for the meeting. Ivanov said that the visit will be within the next tour of President Putin to the Middle East. He indicated that Putin received official invitations from the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Jordanian King Abdullah II, the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and many other leaders. Ivanov explained that Moscow does not back the establishment of a disarmed Palestinian state because in this case such a Palestinian state will not be able to defend itself against any outer danger. But the ambassador noted that only certain areas can be set as disarmed, in an agreement with the Israelis, in a way similar to what happened with Egypt. He stressed that Moscow backs the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state. Replying to a question on Moscow's position towards the American and Israeli threats to confiscate the Pakistani nuclear weapons, the Russian ambassador said that his country opposes that and that Pakistan is an independent state and is the side responsible for its nuclear weapon and also there is only one legal international side authorized to monitor this program which is the International Atomic Agency. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.