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News, 1-7/11/01 (2)

News, 1-7/11/01  (2)


*  Iraqi opposition against US striking Iraq [The Supreme Council for the
Islamic revolution ­ the ones actually active, conducting a terrorist
campaign, on the ground].
*  Iraqi opposition for forming a plenary national government [An
anti-Saddam, anti-US group called the Islamic reconciliation movement making
anti-US noises on an official visit to Kuwait. Canšt be bad.]
*  New moves for the Iraqi opposition

*  The search for a force to topple a tyrant
by Anton La Guardia
Daily Telegraph, 1st December
Standard account of INC.


*  Differing Views on Anthrax Source [Is it a government? Or isnšt it? Guess
what the ex-Iraq arms inspector thinks]
*  Eye on a Worldwide Weapons Cache [by Richard Lugar. ŒTo restate the terms
of minimal victory in the war we are now fighting, every nation that has
weapons and materials of mass destruction must account for what it has,
safely secure what it has (spending its own money or obtaining international
technical and financial resources to do so) and pledge that no other nation,
cell or cause will be allowed access or use.š Which is fine, but Lugar
doesnšt seem to include the US among the nations that have to do the
*  Germ Weapons Talks Blocked as U.S. Points Finger [US names 6 countries
possibly involved in germ weapons production. Israel isnšt one of them. Nor
is the US.]
*  US Forces Suspension of Germ War Pact, EU Angry [The very important
implication of this article is that Iraq agreed to spot checks and the US
rejected them. The EU is said to be angry. It should be a lot angrier.]


*  Iraq Accepts Oil Deal, Rejects List of Goods [Indicates that the renewal
of the Oil for Food arrangement does not quite amount to Russian endorsement
for introducing smart sanctions next summer, as was suggested in an article
posted last week]
*  The UN's Iraqi sanctions policy leaves issues in air


*  Kuwait and striking Iraq [Tells us that T.Blair and Jacque Straw have
told the Kuwaitis that Œany military strike against Iraq will be painful and
effective as well as differ from previous strikes.š The article goes on to
discuss the apparent disappearance of an Iraqi representative in Egypt.]
*  Turkish preparations of possible US attacks against Iraq
*  3,500 books collected so far, for Iraq [A little intrusion of common
sense and decency. Quite out of place in its present company: 'This
campaign's philosophy emanated from the belief that we should lead practical
initiatives to help break the embargo on Iraq, instead of only calling for a
lifting of the embargo.'
*  Powell Says No Plans for Iraq Attack
*  No to inoculations and a halt to fear-mongering [The very interesting
Israeli paper Hašaretz reckons that Iraq is quite broken as a military force
and poses no threat to Israel in the event of a US attack]


*  Indonesian vice-president visits Iraq
*  Iraqi National Executed in Okla. [Eighteenth execution in Oklahoma this


*  The search for a force to topple a tyrant
by Anton La Guardia
Daily Telegraph, 1st December
Standard account of INC.

Arabic News, 3rd December

The representative of the higher council of the Islamic revolution of Iraq
to Syria and Lebanon Bayan Jaber has announced rejection of American attacks
targeting the Iraqi infrastructure and people.

In a statement to the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai al-Am issued on Saturday, Jaber
said that Iraq owns the Anthrax since 1998 besides chemical and biological
weapons and will not be hesitant to using all internationally banned means
against neighboring states.

Jaber stressed that the relations between Syria, Iraq and Iran are limited
to trade and economic nature and despite the fact that these relations have
been approved, yet the Iraqi opposition is still on the Syrian and Iranian
arenas. He said that it is not in the calculations of the council at the
meantime to open an office in Kuwait.

Arabic News, 3rd December

The secretary general of the Islamic reconciliation movement in Iraq Sheikh
Jamal al-Wakeel announced his organization's intention to co-ordinate with
other groups in the Iraqi opposition to form a plenary national government
for the provisional period based on political, ethnic and religious

In an interview issued on Sunday with the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai al-Am
al-Wakeel said that the Iraqi regime is in a state of fear from the future
and its end is nearby and, in addition this regime is in its worst, the US
is behind the existence of the Iraqi regime and that Saddam Hussein is the "
unlawful " son for the US. The US founded Saddam Hussein to ensure its
interests but now it is no more in need of him following the incidents of
September 11 which have ensured its interests in the region.

Al-Wakeel said he will discuss during his visit to Kuwait, which came at an
official invitation, the financial support for the Iraqis and future
bilateral relations following the toppling of Saddam's regime.

On the other hand, al-Wakeel asked Iran to view all Iraqi opposition groups
"through one eye."

Arabic News, 4th December

The Kuwaiti daily al-Rai al-Am has disclosed quoting Iraqi opposition
sources that there are contacts between several leaders and officers of the
Iraqi opposition abroad to form a military council planning to topple the
regime of Saddam Hussein and filling the political, administrative and
military vacuum after toppling it, noting that that these contacts achieved
great strides amid an Arab, regional and international interest that might
be changed into a political recognition in the coming phase.

In press statements, the sources abstained from unveiling steps to be taken
so far on the ground of having care on the secrecy of work aiming at
extending links with leaders and army officers of the Iraqi army and the
armed forces inside Iraq and to make them involved in the responsibilities

The sources said that the former Iraqi army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Nizar
Abdul Karim al Khazranji, is considered one of the prominent candidates for
the presidency of the military council which will include 600 army officers
of various grades.

The paper indicated that the observers did not rule out the implementation
of the Afghani scene and the moves of the northern alliance forces, as well
as the attacks of the American warplanes against Iraq. The paper indicated
the readiness of a delegation of the opposition national conference led by
Ahmad al- Jalabi to hold a new visit to Washington to complete the talks
with the American officials held earlier this month.


by Pete Yost
Yahoo, 5th December

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI's profile of the anthrax killer as a deranged
loner ``is a lot of hokum,'' the former head of the U.N. weapons inspection
program in Iraq said Wednesday.

The anthrax sent in the attacks ``is not the kind of thing you mess around
with in a university lab,'' Dr. Richard Spertzel told reporters. He later
told a congressional panel that the tainted letters were likely the result
of terrorism sponsored by a foreign government.

Spertzel's testimony was challenged by Dr. Kenneth Alibek, a Soviet defector
who was a top official in that country's biological weapons program.

``I would say preliminarily that they are not very highly trained
professionals,'' Alibek said of whoever sent the anthrax letters. ``It could
be homegrown or foreign. I cannot answer this question.''

``It was a primitive process, but it was a workable process,'' Alibek said
of the anthrax. He said he has reviewed photographs of some of the anthrax
mailed to the news media and to politicians.

Spertzel and Alibek appeared before the House International Relations
Committee, along with Elisa Harris, who said she was ``more skeptical'' than
Spertzel that the attacks were acts of state-sponsored terrorism. Harris
served for eight years on the National Security [sic - PB] Spertzel said the
sophisticated process required to prepare anthrax for weapons use ``tends to
argue against a home-grown terrorist, unless someone is in the Western
desert where nobody is around.'' Preparing anthrax for weapons use in most
laboratories would endanger people in the vicinity and expose the anthrax
killer to scrutiny, Spertzel said.

The FBI has said the sender is likely an adult male, and if employed, may
work in a laboratory, is apparently comfortable working with an extremely
hazardous material, and has access to equipment needed to refine anthrax.

When the FBI released the profile of the anthrax killer nearly a month ago,
the bureau emphasized that ``No suspects are ruled out. No groups are ruled
out. There's a possibility it's al-Qaida-related,'' but said ``there is no
direct or clear linkage between this incident and any cell or network.''

by Dick Lugar
Washington Post, 6th December

The United States is engaged in a global war against Muslim religious
extremists who seek to reorder the world by destroying our country and
various other nations allied with us.

The war proceeds in a world awash with nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons and materials of mass destruction stored principally in the United
States and Russia, but also in India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, North
Korea, Syria, Sudan, Israel, Great Britain, France and China and perhaps
other nations.

Throughout much of the past decade, vulnerability to the use of weapons of
mass destruction has been the number one national security dilemma
confronting the United States, even as it received scant attention. The
events of Sept. 11 and the subsequent public discovery of al Qaeda's
methods, capabilities and intentions have finally brought our vulnerability
to the forefront.

The terrorists have demonstrated suicidal tendencies and are beyond
deterrence. We must anticipate that they will use weapons of mass
destruction if allowed the opportunity. The minimum standard for victory in
this war is the prevention of any of the individual terrorists or terrorist
cells from obtaining weapons or materials of mass destruction.

The war effort in Afghanistan is destroying the Afghan-based al Qaeda
network and the Taliban regime. It is a war meant in part to demonstrate
that governments that are hosts to terrorists face destruction.

But as we prosecute this war, we must pay much more attention to the other
side of the equation: making certain that all weapons and materials of mass
destruction are identified, continuously guarded and systematically

The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program was enacted in 1991 to
address the dominant international proliferation danger: the massive
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons infrastructure of the former Soviet
Union. The Nunn-Lugar program has devoted American technical expertise and
money to joint U.S.-Russian efforts to safeguard and destroy materials and
weapons of mass destruction in Russia.

During the first 10 years of Nunn-Lugar, 5,700 Russian nuclear warheads have
been separated from missiles. Many of the warheads have been dismantled and
the fissile material (highly enriched uranium or plutonium) safely stored.
More than 30,000 tactical nuclear weapons have been collected and stored,
and peaceful employment has been provided for thousands of Russian nuclear

Nunn-Lugar also has worked to contain chemical weapons in Russia, which has
ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention requiring destruction of all of
these weapons in 10 years. Forty thousand metric tons of chemical weapons
have been stored in seven locations awaiting destruction. Progress has been
made toward controlling Russian biological materials, though their status is
less certain.

Unfortunately, beyond Russia, there are no Nunn-Lugar-style programs aimed
at nonproliferation. We lack even minimal international confidence about
many weapons  programs, including the number of weapons or amounts of
materials produced, the storage procedures employed, and production or
destruction plans.

This must change. To restate the terms of minimal victory in the war we are
now fighting, every nation that has weapons and materials of mass
destruction must account for what it has, safely secure what it has
(spending its own money or obtaining international technical and financial
resources to do so) and pledge that no other nation, cell or cause will be
allowed access or use.

This task will be expensive and painstaking. During the first two months of
the war, many questions have been raised about the security of Pakistan's
nuclear program, and similar questions will be raised about India's. With
United Nations inspections of Iraq suspended for more than three years, the
presence and status of Iraq's weapons and materials of mass destruction are
unknown. Much the same could be said of Iran, Syria and Libya. Following
agreement on the KFOR program in North Korea, which provides for
internationally financed nuclear power facilities and a halt to North
Korea's nuclear weapons development, the world has an improved, but still
imperfect, vantage point from which to watch developments in that country.

Some nations, after witnessing the bombing of Afghanistan and the
destruction of the Taliban government, may decide to proceed along a
cooperative path of accountability regarding their weapons and materials of
mass destruction. But others may decide to test our will and staying power.

Precise replication of the Nunn-Lugar program will not be possible
everywhere. But a satisfactory level of accountability, transparency and
safety must be established in every nation with a program for weapons of
mass destruction. When nations resist such accountability, or when they make
their territory available to terrorists who are seeking weapons of mass
destruction, our nation must be prepared to use force, as well as all
diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal.

The writer is a Republican senator from Indiana.

by Richard Waddington
Reuters, 7th December

GENEVA: U.S. insistence rogue states flouting a ban on weapons of germ
warfare should be condemned outright created deadlock on Friday at an
international conference aimed at strengthening the ban.

The United States alleges some signatory states, such as Iran and Iraq, are
violating the treaty.

Washington last month named six countries which it said either had germ
weapons programs or were interested in developing them. All deny the

On the final day of a three-week session of signatories to the Biological
and Toxic Weapons Convention, officials said a number of issues remained
outstanding but the problem over non-compliance was the most difficult.

"On non-compliance, the situation is a bit more complicated. Actually, you
can drop the word bit," conference chairman Tibor Toth of Hungary told

The United States has described compliance as a "make-or-break" issue at the

The 30-year-old treaty outlaws the production and stockpiling of biological
weapons whose use was already banned by a 1925 Geneva Convention.

Review conferences of the 1972 convention are held every five years but new
urgency was injected into the Geneva meeting by the anthrax attacks in the
United States which showed the threat of biological weapons could be more
than a theoretical.

Five people have died after handling mail contaminated with the deadly
powder and U.S. authorities have not ruled out a connection with the
September 11 suicide plane hijackings in New York and Washington which
killed nearly 4,000 people.

While past conferences have stressed solely the need to comply with the ban,
the United States wants an explicit reference to its allegations that some
members flout the rules.

In an opening statement to the conference last month, U.S. Under-Secretary
of State for Arms Control John Bolton said Iraq and North Korea had
developed weapons of germ warfare and Iran had probably done so.

Libya and Syria might be in a position to produce small quantities of
biological weapons and Sudan had expressed interest in a program, he said.

All the countries except Syria and Sudan are members of the convention. They
reject the charges and insist that a proposed U.S. resolution to the
conference names no names.

Toth said that unless some compromise were reached over compliance, the
review conference could end for the first time with no formal statement.

"That would hardly be in keeping with the concerns raised by the U.S.
incidents," he added, referring to the anthrax attacks.

The conference was mired in controversy even before Washington launched its
broadside against fellow members of the treaty, where decisions can only be
taken by consensus.

Unlike other international arms accords, the ban on biological weapons
contains no mechanism for verification.

Six years of negotiations by a committee looking into setting up such checks
collapsed in July when Washington said it could not go along with a proposed
idea to allow spot checks.

The United States, which has the world's most advanced defensive program
against biological weapons, said that would have exposed its military and
industrial establishments to spying and would not guarantee cheating by
other states. The United States has said it would prefer individual action
by states -- such as local laws to criminalize involvement with biological
weapons -- to any further multilateral agreements.

by Richard Waddington
Reuters, 7th December

GENEVA: The United States forced a germ warfare conference to break up on
Friday without new measures to toughen an international ban, angering its
European allies.

In a bid to save face, the review conference of the 1972 Biological and
Toxic Weapons Convention opted formally to suspend work for a year until
November 2002 after Washington put forward what one European delegate called
a "conference breaker."

In a last-minute demand, Washington sought an end to attempts to give teeth
through verification mechanisms to the pact outlawing biological weapons.

The move, which caught even European Union states by surprise, came just an
hour before the end of the three-week meeting aimed at finding ways to beef
up the 30-year-old pact.

"They have fired a missile at the conference. We are deeply disappointed,"
one senior European diplomat said.

Under pressure from the anthrax attacks in the United States, countries
agreed on a number of measures but remained deeply divided on key issues.

Amongst these was the future of the so-called Ad Hoc negotiating committee
-- backed by all countries except the United States -- which had sought to
make the treaty testable.

Unlike other arms treaties, the biological weapons pact has no mechanism for
checking whether members are obeying the rules.

The United States had already rejected ahead of the conference a draft
protocol proposed by the committee that would have instituted a system of
spot checks.

Washington said it would have exposed its industrial and military facilities
to spying without giving any guarantees that it could catch cheats.

On Friday it went a step further by formally proposing that the mandate of
the committee -- agreed at the last convention review conference in 1994 --
be withdrawn.

"It is a direct provocation to everybody. Their (the U.S.) position is
completely unacceptable," another senior diplomat from a European state

European diplomats said it reinforced a view that the administration of
President Bush, which has already spurned a number of global accords,
including on climate change, preferred to go it alone in international

In a statement, the European Union said it remained fully committed to
"multilateral" arms negotiations, adding that the 1994 mandate remained
"completely valid."



by Hassan Hafidh
Excite, 1st December

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq accepted on Saturday an extension of its
oil-for-food deal with the United Nations, but rejected a "goods review
list" of items that Security Council members would have to approve

"The Republic of Iraq will continue to implement the memorandum of
understanding (with the U.N.) in its (new) 11th phase," said a government
statement read by Foreign Minister Naji Sabri to reporters.

"Iraq categorically rejects the goods review list which comes in the second
paragraph of the (U.N.) resolution," the statement said.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday in favor of a
U.S.-Russian compromise resolution that pledges to revise sanctions against
Iraq within six months and extends the existing U.N. oil-for-food program
for Baghdad until then.

Iraq in the past has disrupted the flow of crude oil, which averages about 2
million barrels daily, in protest at U.N. resolutions, most recently in June
for a month.

Under the oil-for-food program, Iraq can sell oil and use the proceeds to
buy food, medicine and many other supplies, an exception to the sanctions
imposed in August 1990 when Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait.

But oil revenues must be deposited in a U.N. account out of which suppliers
are paid.

The program, which would have expired on Friday, must be renewed every six

The Iraqi statement said the oil-for-food program was "an interim procedure
and it does not substitute for a complete lifting of the embargo."

Sanctions, imposed for Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, will not be lifted
until U.N. weapons inspectors, banned from Iraq since 1998, are allowed to
return and report that the country is free from weapons of mass destruction.

Sabri said the Iraqi government was not "committed to any new measures,
concepts or trends now and in the future that are not mentioned in the
original agreement signed with the U.N. in 1996," in reference to the
dual-use list of goods.

In the new resolution, the Security Council, including Iraq's key supporter
Russia, agreed to approve by next June a "goods review list" of supplies
that could be used for military and civilian purposes that the 15 council
members would have to approve separately.

All civilian goods not on the list do not have to go through such

In return, the United States agreed to look again at gaps in a December 1999
resolution that outlines vague steps toward suspending the 11-year-old
sanctions -- providing Iraq allows U.N. weapons inspectors to resume their

The United States and Britain have tried three times since June to revise
the program with the aim of streamlining imports of civilian goods to Iraq
but tightening restrictions on items that can be used for military purposes.

Iraq has repeatedly refused to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into the
country, insisting sanctions be suspended first.

by Deaglan de Breadun
Irish Times, 3rd December

US: Difficulties remain over the vexed issue of Iraqi sanctions at the
United Nations, despite the unanimous vote at the Security Council last week
to extend curbs on the Saddam Hussein regime for a further six months.

The compromise reached between the US and Russia on implementation of the
sanctions left some issues still in need of clarification. The possibility
that the US, flushed by its success in Afghanistan, might now move against
Baghdad has also contributed to the general uncertainty.

An unspecified threat by President Bush to take action against President
Saddam if he failed to admit UN weapons inspectors was subsequently played
down by the Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell. But it is known that a
faction in the US government would be keen to follow up the change of regime
in Afghanistan with a similar operation in Iraq.

If the US were to embark on such a venture it would, as UN sources put it
yesterday, knock the compromise over sanctions "into a cocked hat". However
if, for example, evidence emerged of an Iraqi connection to the anthrax
attack in the US or if strong links were reported between Iraq and the
September 11th atrocities, a US-led invasion could quickly become a reality.
Potential European, Arab and Russian objections might be muted or

The joint US-UK drive to institute "smart sanctions" has been successful in
principle. Resolution 1382, passed last week with the support of all council
members including Ireland, provides for a "Goods Review List (GRL)" to be
put in place next May. This would permit items with potential military use
to be examined and perhaps blocked while normal civilian goods could be
imported without hindrance by the Iraqis.

Observers believe this was in part motivated by a desire to remove one of
the main propaganda props of the Iraqi campaign against the sanctions,
placing much of the odium for civilian deaths definitively on the shoulders
of President Saddam. As UN sources put it: "People can say, what are you
complaining about?"

Whereas Ireland has supported the US-UK campaign for smart sanctions, it has
joined the French and the Russians in seeking greater clarity on the
position that would obtain if sanctions were suspended and how it would be
proposed to monitor Iraq's continuing compliance with the UN ban on weapons
of mass destruction.

Ireland has strongly advocated that the sanctions regime be revised to allow
foreign investment and more international services contracts in order to
develop and "normalise" the Iraqi economy and infrastructure on a long-term

Some ambiguity remains over the likely sequence of events when the "targeted
sanctions" come into operation in six months. Iraq has not been alone in its
concern that the new arrangements could constitute a more durable sanctions

A statement from Baghdad at the weekend said: "Iraq categorically rejects
the goods review list which comes in the second paragraph of the

Despite the apparent US-Russian rapprochement over the latest resolution,
there is a certain ambiguity and conditionality in the text, which makes the
items on the Goods Review List "subject to any refinements to them agreed by
the Council in light of further consultations" before the list comes into
effect in six months.

"The Russians gave themselves an out," UN sources said. "It is an advance,
but not a spectacular advance."

The durability of the agreement may be tested when the details of the new
sanctions regime are finalised in May.


Arabic News, 1st December

News reports in Kuwait quoted British diplomatic sources as saying that the
British prime minister Tony Blair and his foreign minister Jacque Straw told
the Kuwaiti acting foreign minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah during
their recent meeting with him that any military strike against Iraq will be
painful and effective as well as differ from previous strikes.

The sources indicated that Blair did not indicate what he intends behind
what he said and whether by this there is an intention to topple Saddam

The sources said that Sheikh Sabah hoped not a strike to be made against
Iraq, but noted that Baghdad had violated the implementation of the UN
resolutions and this matters is decided by the UN Security Council.

On the other hand, the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai al-Am issued on Friday disclosed
that Talal Barakat, the first secretary and the assistant for the chairman
of the Iraqi interests office in Egypt has disappeared from Cairo recently
leaving no traces about him at a time when the Egyptian authorities
abstained from providing the Iraqi authorities with information about him.

Diplomatic sources in Cairo said that Barakat left his residence in protest
of the policies conducted by the Iraqi government and measures taken by the
Iraqi foreign minister Naji al Hadeithi to use the Iraqi embassies and
consulates for spying purposes, noting that the last time Barakat was seen
was in a reception held by an Arab embassy in Cairo and he then said goodbye
to his diplomatic peers on that he is leaving back for Baghdad but he left
Cairo for an unidentified destination.

Iraqi sources expected Iraqi official sides concerned to punish Barakat's
colleagues because they were not able to discover his real intention.

Arabic News, 1st December

Press sources said on Friday that Turkish technical officials held technical
talks with Kurds officials from North Iraq in order to define places for
installing tents to refugees that are expected to flow to the area following
a possible military attack against Iraq.

The Turkish CNN TV channel said that five positions in northern Iraq area
was fixed into a depth of 20 Km inside the Iraqi territories and that
specialized security sides ratified the already prepared report to this

In the same context the Turkish " D" TV channel said that the Turkish Red
Crescent society sent some 500 tents and medical stuffs to southern East
Turkey for expected migration of citizens from northern Iraq.

by Oula Al Farawati
Jordan Times, 2nd December

AMMAN: The National Mobilisation Committee for the Defence of Iraq on
Saturday announced it has so far collected around 3,500 books out of a
target of 8,000, to be donated to sanctions-hit Iraq.

Fawwaz Zureiqat of the committee told The Jordan Times that the campaign,
which started in May, aims to 'get books to Iraqis, since most of the books
in the country were burnt by UN inspection groups, and help Iraqis rebuild
their scientific libraries.'

The campaign is collecting urgently-needed books, periodicals and learning
resources, said Zureiqat, adding that 'Iraq is suffering an embargo on
science and thinking.'

The committee said its basic list of books was prepared in cooperation with
Iraqi universities.

Jordanian activists have been leading the international campaign that was
launched simultaneously in the Middle East, Europe and the US.

'This campaign's philosophy emanated from the belief that we should lead
practical initiatives to help break the embargo on Iraq, instead of only
calling for a lifting of the embargo,' he said.

The UN imposed sanctions on Baghdad have been in force since the 1990 Iraqi
invasion of Kuwait.

Groups from Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Qatar,
Palestine, the US, the UK, India, Spain, Italy and several other countries
are participating in the campaign, according to Zureiqat.

The committee led a similar campaign last year and collected 3.5 million
pencils for Iraqi schoolchildren. Several countries, including Palestine,
Italy and Spain, followed suit with like initiatives.

The campaign is still receiving any kind of books and cash donations for the
purchase of books.

by Elaine Monaghan
Yahoo, 5th December

ANKARA (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell reassured NATO ally
Turkey on Wednesday that the United States had no immediate plans to extend
its ``war on terrorism'' to Turkey's southeastern neighbor Iraq.

Turkey has long opposed any strikes against Iraq, fearful that turmoil in
its neighbor could spread to its own territory, particularly the
mainly-Kurdish southeast.

``The president has made no decision with respect to what the next phase in
our campaign against terrorism might be...nor has he received any
recommendations yet from his advisors as to what he might do next,'' Powell
told a joint news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

Powell is on a 10-nation tour aimed at shoring up support for the U.S.-led
war in Afghanistan. We was set to depart for Brussels for a NATO summit
later on Wednesday.

Powell said he had discussed Turkey's future role in any peacekeeping force
for Afghanistan following an agreement by Afghan parties to set up an
interim government to replace the toppled Taliban.

Turkey, the only predominantly Muslim NATO member, believes it could
potentially play a unique role in Afghanistan. It has already set aside 90
special forces and is prepared to send more troops to help secure the
war-ravaged country.

``We look forward to working with our Turkish colleagues on what support
they (an Afghan interim government) will require,'' Powell said, welcoming a
recent Afghan power-sharing deal.

He said the United States expected to have a diplomatic presence in Kabul
``in the near future.''

Two other issues on Powell's agenda had already made clear progress before
he arrived in Turkey.

Powell welcomed agreement between the rival leaders of Cyprus to hold
face-to-face talks on ending the Mediterranean island's 27-year division
ahead of European Union membership.

``This is the beginning of a long process but every long journey begins with
some steps,'' Powell said.

Britain and the United States also clinched a tentative deal with Turkey
last week that would remove a block to establishing the European Union's
planned rapid reaction force. Powell said the deal now hinges on EU

The United States has so far said it needs no foreign help in its Afghan
campaign although small contingents from some Western countries are helping
secure Afghan airports.

It has also said Afghans should first try to make their country safe for its
inhabitants and the aid workers desperate to get food in before winter,
though Powell has talked about a foreign force securing Kabul and other
areas in the north.

Turkey says it has lost billions of dollars from sanctions imposed on Iraq
for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait and is keen to resume business with what was
once a major trade partner.

Recent tough talk about Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, notably President
Bush's comment that he would ``find out'' what would happen if he failed to
let arms inspectors back into his country, has given Turkey cause for

Turkish financial markets had been concerned that Powell's visit to Ankara
would aim to push for Turkish support for an attack on Iraq, which Powell
said had been a ``sponsor of terrorism over the years.''

Turkey is in the depths of a severe economic recession and Powell said
Ankara would have to take a range of reforms if it is to earn new IMF
support of some $10 billion to add to an existing $19 billion rescue

``A lot is now required on the part of Turkey to restructure its economic
system ... to draw in foreign investment,'' he said.

But the United States was prepared to examine a revision to import quotas on
Turkish textiles to help the country out of the economic mire, Powell said.

``I will be taking a strong message back to my colleagues in the U.S. with
respect to the general system of... barriers that currently exist and to see
what we can do to remove those barriers,'' he said.;

By Reuven Pedatzur
Ha'aretz, 6th December, Kislev 21, 5762

The Bush administration has not yet decided whether Iraq will be its next
target; however, the possibility that Iraq is currently in America's gun
sight is generating considerable agitation in Israel's defense community,
which fears that any attack on the regime in Baghdad could lead Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein to attack Israel.

This fear is so great that serious consideration is being given to the idea
of inoculating all of Israel's citizens against smallpox. The problem, as
usual, is that - instead of focusing on facts, reliable information and
logical analyses - Israeli leaders have lost no time in generating panic and
hysteria among the members of the general public.

The chance of any Israeli becoming a casualty of an Iraqi biological weapon,
even should Saddam's regime find itself endangered, is so small that it
certainly does not justify the fear mongering campaign that senior members
of Israel's defense establishment have been engaging in over the past few

Although Iraq does possess chemical and biological warfare materials, there
is still a big difference between possessing such materials and having the
capability to use them to attack Israel. Chemical gases or disease-bearing
spores can only be delivered to Israel through planes or ballistic missiles.
Thus, in order to arrive at a correct assessment of the non-conventional
Iraqi threat to Israel, the present state of Iraq's missile arsenal and its
air force must be examined.

According to the assessment of the United Nations inspectors who operated in
Iraq between 1991 and 1998, Saddam Hussein currently possesses between six
and 16 Al-Hussein ballistic missiles, which have a sufficient range to hit
targets in Israel, while he has a much smaller number of missile launchers.
>From the technical standpoint, these missiles are apparently in pretty bad
shape because they were hidden and perhaps even dismantled.

None of the missiles is positioned in Western Iraq, from which they must be
fired in order to hit any targets in Israel (the Al-Hussein has a range of
600 kilometers). It is highly probable that, in the event of an American
attack on Iraq, the Americans will closely monitor, through their
sophisticated intelligence devices, all Iraqi activity in this region and
will be able to locate and - given their air superiority - to knock out the
heavy vehicles needed to transfer the missiles to the western part of Iraq.

Israel must demand that America include in its air offensive plan the
destruction of all suspected storage areas for missiles and for their
components as well as the knocking-out of all Iraqi military units making
their way from the central to the western part of the country.

Furthermore, it should be noted that it is not clear whether Iraq does in
fact possess biological warheads for its missiles. The UN inspectors never
uncovered any evidence that even one of the missiles concealed by the Iraqis
was biological. Iraq has not even conducted one test of a biological

In view of the above data, the idea of inoculating the entire Israeli
population against smallpox appears bizarre, to say the least. Moreover,
even if the Iraqis do have biological missiles, no one can guarantee to
Israel that they are armed with smallpox germs.

Another way of hitting Israel would be to use aircraft. However, the Iraqi
air force is on the verge of collapse. Iraq has only a small number of
fighter jets, which are in an extremely poor state of maintenance, and its
fighter pilots seldom train. It is by no means clear whether Iraq has
biological weapons with which it could arm its planes. In any event, the
chances of an Iraqi fighter jet penetrating Israel's air defenses are
extremely slim. Moreover, if the Americans do in fact attack Iraq, they will
destroy most of its planes while they are still on the ground and will try
to down any jet that takes off in a westerly direction.

Over the past few weeks, there has been talk of the possibility that the
Iraqis might turn their Czech Aero L-29 Delphin training aircraft into
pilotless planes that could then be armed with biological weapons. It is
doubtful whether the Iraqis have managed to develop pilotless aircraft that
could be effective in carrying out a mission of spreading biological

Even if the Iraqis have been successful in such a project, everything that
has been noted above concerning their fighter planes would apply in any case
to the pilotless aircraft as well. Furthermore, the Czech training planes
are slower than fighter planes and are much simpler to down.

The aforesaid does not, of course, mean that the Iraqis are incapable of
firing a missile at Israel. However, even the possibility of one missile
hitting a target or of a few isolated missiles landing here does not justify
the current fear-mongering.

The behavior of the Israeli defense establishment in fact seriously
undermines Israel's deterrent power. Serious discussions of the idea of
inoculating the entire Israeli population against smallpox sends the clear
signal to the Iraqis that Israel has no faith in its own deterrent

Instead of conveying the unequivocal message that any use of biological
weapons would be a step for which Israel would deliver a powerful and
appropriate response, Israel is broadcasting to Saddam that it is preparing
to absorb - and defend itself from - any biological attack he might launch.
This sort of message in effect provides an enemy with the legitimacy to use
biological weapons.

Besides, what about the Arrow anti-missile missile defense system? Israelis
have been promised that the Arrow could protect them even from the threat of
nuclear missiles. Does the fear-mongering mean that Israelis should not rely
on the Arrow to protect them from such a small number of less lethal
missiles? If, in the event of such a small ballistic threat, the Arrow
cannot provide an effective solution - that is, a solution intended to
prevent panic-mongering - of what possible value are the gargantuan
investments that have been made in this anti-missile defense system?


Arabic News, 4th December

Indonesian Vice-President Hamzah Haz is scheduled to visit Iraq in January
or February to pave the way for the state-owned oil company, PT Pertamina,
to explore oil in Iraq, Indonesian news agency ANTARA reported.

"The vice-president is planning to visit Iraq. It would be a good moment,"
Pertamina director, Baihaki Hakim, said after his meeting with Hamzah here
Tuesday. Baihaki said Pertamina is eyeing the exploration of oil wells in
the Western Desert block located between Baghdad and Jordan. Intensive
negotiations between Pertamina and the Iraqi government have been taking
place in the past three years, he said.

The two parties have agreed to sign a business contract, he added. "But Iraq
has sought some conditions, namely that the contract would be made so long
as there are official visits by senior Indonesian government officials. It
wants a political approach," Baihaki said. He said the vice president's
visit would hopefully pave the way for the company to sign the business
contract immediately.

On Pertamina's investment, Baihaki said the first five years would focus
only on the search for oil fields. "It would not be more than US$ 10
million," he said, adding that investments would continue if Pertamina finds
oil. Hamzah's visit is also expected to reopen the talks on the
"oil-for-food" program following the United Nations-sponsored economic
embargo on the country. Baihaki said Indonesia once had a counter-trade with
Iraq under the oil-for food program, however it is currently at a

The Associated Press, 6th December

McALESTER, Okla: An Iraqi national who stabbed his wife and her uncle to
death in 1992 was executed Thursday.

Sahib Al-Mosawi, 53, was sentenced to death in 1994. He did not request a
clemency hearing and had no appeals pending.

He was executed by injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

He met his wife and her family at a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia after they
left Iraq in 1991 during the Persian Gulf War. Their marriage was arranged,
and the couple and her family later moved to Oklahoma City.

They had marital problems and Inaam Al-Nashi moved in with her uncle,
Mohammad Al Nashi. She sought a protective order soon after the couple's son
was born because Al Mosawi threatened her and her family in an argument over
the boy's name.

Two weeks later, on Nov. 28, 1992, he came to Al-Nashi's home and became
angered that his wife was going to a party with friends. Al-Mosawi stabbed
the uncle, who was trying to make him leave.

Al-Mosawi then stabbed his wife and her sister, Fatima. She was stabbed
three times, but survived.

Al-Mosawi was the 18th prisoner executed in Oklahoma this year. Three more
condemned inmates have exhausted all appeals, and the attorney general's
office is seeking to have their execution dates set.

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