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News, 1-7/11/01 (1) The most important article in the following is, it seems to me, US forces suspension of Germ War pactı in the Biological Weapons section. Why is no-one advocating loud and clear for a UNIVERSAL weapons inspection system which would, of course, include Iraq ... as well as the fountainhead of all weapons of mass destruction the USA? Two separate supplements - a general interest one and a Kurdish one will, hopefully, follow. FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ * The case for tough action against Iraq [A confused article which points out that For most of the Cold War, Latin America either languished under pro-Western, murderous fascist autocracies or endured insurgency from murderous pro-Western guerrillası and claims that Ayatollah Khomeiniıs Iran is now evolving towards democracy. The natural conclusion is that we should stop interfering and end sanctions. Instead he advocates military backing to the INC. Who are to Iraq (or would be if they had the bottle) what the Contras were to Nicaragua.] * Will Iraq be next? What the experts say [The consensus here is against the likelihood of a war against Iraq at least in the short term. Somalia is seen as the likely next beneficiary of our attentions. For more on this see For now, the military goes on holdı in the General Supplement. Possibly vengeance for past humiliations?] * Russia Would Oppose Attack on Iraq * Secret US plan for Iraq war * Saddam's Time Is Up [Note how the KDP, the largest element in the administration of the Kurdish autonomous zone, are here reduced to an unnamed Kurdish factionı, and the fact that the US missile reprisal for S.Husseinıs Kurdish intervention in 1996 was launched well away from the action, in Southern Iraq isnıt mentioned.] * Mandela Says Attack on Iraq Would Be 'Disaster' [³The United States and Britain have acted without going through the United Nations...What they are doing is to say if you fear there could be a veto of your action, you are entitled to act independently of the Security Council.''Quite. And not for the first time.] * Targeting Saddam: Was there an Iraqi 9/11 link? Evidence is thin, but regime's links to bin Laden and al-Qaeda run deep [Curious thesis that S.Hussein was financing the GIA in Algeria. Which seems ludicrous since the hardline anti-Islamist element in the Algerian army are surely spiritual brethren to Saddam if anyone is. We also learn that Butlerıs inspection team was penetrated by Iraqi intelligence and we always thought it was the CIA that had, well, rather more than penetrated it ...] * Lawmakers Urge Bush to Make Iraq Next Target LITTLE FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ * Britain should support Iraqi rebels, says Duncan Smith * Straw warns Iraq on terror threat [Straw says: under international law, any country was entitled to take pre-emptive military action in self-defence if it had "very good information" that another country or terror organisation was planning to attack.ı Wouldnıt that justify under present circumstances a pre-emptive strike against the US on the part of Iraq? Or the pre-emptive strike the Iraqis launched against Iran? Or the Japanese against the US who had already imposed an embargo on Japan before Pearl Harbour?] * NATO Head Says Defense Clause May Cover Iraq -Paper [By agreeing to the Afghan adventure the little chicks of NATO have agreed to anything else Mother Hen might decide to do. Lord Robertson dixit.] AND, IN NEWS, 1-7/11/01 (2) IRAQI OPPOSITION * 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. Canıt be bad.] * New moves for the Iraqi opposition URL ONLY: http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/12/01/wirq1 01.xml&sSheet=/news/2001/12/01/ixhome.html * The search for a force to topple a tyrant by Anton La Guardia Daily Telegraph, 1st December Standard account of INC. BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS ETC * Differing Views on Anthrax Source [Is it a government? Or isnıt it? Guess what the ex-Iraq arms inspector thinks] * Eye on a Worldwide Weapons Cache [by Richard Lugar. 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.ı Which is fine, but Lugar doesnıt seem to include the US among the nations that have to do the accounting] * Germ Weapons Talks Blocked as U.S. Points Finger [US names 6 countries possibly involved in germ weapons production. Israel isnıt 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.] OIL FOR FOOD * 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 IRAQIMIDDLE EAST/ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Kuwait and striking Iraq [Tells us that T.Blair and Jacque Straw have told the Kuwaitis that any military strike against Iraq will be painful and effective as well as differ from previous strikes.ı 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 Haıaretz reckons that Iraq is quite broken as a military force and poses no threat to Israel in the event of a US attack] IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Indonesian vice-president visits Iraq * Iraqi National Executed in Okla. [Eighteenth execution in Oklahoma this year] FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ http://observer.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,610553,00.html * THE CASE FOR TOUGH ACTION AGAINST IRAQ by David Rose Observer, 2nd December It makes little difference whether you like your foreign policy driven mainly by ethics or by cynicism - the decisions made by the Western-led coalition at the end of the Gulf war in 1991 were a catastrophe. Now, as the United States and its European allies argue over extending the 'war on terrorism' to Iraq, the doves are using the arguments they deployed 10 years ago. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. In 1991, the Shia of the South and the Kurds of the North answered George Bush Snr's call to 'remove the dictator, Saddam Hussein,' by seizing cities and much of the country with breathtaking ease. Washington had already allowed Iraq's best troops, the Republican Guard, to exit the Kuwait battlefront unscathed. Now, far from providing the support the rebels had expected, the US told Iraq it had 'no objection' if it wished to fly its gunships. Saddam used these forces to massacre tens of thousands of civilians, while US planes studded the sky overhead. This was connivance in mass murder. The West had decided to stick with the devil it knew, and tried, through UN nuclear, biological and chemical weapons inspectors, to contain him. A decade later, the sequel unfolds. There is no evidence of Iraqi involvement in the atrocities of 11 September, say the doves, and therefore no legal basis for hostile action. (In fact, as The Observer reported earlier this month, there is more evidence of contact between Iraqi intelligence officers and the 19 hijackers than there is of their personal involvement with al Qaeda.) Iraq, it is claimed, is no longer a threat to the West or the Middle East. Attacking it would end Arab support for the anti-terrorist coalition, and risk a fundamentalist firestorm from Islamabad to the Mediterranean. These arguments are questionable. Saddam asserts that he no longer has an interest in developing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. However, he made identical claims time and again before 1998, while taking steps to conceal vast stockpiles of biological agents and nerve gas, and a nuclear programme which was close to success. Meanwhile, there is clear evidence that Iraq has trained hundreds of terrorists in hijacking, sabotage and murder. How are these 'not a threat'? As for the coalition, while in 1991 several Arab countries deployed troops, their support this time does seem more tenuous. The public pasting given to Blair by President Assad of Syria suggests its value is limited. In an article in Friday's Daily Mail , the academic Mark Almond described the thinking which underpins the Iraqi quietists' position. For our friends in Damascus, Riyadh and the Emirates, 'the overriding nightmare is that America would impose Western-style democracy on the region, starting with post-Saddam Iraq.' This classification of democracy as a 'nightmare' has precedents. For most of the Cold War, Latin America either languished under pro-Western, murderous fascist autocracies or endured insurgency from murderous pro-Western guerrillas. Democracy, the Western foreign policy experts argued, was too good for the Hispanics. Today, most of the continent is relatively democratic, with an absence of death squads and political prisons. We need to make an analogous paradigm shift in policy towards Iraq and the Islamic world. Democracy is not too good for Arabs and Muslims, either, and Iraq, with a long secular tradition, and a big, well-educated middle class, ought to be an ideal place to establish a bridgehead. Haltingly, step by step, its neighbour Iran is already moving of its own accord in the same direction. Making that shift helps to determine what we should do. The answer is not the military coup pursued with futility by the CIA throughout the 1990s; nor the replacing of one tyrant with another. Nor is it to pick a fight over the refusal to allow renewed weapons inspections, to bomb heavily yet again and then withdraw. It is to support democratic forces which already exist, in the shape of the Iraqi National Congress. The foreign policy Arabists have briefed the media that the INC is a disorganised, divided rabble. In fact, it is supported by the overwhelming majority of Iraq's liberals and intellectuals, and has become by far the best source of information on what is actually happening there. This support must and will include military force. And once committed, it must, unlike in 1991, be maintained. Last week, in a safe house in the Middle East, I spoke to a recent defector who had been very high in one of the organs of repression in Saddam's 'republic of fear'. 'If the Iraqi people realise that this time the West is seriously targeting the regime, even the supposedly most loyal security and military units will run away,' he said. 'No one wants a rerun of 1991. Just drop some bombs on his palaces so we know you mean business. It will take days.' There are occasions in history when the use of force is both right and sensible. This is one of them. http://observer.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,609224,00.html * WILL IRAQ BE NEXT? WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY by Sunder Katwala The Observer, 2nd December "Will Iraq be next? Many inside and out of the Bush administration say: Yes. But the risks of going to war against Iraq are huge. Unless Saddam Hussein is linked to Sept. 11 or subsequent terrorism, the U.S. would have to act alone. Nor would it be easy. Iraq is not Afghanistan - the opposition is weaker and the regime stronger. Instead, Washington must revitalize containment. To avoid war, Europeans must agree to strengthen sanctions, back the return of inspectors (by threatening or using force), and support clear red lines for Saddam: no force against his people or neighbors; no support for terrorism of any kind; no possession, transfer or use of mass destruction weapons." Ivo H. Daalder Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution "A full-scale military assault on Iraq is unlikely for the time being. In Afghanistan, the US had allies, the legal authority of self-defence and a proxy army in the form of the Northern Alliance. Against Iraq, they will have none of those things. A limited campaign to enforce UN resolutions combined with covert action to destabalise the regime is more plausible. If Bush is wise, he will seek to offset moves against Iraq with decisive action to secure an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. This will be difficult as long as Ariel Sharon remains in power." David Clark Former special adviser to Robin Cook at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. "The United States has made it clear that it expects to take its 'war on terrorism' to other countries, but it has not committed itself to any course of action and it has yet to finish off the current campaign in a definitive way. Of the countries mentioned as possibly knowingly harbouring terrorists, Yemen and Sudan are working quite hard on their relationship with the US, and so any action in those countries may be with consent. Somalia is more problematic, especially given the history of US intervention in that country, and it is not obvious that the Americans have decent enough intelligence. That leaves Iraq where it is hard to see what more could be done other than a punitive and probably ineffectual bombing campaign. There is no Northern Alliance or KLA to support in a position to overthrow Saddam. The allies are all lukewarm about further action, especially without evident movement on the Arab Palestinian front to counter the inevitable criticism of an anti-Arab bias. I would guess that the next stage with Iraq will be largely diplomatic, in an effort to get a consensus on a new sanctions regime, and that any build up to military action will be gradual." Lawrence Freedman Professor of War Studies, King's College, London "US ground operations in Afghanistan will last well into next year. At the same time the US will apply pressure to all states of concern. Some, such as Somalia will be asked to allow intrusive US activity to check on terrorist activity. In the major case of Iraq, the US will build international pressure using the original UN resolutions of the 1990s as a basis. European and Arab opposition may be countered by possible strong support from Russia. US - Russian action on Iraq may produce the desired changes in Iraqi policy without necessarily changing the regime. Fear of Russian support in Iraq will persuade Europeans to be more supportive of the US." Dan Plesch Royal United Services Institute "The war may go on through the winter, but an extension to other countries such as Somalia is likely, mainly in the form of raids on presumed paramilitary centres. Iraq is firmly in the sights for much more intensive military action but not for some time, not least because of a temporary shortage of munitions. The "war on terrorism" is likely to last several years, into a (presumed) Bush second term. US unilateralism has been re-inforced by recent events and European influence on future US actions will be weak. Paul Rogers Professor of Peace Studies, Bradford University "It now seems probable that some sort of military action will be taken against Al-Qaeda facilities in other countries. Somalia is beginning to emerge as the most obvious candidate. Action might well involve special forces as well as bombing raids. European governments support military action directed against the groups that are linked to the 11 September atrocities. If bases in other countries are also connected to groups linked to the September 11 atrocities, European governments are also likely, in the end, to support action against them. But - in the absence of new information - an attempt to overthrow the Iraqi regime by force could not be justified on this basis - and further bombings without such an attempt would simply be gesture warfare. Demands for the return of UN inspectors have nothing to do with the war against the terrorists responsible for the WTC. Despite this, there is now a real possibility that the US will launch such an attack - if only to avoid being seen as weak when an escalating rhetoric from Washington fails to produce results. If the attack on Iraq involves a protracted ground campaign - with all the buildup in neighbouring countries this would involve - the political fallout in Europe and the Middle East would be very serious indeed. The UK has a real opportunity to support the moderates in Washington - but only if Blair draws his own 'line in the sand' - making it clear that Britain would join other European governments in publicly opposing a major military campaign against Iraq if the Americans ignored his advice. If there is clear evidence of an Iraqi hand in September 11 - evidence which has not so far been produced - things would be different." Professor Malcolm Chalmers Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford. http://www.wn.com/?action=display&article=10790186&template=worldnews/search .txt&index=full * RUSSIA WOULD OPPOSE ATTACK ON IRAQ The Associated Press, 2nd December CAIRO, Egypt (AP) Russia would oppose a U.S. military strike against Iraq and believes diplomacy is the only way to solve the arms inspections impasse between Washington and Baghdad, a Russian envoy visiting the Middle East said Sunday. Nikolai Kartuzov said Moscow, a key ally and major trading partner with Baghdad, was making a great effort to prevent an attack on Iraq. He did not elaborate. Kartuzov, who spoke to reporters after meeting Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa in Cairo, said targeting Iraq would have serious repercussions in the Middle East. Speculation that America might attack Iraq has intensified following Baghdad's continued reluctance to let U.N. inspectors determine if Iraq's programs to build weapons of mass destruction have been dismantled. On Nov. 26, President Bush called on Baghdad to comply or face the consequences, a veiled threat that Iraq could be America's next target once Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and the Taliban militia is routed from Afghanistan. Kartuzov, who visited Iraq last week, said a diplomatic solution was the only viable means to deal with the weapons inspection issue. He said Washington had not provided any justification for launching an attack on Iraq nor produced evidence implicating it in the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The United States has alleged that an Iraqi diplomat met bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. Kartuzov reiterated Russian calls for the lifting of U.N. economic sanctions imposed on Iraq as punishment for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Under U.N. Security Council resolutions, the sanctions cannot be lifted until U.N. inspectors certify that Iraq has dismantled its weapons programs. Baghdad has barred inspectors from Iraq since they left the country ahead of U.S.-British airstrikes in December 1998. http://observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,610461,00.html * SECRET US PLAN FOR IRAQ WAR by Peter Beaumont, Ed Vulliamy and Paul Beaver The Observer, 2nd December America intends to depose Saddam Hussein by giving armed support to Iraqi opposition forces across the country, The Observer has learnt. President George W. Bush has ordered the CIA and his senior military commanders to draw up detailed plans for a military operation that could begin within months. The plan, opposed by Tony Blair and other European Union leaders, threatens to blow apart the increasingly shaky international consensus behind the US-led 'war on terrorism'. It envisages a combined operation with US bombers targeting key military installations while US forces assist opposition groups in the North and South of the country in a stage managed uprising. One version of the plan would have US forces fighting on the ground. Despite US suspicions of Iraqi involvement in the 11 September attacks, the trigger for any attack, sources say, would be the anticipated refusal of Iraq to resubmit to inspections for weapons of mass destruction under the United Nations sanctions imposed after the Gulf war. According to the sources, the planning is being undertaken under the auspices of a the US Central Command at McDill air force base in Tampa, Florida, commanded by General Tommy Franks, who is leading the war against Afghanistan. Another key player is understood to be former CIA director James Woolsey. Sources say Woolsey was sent to London by the hawkish Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, soon after 11 September to ask Iraqi opposition groups if they would participate in an uprising if there was US military support. The New York Times yesterday quoted a senior administration official who admitted that Bush's aides were looking at options that involved strengthening groups that opposed Saddam. Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State, said that action against Iraq was not imminent, but would come at a 'place and time of our choosing'. Washington has been told by its allies that evidence it has presented of an Iraqi link to 11 September is at best circumstantial. However, US proponents of extending the war believe they can make the case for hitting Saddam's regime over its plan to produce weapons of mass destruction. A European diplomat said last week: 'In the past week the Americans have shut up about Iraqi links to 11 September and have been talking a lot more about their weapons programme.' The US is believed to be planning to exploit existing UN resolutions on Iraqi weapons programmes to set the action off. Under the pre-existing 'red lines' for military action against Iraq - set down by Washington and London after the Gulf War - evidence of any credible threat from weapons of mass destruction would be regarded as sufficient to launch military strikes along the lines of Operation Desert Fox in 1998, when allied planes made large-scale strikes against suspected Iraqi weapons complexes. Opposition by Blair and French President Jacques Chirac may not be enough to dissuade the Americans. One European military source who recently returned from General Franks's headquarters in Florida said: 'The Americans are walking on water. They think they can do anything at the moment and there is bloody nothing Tony [Blair] can do about it.' Bush is said to have issued instructions about the proposals, which are now at a detailed stage, to his Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, three weeks ago. But Pentagon sources say that a plan for attacking Iraq was developed by the time Bush's order was sent to the Pentagon, drawn up by Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, chairman of the joint chiefs General Richard Myers, and Franks. The plan is to work with a combination of three political forces: Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq, radical Sunni Muslim groups in and around Baghdad, and, most controversially, the Shia opposition in the south. The most adventurous ingredient in the anti-Iraqi proposal is the use of US ground troops, Pentagon sources say. 'Significant numbers' of ground troops could also be called on in the early stages of any rebellion to guard oil fields around the Shia port of Basra in southern Iraq. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la 000095724dec02.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dcomment%2Dopinions * SADDAM'S TIME IS UP by Henri J. Barkey Los Angeles Times, 2nd December BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- For the first time since the war on terrorism began, President Bush has set his sights on Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Unless Baghdad relents and allows the return of U.N. weapons inspectors, the president warned last week, Iraq will face "consequences." Previously, talk of Hussein had centered on his possible role in either the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks or the anthrax scare. No solid evidence implicating the Iraqi leader has surfaced, which makes the administration's change in rhetoric all the more significant. It has taken 10 years since the successful conclusion of the Persian Gulf War for Washington to wake up to the fact that Hussein has become a terrible strategic burden. Soon after assuming office, Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, in March 1997, gave a speech in which she said the second Clinton administration would get tough with Hussein. Her announcement followed one of the administration's most embarrassing foreign-policy failures in Iraq. In August and September of 1996, on the eve of presidential elections, Hussein, in alliance with a Kurdish faction, romped through northern Iraq even as U.S. jets flew overhead. Iraqi forces decimated the main opposition alliance, which years of overt and covert U.S. aid had built up. Many of the opposition leaders were caught, tortured and summarily executed. Washington responded meekly: It lobbed a few cruise missiles at Iraq. The administration simply didn't want a foreign-policy crisis so close to an election. Albright's new Iraq policy, however, fell victim to President Clinton's multiplying scandals. Iraq policy got mired in the executive-congressional food fight when the majority Republicans on the Hill decided to put the administration on the defensive by targeting its lackluster Iraq policy. In 1998, Congress passed the Iraqi Liberation Act, which the president felt compelled to sign. The law forced the administration to help what by then was an internally divided and hapless Iraqi opposition. As Congress continued to push the administration to adopt a more belligerent policy toward Hussein, it was increasingly anxious about how military action would be perceived at home and abroad. When Operation Desert Fox was launched at the end of 1998 to punish Iraq for kicking out U.N. weapons inspectors, many outsiders interpreted--unjustly--the action as a diversion from the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal. As a result, the United States has had to maintain troops and equipment in the Persian Gulf, and operate no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq. This isn't an assignment the Pentagon relishes. Opposition to U.S. troops on Saudi soil, furthermore, has become a rallying point for extremists in the Gulf and beyond. The events of Sept. 11 have thus underscored how menacing that presence has been to the stability of local regimes. Ironically, the Pentagon and Osama bin Laden are perhaps in agreement that U.S. forces should leave the Gulf region. But there is another factor driving the administration's tougher attitude toward Hussein: The degree to which U.S. authorities were caught off guard by the relatively--so far--minor anthrax scare has doubled the determination of many in Washington to push for Hussein's overthrow. Hussein's past use of weapons of mass destruction--his army resorted to gas during the Iran-Iraq war against his own civilian Kurdish population--and his proliferation record make him a suspect. More important, the administration may want to make an example of Hussein to deter similarly minded regimes. Must the administration resort to military action to topple Hussein? No. Much of Hussein's resilience has flowed from his ability to play U.N. Security Council members, and regional powers, against each other. His chief supporter at the United Nations has been Russia. But Sept. 11 has changed the international calculus. The recent meeting between Presidents Bush and Vladimir V. Putin represented a potential new beginning in U.S.-Russian relations. The Russians are eager to improve their standing in the West by exploiting the opportunities created by the war on terrorism. They also realize that the administration's desire to jettison the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty stems in part from its fear that Hussein may acquire or build ballistic missiles. The combination of these two factors may convince Russia that the wisest course of action would be to part company with the Baghdad tyrant. To push Moscow toward this conclusion, the U.S. should put together an alliance of countries critical to Iraq--Russia, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other regional powers- to pressure Hussein to receive weapons inspectors while retaining the military option. None of these countries wants the U.S. to unilaterally overthrow Hussein; they certainly oppose the use of force. But as long as these countries believe we will use military force--our record in Afghanistan will surely impress them--they are more likely to cooperate on a diplomatic venture. Because Hussein has successfully dangled lucrative oil-for-food contracts and other illicit gains to win the cooperation of these countries, we, too, will have to cut side deals with them. After all, this is what got Pakistan and others on our side in the war against terrorism. In winning the cooperation of these countries, the U.S. should make the most of the biological weapons threat. If Washington and New York can be targeted today, Paris, Berlin and Moscow could be next. There are other elements to this coercive diplomatic strategy. One, the U.S. should go back to the U.N. Security Council and, with the backing of its five permanent members, strive to reinstitute a meaningful weapons-inspection regime that would force Hussein to either capitulate or say no. Second, in coordination with its allies, it must step up the psychological campaign to isolate Hussein from his people. A good way to do this to offer the Iraqi people an economic and political vision of life after Hussein. Past administrations, and the current one, have made little concerted effort to address the Iraqi people directly. Finally, the U.S. should play on Hussein's Achilles' heel--his paranoia. By compiling a list of, say, 50 of his closest collaborators and declaring them all to be subject to international prosecution, Washington and its allies would be saying to everyone else in the armed forces, security apparatus and bureaucracy that they will not be held accountable for the regime's past sins. This would fuel the deep mistrust between Hussein and his army, which, in the absence of any other institution, is the only other source of power in Iraq, and make army commanders more fearful of his vengeance. Such a diplomatic strategy may prove as ineffective as sanctions in dislodging Hussein. Yet, unlike before, the administration has some factors working in its favor. It is setting the agenda in the war on terrorism and thus can raise the stakes with its allies by putting Hussein's removal at the top of its list of priorities. Its allies and foes are aware that the American public, still outraged over the Sept. 11 attacks, would readily support any attempt to forcibly remove Hussein, if that became necessary. And nothing succeeds like success: a convincing victory in Afghanistan will significantly enhance Washington's clout. (Henri J. Barkey, a professor of international relations at Lehigh University, served on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff from 1998-2000.) http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011203/wl/attack_mandela_dc_1.html * MANDELA SAYS ATTACK ON IRAQ WOULD BE 'DISASTER' by Brendan Boyle Yahoo, 3rd December CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Former South African President Nelson Mandela said on Monday it would be a ``disaster'' if Britain and the United States extended their anti-terror bombing campaign to Iraq. Asked whether he would support the bombing of Iraq, Mandela told reporters: ``That would be a disaster.'' Mandela said Britain and the United States were bypassing the United Nations in conducting the anti-terror campaign. ''That is extremely dangerous because they are introducing chaos into international affairs,'' the 1993 Nobel peace laureate said in Cape Town. Mandela, a figure of international moral authority who has devoted his life to fighting racism, said Britain and the United States seemed to be afraid their actions would be vetoed by the U.N. Security Council. ``The United States and Britain have acted without going through the United Nations...What they are doing is to say if you fear there could be a veto of your action, you are entitled to act independently of the Security Council,'' he said. The United States and Great Britain have been carrying out punishing air attacks in Afghanistan aimed at flushing out Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, accused of masterminding the September 11 suicide attacks in the United States. There have been hints that Washington could extend its war on terror to arch-enemy Iraq. President Bush last week demanded Iraqi President Saddam Hussein allow U.N. arms inspectors to return to Iraq and said Saddam would ``find out'' the consequences if he refused. Washington says Baghdad has been developing weapons of mass destruction since the inspectors left Iraq on the eve of U.S.-British bombing in December 1998. Mandela said he supported the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan ``only insofar as it is trying to flush out the terrorists in Afghanistan. I don't agree of course that Bush should attack wholesale the country of Afghanistan.'' Mandela also said the United States was not the best mediator for the Middle East because it was perceived to be a friend of Israel. ``The proper thing is for the United States of America, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt jointly to mediate together,'' he said. http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20011203/3667784s.htm * TARGETING SADDAM: WAS THERE AN IRAQI 9/11 LINK? EVIDENCE IS THIN, BUT REGIME'S LINKS TO BIN LADEN AND AL-QAEDA RUN DEEP by Peter Eisler USA Today, 3rd December WASHINGTON -- Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network has ties to Iraqi intelligence that date to the mid-1990s, when they came together in Sudan to support Islamic insurgencies in Algeria and across the Middle East. The CIA had convincing evidence at the time that Saddam Hussein's regime was funneling money through bin Laden to the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in Algeria and other terrorist organizations, according to current and former U.S. officials who reviewed intelligence at the time. The scheme was seen as an effort to mask Iraq's support for the groups. It's unclear whether the pass-through was directed by bin Laden, then living in Sudan, or by his circle of associates, at least one of whom was identified by 1994 as having close ties to Iraq's intelligence service, officials say. The previously unreported arrangement appears to be the earliest in a series of murky connections between Iraq and bin Laden. It raises new questions in the fiery debate over whether Saddam's regime -- and its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs -- should be the next target in the war on terrorism. If U.S. officials can establish a firm Iraq-al-Qaeda link, particularly with respect to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, it will give leverage to those in the Bush administration who want to take the war on terrorism to Iraq. So far President Bush has been non-committal, partly because key Gulf allies warn that any military action against Iraq without proof of an al-Qaeda link would shatter the coalition behind the anti-terror campaign. Bin Laden was relatively unknown when the Sudan connection surfaced in 1994. He had been expelled from Saudi Arabia, but his fortune, business ventures and budding ideas of Holy War had made him a welcome guest of the radical National Islamic Front, the party that held power in Khartoum, Sudan's capital. Saddam, under intense international scrutiny after the Gulf War, also had strong ties to Khartoum, and Iraqi intelligence was well represented in the stew of Islamic radicals, insurrectionists and foreign agents pouring through the city. ''We were convinced that money from Iraq was going to bin Laden, who was then sending it to places that Iraq wanted it to go,'' says Stanley Bedlington, a senior analyst in the CIA's counterterrorism center from 1986 until his retirement in 1994. ''There certainly is no doubt that Saddam Hussein had pretty strong ties to bin Laden while he was in Sudan, whether it was directly or through (Sudanese) intermediaries. We traced considerable sums of money going from bin Laden to the GIA in Algeria. We believed some of the money came from Iraq.'' At the time, bin Laden was just emerging in U.S. intelligence reports on Sudan's sponsorship of terrorist groups and the role Iraq, Iran and other Arab states played in those arrangements. Federal officials now are reviewing those old reports, looking not only for evidence of overt contacts between Saddam and al-Qaeda, such as Iraqi money passing through bin Laden, but for more covert ties, including the possibility that Iraqi intelligence had penetrated al Qaeda. Most current and former officials who have tracked Saddam's regime and bin Laden's organization believe there has been regular contact between the two. Many suspect that Iraqi operatives have helped al-Qaeda, perhaps with bomb-making materials and expertise, forged identity papers and safe houses -- the sort of assistance Iraq has provided to any number of terrorist groups. But relatively few believe Iraq is directly involved in the planning and execution of al-Qaeda attacks. The debate is based mainly on a handful of known contacts: [This space is filled with Prague, Farouk Hijazi and the Salman Pak training camp.....] Whatever Iraq's relationship to al-Qaeda, its roots seem to be in Sudan. Bin Laden lived there from 1991 to 1996 after leaving his native Saudi Arabia, where his calls for a strict Islamic government had angered the monarchy. By 1994, U.S. officials were concerned that bin Laden was supporting Islamic insurgencies across the region. The nexus of those efforts, according to U.S. and foreign officials, was Hassan Turabi, who headed Sudan's ruling National Islamic Front. Turabi, credited with bringing bin Laden to Sudan, opened the country to Islamic fundamentalists, providing training grounds and safe haven for terrorist operations, the officials say. Money for those efforts flowed in from several Middle Eastern states -- including Iraq -- and bin Laden was believed to be helping with its distribution. ''The years when bin Laden was establishing himself in Sudan also happened to be a time when there was a lot of Iraqi-Sudanese activity,'' says Steven Simon, a counterterrorism advisor for Clinton. Many people associated with al-Qaeda came from a loose network of operatives who served a variety of states and terrorist organizations, and there were a lot of ''tactical and shifting contacts,'' adds Simon, now at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies. He notes, for example, that it is rumored in London that some of the people Saddam employed to assassinate Iraqi dissidents ''were affiliated with al-Qaeda.'' U.S. officials worried at the time that Saddam was sponsoring development of chemical weapons in Sudan, and U.N. inspectors documented visits to Khartoum by officials in Iraq's chemical weapons program. Some believe bin Laden and his associates were helping to finance the weapons work. The recent wave of anthrax-tainted letters to U.S. officials and media outlets has spurred speculation that bin Laden may also have gotten Iraqi help in building his own arsenal. Newly discovered camps in Afghanistan where al-Qaeda operatives appear to have experimented with chemical weapons may yield new information on any connections. ''There's a lot of (intelligence) collection going on in those caves and mountains,'' says Duelfer, the former UN official. ''We're going to hear about more ties between al-Qaeda and Iraq, particularly when it comes to al-Qaeda's efforts to get chemical and biological weapons.'' It was also during bin Laden's time in Sudan that U.S. intelligence officials began suspecting that Iraq's foreign intelligence service was trying to penetrate the then-fledgling al-Qaeda organization. And the question of whether Iraqi agents are operating secretly within al Qaeda's ranks is one that the CIA continues to investigate. ''There was a guy in bin Laden's entourage in Khartoum -- he was not what you would call 'active duty,' but he had very close connections to Iraqi intelligence,'' recalls one former CIA operative who declined to be identified. ''He was close to bin Laden and dealt with him a lot in his incarnation as factory builder and road builder.'' Most officials doubt that anyone in the upper ranks of al-Qaeda is an Iraqi spy. And there's great debate about the extent to which Iraqi agents may have been able to get inside bin Laden's organization, which vets recruits extensively. Even so, virtually no one doubts that Saddam would try to place someone inside al-Qaeda. ''That's the way he works,'' says Tim McCarthy, a scholar at the Monterey Institute of International Studies who did U.N. inspections in Iraq -- an operation that itself was penetrated by Iraqi agents. ''Saddam believes in getting inside these sorts of organizations.'' Wafiq al Samarrai, who headed Iraq's military intelligence operation before defecting in 1994, also believes Saddam has agents inside al-Qaeda, though he doubts they're in the upper ranks. The agents ''most likely would be from other countries, Egyptians or Jordanians or Yemenis,'' he says. ''It wouldn't be Iraqis -- the Iraqis in al-Qaeda are few.'' Despite the contacts between Iraq and bin Laden's organization, there's still much debate over the precise nature of the relationship. ''In that part of the universe, the part occupied by Muslims who hate Americans, there are bound to be some (al-Qaeda) contacts with Iraqi agents, even some who are known as such,'' says Daniel Benjamin, a former National Security Council advisor on terrorism during the Clinton administration. But Benjamin, now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, sides with many who doubt that Iraq has any meaningful role in steering al-Qaeda's operations. ''We were never aware of any substantial cooperation,'' he says. Those who doubt any sort of substantive relationship are quick to note that there are deep philosophical differences between Saddam and bin Laden. The most obvious is that Saddam, a secular autocrat who has repressed Islamic fundamentalists in his own country, seems to be the type of Arab leader that the deeply religious bin Laden often rails against. Yet there's a vocal and powerful group of officials in the U.S. military and intelligence communities who believe Iraq and al-Qaeda work hand-in-hand. They point to what they see as clear evidence of state sponsorship in al-Qaeda strikes, such as the use of large amounts of C-4, a hard-to-get military explosive, in the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, a Navy frigate rammed at a Yemen port by a suicide bomber on a small boat. ''People put aside ideological differences to work towards common goals -- in this case, driving America out of the Middle East,'' says Laurie Mylroie, author of Study of Revenge, which makes a case that Iraq helped plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Bin Laden ''is not capable of carrying out the kind of major assaults we've seen . . . . Iraqi intelligence provides the expertise and direction. Proving it is difficult, but many things that are true can't be proven.'' Many who are pushing to turn the U.S. war on terrorism against Saddam believe there never will be absolute proof of Iraqi involvement in al-Qaeda attacks. But they say no more evidence is necessary, given Iraq's history of sponsoring terrorism, including a foiled 1993 plot to assassinate former President Bush, and Saddam's blocking of U.N. weapons inspections. ''I don't know what the (Iraq-al-Qaeda) relationship is, whether it's a 90-10 joint venture or a 10-90 joint venture, and it doesn't matter,'' says former CIA director James Woolsey. Some al-Qaeda attacks ''look like a foreign intelligence service was involved, and we have a long history of contacts between Iraqi intelligence and al-Qaeda,'' Woolsey adds. ''All of that, plus the (blocking) of the U.N. inspections, is enough.'' http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=politicsnews&StoryID=436110 * LAWMAKERS URGE BUSH TO MAKE IRAQ NEXT TARGET Reuters, 6th December WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ten leading members of Congress have urged President Bush to make Iraq the next target in the U.S. war on terrorism, saying it has reinvigorated its weapons programs in the three years since U.N. inspectors left. "As we work to clean up Afghanistan, it is imperative that we plan to eliminate the threat from Iraq," said the letter, dated Wednesday. "This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs." Among those signing the letter were Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jesse Helms, former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and former Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Lieberman. The letter is the latest in a string of calls for a renewed offensive against Iraq and President Saddam Hussein once the Afghanistan campaign ends. The U.S. launched its war on Afghanistan after its ruling Taliban refused to give up Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, blamed for the Sept. 11 attack on the United States that killed nearly 4,000 people. Sen. Helms acknowledged in a speech on Wednesday that the United States does not know if Saddam was directly involved with the Sept. 11 attacks. Still, he said, "there is a mountain of evidence linking him to international terrorism generally and to bin Laden's terrorist network specifically." In their letter, the lawmakers said international sanctions levied against Iraq are riddled with loopholes and illegal oil sales could not be contained by the administration. "Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status," the letter said, adding: "We believe we must directly confront Saddam, sooner rather than later. "The threat from Iraq is real, and it cannot be permanently contained," the letter said. U.N. inspectors, who had been working since the 1991 Gulf War to ensure Baghdad did not develop weapons of mass destruction, left Iraq in December 1998. The lawmakers also urged support for the Iraqi National Congress (INC), saying the United States had learned from Afghanistan the importance of working effectively with local opposition on the ground. A leader of the INC, Ahmed Chalabi, met on Thursday with the Republican policy conference on Capitol Hill. Bush recently demanded that Saddam allow weapons inspections to resume and said he would "find out" the consequences if he refused. But Secretary of State Colin Powell told NATO ally Turkey on Wednesday that the United States had no immediate plans to extend its war on terrorism to Iraq. LITTLE FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/11/30/wirq3 0.xml&sSheet=/news/2001/11/30/ixhome.html * BRITAIN SHOULD SUPPORT IRAQI REBELS, SAYS DUNCAN SMITH by Ben Fenton in Washington Daily Telegraph, 1st December BRITAIN should take the lead in finding and bolstering Iraqi opposition groups to play the same sort of role as the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, Iain Duncan Smith said yesterday. The Tory leader, speaking to reporters during a visit to Washington to meet Vice-President Dick Cheney and other senior members of the Bush administration, agreed that America's credibility among rebels in Iraq had been destroyed by the failure of an American-led coalition to finish Saddam Hussein after the Gulf war. He said: "The biggest mistake, in hindsight, was to encourage rebellions in the north and south of Iraq and then stand back and allow Saddam to put them down - and they were brutally put down." Asked if that meant Britain should take the lead in fostering contacts with rebels in Iraq, using the Northern Alliance as a model, he said: "If we can find a credible group, yes. I would support that. I think it would be a good and viable use of government time." America has encouraged the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella opposition group that operates outside Iraq and in a small part of the north of the country. But its influence with other potential rebels in the south and the north is non-existent. Many people in those areas consider that they were encouraged to rebel against Saddam by the words of the former president George Bush, only to be slaughtered in huge numbers when Iraqi army helicopters and ground troops were allowed to suppress rebellion. Mr Duncan Smith's visit to the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon will bring him into contact with some of the most hawkish members of the administration, including Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser. He was also due to see Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary, and John Bolton, an assistant secretary of state, who have been the most vocal advocates of toppling Saddam as a necessary part of the war against terrorism. Mr Duncan Smith said before his meetings it was clear that Saddam had used the three years since he expelled the United Nations weapons inspectors from Iraq to build up an arsenal of conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction. The use of sanctions to force Saddam to let the inspectors in again might not be enough, he added. "If this build-up is as clear as [experts] are saying, we do need a clear course of action graded all the way up to military action." He said he believed that Tony Blair was right to support American demands for Saddam to comply with the Gulf war ceasefire agreement in which he agreed to let the UN inspectors complete their work. The clear message from the September 11 attacks, he said, was that the world had to act against the whole range of terror groups that threatened it as well as exerting pressure on states that had put themselves beyond the rule of law. "They are hugely destabilising and dealing with them is going to be the challenge of the 21st century," Mr Duncan Smith added. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,614260,00.html * STRAW WARNS IRAQ ON TERROR THREAT by Patrick Wintour and Richard Norton-Taylor The Guardian, 6th December The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, yesterday shifted the government towards a more hawkish position over the second phase in the war on terrorism when he insisted that Saddam Hussein must allow UN weapons inspectors into Iraq or face possible military consequences. He told MPs there could be no doubt that Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction posed a "very considerable threat" to international security. "We are very concerned, about Iraq's development of these weapons and believe action must be taken." He refused to comment on whether or not such action would involve military options. But he told the foreign affairs select committee that, under international law, any country was entitled to take pre-emptive military action in self-defence if it had "very good information" that another country or terror organisation was planning to attack. Mr Straw's warning that Iraq might become a legitimate target came as Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, said Britain should be ready to launch pre-emptive armed strikes, coerce states and conduct search and destroy missions against terrorists and those harbouring them around the world. In a keynote speech in London, Mr Hoon signalled a major shakeup in the training, readiness, and equipment of Britain's armed forces following the September 11 attacks. Military doctrine, he said, showed it was often best "to engage the enemy at longer range, before the enemy gets the opportunity to attack". The striking similarity in the language of both cabinet ministers, and their hawkish tone, contrasts sharply with previous government statements on Iraq. Privately, ministers have flatly opposed military moves against President Saddam, fearing that such action would destroy the fragile coalition against terrorism, particularly in the Middle East. Pressure from Washington appears to be forcing Britain - at least in public - to adopt a more aggressive stance. Ministers believe that the Bush administration is still deeply divided about whether to take the war against terrorism to Iraq. But hawks in Washington, led by deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz, are targeting Iraq on the grounds that it has not cooperated with the UN weapons inspectors. Last week George Bush said the world had to know whether Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction. Asked what would happen if President Saddam refused to let the inspectors in, he replied: "He'll find out." Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, said on a visit to Turkey yesterday: "We know that Iraq is a sponsor of terrorism over the years. That continues to be a concern." Mr Straw said "active consultations" were under way with the US about the second phase in the war on terrorism. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011207/wl/attack_nato_robertson_dc_1.html * NATO HEAD SAYS DEFENSE CLAUSE MAY COVER IRAQ -PAPER Yahoo, 7th December BERLIN (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson believes NATO's mutual defense clause, invoked after the September 11 attacks on the United States, will not be lifted immediately and could be used to cover action elsewhere, such as in Iraq, German newspaper Die Welt said on Friday. ``Should evidence be put forward that Iraq is involved, Article V could take hold,'' Robertson was quoted by the newspaper as saying. Robertson told Die Welt, in a release ahead of its publication on Saturday, that Article V of the Washington Treaty would continue to be effective ``for some time.'' The clause in the North Atlantic Treaty, never before invoked in its 52-year history, declares an attack on one to be an attack on all. Robertson also said a possible expansion of the U.S. war on terrorism could lead NATO to call on all 19 NATO members. A number of U.S. lawmakers have urged President Bush to make Iraq the next military target after Afghanistan. But most Middle East nations and others such as France and Germany have cautioned against expanding the conflict. The NATO secretary general said Article V could not be canceled by one or two nations. ``The duty to support one another was invoked unanimously. It can only be revoked unanimously,'' Robertson said. He denied that NATO was playing a subordinate role after the September 11 attacks, saying invoking the mutual defense clause had had ``an electrifying political effect.'' Robertson denied too that closer cooperation between NATO and Russia would change or weaken the alliance. He insisted that cooperation did not mean Russia would have the power to veto NATO decisions. He said Russia was not seeking or being granted a form of entry to NATO ``through the back door.'' -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.