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News, 29/1/011/1/02 This is by way of a stop gap news compilation, hastily put together since Iąm going away for a week or so to a place without access to the internet (such places do still exist in the world), so thereąll be a bit of a pause. If only the Śnewsą would stop as well. INCITEMENT TO HATRED * The U.S. Must Strike at Saddam Hussein [says Richard Perle. Note how surprisingly weak the case is for Saddam the international terrorist. In fact the only substantial terrorist organisation Mr Hussein is sheltering is the Iranian Mujaheddin. But theyąre the people Mr Perle will have to team up with when he gets round to cleaning up Iran] * Bush handed three attack plans for Saddam [We learn here - at least I do. Iąve obviously been slow on the uptake - that the conference of Iraqi Sunni ex-military men last month, in opposition to the INC, was got up by the state department] * The Pentagon's Highest-Flying Hawk [accpount of Paul Wolfowitz] * Road to Mideast Solution Starts Elsewhere [the argument is broadly that to bring peace to the poor Israelis and Palestinians the US needs to smash up everyone who might have any sympathy for the Palestinians. And this is what the Palestinian people really want, only they just wonąt admit it. Amazing what people get up to in American Śpeace studiesą programmes.] URLs ONLY: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/01_53/b3764043.htm * Q&A: A Talk with Bush's Tough Guy Business Week, 31st December Mainly Bushąs Tough Guy (Wolfowitz) telling us about all the good things he has done and wants to do for Muslims (the poor things being quite incapable of looking after their own affairs) http://www.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200112/200112310195.html * An Interview with Professor Samuel Huntington Chosun Ilbo (S.Korea), 31st December Very long, wideranging interview with the man who discovered the clash of civilisations. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46827-2001Dec31.html * Why Saddam Hussein Is Ripe for a Fall by Patrick Clawson Washington Post, 1st January Rewply to an earlier article in the Washington Post (Philip Gordon and Michael O'Hanlon :"A Tougher Target," op-ed, Dec. 26) which argued that Iraq woulkd be a tough nut to crack. Suggests that it mightnąt be as tough as all that because everyone hates Mr Hussein. The question of principle - what business is it of Americaąs - doesnąt arise. MILITARY MATTERS * US missile shortage delays Iraq strike * Chronology of US Strikes Against Iraq EMBARGO ON IRAQ * Iraq claims UN toll of 1.6m * INTERVIEW: Iraq Oil Min [ister Amer Mohammed Rasheed]: No Halt In Oil Exports [Rather interesting inerview that I think gives a good overview of Iraqi strategic thinking for getting rid of the embargo, or rather rendering it irrelevant] IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERNARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Egypt ministers in Iraq to boost trade * Gulf Arabs tell Iraq to allow U.N. arms inspections REMNANTS OF DECENCY * Former UN chief weapons inspector [Scott Ritter] says US needs legal basis for attacks [Ritter says the US must follow UN Security Council resolutions. One wonders where he was during the war on Nicaragua, the war on Panama, the war on Serbia and the war on Aghanistan.] NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Iraq: Teaching hospital renovated, expanded in Kurdish region REFUGEES * Refugees wait in UK Cyprus base INCITEMENT TO HATRED http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/28/opinion/28PERL.html?ex=1010554831&ei=1&en= 5f0e0ae44af4eb65 * THE U.S. MUST STRIKE AT SADDAM HUSSEIN by Richard Perle New York Times, 28th December WASHINGTON -- Within hours of the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush said, "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." From that first statement, Mr. Bush shaped a grand strategy for the war on terrorism that is as transforming of American policy as was Ronald Reagan's pledge to consign an "evil empire" to the "ash heap of history." It breaks with the past by taking aim at states harboring terrorists as well as at terrorists themselves. It is why we have destroyed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan even as we hunt down Osama bin Laden himself. It is why the war against terrorism cannot be won if Saddam Hussein continues to rule Iraq. Three things about Saddam Hussein make the destruction of his regime essential to the war against terrorism First, like Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein hates the United States with a vengeance he expresses at every opportunity. It is hatred intensified by a tribal culture of the blood feud ‹ one that he has embraced since Mr. Bush's father defeated him on the field of battle. Second, Saddam Hussein has an array of chemical and biological weapons and has been willing to absorb the pain of a decade-long embargo rather than allow international inspectors to uncover the full magnitude of his program. The expulsion of inspectors from Iraq three years ago has rendered future inspections worthless; everything that could be relocated has been moved and hidden in mosques, schools, hospitals, farms, private homes. These programs ‹ now involving dozens, perhaps hundreds, of clandestine sites ‹ will prove even more difficult to find than Osama bin Laden. Alone among heads of state, he has actually used chemical weapons against his own people, killing thousands of unarmed citizens in northern Iraq. We know that he has produced quantities of anthrax sufficient to kill millions of people, as well as other biological agents. Disseminated to would-be martyrs from Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad or other terrorist groups, Saddam Hussein's biological arsenal could kill very large numbers of Americans. With each passing day, he comes closer to his dream of a nuclear arsenal. We know he has a clandestine program, spread over many hidden sites, to enrich Iraqi natural uranium to weapons grade. We know he has the designs and the technical staff to fabricate nuclear weapons once he obtains the material. And intelligence sources know he is in the market, with plenty of money, for both weapons material and components as well as finished nuclear weapons. How close is he? We do not know. Two years, three years, tomorrow even? We simply do not know, and any intelligence estimate that would cause us to relax would be about as useful as the ones that missed his nuclear program in the early 1990's or failed to predict the Indian nuclear test in 1998 or to gain even a hint of the Sept. 11 attack. Third, we know that Saddam Hussein has engaged directly in acts of terror and given sanctuary and other support to terrorists. In 1993 he planned the assassination of George H. W. Bush during the former president's visit to Kuwait. He operates a terrorist training facility at Salman Pak complete with a passenger aircraft cabin for training in hijacking. His collaboration with terrorists is well documented. Evidence of a meeting in Prague between a senior Iraqi intelligence agent and Mohamed Atta, the Sept. 11 ringleader, is convincing. More important is his long, continuing collaboration with a number of terrorist groups, some of whose leaders live in and operate from Iraq. He openly, defiantly pays the families of suicide bombers and praises the attacks on Sept. 11. If anyone fits the profile of support for terror, it is Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein's removal from office, we are told privately, would be cheered in the Persian Gulf. The conventional wisdom that an attack on him would be seen as an attack against Islam is an insult to Islam, and it is wrong. To most Muslims, his reign of terror is an abomination. In Iraq itself, his downfall would be met with dancing in the streets. A decent successor regime would be very likely to encourage peace in the region. The charter of the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella group of Saddam Hussein's opponents, calls for eradicating weapons of mass destruction and renouncing terrorism. Those opponents need our political and financial support today, and when the time is ripe, they will need our precision air power. In 1981 the Israelis faced an urgent choice: Should they allow Saddam Hussein to fuel a French-built nuclear reactor near Baghdad ‹ or destroy it? Once fuel was placed in the reactor, it could not be bombed without releasing lethal radioactive material. Allowing the fueling to go forward meant that the Baghdad regime could eventually get the plutonium to build a nuclear weapon. The Israelis decided to strike pre-emptively, before it was too late: in a spectacular display of precision bombing, the reactor at Osirak was destroyed. Everything we know about Saddam Hussein forces President Bush to make a similar choice: to take pre-emptive action or wait, possibly until it is too late. We waited too long before acting broadly against terrorism. We were too late to save the victims of Sept. 11. We should have taken terrorism seriously three years ago, when our embassies in East Africa were destroyed. To leave Saddam Hussein in place and hope for the best would repeat that mistake. And narrowing the war against terror to exclude his regime would drain a bold and courageous policy of its great and vital strength. Richard Perle, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was assistant secretary of defense from 1981 to 1987. http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$EAN4SRIAACVTZQF IQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2001/12/23/wbush23.xml * BUSH HANDED THREE ATTACK PLANS FOR SADDAM by David Wastell in Washington Daily Telegraph, 23rd December A SHORTLIST of three options for attacking Iraq will be presented to President George W. Bush next month. The plans are being prepared by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency in a fresh sign that Mr Bush is considering strong action against President Saddam Hussein's regime. With only isolated pockets of al-Qaeda resistance remaining to be tackled in Afghanistan, the time is fast approaching for Mr Bush to make a decision on the next phase of the war on global terrorism. First will come smaller-scale action against al-Qaeda's cells in other countries. However, Mr Bush will consider plans for a campaign against Saddam soon, to allow military and diplomatic preparations to begin. He has made clear that he sees the Iraqi dictator as a menace because of his aggressive stance and his reported stocks of chemical and biological weapons. His view is likely to have hardened after a new Iraqi defector's reports last week of secret weapons caches. "You'll see the pace of administration decisions pick up in January," said an observer familiar with CIA and Pentagon thinking. Senior Pentagon officials, led by Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary, want to adapt the strategy that has just delivered victory in Afghanistan and apply it to Iraq. A Pentagon study group set up by Mr Wolfowitz is examining a detailed war plan put forward by Ahmad Chalibi, the leader of the opposition Iraqi National Congress (INC). Under these proposals, Washington would spend several months arming and training the Iraqi opposition - then send in special forces to direct air strikes. The chiefs of staff, however, are thought to be arguing for a much bigger commitment of US ground troops, capable of taking on Saddam without help from the INC, which they see as far weaker than the Afghan Northern Alliance. The CIA, meanwhile, is pushing for covert action to destabilise the Saddam regime - perhaps culminating in a coup. CIA officials have begun putting out renewed feelers to Iraqi military defectors who may have influence and contacts within Saddam's forces. Defence officials, however, point out that previous coup attempts have all failed, or been detected before they began, resulting in the execution of scores of officers. Colin Powell, the secretary of state, is among a number of Bush officials with reservations about the wisdom of tackling Saddam head-on but who acknowledge the need to do something. Last month, the State Department flew at least a dozen exiled Iraqi officers to Washington to discuss Iraq's future after Saddam - a sign that Gen Powell may now favour the CIA option. Both he and the intelligence agency believe that a campaign against Saddam is more likely to succeed if the opposition can be expanded beyond Kurds in the north and Shia Muslims in the south to embrace Iraq's Sunni Muslim majority. Mr Bush has made clear that his desire to topple Saddam is not driven by the Iraqi regime's involvement - or otherwise - in the September 11 terrorist attacks. He believes that US success in Afghanistan has made Middle East opinion more receptive to a move against Saddam - provided it was overwhelming and decisive. Last week, the New York Times quoted an unnamed Arab envoy in Washington as arguing that an attack on Saddam was now "do-able" without destabilising governments in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. He was quoted as saying: "How many people will cry for Saddam if he goes?" Some officials believe that it may be both possible, and desirable, to combine elements of all three options, putting maximum military pressure on Saddam while speeding his collapse from within. "The more lines of attack, the more effective we will be," said one strategist. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/01_53/b3764042.htm * THE PENTAGON'S HIGHEST-FLYING HAWK by Stan Crock, with Paul Magnusson, in Washington and Dexter Roberts in Beijing Business Week, 31st December Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz isn't a Muslim, isn't considered a friend of the Arab world, and argued in favor of U.S. forces pressing the attack in Afghanistan during Ramadan. So guests at a Pentagon Iftar dinner--the communal meal that breaks the fast each day during the Islamic holy month--might have been excused for wondering what he was doing as the featured speaker. Nevertheless, the audience of 50 listened politely as Wolfowitz noted that America had defended Muslims six times in the last decade, from the Balkans and Iraq to Somalia and Afghanistan. And it's no secret that Wolfowitz dearly wants to add a seventh campaign to the list: a new drive to end the rule of Saddam Hussein. Wolfowitz is arguably the fiercest hawk in the Bush Administration, and his dustups with Colin Powell's more cautious State Dept. have made headlines as debate rages over where the war on terror should head next. Despite the obstacles to unseating Saddam, no one is counting Wolfowitz out. "Anytime Paul Wolfowitz speaks, it's like E.F. Hutton: Everybody listens," says Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, a longtime associate and now one of the pragmatic ex-soldiers at State who sometimes clash with the more hawkish academics and corporate managers at Defense. Wolfowitz' position on Iraq was forged long before September 11: He advocated helping oust Saddam in 1991 and was one of the first voices to favor taking on Serb dictator Slobodan Milosevic. Wolfowitz also hews to a hard line on the need to defend Taiwan against a possible invasion from China. "When anything happens, he always assumes that it must be solved by the U.S. military," says Yan Xuetong, director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The current frenzy over Iraq leaves the soft-spoken Wolfowitz a bit unsettled. For one thing, it's too early to talk about marching to Baghdad, he insists. "I would not be at all surprised if next spring or summer, we are still seeking terrorists hiding" in Afghanistan, Wolfowitz told BusinessWeek in a Dec. 18 interview. In truth, Wolfowitz, 58, is far more than an anti-terror hard-liner. The former dean of Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies has been tapped by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to kick-start the Pentagon halting efforts to transform itself into a 21st century fighting machine. And he has established himself as the intellectual godfather of the Bush Administration's nuclear strategy, which calls for a reduction in nuclear warheads and construction of a missile shield. As one of a tiny group of foreign-policy gurus who guided then-Texas Governor George W. Bush during the campaign, Wolfowitz argued that with the end of the cold war, the emphasis should be shifted away from mutually assured annihilation. He even advocated slashing nuclear arsenals. In fact, the cuts the Bush team has proposed, to roughly 2,000 warheads, are what the Clintonites sought for a third strategic arms reduction pact. On the other hand, Wolfowitz is one of the architects of Bush's withdrawal from the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, considered by many Democrats to be the cornerstone of arms control. Despite predictions of a cataclysmic reaction by Russia, China, and allies to the withdrawal, the response has been muted, except in Washington. "I think Wolfowitz is very bright. I think he's honest. I think he's wrong," says Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden (D-Del.). But even those who disagree with him note that Wolfowitz's experience and knowledge make him a formidable opponent. Wolfowitz' service to six Administrations has included three tours of duty at the Pentagon, beginning in the Carter years, when he focused on Persian Gulf rivalries after the fall of the Shah of Iran; two jobs at State, where he helped oust Philippines dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos; and an ambassadorship to Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation. One key to Wolfowitz' influence is that he engages colleagues with a loose, Clintonesque management style, encouraging debate rather than rapid decisions. "I often found myself in his office thinking, `Paul, it's time to throw me out,"' says one ex-aide. "But the result is he always has a leg up on the other principals at the table who haven't thought through the ideas to their second and third order of consequences." That style has helped build a loyal coterie that has fanned out throughout the Administration, giving Wolfowitz enormous bureaucratic clout. His former aides include Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley; Zalmay M. Khalilzad, the National Security Council's director for South Asia; Vice-President Dick Cheney's top two national security aides, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and Eric S. Edelman; and Air Force Secretary James G. Roche. This time around, Wolfowitz chose a top job at defense instead of state. "Trying to bring the military into the 21st century is too much to resist," he says. But Wolfowitz could fast become a lightning rod for the military brass, defense contractors, and Congress if he guts some pet programs that aren't working. On Dec. 14, for example, the Pentagon axed an overbudget Navy missile defense system for ships that was much beloved by some Star Warriors: They hoped it would be the base for a national missile shield. The Brooklyn-born Wolfowitz isn't spoiling for a fight--at the Pentagon or overseas. In fact, he prefers deterrence as a management tool and in foreign policy. He believes "you should be the guy nobody wants to screw with," an associate says. "You have a lot fewer problems." And he is persistent. "If he gets an idea and thinks something is right, he will stay with it," says a top Administration official. That's the sort of determination that could make for some sleepless nights in Baghdad. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la 000103386dec31.story?coll=la%2Dnews%2Dcomment%2Dopinions * ROAD TO MIDEAST SOLUTION STARTS ELSEWHERE by Barry S. Strauss Los Angeles Times, 31st December On his march to power, Julius Caesar had the advantage of a mind that commanded sure and certain insights. One of them was this: The shortest distance between two points is not necessarily a straight line. Take the road to Rome--Caesar understood that it ran not through Naples or Parma but through Paris. To capture the seat of power in Italy, therefore, Caesar took an army to conquer Gaul. That was in 58 BC. Nine years later, Caesar crossed the Rubicon and swept through Italy, a conquering hero. Caesar's story offers lessons to American strategists today. Consider one of the most dangerous disputes in the contemporary world: the war between Palestinians and Israelis. A just and secure settlement would infinitely strengthen the United States' standing in the Muslim world, in turn a strategic battleground in the war on terror. But Washington will never resolve the conflict if it limits its horizons to the strip of territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. The road to a solution does not run through Ramallah, where Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat sits under virtual house arrest. Nor does it run through Jerusalem and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government. The road runs through Baghdad, Tehran and Damascus. The reason, as Caesar might have put it, is that when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the local players are just centurions. The generals sit further east. To understand why, consider the strategic realities. First, public opinion. The Israeli public has hardened its heart of late against the Palestinians. The reason is that the Palestinian leadership rejected Ehud Barak's generous peace offer in 2000 and then declared a second intifada. Currently it does little to stop a terror campaign against Israel's civilians. And yet that same Israeli public, as poll after poll shows, yearns for peace with a Palestine that is willing to put down its guns. The Palestinian public is probably no different. However much their leaders may talk of armed struggle, it is impossible to believe that the long-suffering Palestinian people want anything other than peace, security and independence. So if it were up to the two peoples, this war would be over. But it is not up to the two peoples. The main reason, and this is the second strategic reality, is the terrorists. The fighters of Hamas and Hezbollah would rather kill Israeli civilians than negotiate with Israeli diplomats. They don't want peace with Israel but merely a base from which to drive Israel into the sea. The terrorists take their orders from the same place that they get their arms, their funds and their sanctuary. Which brings us to the third strategic reality, the enabling states of terror. Syria provides bases for Hamas and Hezbollah in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, which it occupies. Iraq offers schooling in terror techniques such as airplane hijacking. Iran offers weapons and funding. All three states mount media operations that drown out moderate Arab and Muslim voices. Faced with such a sea of troubles, it doesn't take a Caesar to see what should be done. If the United States wants peace in the Middle East, it should, first of all, make war on Saddam Hussein. U.S. power, helped by the Iraqi resistance movement, can bring his bloody regime finally to an end. At the same time, the United States should take out the terrorists' camps in the Bekaa Valley. With luck, this will in turn bring down Bashar Assad's dictatorship in Damascus. Finally, there is Iran. Rather than engaging with the mullahs, as some advocate, Washington should support the coming democratic revolution aimed at the tyrants of Tehran. To be sure, the use of force will raise a storm of public criticism. In private, however, the U.S. will find enormous support especially if, like Caesar, it takes speedy and decisive action. In the end, the world will hail the replacement of three tyrannies, each hated by its own people, with liberal, secular and friendly regimes. And the cheers will grow louder the clearer the U.S. makes it that one of the fruits of victory will be resolution of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Barry S. Strauss is director of the peace studies program and a professor of history and the classics at Cornell University. MILITARY MATTERS http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/12/30/wirq3 0.xml&sSheet=/news/2001/12/30/ixnewstop.html * US MISSILE SHORTAGE DELAYS IRAQ STRIKE by Sean Rayment Daily Telegraph, 30th December America's supply of the air launched version, one of the US air force's most sophisticated and deadly weapons, has become so depleted that military chiefs are pressing Boeing, the manufacturers, to speed up their production. Even so, the first of the new batch of missiles ordered last year is not expected for months, and it may take longer to rebuild stocks to a level that would make such an attack viable. Strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 and Kosovo two years ago virtually exhausted the US supply. The number of conventional [non-nuclear] air launched cruise missiles left within the inventory is believed to be fewer than 30. The Ł900,000 missiles are a vital tactical weapon because of their ability to destroy targets from up to 800 miles without warning. The news came as President Bush pledged to maintain the war on terrorism in 2002. "Above all, this coming year will require our sustained commitment to the war against terrorism," he said in his weekly radio address. "We cannot know how long this struggle will last. But it can end only one way: in victory for America and the cause of freedom." The US joint chiefs are known to be considering a number of plans to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime. The military is thought to be pushing for a full-scale invasion of the country in a campaign similar to Operation Desert Storm, but this would require months of planning and the movement of hundreds of thousand of troops. Fundamental to any plan is the use of overwhelming air power. Unless Iraq's air defence system was destroyed by cruise missiles, as in the Gulf war, the chances of heavy US casualties would be high. Other options open to America include the use of Tomahawk cruise missiles, 85 of which have been fired against Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. The Tomahawks can be launched from ships or submarines but lack the range for every target in Iraq, a fact that Saddam recognises. It is also likely that the US Navy would not want its stock of Tomahawks diminished, potentially creating the nightmare scenario of the world's only military superpower being without a viable long-range missile force. Rob Hewson, the editor of Jane's Air Launched Weapons, said American bombers would not be sent in until hostile air defence and communications systems had been all but destroyed by cruise missiles. He said: "The Pentagon will not want to be in a position to launch another full-scale attack against Iraq without a full armoury of cruise missiles. Iraq has one of the largest armed forces in the world. It has a very capable air defence system and the US wouldn't want to launch an attack against it without destroying most of its air defence first. "The only real option as far as Iraq is concerned is to sit tight and replenish stocks." A Pentagon spokesman admitted that cruise missile stocks had been virtually exhausted after the strikes on Afghanistan, Sudan and Kosovo. When asked whether the shortfall would delay any future large-scale military operation, he said: "The military chiefs are aware of the situation and measures are in place to fix it." The Pentagon has also given the go-ahead for a more sophisticated version of the "Daisy Cutter" bomb which has been used in Afghanistan. The BLU118/B was first dropped on December 14 in the Nevada desert. The devices creates a pressure wave capable of destroying caves and killing troops in the open. http://www.baghdad.com/?action=display&article=11146194&template=baghdad/ind exsearch.txt&index=recent * CHRONOLOGY OF US STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ The Associated Press, 30th December Some of the most significant strikes by allied forces against Iraq since the Persian Gulf War: ‹Oct. 13, 2001: Allied warplanes attacked military installations in southern Iraq in response to continued threats to U.S. and British pilots patrolling the northern and southern no-fly zones, officials said. ‹Aug. 30, 2001: U.S. fighter jets attack an Iraqi radar site at Basra airport, which in the past had been used to coordinate Iraqi air defense targeting of U.S. and British aircraft, officials said. ‹Aug. 29, 2001: One day after an unmanned Air Force reconnaissance aircraft was inexplicably lost in southern Iraq, allied forces hit two targets which provide support for Iraqi air defense fighter aircraft, according to one U.S. official. ‹Aug. 10, 2001: Dozens of allied aircraft bomb a military communications center, a surface-to-air missile launching site and long-range radar in southern Iraq in response to increasing threats by Iraqi air defenses, the Pentagon said. ‹Aug. 7, 2001: Air defense sites in northern Iraq are struck by the U.S. Air Force after surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery are fired by Iraq, the military said. Just days before, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Iraq had rebuilt air defenses near Baghdad which had been targeted in heavy allied attacks in February. ‹July 25, 2001: An Iraqi anti-aircraft missile narrowly misses an Air Force U-2 spy plane. ‹May 18, 2001: In an act of self-defense, allied forces target a surface-to-air missile complex, including radars and launchers, near Al-Amarah, about 180 miles southeast of Baghdad, according to the military. ‹Feb. 16, 2001: After President George W. Bush's first military order, U.S. and British warplanes bomb surveillance radars and sites linking command and control to Iraqi surface to-air missile batteries around Baghdad. It was the largest strike ‹ and the first outside the ``no fly'' zone in southern Iraq ‹ in more than two years. ‹April 4, 2000: Allied aircraft target four Iraqi military sites, including one at Nasiriyah, 17 miles southeast of Baghdad. ‹Feb. 24, 1999: Air Force and Navy aircraft attack two Iraqi surface-to-air missile sites near Al Iskandariyah, about 30 miles south of Baghdad, in response to anti-aircraft artillery fire and an Iraqi aircraft violation of southern no-fly zone. ‹Feb. 10, 1999: U.S. and British warplanes fire at two air defense sites in Iraq after three waves of Iraqi fighter jets violate southern ``no-fly'' zone. ‹Dec. 16, 1998: Weapons inspectors withdrawn from Iraq. Hours later, four days of U.S. British air and missile strikes begin, pounding Baghdad. ‹June 30, 1998: A U.S. F-16 fighter fires a missile at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile battery in southern Iraq after Iraqi radar locks on four British patrol planes. ‹November 1996: Two U.S. F-16 pilots fire missiles at Iraqi radar sites near the 32nd parallel in the southern no-fly zone. ‹Sept. 11, 1996: Responding to Iraqi missile fire at two F-16s in the northern ``no-fly'' zone, the U.S. responds by sending more bombers, stealth fighters and another aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region. Iraq accuses Kuwait of an ``act of war'' for allowing U.S. jets into Kuwait. ‹Sept. 3-4, 1996: U.S. ships and airplanes fire scores of cruise missiles at Iraqi anti-missile sites to punish the Iraqi military for venturing into the Kurdish ``safe haven'' in northern Iraq. ‹April 14, 1994: Allied planes enforcing ``no-fly'' zone shoot down two U.S. helicopters carrying a U.N. relief mission, mistaking them for Iraqi helicopters. Twenty-six people are killed, including 15 Americans. ‹June 27, 1993: U.S. warships fire 24 cruise missiles at intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in retaliation for what the United States calls a plot to assassinate President George H. W. Bush. ‹Jan. 7, 1993: After Baghdad refuses to remove missiles that United States says it has moved into southern Iraq, allied warplanes and warships attack missile sites and a nuclear facility near Baghdad. ‹Aug. 27, 1992: Backed by Britain and France, the U.S. declares ``no-fly'' zone over southern Iraq to protect Shiite Muslim rebels. The U.S. and some allies begin air patrols. ‹April 1991: The United States, France and Britain declare 19,000-square-mile area of northern Iraq ``safe haven'' for Kurds and impose ``no-fly'' zone north of 36th parallel. ‹Feb. 26, 1991: U.S.-led coalition forces Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. Baghdad accepts cease-fire two days later. EMBARGO ON IRAQ http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/363/nation/Iraq_claims_UN_toll_of_1_6m+.sh tml * IRAQ CLAIMS UN TOLL OF 1.6M Boston Globe (from Reuters), 29th December BAGHDAD - More than 1.6 million people have died as a result of economic sanctions imposed on Baghdad since 1990 by the United Nations, the state Iraqi News Agency said. The agency was quoting from a letter sent from Iraq's UN mission to Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations. ''A total of 1,614,203 people, out of them 667,773 children under the age of 5 have died since the imposition of sanctions in 1990 until November 2001,'' INA quoted the letter as saying. The letter said there had been only 258 deaths among children under 5 in 1989, a year before sanctions were imposed. It blamed the rise in the death rate on delays by US and British representatives to the UN Security Council's sanctions committee in approving the purchase of medicine and medical equipment. [.....] http://quotes.freerealtime.com/dl/frt/N?art=C2001122900363r1888&SA=Latest%20 News * INTERVIEW: IRAQ OIL MIN: NO HALT IN OIL EXPORTS by Simeon Kerr and Sally Jones Dec 29, 2001 (FWN Financial via COMTEX) -- CAIRO( Dow Jones)--The West's fear that Iraq will halt crude exports in a bid to apply political pressure on the U.S. and U.K. is unfounded, given Iraq's track record and its strategy aimed at destroying the U.N.-imposed sanctions regime through international economic cooperation , Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rasheed told Dow Jones Newswires in an interview Saturday. 'Iraq, as a founding member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, wants a stable market, fair prices, and will not take any measure in any way unnecessarily to disrupt the market,' he said. Despite the U.S.-led air strikes on Iraqi military facilities in December 1998, Rasheed said the flow of crude exports remained intact at that time. Iraq's decision to interrupt exports in December 2000 was 'a de facto interruption' due to the U.S. and U.K.'s rejection of Iraq's oil pricing proposal at the time. 'We put in a pricing mechanism, they refused it; when it was refused, oil purchasers couldn't send their oil tankers'So what happened was not by Iraq but by the sheer action of the Americans and British,' Rasheed said. At the time, the U.N. said Iraq had proposed an oil price below market rates while asking customers to pay a 50-cent surcharge into an Iraqi-controlled bank account. Rather than disrupting exports, Rasheed sees greater international economic cooperation with Iraq - which could include the oil sector - as a means to 'disintegrate' the 'unethical and illegal' U.N. sanctions regime. '(We need) to develop our economic relationship with neighboring economic countries so that sanctions are disintegrated to such an extent that sanctions will be lifted de facto,' Rasheed said. He anticipates that Iraqi crude exports to Jordan will continue to grow. Iraq recently signed a deal with Jordan to export some 90,000 barrels day of crude and 3,000 tons of oil products in 2002. The Iraqi-Syrian crude pipeline, he said, inset yet operational, but has the potential to carry 1.4 million b/d of Iraqi crude. 'We're still testing the pipeline. It's been out of order for 20 years, but we are putting extra effort to make it operational, and bring it up to standard.' Rasheed added that Russia is a priority in all forms of economic cooperation with Iraq because of 'its constructive position in the Security Council.' When asked whether U.S and U.K. companies had expressed an interest in participating in Iraq's energy industry, Rasheed said: 'It is unnatural to give projects to companies related to countries that want to break Iraq.' But he said that the U.S. will eventually want to participate in Iraq's hydrocarbons industry. Despite U.S.-Iraqi mutual animosity, Rasheed noted the bizarre situation in which Iraq indirectly supplies crude to the U.S. markets. 'U.S. foreign policy is ironic in many ways,' Rasheed said. Iraq, Rasheed said, has met its obligations to open up to foreign inspection and monitoring of its Weapons of Mass Destruction capabilities under U.N. Security Council Resolution 687. 'Now the U.S. has to fulfill its part of the deal, and lift sanctions,' Rasheed said. Asked about U.S. calls for renewed monitoring of Iraqi weapons capabilities, Rasheed said: 'In (the attacks) of 1998, the U.S. themselves destroyed the monitoring system. A lot of bombing was on manufacturing, which had a monitoring system.' 'The U.S. wants a pretext; it wants to destroy and disintegrate Iraq and disrupt its political independence,' Rasheed added. Nor does he foresee the U.S./U.K. proposal of so-called 'smart sanctions' on Iraq ever becoming a reality. 'They (smart sanctions) have been buried because they are so stupid, and the Americans have buried it,' Rasheed said. Smart sanctions, initially proposed earlier this year by the U.K, aim to secure Baghdad's agreement to allow the return of weapons inspectors, while tightening controls on arms imports and oil smuggling and easing restrictions on humanitarian aid. Turning to the issue of the U.N. oil-for-food program, which was extended for another six months in December, Rasheed said it is hypothetical to gauge the program's lifetime. 'What we envisage is that in a short time the Americans and British will have to concede, due to international political pressure, and acknowledge that Iraq has met its obligations and sanctions should be lifted,' Rasheed said. 'One day will come when the Americans will find sanctions are not in their interests, and they will be forced, because of their interest, (to lift sanctions),' Rasheed said. 'And then, of course, the British will follow as they follow every American policy,' Rasheed added. Iraq's close relationship with Russia was key in encouraging Moscow to join OPEC and other non-OPEC members Thursday in cutting crude oil output. At its November meeting, OPEC said it would cut output by 1.5 million b/d from Jan. 1 if non-OPEC oil producers cut by 500,000 b/d at the same time. Thursday, OPEC ministers met in Cairo and agreed to reduce oil output by 1.5 million b/d from Jan. 1 for six months. Their decision follows pledges from key non-OPEC producers to slice 462,500 b/d from their supplies. 'We used our good relations to work with Russia on developing cooperation with OPEC,' Rasheed said. He added that OPEC should have implemented its 1.5 million cut after the November meeting, to maximize the cut's impact on the market. IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERNARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/12/29/iraq.egypt.trade.reut/index.htm l * EGYPT MINISTERS IN IRAQ TO BOOST TRADE CNN. 29th December BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) -- An Egyptian business delegation headed by four government ministers began trade talks in Iraq on Saturday, the Iraqi News Agency INA reported. Egypt's ministers for economy, public enterprise, energy and electricity, and industry discussed with their Iraqi counterparts implementing a free trade agreement signed by the two countries earlier this year. The visit is the latest sign of improving relations between Egypt and Iraq which had been strained since the 1990-1991 Gulf crisis. Egypt broke off diplomatic ties during the crisis and sent troops to join the U.S.-led coalition that drove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Relations have improved in recent months and trade has blossomed. Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh was quoted by INA as saying the value of trade between the two countries reached $1.7 billion this year. [.....] http://europe.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/12/31/oman.gulf.iraq.reut/index.html * GULF ARABS TELL IRAQ TO ALLOW U.N. ARMS INSPECTIONS CNN, 1st January MUSCAT (Reuters) -- Gulf Arab states urged neighboring Iraq on Monday to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into the country or risk more tension in the Middle East. The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) also called on Iraq to show good will towards its neighbors and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kuwait, which Baghdad invaded in 1990 before being driven out seven months later by a U.S.-led multinational force. The GCC alliance groups oil-rich Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain. "The council calls on both Iraq and the secretary-general of the United Nations to resume negotiations to renew cooperation based on foundations whereby the Security Council can lift economic sanctions imposed on Iraq and end the suffering of the brotherly Iraqi people," said a communique at the end of a GCC summit in Oman. The United Nations says sanctions, imposed on Iraq for its invasion of Kuwait, cannot be lifted unless Baghdad allows international weapons inspectors back into the country to check for weapons of mass destruction. "We hope Iraq's obstinacy towards some Security Council resolutions will not lead to more tension in the region and cause more suffering to the brotherly Iraqi people," GCC Secretary General Jameel al-Hujailan told the summit. He also criticized Baghdad for continuing antagonism towards its pro-Western neighbors Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The leaders called on Iraq to cooperate over the issue of Kuwaitis and other nationals missing since the 1990-1991 Gulf War and to return Kuwait state property. [.....] REMNANTS OF DECENCY http://www.dailystar.com.lb/31_12_01/art23.htm * FORMER UN CHIEF WEAPONS INSPECTOR SAYS US NEEDS LEGAL BASIS FOR ATTACKS by George S. Hishmeh The Daily Star (Lebanon), 31st December WASHINGTON: Scott Ritter is a straight arrow. He prides himself for telling it like it is, recognizing that he is a lone wolf caught in the midst of an international argument that could ultimately precipitate a war much bloodier than the one underway in Afghanistan. The former UN chief weapons inspector who hounded Iraq's Saddam Hussein for nearly a decade has shifted his target, and now aims his guns at his government's unilateral policy a policy of regime removal in Iraq.' Is this a new Scott Ritter? 'There is no such thing as an old Scott Ritter or a new Scott Ritter,' he insisted. 'If I am anything, I am the most consistent person out there on Iraq. I have never cut Saddam Hussein any flack. As a weapons inspector my job was not to worry about (him). My job was to worry about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. If people ask me my opinion ť I would say he is a brutal dictator. That's putting it mildly.' The views of the former American Marine stick out like a sore thumb in the debate now underway in Washington between hawkish officials of the Bush administration, particularly those in the Defense Department and the less combative State Department over what some see as the unfinished war against the Iraqi strongman. What remains unsettled, some reportedly believe, is only the question of timing and military strategy, now that the rout of the Taleban and Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network has made these two points seemingly moot. 'I take comfort in one thing and one thing only, and that is the truth, the facts,' Ritter told The Daily Star. 'Whether people rally around me ť I couldn't care less. I'd like them to, I'd like them to see who is speaking the truth, I'd like them to challenge people who make statements. I get challenged every time I make a statement. But I can back it up. 'Am I isolated? Certainly. Do I feel alone? Yes. Does it bother me? No, not at all.' Ritter explained the problem his inspection team had with Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War, noting that UN Security Council Resolution 687 required total disarmament, and so '90-95 percent was not good enough, although it meant that fundamentally Iraq has been disarmed.' From a qualitative standpoint, Ritter said, 'Iraq no longer possessed a weapons program under the law (but) that 90-95 percent was not good enough.' This meant his team had to investigate how Iraq hid its programs in the past, and how it might continue to do so 'what we called a concealment mechanism.' This effort, he continued, 'has put us in conflict with the Iraqi government on a number of fronts, primarily over the issue of national sovereignty and Iraqi national security,' because the inspectors tried to gain access to presidential security, intelligence services, sensitive military facilities, even presidential palaces. 'A lot of people misconstrued that work as somehow Scott Ritter (was) waging his own private war against Saddam Hussein,' he said laughing. 'All I am doing today is going forward in the same way I went forward as a weapons inspector, mindful of the facts and operating with high integrity.' Here, Ritter fired his first salvo. 'The big problem is that the US government seems not to understand that, in order to have international support to confront Saddam Hussein, the US has to be operating within the framework of international law. It cannot do this by itself. And we definitely can't do it if we are going to ignore legal fundamentals such as the UN Charter.' The Security Council has never passed a resolution which targeted Saddam Hussein, he said. 'And yet the United States pursues, as its own unilateral policy, a policy of regime removal in Iraq and we are using Security Council disarmament provisions as a means of facilitating our own policy. We are creating a situation which brings immense suffering to 22 million innocent people caught in the middle.' Ritter attributed this misguided US stance to the 'private, political agenda' of some key officials in the US government who, 'frankly, have hijacked US national security for their own purposes.' He identified these as Defense Secretary Donald M. Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, along with Richard Perle, head of the Defense Policy Advisory Board, a non-governmental group, and James Woolsey, the former CIA director. 'It appears they will do anything it takes to make just cause for the United States to go to war, even though, legally, there is no just cause.' Elaborating on the 'propaganda mills' engaged in this anti-Hussein campaign, Ritter cited the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy as 'just one of many voices clamoring' for the past decade for the removal of the Iraqi leader. 'They have yet to put forth a consistent argument. Their reasons for his removal continue to change as the political scene.' This 'war of rhetoric,' as he put it, just demonizes a demon but 'without any substantive facts ť on the table ť that are worthy of going to war with.' Ritter also minced no words about Richard Butler, the former head of UNSCOM, the UN agency overseeing Iraq's disarmament and who can be seen regularly on television castigating the Baghdad regime. He said he found Butler to be a 'complicated character' who in time 'disgraced himself' as the head of the UN commission for which Ritter worked until 1998. '(Butler) destroyed his reputation as a diplomat,' Ritter, who now serves as a news analyst with Fox television, claimed. 'He destroyed his reputation as a politician ť The man is a liar. The man has been exposed as somebody who has no ability to maintain integrity in positions of high responsibility. He betrayed the special commission, he destroyed the weapons inspection process almost unilaterally.' In turn, Ritter has been taken to task for seemingly contradictory assessments about Iraq's weapons potential. Statements he made before two Senate committees in 1998 seem to contradict his current position. 'Once (the) effective inspection regime has been terminated,' he was quoted as saying then, 'Iraq will be able to reconstitute the entirety of its former nuclear, chemical and ballistic missile delivery system capability within a period of six months.' He explained in the interview: 'Now ť I would say it's unlikely that it is the case. It's unlikely that these plans are in place, it's unlikely that Iraq would seek to implement them. But the most important thing to point out is that even if Iraq had these plans, it can't implement them if you had weapons inspectors in Iraq. And that's why I have always argued for the return of weapons inspectors (for monitoring purposes).' Where he parts way with the Bush administration is in the next step. 'If you want to confront Saddam, you have to do so based on the foundation of legality. Now, if you pass (at the UN Security Council) a finding of compliance under (Resolution) 687 and you offer to lift the oil embargo, then in accordance with the law now the United States is adhering to the law you demand that Iraq adhere to its obligations which are to allow monitoring inspectors under (UN resolutions) 785 and 1051. Should Iraq refuse to do so, now you have a clear case against Saddam. Now you can start making the case that Iraq is a rogue nation, a lawless nation, a nation that refuses to adhere to international standards, and you can start making the case for war. But you cannot make that case if you, the United States, are yourself operating outside the framework of international law.' Ritter believes Iraq has no choice but to accept this offer. 'Saddam's days would be numbered (if) the entire world ť recognized that Iraq has no intention of complying with international law,' he said. According to Ritter, Iraq at present can make the argument that 'we did what we are supposed to do. We got rid of our weapons and now it is up to the Security Council to do what it's supposed to do and, until the Security Council does that, we do not want to deal with weapons inspectors.' 'Right now,' he added, 'the United States has so clouded the situation with its own ridiculous policy of overthrowing Saddam Hussein that it is very difficult to make an argument that Iraq is the bad guy. Iraq right now looks very much like the nation that is being pursued relentlessly and irresponsibly by the United States.' George S. Hishmeh, a one-time editor-in-chief of The Daily Star, is an Arab-American journalist now based in Washington NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20011229670.2 _5b4d001144722290 * IRAQ: TEACHING HOSPITAL RENOVATED, EXPANDED IN KURDISH REGION Hoover's (Financial Times), 28th December Source: Brayati web site, Arbil, in Sorani Kurdish 26 Dec 01 The teaching hospital in Arbil was opened originally in 1959. After two years of renovation, Shawkat Shaykh Yazdin, the minister for the Council of Ministers' affairs, opened the hospital on the second anniversary of the fourth cabinet of the Kurdistan regional [KDP-led] government. The hospital has been provided with many departments, floors, surgery halls, new units, and advanced equipment. During the opening ceremony, which the minister of finance and economy, the minister of health and social affairs, a number of deputy ministers, the representative of World Health Organizations, the director of the hospitals and the doctors attended, honourable Mr Yazdin inspected each and every room, unit, the general surgery department and orthopaedics surgery department and ophtamology department in the hospital. He surveyed each of the advanced, modern equipment and surgery appliances. He also visited the departments of intensive care, medical treatment, the pharmacy, the patients' additional halls for women and men and methods of observation in a scientific, healthy way. Generally, the hospital could accommodate 200 patients. In a speech he delivered in the lecture hall, Shawkat Shaykh Yazdin expressed his delight at the renovation of Arbil teaching hospital in a modern way and equipping it with modern and advanced equipment to serve patients. He manifested the importance of health services as one of the main priorities of the Kurdistan regional government to serve and address the medical needs of the citizens. He also stressed that the Kurdistan regional government, in the light of the guidelines and the directives of President [Mas'ud] Barzani, has always attached great importance to all aspects of life especially that of health and raising the health standards, reducing the rate of sickness in Kurdistan region by opening hospitals, importing new surgical instruments and medical equipment and appliances, and maintains attaching that importance. In this context Shawkat Shaykh Yazdin said: "The duty of physicians and the field of health care are sacred and it is a serious responsibility, which concerns all. So we must all put ourselves at the service of that sacred duty. We have to be able, as much as we can, to serve our fellow citizens to raise the health standards." [Passage omitted: More the minister's speech emphasising the regional government's commitment to serving the people] It is worth noting the Ministry of Health decided on the renovation of the hospital in 1999 and allocated the sum of 750,000 dollars. Now, surgery units, more than 170 beds and a number of medical equipment have been added to it. Moreover, it is on the future agenda to add a restaurant, a dressing room, a mosque, an artificial kidney department and a psychiatric unit to it. Also several advanced equipment and appliances operated by a new system for the intensive care unit, as well as for supervision, eyes, ears, brain and the spine units will be purchased. There will also be additional personnel and medical experts. REFUGEES http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1734000/1734839.stm * REFUGEES WAIT IN UK CYPRUS BASE by Russell Working in Dhekelia, Cyprus BBC, 30th December Mohammed Ali and Avin Ibrahim thought they were heading for Italy when they paid $5,000 (5,649 euros) to people smugglers and sailed from Lebanon in 1998. But their leaky 36-foot boat, crammed with 82 passengers, began taking in water off Cyprus. As the passengers bailed and the boat sank, Mr Ibrahim found himself thinking: "It's better for me to die outside my country." The Ibrahims were lucky. They and their fellow passengers were rescued by the British military. These boat people have formed the core of a group of 103 mostly ethnic Kurds from Iraq who have been squatting for up to three years in the no-man's-land of a UK base at Dhekelia. They are just a small part of a migration that is carrying thousands of Middle Eastern and African illegal aliens to the promised land of Europe every year. The exact numbers of boat people are unknown, says Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. If we could deport them, we would do Rob Need, spokesman for Dhekelia base The United Nations recognises 5.6 million people in Europe as refugees, but there may be millions more who haven't applied for asylum. "It's very widespread and increasing, especially for those going to Italy or Greece," Mr Colville says. "Greece and its islands are the nearest point [in the EU] for people coming through the Eastern Mediterranean." In the case of the Dhekelia squatters, most came from Iraq, fleeing Saddam Hussein's brutal crackdown on Kurds. Their numbers were boosted by a group of non-Kurdish Iraqis who crossed over from the Turkish-occupied half of Cyprus, apparently believing that sneaking on to a base was a shortcut to British citizenship. The military thinks otherwise, and the decision about their refugee status is in the hands of the base administration, not the UK Government. Only 21 have been granted refugee status by the officials, who have ruled that most are economic rather than political migrants. Yet the bases - which have been feeding, housing and providing medical care for its uninvited guests - can't seem to get rid of them. "If we could deport them, we would do," says Rob Need, a spokesman for the base. "The difficulty is, Iraq is effectively a pariah state. There is no mechanism for deporting them to Iraq." The boat people borrowed and scraped up thousands of dollars to make the journey. Kameron Amin Bango, 29, is a Kurd who was shot and crippled during factional fighting in his home town. He and his brother fled to Lebanon, where each paid $2,000 (2,260 euros) for the trip to Italy. "After we were rescued, we found out we weren't in Italy," he says ruefully. "But [the British] saved us, because the engine of the boat was broken; there was water in the boat." No one had a harder journey than the 23-year-old Mrs Ibrahim. Pregnant when they sailed, she went into labour at sea. She lay on deck screaming while the other women held up blankets to offer a little privacy. The men busied themselves bailing out the boat. Everyone was afraid that their vessel would sink and all hands would be lost. Instead, Mrs Ibrahim gave birth to a healthy girl, and everyone survived. If the military has been sparing in granting refugee status, it does so in part because some refugees seem to hold the mistaken notion that sneaking on to a base amounts to a quick ticket to London. Mr Need explains: "If someone believes this is a shortcut to migrating to Britain, I hope we have proven that this is not the case." -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.