The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

News, 12-19/1/02 (3)

News, 12-19/1/02 (3)


*  Sanction deal benefits only UN: Iraq


*  The land of the free becomes the home of the hypocrite
*  Iraq ­ 11 years on [by Dr Omar Al Taher in the Jordan Times. This article
has been discussed at some length in the discussion list. I have left out
the account of Iraqi suffering to concentrate attention on the political
analysis. Which includes this, the key point that needs to be made about the
weapons inspections: ŒThe Iraqi leadership is aware that if all its weaponry
(from biological weapons to even hand grenades) are accounted for and
decommissioned, the sanctions are there to stay. So, why cooperate?¹. The
Iraqi government co-operated for seven years to an extent far beyond what
anyone could reasonably have expected. Then one day they realised that there
was no point and who, watching the subsequent behaviour of such as R.Butler
and C.Duelfer could blame them? One statement in the article now seems a bit
anachronistic: ŒAfter all, war is governed by the Geneva Convention¹. That
was before the US discovered the category of Œunlawful combatant.¹]


*  Judge Denies Young Iraqi's Bid to Join Family [Case of Iraqi draft dodger
in US being sent back to join the Iraqi army. His argument that he would be
killed if he went back was rejected. Is this a sign that the US doesn¹t
intend to wage war on Iraq after all? (of course, had he been a mass
murderer, a specialist in the weaponisation of anthrax or a close henchman
of Mr Hussein¹s then he would have been a Œdefector¹ and a precious jewel in
the crown of Messrs Duelfer, Woolsey et al)]


*  Iraqi poll names bin Laden man of year
*  Arabs in Iraq Rally for Palestinians
*  Iraqi Oil Industry In 2002: A Turning Point [This may not really belong
in the news items (it was summarised in an article in last weeks mailing -
5-11/1/02 (2), under ŒInside Iraq¹) but it appears to be a good scholarly
account of the present state of the Iraqi oil industry and of the steady
increase of its productive capacity (contrasting with recent reports of a
sharp fall in oil sales). One curious detail. The capacity of the northern
oilfield near Kirkuk appears to be declining but this is being concealed by
piping large quantities of southern oil up North. Why?]
*  Iraq won't be caught off guard, Saddam says


*  Turkey Offers To Lead Peacekeepers
*  CIA memoir tells all [Account of book ŒSee No Evil¹ by Robert Baer about
the CIA which apparently includes what ought to be an interesting account of
the failed CIA operation in Northern Iraq in 1996. Note that Martin Walker
expresses astonished disgust that Robert Baer should have been criticised
for wanting to assassinate President Hussein. He should have a word with
Senator Lieberman, who would tell him that the attempt to assassinate a
President is Œthe worst kind of terrorism¹ (see article on Lieberman in
Incitement to Hatred above. Of course Lieberman had a different president in
mind ...)]
*  War, part two [Extract, making the obvious point that US reliance on
proxies to do their fighting for them will often mean - and has often meant
- reliance on unpleasant proxies]
*  Central Asian nations choose their sides [Some small indications of
Russian anxiety about the possibility of a massive US military buildup on
their southern flank]


Times of India, 17th January

BAGHDAD (Reuters): Iraq on Wednesday criticised as a failure the
oil-for-food programme, saying it benefited only the United Nations, the
official Iraqi News Agency (INA) said.

It also accused the United States and Britain of blocking thousands of
contracts, worth more than $7 billion, including medicines and supplies for
food and sanitation.

INA said Iraq's Trade Minister Mohammed Mehdi Saleh told Benon Sevan,
executive director of the U.N. humanitarian oil deal and an
undersecretary-general, that the oil programme had failed to meet the needs
of the Iraqi people.

"The oil-for-food programme has failed in addressing needs of the Iraqi
people and it ensures only the needs of the United Nations and compensation
imposed on Iraq," Saleh said.

"The United Nations has deducted $18 billion since the start of the
programme, while Iraq received only $16 billion (in goods), at $3 billion a
year," he said.

Earlier, Saleh said the United States and Britain had blocked 2,361
contracts worth $7.23 billion signed under 10 phases of the U.N.
oil-for-food programme.

"The oil programme, which the American administration and British government
claim was initiated to ameliorate the suffering of Iraqi people, has failed
to do so and it becomes a burden on Iraq," Saleh said.

He said the oil deal was no substitute for the complete lifting of sanctions
imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of neighbouring Kuwait.

Sevan last week criticised the unprecedented surge of nearly $5 billion in
supplies to Iraq which had been blocked, mainly by the United States.

Saleh accuses Washington, London

Saleh also accused Washington and London of doing what they could to harm
Iraq through "control of the U.N. Security Council and pressure exercised on
the committee to prevent Iraq from benefiting from its own money."

Among contracts on hold, Saleh said, were 711 applications for spare parts
and equipment for oil installations, 282 orders for medicines, 202 orders
for food and 203 for electricity.

They also included contracts for supplies for sanitation, education,
agriculture, transport and communications, he said.

The oil-for-food programme allows Baghdad to sell unlimited quantities of
oil to buy a host of goods for civilian use. But the oil revenues are
controlled by the United Nations, which pays suppliers of the goods Iraq

Iraq sold nearly $11 billion worth of oil last year under the programme, an
exception to sanctions imposed when Baghdad's troops invaded Kuwait in
August 1990.

Sevan, who arrived in Baghdad on Monday to discuss the programme, said the
volume of goods on hold had now reached $4.956 billion.

These included 1,265 contracts worth $4.28 billion for humanitarian supplies
and 589 contracts worth $676 million for oil industry equipment.

Many of the contracts are approved individually by a Security Council
sanctions committee, any one of whose 15 members can block them.


by Pilita Clark.
Sydney Morning Herald, 14th January

Some time in the next few weeks, the vast apparatus of the US State
Department will disgorge a large report grading the human rights performance
of pretty much anything worth calling a country.

The Americans, being Americans, have been producing these reports annually
since 1977, all the better to nudge the rest of us towards the apex of human
endeavour Americans like to believe they embody.

It's a terrifically supercilious act, one few other countries would even
contemplate, not that it really matters.

If the world's only superpower feels like using its global dominance to
embarrass dictatorial regimes for abusing the rights of the humans they
rule, more power to it.

For all its faults, the United States has long embodied an enviable set of
rights and freedoms, at least in theory. So if it wants to promote those
freedoms abroad by setting itself up as a beacon of governing excellence,
why shouldn't it?

The trouble is, as any parent knows, nothing undermines a reprimand more
than the realisation that the accuser has behaved liked the accused. And
that is why, thanks to the recent behaviour of the Bush Administration, this
year's State Department report is going to have far less sway.

The department's publications are known formally as Country Reports on Human
Rights Practices. And every year, their release sets off a great bout of
bleating from those mentioned.

The Malaysians have told Washington to stop meddling. The Indonesians have
brayed about double standards and hypocrisy. The Chinese got so angry that
they retaliated with a report on America's record, denouncing US military
aggression, rampant private-gun ownership and child poverty.

Washington shrugged off all the criticism, as it will doubtless do this year
when it releases its 2001 report card. But this year, the US itself has
changed so much that the cries of hypocrisy from abroad will carry far
greater weight than they should.

In last year's report, for example, the State Department gravely commented
on the difficulties in getting a fair trial in Iraq where there are "special
security courts" which "hear cases in secret" and, worse, "many cases appear
to end in summary execution, although defendants may appeal to the President
for clemency".

That president would be Saddam Hussein, a man second only to Osama bin Laden
in contemporary America's pantheon of evil.

What will the department say this year, now that the Bush Administration has
responded to the September 11 terrorist attacks by setting up military
tribunals where suspected terrorists can be tried secretly, after which they
can be put to death with their only avenue of appeal being the president or
defence secretary?

We await with interest.

So may Russia. Last year the State Department noted that Internet experts
and right-to privacy advocates were complaining that the powers given to
Russia's security agencies to monitor people's use of the Internet "present
a serious threat to privacy rights, and violate the Civil Code, the
Constitution, and international norms".

This year, American privacy advocates are worrying about another Washington
response to September 11: the USA Patriot Act, which expands the ability of
the government to carry out secret searches and minimises the role of the
courts in making sure wiretapping is done legally.

Then there is press freedom, another topic that always features heavily in
the State Department's reports.

Last year, the department found that in Malaysia "government restrictions,
pressure, and intimidation led to a high degree of press self-censorship".

In Singapore, the department reported there were "informal methods of
government influence, that continue to restrict freedom of speech and the
press significantly".

Normally, one couldn't imagine this sort of criticism ever applying to the
American media. Yet after the September 11 attacks, President Bush's
national security adviser, Condoleeza Rice, had a conference call with
representatives of the five major television networks in which she asked
them to "exercise judgement" about airing videos of Osama bin Laden.

And amazingly, all five networks - ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN - agreed that
really, it was probably quite sensible to check such broadcasts.

For those of us who have long admired America's attempts to act as a force
for human liberty around the world, it is not just extraordinary. It is sad.

by Dr. Omar Al Taher
Jordan Times, 16th January


The effects of the embargo against Iraq stand as a stark indictment of the
Americans and the British and everything they claim to stand for. One is
inclined to point to peoples, as opposed to governments, because these two
countries are supposed to be democratic and free, governed by democratically
elected officials who are accountable to their respective electorates, i.e.,
decisions made by these officials are in essence the decisions of their
electorates. Their relationship is likened to the relationship that exists
between a principal and an agent, which entails that the principal cannot
escape liability for the acts and omissions of his agent.

By contrast, the Iraqis could in no way be blamed for the policies of Saddam
Hussein because, put simply, the Iraqis never voted Saddam in office. Here
lies the difference between the West and Iraq. Punishing the Iraqi people
for Saddam's actions is akin to punishing an innocent child for an offence
committed by his father. So much for Western fairness, equity and fair play!

Experts on the Middle East fear that this state of affairs is a recipe for
disaster in so far as the future of the Middle East is concerned.
Historically, Iraq has been a key player in the region, and it logically
follows that it would always have a crucial role to play by virtue of the
dictates of geopolitics. US and British officials talk, day in and day out,
of a Middle East living in peace and harmony. What harmony would be expected
from a county that has been singled out and placed under the most
comprehensive sanctions regime in modern history? The effects of this
genocidal war are likely to backfire, derailing all what the US and its
underling, the UK, are working towards.

George Bush's and Tony Blair's sugar-coated speeches that the 'quarrel is
not with the Iraqi people but with the Iraqi leader' is neither here nor
there. The resentment one senses in discussions with Iraqis is directed
towards the two countries and, by implication, the two peoples, the
Americans and the British. The fear, which is shared by many who have
studied the Middle East, is that by antagonising and humiliating an entire
nation, the likelihood of transforming every Iraqi into a Saddam is very
much a possibility, not to say a probability.

When confronted with the fact that over 4,000 Iraqi children are dying every
month due to the embargo, Madeleine Albright, then US secretary of state,
retorted without a qualm: 'Well, we think the price is worth it.'
Furthermore, on innumerable occasions, she went on record stating that even
if the UN Disarmament Committee's report gave Iraq a clean bill of health,
the US position is not to lift the sanctions so long as Saddam remained in
power. This candour, which borders on insolence, explains Iraq's
non-cooperative stance. The Iraqi leadership is aware that if all its
weaponry (from biological weapons to even hand grenades) are accounted for
and decommissioned, the sanctions are there to stay. So, why cooperate?

One cannot help recalling the eerie words of James Baker, former US
secretary of state, during his eleventh hour meeting in Geneva in January
1991 with Tareq Aziz, the then Iraqi foreign minister, that Iraq 'risks
being relegated to a pre-industrial age status' if it doesn't pull out of
Kuwait by Jan. 15. Well, this objective was fulfilled with the ejection of
Iraqi troops from Kuwait on Feb. 28, 1991. Why does the West continue its
aggressive foreign policy towards Iraq?

The answer lies in that following the collapse of the Soviet Union — the
Arab world's traditional ally — the US resolved that the time was ripe to
redraw the map of the Middle East. The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 has
outlived its validity, and the area was in need for a new arrangement, this
time to accommodate Israel's long-term designs. Iraq, with its huge
potential and nationalist aspirations, regardless of its government, was the
stumbling block that needed to be sorted out, so to speak. In an interview a
couple of years ago, Tareq Aziz stated that Iraq favours military strikes to
the status quo. After all, war is governed by the Geneva Convention, while
the silent war that has been waged over the past eleven years, which killed
hundreds of thousands of civilians, continues to go unnoticed and doesn't
make news headlines.

However, the pressing question remains: How many more Iraqis need to perish
before the American and the British peoples react and put a stop to the
atrocities committed in their name?

The writer, a holder of a PhD degree in international affairs and an LLB
degree from the UK, is currently a legal trainee at a law firm in Amman. He
contributed this article to The Jordan Times.


by Richard A. Serrano
Los Angeles Times, 13th January

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- He arrived in America just three days before
terrorists struck on Sept. 11.

Immediately after landing at Miami International Airport, Doraid Joussef
Suleiman declared himself a refugee from the regime of Saddam Hussein in
Iraq. The 18-year-old's hope was to join much of the rest of his family
already living in the United States.

Suleiman told U.S. authorities that he had fled his homeland because the
Iraqi government was about to conscript him into the military; if he
returned, he said, he would likely be tortured if not killed. U.S. officials
examined his case and determined there was indeed a possibility that he
might be harmed if he was sent back. Then came Sept. 11.

Today, Suleiman remains confined at the giant Krome Detention Facility near
here. And a U.S. immigration judge--while acknowledging Suleiman's
fears--has ordered him deported to Iraq, saying "every country has the right
to require its citizens to join the military."

The judge noted that Suleiman used a phony passport to get into the United
States and that once he arrived, he lied to U.S. immigration officials about
how long it took him to get to America.

No one knows for certain whether Suleiman would still be in limbo if
terrorists had not crashed hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon. The judge in his ruling did not address any Sept. 11 concerns,
and there is no hint in the record that Suleiman was ever considered a
terrorist suspect.

In the last four months, hundreds of Middle Easterners have been detained in
the investigation of the terrorist attacks. Suleiman is an example of
someone from that part of the world who was detained before Sept. 11 and
remains in jail.

Indeed, Suleiman, his family and his attorney claim that he is fleeing
Hussein's terrorist regime.

The attorney, Hina Askari of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had high hopes of
reuniting him with his family. Now her office is appealing the judge's
deportation order from last month. If they lose, he could be gone by

"He's a young kid and very brave," she said.

Suleiman's older brother, Fawzi Suliman of Las Vegas, who altered the
spelling of his last name after becoming a U.S. citizen, has helped other
family members get to the U.S., including their parents.

"He has a job working for me ready for him if he could get to Las Vegas,"
his brother said. "And if he's going back, he's going back to be persecuted
and he's going back to be killed."

In a brief telephone interview, with his brother acting as interpreter,
Suleiman said in Arabic that he "really wanted to come to America to be with
my family." Asked what would happen if he is forced to return to Iraq, he
said, "They will probably kill me because I'm a refugee in the United
States, and that's a very good reason that they will prosecute me."

A copy of Judge Kenneth S. Hurewitz's order lays out the case for and
against Suleiman and gives the judge's explanation for denying Suleiman's

The judge acknowledged Suleiman's fears, but ultimately decided that
Suleiman had not proved he would be tortured or killed if he returned to

Suleiman told the judge that he was born in Baghdad, never married and has
no children. His family are Iraqi Christians, and his parents are permanent
U.S. residents.

The youngest in the family, Suleiman left Iraq in 1998 with his parents when
they went to Jordan to keep their son out of the Iraqi military. The
parents' U.S. residency was approved, and they came to America, while the
youth, whose visa did not come through, remained behind with family friends.

He began seeking entry to the U.S. on his own in 1999, applying for U.S.
refugee status while still in Jordan, according to his brother, Fawzi. But,
he said, "the INS ignored everything he tried and they wouldn't respond to
his requests."

The brother said the family finally decided to have Suleiman come here
illegally and plead his case in U.S. immigration court. "We thought it would
be easier that way."

Suleiman eventually moved to Ecuador, staying with relatives there for six
months, and then went to Chile. After two days there, he paid a smuggler
named "Maher" $6,000 for a phony German passport under the name of "George
Nelson." Suleiman destroyed the document after boarding a plane for Miami.
His real passport was left behind with a cousin in Ecuador.

When he walked off the plane, Suleiman declared himself a refugee.

The judge's ruling noted that Suleiman "testified that he left Iraq because
the ruling party came to his school to recruit him and others for Hussein.

"Everyone was asked to sign up for what he called 'special forces,' not the
regular army. He did not want to sign because Saddam is a terrorist."

Under cross-examination by government lawyers, Suleiman acknowledged none of
his older brothers was forced into the military, including one who did not
leave Iraq until he was 27.

Askari, Suleiman's attorney, told the judge that "this is a special
situation because Saddam Hussein is a terrorist" and that her client would
"be forced to be a terrorist" if he joined the military.

Government lawyers countered that "the only reason he does not want to
return to Iraq is because he is 18 years old and does not want to serve in
the military."

The judge sided with the government.

"Every country has the right to require its citizens to join the military,"
Hurewitz ruled. And "conscription may be a ground for asylum if one would be
required to engage in internationally condemned conduct or where other
special circumstances exist."

But the judge said that "there is no evidence that the military per se
commits acts of terrorism."

"If we accept [Suleiman's] argument, then all Iraqis of military age would
be entitled to asylum."

Hurewitz also said "there is no evidence to support" Suleiman's contention
that he will be tortured upon his return to Iraq.

"While it is true that the Iraqi government is controlled by Saddam Hussein
and there are many human rights abuses," Suleiman and his lawyer could not
prove that "severe physical or mental suffering" awaits him in Iraq, the
judge said.

Therefore, Hurewitz denied the young man's three-year odyssey to live in the


CNN, 13th January

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Accused terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden is
viewed as man of the year in Iraq for 2001, according to a new Iraqi poll.

The Iraqi radio and television department and Al Thawra, an official Iraqi
daily newspaper, conducted the poll.

The poll, published in the Sunday edition of Al Thawra, said the Saudi-born
bin dissident has been elected "the preferred political figure for his
rejection of American hegemony and aggression in Afghanistan."

Thirty percent of those polled were men, and 40 percent were women.
Fifty-four percent were students, and 46 percent included workers, farmers,
pensioners and housewives, Al Thawra said.

Ninety-eight percent of those polled said the September 11 attacks on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon were the most important events of 2001.

Las Vegas Sun, 13th January

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - About 2,500 protesters gathered in the Iraqi capital on
Sunday to show their support for the Palestinian uprising, burning U.S. and
Israeli flags and threatening Israel.

Demonstrators included Egyptian, Palestinian and Sudanese students and
workers living in Iraq. Some held banners that read "All Arab people are
with President Saddam's call to liberate Palestine."

Since September 2000, more than 850 people have been killed in the uprising
on the Palestinian side and more than 240 have been killed on the Israeli

"We are protesting Sharon's crimes against our people in Palestine and we
tell him that the uprising will never end," said Mohammed Akram, 32, a
Palestinian worker in Baghdad.

After about an hour, protesters dispersed peacefully after giving U.N.
officials a letter calling on the U.N. secretary-general to exert efforts to
halt Israeli attacks on Palestinians.

During the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq launched 39 Scud missiles at Israeli cities.
Under U.S. pressure, Israel did not retaliate, though Israel's defense
minister said recently that if Saddam attacked again, Israel would hit back.

Middle East Economic Survey, VOL. XLV, No 2, 14th January 2002
Iraq¹s sustained oil production capacity is scheduled to increase to 3.1mn
b/d in 2002, compared to 2.8mn b/d in 2000/2001, MEES learns from
authoritative sources. The rise in capacity is attributable to the arrival
over the past few months of equipment and spare parts through the UN
oil-for-food program that has allowed for the maintenance of some of the
producing fields, the rehabilitation of surface facilities, and the putting
on-stream of semi-developed fields from the pre-1990 period. MEES also
understands that Iraq¹s oil policy calls for the capping of crude exports
through the humanitarian program at around 2.2mn b/d while allocating the
remaining 800,000 ­ 900,000 b/d to domestic consumption and cross-border
trade with Jordan, Turkey, Syria and the Gulf.
Iraqi Oil Minister 'Amir Rashid has reiterated several times that his
country¹s goal is to retain the pre-1990 production capacity level of
approximately 3.5mn b/d. While this target has not yet been met, Baghdad has
been able to increase its sustainable capacity from 2.4mn b/d in 1998 (MEES,
1 June 1998) rising to 2.8mn b/d in 2000 and 2001 (MEES, 22 January 2001) to
the current level of 3.05mn b/d and with a programmed boost to 3.1mn b/d in
the next few months. This has been made possible by national effort and the
gradual importation of spare parts and equipment for specific upstream
projects. Iraqi officials tell MEES that the reason the 3.5mn b/d level has
not been achieved is mainly due to the fact that the US and the UK have put
on hold or refused to approve major contracts that are essential for the
overall development of the upstream sector.
A senior oil official told MEES: ³We have received approximately $1.2bn
worth of oil equipment out of contracts totaling $3.8bn under the MOU. We
have had many problems with the allocation of funds, the dispersal of the
equipment, as well as coping with the short time-framework of the six-month
program. However, the worse handicap that we have to work under is the fact
that we are merely buying equipment instead of designing projects and
importing technology.² According to Director of the UN Office of the Iraq
Program, Benon Sevan, there are currently 1,854 contracts on hold, worth a
total of $4.956bn. They include orders for $4.28bn worth of humanitarian
supplies and  $676mn worth of oil industry equipment.
MEES learns that the Iraqi oil authorities have undertaken during the past
two-to-three years a policy of bringing into production semi-developed
fields that have been left idle since 1990. This has helped to raise
capacity, as well as to substitute for the decline in ageing fields such as
Kirkuk and Rumaila. The equipment for this program is ordered through the UN
oil-for-food program (MEES, 2 July 2001). Fields that are being developed
‹  The production of 200,000 b/d of crude from Phase One of the giant West
Qurna field which was originally developed by the Russians in the 1980s
through the drilling of 200 wells (MEES, 16 July 2001).
‹  The maintenance of approximately 1.2mn b/d of crude oil from North and
South Rumaila through the operation of two new crude treatment units with a
total capacity of 290,000 b/d.
‹  The production of around 100,000 b/d of heavy crude oil from the Misan
oilfields in the southeastern part of the country.
‹  The fast-track ³pioneering development² of the giant Majnoon oilfield
with the drilling of 24 wells to produce 20,000 b/d by year end, rising
gradually to 80,000 b/d. Majnoon¹s potential capacity is around 500,000
‹  The development of the Ratawi oil field.
MEES also learns that despite the handful of drilling contracts awarded to
Russian, Chinese, Romanian and recently Turkish companies no work has yet
started; in fact, no teams have even arrived in the country. Such contracts
have been awarded on a political rather than professional basis, and the
companies concerned offer cut-throat low prices which they themselves cannot
meet afterwards. These two factors have discouraged major international
drilling firms from bidding, although they have expressed keen interest in
working in Iraq through the oil-for-food program. 
While Iraq boasts the second largest proven oil reserves in the world after
Saudi Arabia, with the latest official figure put at 112bn barrels, the
major reserves are mainly in the southern part of the country. The giant
Kirkuk oilfield in the north, producing since 1927, is in decline.
Nonetheless, this has not prevented the oil authorities from exporting
around 900,000 b/d from the northern system. MEES is given to understand
that this has been done through the transporting of an average of around
400,000 b/d of Basrah Light crude from the southern fields to the north
through the strategic pipeline to maintain the overall production from the
north at current levels. This explains the heavier gravity and higher sulfur
content in the Kirkuk crude export system, which is also affected by the
injection of surplus fuel oil into the reservoirs and the export pipeline
Table 1
Iraqi Oil Production
(Mn B/D)
2001     2000     1999     1998     1997
2.31      2.52        2.54      2.11      1.21
Domestic Consumption & Exports
MEES learns that Iraq has programmed the following schedule for its domestic
consumption, exports under the UN humanitarian program and cross-border
trade in 2002:

Table 2
Oil Supply Program
Mn B/D:

Domestic Consumption: 0.350-0.400
Oil Under the UN Program: 2.200
Cross-Border Trade: 0.410

Of which:

Turkey: 0.080
Jordan: 0.110
Syria: 0.180
Gulf: 0.040
As can well be imagined, this program is not definite or final, but
flexible. Domestic consumption is slated to increase from 350,000 b/d to
400,000 b/d this year as more cars are imported. Exports of products to the
Gulf are irregular and are subject to a great extent to the cooperation
extended by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards which facilitate the transit of
the smuggling through Iranian territorial waters, changing policies of Gulf
states, and the degree of intrusive inspection by the multinational navy
which was led by the US and is now headed by Australia. Exports of petroleum
products and crude oil to Turkey are also subject to fluctuations. They were
suspended on 18 September but resumed on 7 January. In normal circumstances,
around 1,500 trucks with special built-in 20,000-liter tanks are permitted
to cross the border in each direction every day. In late 2000, Iraq trucked
140,000 b/d of crude and products to Turkey (MEES, 13 November 2000).
Meanwhile, exports to Jordan have increased steadily throughout the past
decade to meet local demand. Crude deliveries to Syria are scheduled to rise
from the current level of around 180,000 b/d to 250,000 b/d later this year
as maintenance work on the pipeline system is completed.
However, the big variable in Iraqi oil exports is the volatility associated
with the oil-for-food program. Iraq has the capacity to export 1.2­1.3mn b/d
from the southern terminal of al Bakr and around 900,000 b/d from the
Turkish port of Ceyhan, with plans to increase this capacity to 1.6mn b/d
later this year when the repairs to the ITP-2 pumping station on the twin
pipeline near Kirkuk are completed.
Both the UN and Iraq are keen to maintain oil exports, at the highest
possible level, each for its own reasons. For the Iraqi regime, the oil
revenue has helped to ease the dismal state of affairs that prevailed in the
country during the early 1990s and has won the authorities a good deal of
political credit with regional states and international firms. The oil
revenue is also necessary for the work of the UN compensation commission and
the international organizations operating in the country. But the program is
rigid and sometimes disruptive, even after five years of operation. There
are continuous export delays between the end of one phase and the start of a
new one; another problem stems from the insistence of the Security Council
on debating the program at the last minute and with much political
uncertainty which hampers the opening of letters of credit and chartering of
vessels. A new element of volatility was added in November 2000 with the
introduction by the Iraqi authorities of the surcharge to be paid by
international oil firms outside the UN-controlled escrow account (MEES, 20
November 2000). Major disruptions occurred during the past 12 months as a
result of this confrontation between the sanctions committee and Iraq, and
this is expected to continue in the coming few months (MEES, 7 January).
Table 3
Oil Exports Under the Oil-For-Food Program
(Mn B/D)
2001     2000     1999     1998     1997
1.71       1.92     1.94      1.55     0.80
(Note: This table corrects the annual figures published on page A7 in MEES,
7 January).
Iraq in 2002
The fact that Iraq has been able to increase its oil output capacity to
around 3mn b/d, despite the sanctions, has been overshadowed lately by the
political prospects awaiting the country in 2002. There is on the one hand
Security Council resolution 1382, adopted unanimously on 29 November 2001
(MEES, 3 December 2001), which states explicitly that Iraq can ­ as of 1
June 2002 ­ import all civilian goods and services without receiving
approval from the sanctions committee, other than a specific list of
dual-use items that need approval before they are imported. Under the same
scheme, oil funds would remain under the control of the UN through the
escrow account. On the other hand, the Iraqi regime has to accept the return
of the weapons inspectors before mid-2002; otherwise the Security Council,
under chapter seven, can take military action to enforce the resolution if
it so decides.
The fate of Iraq has become a highly significant public policy issue in the
US since 11 September and the Afghanistan campaign. The debate in Washington
is over whether to repeat the Afghanistan military plan (combination of
aerial bombardment, local forces and elite US troops), organize a coup by
the armed forces or continue the containment policy. The official US
position is that no recommendation has yet been submitted to the US
President concerning Iraq. Nonetheless, the US Congress, media and
influential persons within the administration are talking and acting as if
the decision has already been taken, or should be implemented soon. But on 8
January, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D Wolfowitz, one of the most
hawkish members of the US administration, suggested to the New York Times
that the Pentagon could opt to put off the bigger and politically more
difficult targets in the war on terrorism like Iraq, ³and therefore avoid
conflict with some of Washington¹s most important Arab and European allies,
which have been leery about taking on Baghdad,² says the New York Times.
Whatever the outcome of the confrontation between the US and Iraq in 2002 ­
and there is no doubt that such a showdown is on the cards in the coming
months, at least over the return of weapons inspectors ­ the political
crisis will seem certain to impact again on the country¹s oil industry. A
crisis that would lead to a shutdown of Iraqi oil exports in the foreseeable
future should not have much impact on world oil supplies since OPEC has a
space capacity of around 5mn b/d. On the other hand, a military campaign
that would lead to the destruction of the industry as happened in 1991 could
have devastating effects since there is very little cushion left to carry
out necessary repairs. Moreover, a change in regime, as is targeted by many
US figures, would open up a wide spectrum of possibilities, not the least of
which would be: the political map of the country, the fate of the upstream
oil contracts already signed with Russian and Chinese firms, and the future
political stability of the country that would allow for a speedy
rehabilitation program and the ability to expand the upstream oil sector to
its planned capacity of 6mn b/d within this decade. Of course, if Baghdad
surprises everyone by allowing the return of the weapons inspectors, then
another avenue of opportunity would be opened and international firms might
develop Iraqi oilfields ­ most probably on a limited basis in line with
ideas expressed in resolution 1284 of December 1999. Whatever the outcome of
this year¹s political events in Iraq, it will have important repercussions
on world oil supplies in the years to come.

Houston Chronicle (from Associated Press), 17th January

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq won't be caught off guard if attacked by U.S. forces,
President Saddam Hussein said today.

During an address marking the 11th anniversary of the start of the Persian
Gulf War, Saddam accused the United States of resorting to war rather than
dialogue. He warned it would lead to the United States' collapse "in the
near future" as the world's sole superpower.

Some U.S. politicians have called on the Bush administration to target
Saddam's regime next in the war against terrorism.

Saddam said that Iraq "will not be taken by surprise" and is ready to
confront any possible U.S. attack on Iraq.

"The events of Sept. 11 and the American reaction to them came to reveal
extensively how the United States is going headlong in antagonizing the
world," he said in a 30-minute speech.

"The ascent to the summit is not achieved by brutal force. But it needs a
strength of mind and a sensitive human conscience," Saddam said.

More than 12,000 Iraqis rallied in downtown Baghdad today to mark the start
of the U.S. led bombing campaign in 1991 that preceded the ground operation
that ended Iraq's seven month occupation of neighboring Kuwait.

President Bush has warned Saddam that his government must allow the return
of U.N. arms inspectors who have been barred from Iraq since 1998.

Iraq has been under U.N. sanctions since its invasion of Kuwait. They can
only be lifted if U.N. arms inspectors can verify that Iraq has dismantled
its arsenal of mass-destruction weapons and the capability to manufacture


by Eun-Kyung Kim
Yahoo, 16th January

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush on Wednesday welcomed Turkey's offer to
lead peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan, but made clear that American troops
in the region would be used only to ``fight and win war.''

Going into his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Bush said
the United States would look to make ``serious contributions to the
government of Afghanistan'' in other areas, such as reconstruction. But as
far as peacekeeping is concerned, he said, other nations are more than
willing to take a leading role.

``There's some discussion as to whether or not Turkey will take the lead. I
appreciate their consideration of this very important matter,'' Bush said.
``After all, I've made it clear that our troops will be used to fight and
win war, and that's exactly what they've done.''

When asked whether the United States would give Turkey financial assistance
on peacekeeping, Bush said that should await a final decision on the
leadership issue. ``I think the budgetary discussions should take place
after a commitment has been made.''

Bush also said U.S. officials had lifted a travel advisory so Americans can
``feel comfortable going to'' Turkey. And Ecevit noted as an encouraging
sign the agreement reached Wednesday on a schedule for peace talks on
Cyprus, even though ``they may not attain concrete results immediately.''

In an earlier meeting with Turkey's leaders, Defense Secretary Donald H.
Rumsfeld said the United States supports Turkey's proposal to take over the
leadership of the peacekeeping force in Afghanistan. Rumsfeld underlined
Turkey's key role as a strategic ally, both in the war against terrorism,
but also within NATO, Turkish officials said on condition of anonymity.

Ecevit told Rumsfeld that Turkey was committed to the long-term
reconstruction of Afghanistan and has proposed helping with the
establishment of a modern Afghan army.

Ecevit says the creation of a unified national army is essential to end to
decades of factional fighting in Afghanistan. Turkey is sending 261 military
personnel for the peacekeeping force, currently under British leadership.

Turkish officials quoted Rumsfeld as saying that the United States would be
pleased if Turkey were to step in as leader of the peacekeeping force.

Turkey's government is secular, but its Muslim society and people make its
support that much more important for the United States as the Bush
administration works to overcome anti-Western sentiment among the world's
Muslims, particularly Arabs.

Turkish officials said Rumsfeld praised Turkey as a model for Afghanistan
and other Muslim countries.


by Martin Walker

WASHINGTON, Jan 18, 2002 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- For a
supposedly secret organization, the CIA produces a lot of memoirs.

But few are as informative, as revealing -- and as angry -- as "See No Evil;
the true story of a ground soldier in the CIA's war on terrorism" by veteran
agent Robert Baer (Crown Books, 304pp, $25.95).

Baer was one of the CIA's few Arabic speakers, serving throughout the Middle
East and central Asia through the 1980s and 1990s, where he built a
reputation as a real expert on the terrorist networks. He knew his way
around their convoluted family trees, their even more complex and shifting
loyalties, and pulled off some remarkable feats of detective work in
tracking down those responsible for blowing up the U.S. Embassy and the
Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983.

"Baer was one of the most talented Middle East case officers of the past 20
years," says fellow agent Reuel Marc Gerecht. And other CIA veterans knew
Baer as a natural, something of a cowboy who liked to run his own ops
without too much respect for the desk jockeys back in Langley. One fellow
veteran calls him "a throw-back to the original CIA of the Cold War and the
1950s -- and all the better for that. We miss those guys."

So the final chapters of this book cover the tragic fate of a field agent
who can stay alive and function in the war-torn streets of Beirut, but is
forced back into the even more treacherous landscape of Washington's
bureaucracy. Anyone who wants to understand how America got into its current
Middle East mess while Saddam Hussein still rules and terrorists can
devastate New York should read Baer's book.

Baer was in Northern Iraq in 1995, running an operation with the Kurds and a
defecting Iraqi general to mount a coup against Saddam Hussein. Suddenly he
was called back to Washington -- on the direct orders of President Clinton's
national security adviser Tony Lake -- to be confronted with FBI and CIA
lawyers threatening him with the death penalty under the murder-for-hire
statutes, for allegedly conspiring to bring about the death of Saddam

Baer got out of that one. But this book will make uncomfortable reading for
Lake and for one of his staff, Shirley Heslin, and for Lake's successor,
Sandy Berger, and for some senior State Department figures running Iraq
policy. Baer's account of his time in Washington, and his brush with the
Clinton campaign finance scandals through a colorful oilman involved in
exploiting the energy wealth of the Caspian basin may just tell one side of
the story. But it makes for compelling reading as a kind of secret history
of the Clinton years.

To be fair to the bureaucrats, American policy was constrained by laws,
including the one that forbids the assassination of foreign heads of state.
Moreover, Baer's experience in Lebanon convinced him -- on the basis of
personal experience -- that Iran and Yasser Arafat were up to their necks in
terrorism, hostage-taking and a mission to punish the United States. By the
1990s, when Arafat was an honored guest and peace partner at the White House
and Camp David, Baer's suspicions were unwelcome.

Baer could be an infuriating subordinate, always ready to push the envelope,
skirt his orders and fudge the paperwork to get the job done. He always
insisted that his own eyeballs were more reliable than the satellite imagery
that Washington decision-makers relied on. And Baer can be careless with the
facts. Azerbaijan's post-Soviet President was indeed a former member of the
Politburo, but he never headed the KGB, as Baer claims. This is the kind of
error that casts doubt over Baer's other fascinating asides, like his claim
that German intelligence had a secret deal to train Iran's Ministry of
Intelligence and Security.

Baer's fundamental conclusion, that the CIA has become too bureaucratized
and too reliant on technology and satellite at the expense of human
intelligence, is not new. But it comes, with all the weight of personal
experience, from one who has risked his life on the meanest streets,
recruited agents in hostile cities, and built a near-legendary record.

One anecdote tells it all. When Baer was running the bureau in central Asia
during the Tadjik civil war of the early 1990s, he wanted to start running
agents into Afghanistan and Iran. The CIA would -- or could -- send him no
Pashtoon or Dari speaking staff. But they then did offer to send him a
4-person team from headquarters, to give sessions on sexual harassment and
how to avoid it. James Bond would have wept.

by Edward Alden
Financial Times, 18th January


But further reliance on proxy armies could revive one of the most
controversial aspects of past US foreign policy: a dependence on regimes or
armed opposition groups with abominable human rights records. Human Rights
Watch, the monitoring group, said in its annual report this week that many
of the leading members of the US coalition - including Russia, Uzbekistan,
and Egypt - have used the war on terror to justify abusive military
campaigns or crackdowns on domestic political opponents.

The US could find itself more directly involved with such regimes in the
next phase of the war. Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, has already
suggested that Congress review current restrictions on US military
assistance to Indonesia, two years after militias backed by the Indonesian
army engaged in a brutal massacre in East Timor. A recently approved defence
appropriations bill already allows for the resumption of limited US military
training of Indonesian forces.

Indonesia is seen as the main source for Islamic extremism in south-east
Asia, a charge reinforced when Singapore yesterday claimed that Abu Bakar
Bashir, an Indonesian cleric, headed a militant organisation that included
recently uncovered terrorist cells in Malaysia and Singapore. There have
also been reports of al-Qaeda training camps in the Indonesian region of

Michael Klare, a professor at Hampshire College, argues that most cold war
campaigns in south-east Asia, Central America and southern Africa
destabilised the countries involved and led to brutal civil or regional
wars. He says this ultimately led Congress in the 1980s to impose
restrictions on US military aid to regimes implicated in gross human rights


by Sergei Blagov
Asia Times, 19th January

MOSCOW - Following the Kremlin's initial broad support of the US military
action if Afghanistan, Russian officials are becoming somewhat wary about
America's increasing influence in Central Asia.

Russia will not accept deployment of the US military on Tajik territory,
warned the head of the Russian Federal Border-Guard Service, General
Konstantin Totsky. The US military presence in Central Asia is possible only
in the course of anti-terrorist operation by the coalition forces in
Afghanistan, Totsky stated during his visit to Tajik capital Dushanbe. If
the US forces remain here for a longer time then "we are unlikely to remain
friends", Totsky emphasized.

Totsky said that he cannot rule out a massive infiltration into Central Asia
by remaining Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Although the anti-terrorist
operation in Afghanistan is nearing completion, most Taliban militants
remain at large and their movements require monitoring, he said. In the
event of any deterioration of the situation on the Tajik-Afghan border,
Russia could send more troops to the area, Totsky said, pointing out that
during last year's American-led action against the Taliban some 800 extra
Russian troops were dispatched towards the border.

Totsky also said that during his meeting with Tajik President Imomali
Rakhmonov he asked for improved conditions for Russian military cargo
planes, which use the Dushanbe airport.

It is far from certain whether Totsky's statements represent yet another
shift in Russia's Central Asian policy. However, the locale for these
statements is hardly coincidental, as Russia's influence is strong in
Tajikistan. The only country in the region where Russia still maintains a
military presence is Tajikistan, an impoverished nation emerging from a five
year civil war between a pro-Moscow secular government and an Islamic
opposition. The country's roughly 1,200-kilometer border with Afghanistan is
guarded by 10,000 Russian troops, with 15,000 more based inside Tajikistan
as the 201st Division.

Tajikistan, which covers 140,000 square kilometers (56,000 square miles),
borders China to the East, Kyrgyzstan to the North, Uzbekistan to the West
and Afghanistan on its southern frontier. About 6 million people are living
in Tajikistan: two-thirds are ethnic Tajik and about a quarter are Uzbek,
with other groups making up the rest. Russians, who numbered roughly half a
million a decade ago, fled the country in masses during the civil war.

Rakhmonov, who came to power amid the bitter civil strife of 1992-93, is
seen as Moscow's protege. Rakhmonov's opponents argue that the Tajik leader
remains in power mainly due to Russian support.

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have mutely indicated that they could accept a
long-term US military presence on their soil. Although Russian officials
refrained from comment, it is understood that the Kremlin is far from happy
with these developments. Moreover, Russia delayed signing an agreement on
"military-technical cooperation" between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, which was
due to be inked on January 17. Russian official news agency RIA said that
the deal was postponed due "to changes in the schedule of the Russian

The group of Russian officials headed by Vladimir Paleschuk, deputy head of
Russian State Committee on military-technical cooperation with foreign
countries, has been touring Kyrgyzstan since earlier this week. They visited
a number of Kyrgyz defense industry outlets, notably AO Dastan and SP Ozero,
in order to discuss possible joint production of military hardware. The
Russian officials refrained from comments on the reasons for the delay of
the deal with Kyrgyzstan.

Other Russian officials opted to cite Moscow's "traditional" ties with
so-called rough states. Notorious nationalist politician and deputy speaker
of the State Duma, the Lower House of the Russian parliament, Vladimir
Zhirnovsky, warned against any anti-terrorist action in Iraq. When visiting
Baghdad, Zhirnovsky stated that the US anti-terrorist operation in
Afghanistan should not be repeated in Iraq. "Russia allowed the US military
presence in Central Asia and the US should bear in mind Russian interests in
Iraq," Zhirnovsky said.

Yuri Shafranik, head of the Russian Solidarity with Iraq Committee, put it
more bluntly, stating that "Iraq is an area of Russian interests" and that
international sanctions against Iraq should be lifted. Some Russian major
oil companies have interests in Iraq, while Shafranik happens to be former
Russian oil minister.

Incidentally, on January 16 the Federation Council, the Upper House of the
Russian parliament, ratified a major accord with China by 147 votes, with
just one abstention. The Treaty of Good Neighborly Relations, Friendship and
Cooperation was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese
counterpart Jiang Zemin in the Kremlin on July 16. The accord, valid until
2021 and then subject to automatic prolongation, is the first such concord
since a 1949 pact between China and the Soviet Union, when Josef Stalin and
Mao Zedong announced a Soviet-Chinese alliance. The accord specifically
states that the two nations are not forming a military alliance and that
bilateral "military-technical cooperation is not directed against third
countries". The timing of the ratification seems indicative, as Russian
arguably wants to come up with a more pro-active Asian policy.

Meanwhile, Ukraine, the second largest post-Soviet state, appears keener to
contribute to international peace-keeping efforts in Afghanistan, with
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko offering to help to
landmine-clearing operations in Afghanistan.

With even Russia's post-Soviet partners showing their allegiance to the
American cause, Moscow is becoming increasingly isolated in its stance
against the US military presence in Central Asia.

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
CASI's website - - includes an archive of all postings.

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]