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News, 12-19/1/02 (3) IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * Sanction deal benefits only UN: Iraq REMNANTS OF DECENCY * 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] REFUGEES * 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)] INSIDE IRAQ * 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 NEW WORLD ORDER * 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] IRAQI/UN RELATIONS http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1301742337 * SANCTION DEAL BENEFITS ONLY UN: IRAQ 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 orders. 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. REMNANTS OF DECENCY http://www.smh.com.au/news/0201/14/opinion/opinion2.html * THE LAND OF THE FREE BECOMES THE HOME OF THE HYPOCRITE 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. http://www.jordantimes.com/Wed/features/features2.htm * IRAQ 11 YEARS ON 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. REFUGEES http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la 000003645jan14.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dnation * JUDGE DENIES YOUNG IRAQI'S BID TO JOIN FAMILY 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 February. "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 request. The judge acknowledged Suleiman's fears, but ultimately decided that Suleiman had not proved he would be tortured or killed if he returned to Iraq. 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 U.S. INSIDE IRAQ http://europe.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/01/13/bin.laden.poll/index.html * IRAQI POLL NAMES BIN LADEN MAN OF YEAR 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. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/jan/13/011303904.html * ARABS IN IRAQ RALLY FOR PALESTINIANS 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 side. "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. http://www.mees.com/news/a45n02a01.htm * IRAQI OIL INDUSTRY IN 2002: A TURNING POINT 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 include: ‹ 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 b/d. ‹ 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 system. 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. http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/world/1215691 * IRAQ WON'T BE CAUGHT OFF GUARD, SADDAM SAYS 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 them. NEW WORLD ORDER http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20020116/pl/bush_turkey_2.html * TURKEY OFFERS TO LEAD PEACEKEEPERS 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. [.....] http://quotes.freerealtime.com/dl/frt/N?art=C2002011800018u7551&SA=Latest%20 News * CIA MEMOIR TELLS ALL 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 Hussein. 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. http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3REBFFMWC&liv e=true * WAR, PART TWO 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 Sulawesi. 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 violations. [.....] http://atimes.com/c-asia/DA19Ag01.html * CENTRAL ASIAN NATIONS CHOOSE THEIR SIDES 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 delegation". 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 email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.