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

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

This brings us back up to date. The hawks make a comeback this week led by
H.Kissinger and Sen. J.Lieberman. But they¹re still not quite up to where
they were a few weeks ago when they thought they had a good case for an
Iraqi/al-Qaida link. Nonetheless the Turks and the Iraqis are still plainly
worried. It is surely worth noting that in all the speculation about whom
the US is going to attack next, no-one seems to be suggesting that there is
a proper procedure for going to war laid down in the UN charter to which the
United States is supposed to be a signatory. The US is being allowed a
margin of freedom in this domain which, if it was claimed by any other
country in the world (if, for example, the UK had claimed the right to bomb
Dublin in the wake of the Brighton Hotel bombing) would immediately provoke
international outrage, not least from the US. For a wonderful expression of
American self delusion see the article ŒAmerica the mighty¹. For a rare
intelligent assessment of US interests with regard to Iraq, see ŒNo, to
answer Iraqi question¹ (both in the ŒIncitement to hatred¹ section below)


*  Phase II and Iraq [by Henry Kissinger. The old mass murderer is at it
again ­ inter alia expressing regret that he did not manage to kill
sufficient numbers of people in Vietnam (he modestly declines to mention his
triumphs in Cambodia and Laos). However, his Œinternational consulting
firm¹, Kissinger Associates, needs to shake up its research team a bit. It
has told him that there is a Kurdish minority, a Shia minority and a Sunni
majority in Iraq. In fact, the Sunnis only have a majority if the Kurds are
counted as Sunnis (though they tend to be rather eccentric Sunni, inclined
to Sufism). The basic argument is that removing S.Hussein would be such a
spectacular piece of terror that everyone would fall trembling into line. He
may be right.]
*  America the mighty: The U.S. can't lose by taking on Saddam [ŒThe
American pattern in war is clear. We go there. We kill the bad guys. We hand
out food and blankets and medicine. Then we go home ... The civilized in
every nation should cheer whenever our troops take the field. But envy rules
in hearts where gratitude should reign.¹]
*  A blind spot called Iraq [Audacious argument based on new book by Laurie
Mylroie, that the Œloose network of Muslim extremists¹, including Al-Qaida,
is really just a cover for the activities of S.Hussein]
*  U.S. seeks al Qaeda link to Iraq [but if any new evidence has been found
it hasn¹t been revealed to the Washington Times]
*  Lieberman: Beware Iraq [Œthe unique threat to American security by Saddam
Hussein's regime is so real, so grave and so imminent that even if no other
nation were to stand with us, we must be prepared to act alone¹. All of
which just goes to show that immeasurable wealth and unlimited military
superiority do not buy peace of mind and a sense of security.]
*  Will George jnr go the same way as his father? [Argues the quite credible
case that the US can¹t afford to and don¹t want to overthrow Saddam because
it would only strengthen Syria and Iran. Suter thinks the US government
really wanted to find a means to rehabilitate Saddam but Saddam wouldn¹t
play ball. I think they wanted to deal with a close associate who would
replace him but resemble him closely - though preferably not Uday or Qusay
(someone resembling the grotesque array of defectors that keep popping up
every so often). This forlorn hope still seems to live on in the State
*  No, to answer Iraqi question [Sensible article giving, good right wing
American reasons for seeking a modus vivendi with Saddam Hussein (the
author, Doug Bandow, is a fellow of the Cato Institute and former assistant
to R.Reagan. Perhaps he¹s still living in the 1980s). Makes the unusual
point that ŒBaghdad is brutal, but no more so than, say, Syria. Iraq
persecutes its minority populations, but then, Turkey is little more kind to
its Kurds... ΠWas it published anywhere other than in the Japan Times?]

AND, IN NEWS, 12-19/1/02 (2)


*  Iraqi Minister in Iran for Talks - Radio
*  Iraqi FM: Iraq wants full scale relations with Iran
*  Iraqi FM to visit Bahrain on Sunday: Report
*  Iraqi FM meets Bahrain's emir
*  Iraq Launches Diplomatic Initiative With Saudi Arabia, Kuwait [in visit
to Bahrain]
*  Turkey Worries Iraq Is Next on U.S. List of Targets
*  Turkish border measures to deter 'Iraq, Iranian missiles' [Building of a
US Œmissile shield¹ in a Southern - presumably Kurdish - province of Turkey]
*  Barzani and the Kurdish state [Turks accuse Barzani of behaving as if
there is a Kurdish state in northern Iraq]
*  Jordanian, Iraqi foreign ministers meet in Amman
*  Turkish Leader Softens on Iraq [Includes the following interesting angle
on the situation of the Kurds in Northern Iraq: Turkish journalist, Derya
ŒSazak said the Turks are floating the idea that alongside the autonomous
Kurdish region, an autonomous area for Iraq's Turkmen minority should be
created. Turkey would want the oil-rich area of Kirkuk to be under control
of the Turkmen, with whom Turkey has close ties.¹]
*  Dollar-chase for Turkey [ŒEcevit will try to get relief for military
debts, support for more IMF help¹]
*  Ecevit opposes strikes on Iraq
*  Moroccan business delegation explores investment opportunities in Iraq
*  Kuwaiti- Sudanese parliamentary agreement to strengthen bilateral
cooperation [This rapprochement between the best behaved Muslim state and
the international pariah seems less surprising in the light of the
remarkable news of a US brokered truce between the two sides of the Sudanese
civil war.]
*  Saudis may ask US military to leave: Report
*  Sources say Saudis want U.S. military presence ended [Extracts giving
some details missing from the preceding article. Including this: ŒThe two
governments never signed an agreement about their presence in the country.¹]


*  U.N. inspectors at arm's length [Account of Hans Blix and UMNMOVIC]
*  IAEA team to visit Iraq, inspect nuclear facilities
*  Saddam has super-gun, report says
*  Iraq At It Again? [CBS news at it again. We¹ve had this story before
(ŒIraqi defector says he renovated secret weapons labs¹ in News,
13-22/12/01) - defector Adnan Ihsan al-Haideri who claims to have worked on
heavily protected, sealed chambers. Now, why would a country that is
constantly under threat of  unimaginably terrible attack from the most
powerful country in all human history want heavily protected sealed


*  Iraq to send ambassador to Thailand [This article says Thailand sent an
ambassador to Iraq early last year]
*  Iraq, Thailand exchange ambassadors [This one says Thailand will send an
ambassador to Iraq this year]
*  Australia commits, and the navy bears the burden [Michael O¹Connor,
executive director of the ŒAustralia Defence Association¹, argues that
imposing Œa new form of colonial rule¹ in very distant parts of the world is
Œby any measure ... not an illegitimate use of the right of national self
defense¹ and if Australians want to get in on the act they had better spend
more on their - er, um - Œdefence¹ forces. We learn some interesting things,
as for example, that three of Australia¹s nine frigates are devoted to
Œcatching asylum seekers¹, that new form of international criminal. We get a
mention too, as Œ dupes in the West who regurgitate his [S.Hussein¹s] claims
of starvation and greatly increased infant mortality. Iraq is perfectly
capable of providing adequate nutrition and health care provided it diverts
money away from its military and regime protection programs.¹ So it seems
that Iraq, unlike Australia, doesn¹t need a self defence capacity. Who,
after all, is threatening it? What sort of threat is it facing from hordes
of starving and desperate asylum seekers?]
*  Russia Is Top Iraqi Importer [Extract which indicates that the US is very
blatantly using its power to impose Œholds¹ on goods going into Iraq as a
means of exercising political pressure on Russia]
*  Zhirinovsky Cleans Up His Act, Loves America
*  Oil smugglers keep cash flowing back to Saddam
*  Baghdad urges Moscow to foil US plans
*  Russia to press Iraq for inspections
*  Russia introduces new export mechanism [Puzzling item, because the Œnew¹
mechanism for exports to Iraq seems to correspond to what one assumed was
Russia¹s Œlegal¹ obligation under the terms of the UN embargo]

AND, IN 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]


by Henry A. Kissinger
Washington Post, 13th January

As military operations in Afghanistan wind down, it is well to keep in mind
President Bush's injunction that they are only the first battles of a long

An important step has been taken toward the goals of breaking the nexus
between governments and the terrorist groups they support or tolerate,
discrediting Islamic fundamentalism so that moderates in the Islamic world
can reclaim their religion from the fanatics, and placing the fight against
terrorism in the context of the geopolitical threat of Saddam Hussein's Iraq
to regional stability and to American friends and interests in the region.
But much more needs to be done.

Were we to flinch, the success in Afghanistan would be interpreted in time
as taking on the weakest and most remote of the terrorist centers while we
recoiled from unraveling terrorism in countries more central to the problem.

Three interrelated courses of action are available:

(a) To rely primarily on diplomacy and coalition-building on the theory that
the fate of the Taliban will teach the appropriate lessons.

(b) To insist on a number of specific corrective steps in countries with
known training camps or terrorist headquarters, such as Somalia or Yemen, or
those engaged in dangerous programs to develop weapons of mass destruction,
such as Iraq, and to take military action if these steps are rejected.

(c) To focus on the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq in order
to change the regional dynamics by showing America's determination to defend
regional stability, its interests and its friends. (This would also send a
strong message to other rogue states.)

Sole reliance on diplomacy is the preferred course of some members of the
coalition, which claim that the remaining tasks can be accomplished by
consultation and the cooperation of intelligence and security services
around the world. But to rely solely on diplomacy would be to repeat the
mistake with which the United States hamstrung itself in every war of the
past half-century. Because it treated military operations and diplomacy as
separate and sequential, the United States stopped military operations in
Korea as soon as our adversaries moved to the conference table; it ended the
bombing of North Vietnam as an entrance price to the Paris talks; it stopped
military operations in the Gulf after the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait.

In each case, the ending of military pressure produced diplomatic stalemate.
The Korean armistice negotiations consumed two years, during which America
suffered as many casualties as in the entire combat phase; an even more
intractable stalemate developed in the Vietnam negotiations; and in the
Persian Gulf, Saddam Hussein used the Republican Guard divisions preserved
by the armistice to restore control over his territory and to dismantle
systematically the inspection provisions of the armistice agreement.

Anti-terrorism policy is empty if it is not backed by the threat of force.
Intellectual opponents of military action as well as its likely targets will
procrastinate or agree to token or symbolic remedies only. Ironically,
governments on whose territory terrorists are tolerated will find it
especially difficult to cooperate unless the consequences of failing to do
so are made more risky than their tacit bargain with the terrorists.

Phase II of the anti-terrorism campaign must therefore involve a specific
set of demands geared to a precise timetable supported by credible coercive
power. These should be put forward as soon as possible as a framework. And
time is of the essence. Phase II must begin while the memory of the attack
on the United States is still vivid and American-deployed forces are
available to back up the diplomacy.

Nor should Phase II be confused with the pacification of Afghanistan. The
American strategic objective was to destroy the terrorist network; that has
been largely accomplished. Pacification of the entire country of Afghanistan
has never been achieved by foreigners and cannot be the objective of the
American military effort. The United States should be generous with economic
and development assistance. But the strategic goal of Phase II should be the
destruction of the global terrorist network, to prevent its reappearance in
Afghanistan, but not to be drawn into Afghan civil strife.

Somalia and Yemen are often mentioned as possible targets for a Phase II
campaign. That decision should depend on the ability to identify targets
against which local governments are able to act and on the suitability of
American forces to accomplish this task if the local governments can't or
won't. And given these limitations, the United States will have to decide
whether action against them is strategically productive.

All this raises the unavoidable challenge Iraq poses. The issue is not
whether Iraq was involved in the terrorist attack on the United States. The
challenge of Iraq is essentially geopolitical. Iraq's policy is implacably
hostile to the United States and to certain neighboring countries. It
possesses growing stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, which
Saddam Hussein has used in the war against Iran and on his own population.
It is working to develop a nuclear capability. Hussein breached his
commitment to the United Nations by evicting the international inspectors he
had accepted on his territory as part of the armistice agreement ending the
Gulf War. There is no possibility of a negotiation between Washington and
Baghdad and no basis for trusting Iraq's promises to the international

If these capabilities remain intact, they could in time be used for
terrorist goals or by Saddam Hussein in the midst of some new regional or
international upheaval. And if his regime survives both the Gulf War and the
anti-terrorism campaign, this fact alone will elevate him to a potentially
overwhelming menace.

>From a long-range point of view, the greatest opportunity of Phase II is to
return Iraq to a responsible role in the region. Were Iraq governed by a
group representing no threat to its neighbors and willing to abandon its
weapons of mass destruction, the stability of the region would be
immeasurably enhanced. The remaining regimes flirting with terrorist
fundamentalism or acquiescing in its exactions would be driven to shut down
their support of terrorism.

At a minimum, we should insist on a U.N. inspection system to eliminate
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, with an unlimited right of inspection
and freedom of movement for the inspectors. But no such system exists on
paper, and the effort to install it might be identical with that required to
overthrow Saddam Hussein. Above all, given the ease of producing biological
and chemical weapons, inspection must be extremely intrusive, and experience
shows that no inspection can withstand indefinitely the opposition of a
determined host government.

But if the overthrow of Saddam Hussein is to be seriously considered, three
prerequisites must be met: (a) development of a military plan that is quick
and decisive, (b) some prior agreement on what kind of structure is to
replace Hussein and (c) the support or acquiescence of key countries needed
for implementation of the military plan.

A military operation against Saddam Hussein cannot be long and drawn out. If
it is, the battle may turn into a struggle of Islam against the West. It
would also enable Hussein to try to involve Israel by launching attacks on
it -- perhaps using chemical and biological weapons -- in the process sowing
confusion within the Muslim world. A long war extending to six months and
beyond would also make it more difficult to keep allies and countries such
as Russia and China from dissociating formally from what they are unlikely
to join but even more unlikely to oppose.

Before proceeding to confrontation with Iraq, the Bush administration will
therefore wish to examine with great care the military strategy implied.
Forces of the magnitude of the Gulf War of a decade ago are unlikely to be
needed. At the same time, it would be dangerous to rely on a combination of
U.S. air power and indigenous opposition forces alone. To be sure, the
contemporary precision weaponry was not available in the existing quantities
during the Gulf War. And the no-fly zones will make Iraqi reinforcements
difficult. They could be strengthened by being turned into no-movement zones
proscribing the movement of particular categories of weapons.

Still, we cannot stake American national security entirely, or even largely,
on local opposition forces that do not yet exist and whose combat
capabilities are untested. Perhaps Iraqi forces would collapse at the first
confrontation, as some argue. But the likelihood of this happening is
greatly increased if it is clear American military power stands in
overwhelming force immediately behind the local forces.

A second prerequisite for a military campaign against Iraq is to define the
political outcome. Local opposition would in all likelihood be sustained by
the Kurdish minority in the north and the Shiite minority in the south. But
if we are to enlist the Sunni majority, which now dominates Iraq, in the
overthrow of Saddam Hussein, we need to make clear that Iraq's
disintegration is not the goal of American policy. This is all the more
important because a military operation in Iraq would require the support of
Turkey and the acquiescence of Saudi Arabia. Neither is likely to cooperate
if they foresee an independent Kurdish state in the north and a Shiite
republic in the south as the probable outcome. A Kurdish state would inflame
the Kurdish minority in Turkey and a Shiite state in the south would
threaten the Dhahran region in Saudi Arabia, and might give Iran a new base
to seek to dominate the gulf region. A federal structure for a unified Iraq
would be a way to deal with this issue.

Creating an appropriate coalition for such an effort and finding bases for
the necessary American deployment will be difficult. Phase II is likely to
separate those members of the coalition that joined so as to have veto over
American actions from those that are willing to pursue an implacable
strategy. Nevertheless, the skillful diplomacy that shaped the first phase
of the anti-terrorism campaign would have much to build on. Saddam Hussein
has no friends in the gulf region. Britain will not easily abandon the
pivotal role, based on its special relationship with the United States, that
it has earned for itself in the evolution of the crisis. Nor will Germany
move into active opposition to the United States -- especially in an
election year. The same is true of Russia, China and Japan. A determined
American policy thus has more latitude than is generally assumed.

But it will be far more difficult than Phase I. Local resistance --
especially in Iraq -- will be more determined and ruthless. Domestic
opposition will mount in many countries. American public opinion will be
crucial in sustaining such a course. It will need to be shaped by the same
kind of decisive and subtle leadership by which President Bush unified the
country for the first phase of the crisis.

The writer, a former secretary of state, is president of Kissinger
Associates, an international consulting firm.

by Jack Kelly
Post-Gazette, 13th January

Unremarked upon during the joyous celebrations throughout Afghanistan after
the ouster of the Taliban was how commonplace this scene is after American
military victories. We saw the same thing in Bosnia and Kosovo and Kuwait,
and, not so long ago, in Paris and Rome and Manila and Seoul.

The American pattern in war is clear. We go there. We kill the bad guys. We
hand out food and blankets and medicine. Then we go home.

No nation has ever had as much military power as the United States. And no
nation has been less likely to use its power selfishly. We are liberators,
not conquerors.

Maybe later a vet will go back and open a McDonald's franchise. But this is
pretty much the extent of American "imperialism."

Most of the rest of the world is envious of our wealth and power. But this
is more the product of flaws in them than of flaws in us.

The French, for instance, dislike us because we don't speak French and our
hamburgers have colonized world cuisine. But the only American soldiers in
France are those buried near the beaches in Normandy. The Nazis would have
remained longer if we hadn't thrown them out.

Former enemies also have benefited from American generosity. Three years
after American bombers were flying over Berlin, C-47s were landing every
three minutes at Tempelhof airport to bring food and fuel to starving

American kindness to Germany and Japan was so profound and so unprecedented
that the British writer Leonard Wibberly used it as the premise for his
hilarious novel "The Mouse That Roared." The rulers of a tiny European duchy
are in such desperate economic trouble that they figure the only way they
can get out of it is to lose a war to the United States.

In an editorial last month, the Toronto Globe and Mail indicated why it's a
good thing President Bush doesn't pay a lot of attention to world opinion.

The Globe and Mail acknowledges that Saddam Hussein is "a ruthless
megalomaniac who has murdered thousands of his own people;" that he is an
implacable enemy of the United States and that he is building nuclear,
biological and chemical weapons as fast as he can. But, says the Globe and
Mail, military action against Iraq would be a "recipe for disaster."
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien thinks this, as do most political
leaders in Europe, the newspaper noted.

The reasons the Globe and Mail gives for why invading Iraq would be "to step
into a pit" indicate that no amount of real world evidence will free Western
liberals from their timidity.

"Unlike the ragtag Taliban, Iraq's army of 430,000 is well-trained,
well-armed and most unlikely to roll over," says the Globe and Mail.

Really? Iraq had the fourth-largest army in the world in January 1991.
Within a week, it was only the second-largest army in Iraq. The Iraqi army
is smaller and less well equipped now. The United States estimates that
150,000 Iraqi soldiers deserted and 60,000 were captured. Hundreds tried to
surrender to helicopters flying overhead. There are no indications morale
has improved.

Given a choice between an American tank battalion and an Iraqi armored
division, there isn't a soldier on the planet who wouldn't take the American
battalion. And that's before you give the battalion commander a radio to an
F-16 on station.

If we go to war with Iraq, the question isn't whether we will win, but how
quickly and how easily. Some American ground troops will be required, but
not many.

If we do not destroy Saddam's regime before he acquires weapons of mass
destruction, we risk attacks much more devastating than those of 9/11.

Those who counsel against war in Iraq say they are concerned about American
failure. But many also fear American success. The celebrations in Kabul were
gall and wormwood to anti-American elitists. They don't wish to see them
repeated in Baghdad.

History makes it clear that the American soldier has been the most powerful
force for peace and progress in the world. The civilized in every nation
should cheer whenever our troops take the field. But envy rules in hearts
where gratitude should reign.,6903,631692,00.html

by David Rose
The Observer, 13th January

Review of The War Against America by Laurie Mylroie (HarperCollins £9.99,

The torrent of comment that all but flooded the media of the West in the
wake of the terrorist atrocities on 11 September was often, perhaps
inevitably, marked by inaccuracies and glib assertions, recycled and
repeated numerous times.

Among the most frequent was the attribution to Osama bin Laden and his
al-Qaeda network of previous attacks with which he had no connection, such
as the first bombing of the New York World Trade Centre in 1993. As this
prescient and penetrating book makes clear, misconceptions of this kind
played a crucial part in the vast, collective failure of both intelligence
and policy that 11 September represents. To disregard it now may well result
in further devastating attacks.

Mylroie's conclusion, reached by relentless forensic analysis of a huge
array of human and documentary sources, is that the 1993 World Trade Centre
bombing did not, as the Clinton administration claimed at the time, signal
the emergence of a 'new kind of terrorism' by 'loose networks' of Muslim

Instead, it was the first skirmish in 'a new kind of war' - sponsored, like
old-style wars, by a hostile state, Iraq. Planned as the world's worst
terrorist attack, in which one of the towers would have collapsed into the
other amid a cloud of cyanide, the plot's Iraqi directors simply made use of
a little Islamist muscle, stooges who were meant to be caught, in order to
conceal its real origin.

Of course, that muscle, corralled by New York's blind, radical mullah,
Shakyh Omar Abdul Rahman, had nothing to do with bin Laden, who was busy
building roads and airports in Sudan at the time. But to those of us who
have studied the considerable evidence of Iraqi involvement in the 2001
atrocities, it seems clear that 1993 was essentially a botched prototype for
the later operation. On both occasions, Iraqi training, intelligence and
logistics were hidden behind an Islamist façade, which was indeed provided
last year by al-Qaeda.

Mylroie, whose previous work was a bestseller on Saddam and the 1991 Gulf
War, argues that the Iraqi dictator has, since seizing power in a
bloodstained coup in 1979, used violence as his main policy tool. His
expulsion from Kuwait, the imposition of no-fly zones and UN
weapons-inspection teams induced in him a fierce desire for revenge. One way
he sought it was his attempt to assassinate George HW Bush in 1993. Another
was the WTC bombing, in which six people died.

Like a detective novelist, Mylroie uses the enormous official record of the
FBI's investigations and subsequent trial to tell the story of Iraq's
manipulation of the indigenous New York radicals. The FBI's chief agent, the
late Jim Fox, was convinced that Iraq had been behind the attack, but was

In the end, two pieces of evidence loom over everything else. Abdul Yasin,
who allegedly mixed the bomb chemicals, is an Iraqi and managed to escape.
He now lives in Baghdad, working for Saddam's government. The plot's leader,
Ramzi Yousef, who was eventually arrested in the Philippines in 1995 as he
plotted to blow up 12 US airliners on a single day and was sentenced to life
in a US federal prison, was almost certainly a career officer from Iraqi
intelligence, who stole the identity of a harmless, dead Kuwaiti, Abdul
Basit Karim.

This was a standard technique for deep-cover operatives, long propagated by
the KGB, who trained Saddam's intelligence service until the Soviet Union
ceased to exist. (Karim, who was 5ft 8in tall, was once a student in Wales -
where his former teachers are understandably certain he was not the 6ft

Mylroie first marshalled much of this evidence in scholarly articles in
1996, yet the response of the US government was determined denial. Clinton
did not want to tackle Iraq seriously, and so the WTC bombing had to be down
to Shakyh Omar.

A similar process is at work in Whitehall and parts of Washington now. We
know that Mohamed Atta and his two co-leaders of the 2001 hijackings made
repeated, hasty journeys across the world to meet Iraqi intelligence
officers in the months before the attacks. We also know Iraq ran a terrorist
camp for foreign Islamists, where it taught them how to hijack planes with
boxcutters, and that Farouk Hijazi, deputy head of Iraqi intelligence,
travelled to Afghanistan to see bin Laden in 1998. Briefing the media,
officials simply sweep these facts aside. Outside the group of hawks in the
Pentagon, Iraq is apparently not a legitimate target for the 'war on

Mylroie wrote the conclusion to this book many months before last year's
attacks. It has equal relevance now: 'Saddam... has succeeded in thoroughly
confusing America as to the nature of the terrorist threat it has faced. He
is free, it would appear, to carry out more terrorist attacks - possibly
even unconventional terrorism, as long as he can make it appear to be the
work of a loose network of Muslim extremists. If America's leadership
continues to deal with Saddam in that fashion, we must be prepared to see
further acts of violence that are more successful, more brutal, and more

by Rowan Scarborough
Washington Times, 14th January

The Pentagon is collecting evidence of "linkage" between Osama bin Laden's
al Qaeda organization and other international terror groups to bolster its
case for attacking Iraq as part of the war on terrorism, Bush administration
officials say.

The Pentagon set up a secret unit shortly after September 11 to scan years
of highly classified intelligence reports to find links between groups
supported by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

The project officers are also examining whether Iraqi business fronts for
the country's intelligence service have ties to bin Laden. Sources say the
CIA has electronically transferred intelligence data on various groups to
the Pentagon.

Opponents of striking Iraq say there is no evidence linking Saddam to the
September 11 attacks on America. Thus, the United States would be
hard-pressed to justify an assault to oust Saddam in the same way it removed
the Taliban in Afghanistan, say critics, including some European allies.

But if the Pentagon project can find operational links between terror
groups, proponents of attacking Iraq could cite the need to remove a regime
such as Saddam's as part of the president's goal to destroy al Qaeda. The
bin Laden-led group is blamed for the September 11 hijacked-airliner attacks
that killed more than 3,000 people.

Officials said the Pentagon investigation of "linkage" already is turning up
ties between radical groups in the Middle East who are supported by Saddam
and al Qaeda operatives.

But the study itself is stirring debate inside the administration because it
goes against the intelligence community's long-held contention that most
terror groups work independently of each other.

Said one administration official, "There is a looming battle between the
Pentagon and State and CIA over the issue of how elaborate the linkages are
among terrorist organization and between terror organizations and states."

The purpose of the Pentagon project is not just to compile a report, one
administration official said, but also to "improve the intelligence we have
and the analysis we have on these networks."

Defense sources say CIA Director George J. Tenet and Secretary of State
Colin L. Powell are opposed to immediate military action against Saddam. Mr.
Tenet is said to want a year or more to foment a coup in Baghdad or in some
other way destabilize the hard-line regime.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is widely reported to be the
administration's leading hawk when it comes to ousting Saddam and ushering
in a more moderate government. He and other Pentagon officials are said to
argue that the United States cannot totally win the war on terrorism if it
leaves Saddam in power.

Saddam is known to possess chemical and biological weapons, and has moved
his nuclear weapons development facilities deeper underground to escape U.S.
bombings. The Pentagon officials believe that these weapons eventually will
be used against the United States, possibly through terrorist surrogates.

Iraq is one of seven countries designated by the U.S. State Department as a
state sponsor of terrorism. But its annual report, "Patterns of Global
Terrorism ‹ 2000," does not list al Qaeda as one of the groups Baghdad

The report says Iraq "continued to provide safe haven and support to a
variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups" ‹ an apparent reference to such
terror groups as Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad." The report also notes
Saddam plotted to assassinate former President Bush during a 1993 trip to

One administration source said the Pentagon study "is trying to show that
Iraq interacts with al Qaeda. The connections may be more run through
business fronts than through the government. Iraqi intelligence runs a lot
of business fronts."

The official added: "You just have to look at the way al Qaeda has developed
over the years, even before the 11th. It is well organized and has had state
sponsors through Afghanistan and Pakistan through the ISI."

The ISI is Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency. It helped put the
Taliban in power in 1996 and is believed to have aided al Qaeda. In fact,
the State Department's report on terrorism suggested that Pakistan could
become the eighth country designated as a state sponsor.

Since the report was issued and al Qaeda struck America, Gen. Pervez
Musharraf, the Pakistani president, sharply reversed course under intense
U.S. pressure.

A growing number of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, say the
administration must dispose of Saddam before he develops nuclear weapons.

 President Bush has hinted that he will go to war with Baghdad if it
persists in refusing to allow independent weapons inspectors back inside the

"Next up: Baghdad," Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, told sailors on
the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is launching warplanes in the
Afghanistan campaign.

Senior Bush administration officials have suggested recently that they want
to clear out al Qaeda cells and allied terror groups in other countries
before making a decision on attacking Iraq.

by David Lightman
Hartford Courant, 15th January

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman spiked the new year's political
rhetoric up a hawkish, even strident, notch Monday as he said that the U.S.
should be ready for a unilateral military invasion of Iraq.

Lieberman, D-Conn., who is actively considering a 2004 presidential bid,
clearly separated himself from the Democratic Party - and for that matter,
much of the Republican Party - with his strongest words to date on how the
U.S. should oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"Of course, it is better to build coalitions and act collaboratively when
engaging in conflict for a cause," he told an audience of 700 at Georgetown
University as the national press corps looked on.

"But in this case, the unique threat to American security by Saddam
Hussein's regime is so real, so grave and so imminent that even if no other
nation were to stand with us, we must be prepared to act alone, and I assure
you, we are fully capable of doing so."

His comments were met with skepticism by some analysts. "We all agree Saddam
Hussein is an evil man, and we all agree we'd be better off without him. But
the real question is whether you can do that at an acceptable cost," said
James M. Lindsay, senior fellow in foreign policy studies at Washington's
Brookings Institution.

"What would our military strategy be? What do we do if it doesn't work?
These are questions not answered in Sen. Lieberman's speech," Lindsay said.

Ted Galen Carpenter, director of defense and foreign policy studies at
Washington's Cato Institute, has long made the same point.

Although Hussein is a "thuggish leader," Carpenter said, simply overthrowing
him "could be trading one set of problems for another," because Iraq is so
unpredictable and factionalized.

Lieberman said later in an interview he is convinced that if the U.S. did
act, others would quickly join in.

"It would be a manageable task if it got to that point," he said.

Eleven years ago, Lieberman was an early - and rare - Democratic supporter
of the Persian Gulf War, and when President Bush's father chose not to try
to overthrow the Iraqi regime, Lieberman objected.

`'We must use all reasonable economic, diplomatic and military means to
bring about the downfall of Saddam's regime," Lieberman told the Senate in
April 1991.

He continued urging action throughout the 1990s, and in 1998 was a chief
sponsor of legislation providing aid to the Iraqi opposition. After the
Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he made major speeches reiterating that
position, and in a November interview, said, "There's enough reason now to
take at least nonmilitary action, to at least declare a policy that we want
to change the regime."

Lieberman offered his suggestion Monday after a trip last week to six
Central Asian countries. The trip served as the backbone for his 50-minute
lecture, in which he laid out his views on conducting American foreign

"This is something I feel so urgently about," he said in the interview
afterward. "I hope somebody in the State Department and the Pentagon and the
intelligence community is thinking about strategic options."

There have been widespread reports that top Bush administration officials
have been split on the next moves toward Iraq. And also Monday, The
Associated Press reported that a former Clinton administration official,
retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, went even further than Lieberman,
predicting during a speech at the Naval War College that the U.S. will take
military action against Iraq by next fall.

Underlying Lieberman's initiatives on Iraq is his belief that a "theoretical
iron curtain" threatens to divide the Muslim world from the rest of the

And no single figure drives that hatred and violence like Hussein, he said.
The senator, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the
war on terrorism "will not be over until Saddam Hussein is removed from
power in Iraq."

"Saddam is a sworn enemy of the United States and is still seeking revenge
for his humiliating gulf war defeat," Lieberman said. "Remember, a decade
ago he tried to assassinate President Bush's father. That's the worst kind
of terrorism."

What's most frightening, said Lieberman, is that Iraq has chemical and
biological weapons, and is rapidly developing nuclear capability.

"All Saddam needs," the senator said, "is the opportunity" to use such
weapons against the U.S., "and I for one am not willing to wait passively
for that day to arrive."

And, he warned, "Our current policy options - sanctions, international
pressure, limited military strikes - have been exhausted without reducing
the threat to us or helping the people of Iraq lead better lives. ... Trying
to manage the Iraqi threat under Saddam is like trying to cool a volcano
with a thermostat. It doesn't work."

by Keith Suter.
Sydney Morning Herald, 18th January

After Kabul, is Baghdad next? The United States-led offensive against Iraq
began 11 years ago this week. Now there is talk among some Americans that
the current President Bush should complete the task begun by the previous
President Bush. But the current President Bush has basically the same
problems to address as his father. An attack on Iraq would be a mistake.

Ironically, the US policy since 1991 has not been a complete failure. By
Machiavellian standards, the US has made the best of a bad situation. The
difficulty is that the reasoning has been so Machiavellian that US
governments have had problems explaining their objective to the general

The objective has been to keep Saddam Hussein down but not out. This has
been based on three themes. First, the problem in 1991 was that the US had
maintained a very broadly based coalition (an achievement in itself) with
the narrow objective of pushing Iraq out of Kuwait. The coalition would
probably not have held together if the objective had been expanded to invade
Iraq itself. Therefore, an attack on Iraq would have shattered that

Second, assuming that the US could have extended its objective to include an
attack on Iraq, it was presented with a choice of two objectives, both of
them unpleasant.

On the one hand, if it had had the limited objective of simply killing
Saddam, there was no obvious replacement for him. He had already killed
everyone he suspected of not being fully loyal to him.

If the US had installed its own leader, then that person would have been
tainted as being the US's preference, not the Iraqi one. On the other hand,
if the US had decided on the larger objective of destroying Iraq, then it
would have created a power vacuum to be filled by either Iran or Syria -
neither of which was pro-US.

Indeed, the US in the 1980s had been arming Iraq to fight Iran. Thus, the US
decided to stay with Saddam.

Third, the US hoped that the objective of keeping Saddam down but not out
would give time for his eventual rehabilitation. After all, he had been
willing to accept US weapons in the 1980s in his war against Iran (which had
become the US's enemy in 1979, with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran).

It is true that he treated the Kurds badly in northern Iraq but, then, so
did Ankara (a NATO ally) in eastern Turkey. Also, he was not a fanatical
Muslim. On the contrary, women enjoyed slightly more freedom in Iraq than in
Kuwait. He was an Arab nationalist - not a Muslim fundamentalist.

It was possible, then, to see a time when he would be rehabilitated.
Admittedly he had been demonised in US politics. But the public can have a
short memory if the White House wants to put the spin in another way. After
all, President Reagan designated the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" in
1983 but Mikhail Gorbachev was a superstar in the US in 1988. Opinions can
change. So what went wrong? Saddam failed to give the US the excuse to lift
the sanctions and rehabilitate him. No-one in 1991 predicted that there
would still be a need for the sanctions 11 years later. Many of his people
have suffered since 1991 but he has not. He has not seen the need to change
his ways or become more conciliatory.

Thus, in January 2002 we are back to where we were in January 1991: debating
whether to attack Iraq. But the obstacles remain the same. First, there is
still no obvious replacement for Saddam. If the US went for the larger
objective to smash Iraq, then Syria and Iran are still not much more
friendly towards the US than they were in 1991. Also, if Iraq were to break
up there could be the regional instability of the Kurds in northern Iraq
helping the Kurds in eastern Turkey to also break away.

This is the era of postmodern warfare. There are no clear "ends" to wars.
You can never be sure that you have "won" (or "lost"). The US-led forces in
1991 inflicted great damage on Iraq - but they could not guarantee a change
of heart. The US has "won" the war in Afghanistan - but will it win the

Keith Suter is a senior fellow of the Global Business Network Australia.

by Doug Bandow
Japan Times, 19th January

WASHINGTON -- With the conflict in Afghanistan drawing to a close, the
question arises: where next? Iraq is a tempting target, but the U.S. and its
allies should focus on eradicating what remains of the al-Qaeda terrorist

Were Iraq a participant in the Sept. 11 attacks, it would deserve the same
treatment as meted out against Afghanistan. Complicity in the anthrax
mailings in the U.S. would be another justification. Yet despite ongoing
efforts by America's Defense Department to document some connection, there
seems to be no convincing evidence of Iraqi involvement in either case.

Thus, the case for attacking Iraq is no different after Sept. 11 than before
-- there's no hurry to attack now.

Instead, Washington and its friends should devise a strategy to live with
Baghdad, along with the many other ugly regimes that dot the globe.

Hussein "is a very dangerous man," says U.S. National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice. Right she is. But so are many other foreign dictators.
That alone does not warrant war. Inaugurating conflict is not for the
faint-hearted. It should be a last resort means to advance a vital interest.

Baghdad is brutal, but no more so than, say, Syria. Iraq persecutes its
minority populations, but then, Turkey is little more kind to its Kurds.

Hussein is an aggressor, yet the U.S. was unconcerned when Baghdad attacked
Iran two decades ago. Anyway, Iraq remains greatly weakened; a combination
of its neighbors should be able to contain it.

The most serious issue is Hussein's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
U.S. President George W. Bush has threatened Iraq with unspecified, dire
consequences if it does not resubmit to U.N. inspections.

Yet Iraq, though an ugly actor, is eminently deterrable. To use weapons of
mass destruction would be to court destruction at the hands of Israel as
well as the U.S. Moreover, Hussein is more interested in retaining power
than in promoting terrorism, especially through a medieval theocrat who
detests secular Arab dictators.

Attempting to enforce nonproliferation through coercion is problematic. A
number of nations are pursuing nuclear or other destructive weapons,
including such unpredictable states as Iran and North Korea. Equally
unsettling is Pakistan's nuclear force; neither Islamabad's attitude toward
the U.S. nor the integrity of its arsenal are secure.

Ironically, going to war against Iraq would encourage other potential
nuclear states to accelerate their programs. Only possession of deliverable
atomic weapons would insulate a nation from Washington's attention.

Nor would conquering Iraq be as easy as defenestrating the Taliban. No one
knows how well Hussein might rally his population through skillful
nationalistic propaganda.

Most important, there is no proxy army upon which the U.S. and its allies
could rely; creating one would be neither easy nor quick, especially after
Washington recently suspended aid to the Iraqi National Congress, supposedly
the leading opposition group.

The U.S. also would lack allies, since the Europeans have made their
opposition to a war on Iraq clear.

>From where to attack is not obvious. Kuwait's border with Iraq is short;
Turkish territory to the north is inhospitably mountainous, even if Ankara
proved willing. The best staging ground is Saudi Arabia, but Riyadh is
opposed this time.

And if Baghdad has developed substantial biological or chemical weapons, or,
less likely, a primitive nuclear capability, the war could be very costly.
An American threat to go nuclear appears to have deterred Hussein from using
such weapons a decade ago; he might risk Armageddon if the new U.S. goal was
his ouster.

Moreover, Baghdad is not filled with moderates ready to create a liberal
government. To prevent the emergence of a new military strongman, or equally
unsettling chaos amid warring Baathist elites, Kurdish forces and dissident
Shiites, would require a lengthy occupation. Even that would not guarantee a
friendly regime's long-term survival.

Attacking Iraq would also risk creating a renewed perception of a Western
war on Islam. The quick victory in Afghanistan, without an American
occupation to follow, has helped quiet such sentiments in the Muslim world.
A seemingly unprovoked, aggressive war, followed by the imposition of a
pro-Washington regime in Baghdad, would do the opposite. It would prove
fertile ground for terrorism by both Iraqi agents and whatever remains of
the al-Qaeda network.

Irritating allies and friendly Muslim regimes would be particularly
inappropriate when al Qaeda remains a global threat requiring destruction.
First things first. Current policy remains unsatisfactory: constant bombing,
to no obvious advantage; an embargo that hurts Iraqi civilians and angers
Muslims elsewhere. Worth pursuing is a modus vivendi that would replace the
existing system with much more limited controls over dual-use technologies,
so called smart sanctions.

It might be unrealistic to ever expect Hussein's Iraq to become a
responsible member of the international community. But there are means short
of war to try to make it less threatening.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.,
and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

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