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This seems to be the official line, Repeat a lie often enough and people don't know the difference. This is from the BBC Forum 13 March ****** ******************* > http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/talking_point/forum/newsid_1869000/1869959. stm > > ----------------------------------------------------------- > Iraq poses a real threat to world stability but no decisions have been taken > on how to tackle Saddam Hussein's build-up of weapons of mass destruction, > Tony Blair has said. > > His comments came after a meeting with US Vice-President Dick Cheney in > Downing Street this week. > > Mr Cheney, now on a 10-day tour of the Middle East, met with King Abdullah > of Jordan who warned that a US attack on Iraq could seriously destabilise > the region. > > US President George W Bush put Iraq at the heart of his "axis of evil" > speech in January, and administration officials have been threatening to > expand his war on terrorism to take in Saddam Hussein's regime. > > How real a threat is Saddam Hussein's regime to current world stability? > Would an attack on Iraq destabilise the region? > > ----------------------------------------------------------- > Transcript: > > Newshost: > We've had a lot of e-mails on this question. I will start with one which I > think you can both take. It's from James Draper in the UK who says: Isn't > any attack on Iraq 11 years too late? Won't any efforts America makes to > remove Saddam Hussein from power further alienate the Arab world after the > Israeli situation and the events following September 11? > > James Rubin: > Well I think most observers do in retrospect wish that more had been done at > the end of the Gulf War. Perhaps not invading Baghdad and overthrowing the > regime but at least destroying the republican guard units that have kept > Saddam Hussein in power for the last 10 years. So I think your questioner is > quite right to say that this would have been much easier done and less > controversially done, ten years ago. > > But here we are 10 years later and it didn't happen. We have to ask > ourselves the question of whether if someday a dictator as brutal as Saddam > Hussein decides for his own reasons to give access to weapons of mass > destruction to the kind of people who attacked the World Trade Center, > wouldn't we wish we had done something beforehand. I think that's the > threshold question - it's not a question of how popular or unpopular this > will be - it's a question of whether we want to perhaps make the same > mistake in not doing enough to combat this kind of danger that the whole > world made the mistake prior to September 11th. > > When it comes to popularity in the Arab world, my view is that if we did go > forward and do this and we succeeded - the United States and its allies - > the Iraqi people would be very pleased and would very quickly make it clear > that they regarded this as the saving of the Iraqi people from the suffering > they've had under Saddam Hussein. > > Newshost: > Toby, let me bring you in at this point. Do you think that it is feasible? > Is military action now likely to happen? > > Toby Dodge: > I think there's a very long diplomatic road to travel before military action > begins. I certainly think, unlike the campaign in Afghanistan, a sense of > universal moral outrage that greeted the attacks on the Twin Towers has > somewhat decreased. So I think Vice-President Cheney faces a very difficul t > task trying to persuade Arab heads of state whose populations are still > enraged about the on-going situation between the Palestinians and the > Israelis and are accusing America of dual standards. > > Newshost: > Alex Jons, UK: If Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction" why didn't they use > them during the Gulf War? Why couldn't the UN inspectors find them after 10 > years of searching? > > James Rubin: > There are two very good answers to that question. The first, the reason he > didn't use them during the Gulf War is because he feared his own > destruction. I sat in on a briefing at the United Nations - the most > chilling briefing I've ever sat in, in government - in which the UN weapons > inspector chief told us how the Iraqi military had loaded chemical and > biological weapons on aircraft and on missiles immediately prior to the Gulf > War. And when Saddam Hussain believed that after comments by the President > and Secretary of Defence, Cheney, that he would be overthrown and the United > States would take the war to Baghdad if they used those weapons, those > weapons were removed from the bombers - the bombers were taken off strip > alert, weapons were removed from storage near the missile site. So he didn't > use them because he thought he would be overthrown if he did. > > As far as what happened during the 10 years of inspections - many weapons of > mass destruction were found. Incredible quantities were found, destroyed and > dismantled. But when the inspectors got to the final stage of their work to > try to uncover what was left - not what they had been basically given access > to by the Iraqis - but what was the capability to quickly rebuild, Saddam > Hussain shut down the inspection system and kicked the inspectors out. So > presumably he was hiding something or else sanctions would have been lifted > many years ago. > > Newshost: > Toby I saw you nodding there during that answer. Would you agree that there > is a significant terrorist threat posed by Iraq? > > Toby Dodge: > I think terrorism is usually defined as non-state actors. Now whatever we > say about Saddam Hussein clearly he is in charge of a state. I think Jamie's > answer begs the question that certainly there must have been a lot of Saddam > Hussein's own interests and the regime's own interests stopping it using > chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in 1990 and 1991. Now if American > action is launched this time with the explicit aim of unseating Saddam > Hussein then that doesn't come into play. Surely he has nothing to lose from > using these weapons. > > Newshost: > Simon Berdal, Norway: Does Iraq support international terrorism? Weapon > programs are an internal affair, as long as you don't use them or break an > international treaty. The US has a biological weapons program, but is that a > reason to attack the US? Wouldn't an attack on Iraq by Great Britain and the > United States become a justification for Saddam to use those weapons? > > James Rubin: > There are a lot of pieces to that question. The fact is that Saddam Hussein > has used weapons of mass destruction. He massacred the Kurdish people with > gas and chemical weaponry in 1988. He probably used chemical weapons during > the Iran/Iraq war. So this is a man who has violated that international > prohibition on using such weapons. If the United States were to attack Iraq, > there would be the risk that my colleague indicated, that he would have > nothing to lose and might well use them. But I think it's worth all of your > viewers and listeners to remember, Saddam is now in violation of the 1991 > ceasefire agreement which required him to fully co-operate with the United > Nations to destroy these weapons. He is in violation of the ceasefire > resolution and so under any reasonable examination of the legal situation, > the war is still on because he is in violation of the ceasefire. > > Newshost: > Mohamed Aden,UK (a young Muslim student):Do you think the military war on > terrorism should stop at the Afghan borders? > > Toby Dodge: > I think it's a very difficult question to answer. My own understanding would > be that a military war against terrorism - counter insurgency campaigns, > both in Europe and the wider world, very often fail. It's a hearts and minds > issue. It has become apparent after September 11th, there is a great deal of > resentment, both against incumbent regimes in the Middle East but also > against the United States for seeming to support them. So one wonders if > energies would be better directed into winning hearts and minds, delivering > economic development and not actually in unilateral military action. > > Newshost: > Simon, UK: How can America get backing from the Middle East about any action > against Iraq when Israel and Palestine are in such a state of turmoil? > > James Rubin: > This is a real problem and I think it's a very good question and there's no > easy answer to it. In my opinion, the best chance for peace in the Middle > East - real peace - the kind of permanent peace we've all being looking for, > might well come after the United States has invaded and overthrown the > regime in Iraq. Because at that point, the United States President - like > his father - would be in a position to put real pressure on all the peoples > in the region, including the Israelis and the Palestinians. He would have > just freed the people of Iraq from this terrible tyranny and would have > greater power and authority in the region - especially in the state of > Israel where he would have helped eliminate a threat to the people of > Israel. I suspect that in that circumstance, the chances of a US President > being helpful on the Middle East peace process would be much higher than it > is right now. > > Newshost: > Martin, England: Given the current state of Britain's Armed Forces, which > are at an all time low, how prepared can they be to sustain any military > operation? Is Tony Blair preparing the British public for sole reliance on > US forces? > > Toby Dodge: > I think that's a very astute question. The Armed Forces are very > over-stretched in a series of peace-keeping United Nations roles around the > globe. My understanding of any British role in a coming offensive against > Iraq would be very limited. It would be possibly some Air Force cover and > some Special Forces cover. So, I think, again the British role - if it comes > - in an attack on Iraq would be more symbolic than strategic. > > Newshost: > Martina, UK: In true US style Bush has openly stated that he wants Saddam > "removed". Aren't the Americans trying to goad Saddam into making the "first > draw"? Shouldn't they leave Saddam alone until the Al Saud family and Sharon > (both US allies) are removed first? > > James Rubin: > I don't know what true US fashion means in the question - I take it that's > not a compliment. Let me just say that the United States and all of the > countries that have examined this question believe that since 1998 when > Saddam Hussein kicked the UN inspectors out, he has been in violation - in > material breach - of the ceasefire resolution. So the UN resolutions that > authorised the world to go to war against Saddam Hussein for the invasion of > Kuwait were ended by virtue of the ceasefire resolution which required him > to open up his facilities to inspections. He has now broken that agreement - > broken that ceasefire. So there is justification - legally in my opinion - > to do it. Whether it would be wise, whether it's a good idea, whether the > risks that we've talked about outweigh the benefits is a tough question and > none of those apply to the Al Saud and Sharon regimes. > > Toby Dodge: > I think there is a degree in which the United States in its sabre-rattling, > in its building the military pressure, may well be looking for diplomatic > solutions. Certainly, I think looking at Tony Blair and Jack Straw's > comments, they would very much like a diplomatic solution which would > involve letting US weapons inspectors in, which would involve disarming Iraq > to the extent its possible under a peaceful UN oversight. In a way these two > policies have to run in tandem for the Iraqi Government to know that the > international community is serious about disarmament - they must feel that > the United States would back it up with military force. But it may well come > to it that this military force may not be deployed. > > Newshost: > Anonymous e-mailer, USA: What proof do Blair and Cheney have that Iraq has > amassed weapons of mass destruction? > > Toby Dodge: > I think the cases before and after, say 1998. So the United Nations Special > Commission in charge with disarming Iraq, gained an immense amount of > knowledge about Iraq's capabilities in the run up to 1998 when they left and > there was more military action against Iraq. There are two allegations here. > One, and I certainly agree with James Rubin, that Iraq hasn't complied fully > with the ceasefire agreement it signed. The second one which is more > sinister and as far as I'm concerned hasn't been proven yet, is whether Iraq > has been rearming since 1998 and I think we need a lot more evidence before > that can be universally believed. > > Newshost: > Dr Zaid, United Arab Emirates: Why does the British government immediately > praise and join America's recent actions? > > Toby Dodge: > My understanding - and all it is, is an understanding - of Tony Blair and > the Labour Party's foreign policy is that it puts a premium weight on the > Transatlantic link. You could even argue, Europe aside, it puts weight on > the Transatlantic link more than anything else. Certainly the ramifications > of that is that the United Kingdom policy leads American policy in the > Middle East. So you can see what happens in America doesn't directly involve > itself in the peace process - the peace process doesn't really get done an d > European intervention gets sidelined. So I think Tony Blair has made a > calculation that his good friends in the White House are worth more > specifically to British interests than other issues are. > > Newshost: > Matt, UK: Why should Europe support a country that tries to weaken their > economies with tariffs? > > James Rubin: > Well if the British people didn't support countries that weakened the > British economy by tariffs, they wouldn't be doing a lot of trade in Europe > because every European country uses tariffs to protect their industries. I > personally don't think the President made the right decision on the steel > tariff issue. But I think everyone has to be careful about throwing bricks > when they live in glass houses and that's certainly true with most European > countries. > > Newshost: > Eddy Mohamed, Oman: Saddam has not threatened anybody for the last 10 years. > Yet many Iraqi children have lost their lives due to American use of heavy > weaponry and sanctions. Why does America continue to see Saddam as a threat? > > James Rubin: > There's really two separate parts to the question - let me peel them apart. > Number one, Saddam has threatened the world in the last 10 years. He moved a > huge number of troops south in Iraq in 1994 and threatened to reinvade > Kuwait which required the United States to build up its forces and develop a > no-drive zone in southern Iraq. So he has threatened to reinvade Kuwait. He > still, in his official pronouncements, regards Kuwait as a part of Iraq. Now > occasionally they change their mind and they change back but the fact is > that he is a threat and I think everybody knows that. How threatening he is, > is a legitimate question - but he is a threat. He certainly attacked the > Kurds in the north on several occasions and I think we all have to judge how > dangerous a threat he poses and what are the proposed alternatives. But to > think that he hasn't posed a threat - I am sure his people regard every day > living under Saddam Hussein as a threat to their lives. > > Newshost: > Perhaps I could ask both of you briefly to say where you think we are and > what point have we reached in this whole conflict and what's likely to > happen next? > > Toby Dodge: > I don't think military action is imminent. I think if military action comes, > it will come in the winter - even as late as the end of this year. I think > we have a lot of diplomatic negotiations in New York at the United Nations > to go through before the United States may well launch military action. So I > think we should focus on the United Nations - on negotiations there and see > how Kofi Annan's discussions with the Iraqi foreign minister unfold in > April. > > Newshost: > James, any predictions? > > James Rubin: > I think that is the appropriate diplomatic timeline. But we should focus on > those diplomatic discussions with the clear knowledge that Saddam Hussein is > unlikely, in the extreme, to provide the kind of access that convinces the > UN - not the United States - but the UN, that he is no longer interested in > building weapons of mass destruction. So if we believe that a dictator this > ruthless - who has murdered his own people, who has invaded country after > country - has weapons of mass destruction - the UN inspection programme is > very unlikely to resolve it. That's what we need to decide - what is the > right response. > ----------------------------------------------------------- > > > "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead Use www.cafe-uni.com as your window on the world's news. Read the world's view of current events and use the forum to have your say. Use the noticeboard to announce your events.Sign up for your free email account. ********************************************************************** > "Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar" <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com> >Re: [casi] mistakeDate: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 21:12:37 +0300 > >Hi all >No No it is not a mistake. It is really a deliberate effort to misinforms >the >people. They know that they are telling lies and continue to do it. This is >not the first time and will not be the last that you are going to read the >same "mistake". This is the BBC! can you imagine what the less reputable >media are telling the readers? After all they are "Free press" and are free >to >distort any thing! > >Regards > >Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar >Baghdad, Iraq >First on the "axis of evil" > >----- Original Message ----- >From: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >To: <email@example.com> >Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Sent: Wednesday, March 13, 2002 1:13 AM >Subject: [casi] mistake > > >> I understand that Gen. Wesley Clarke and an Iraqi representative were >> interviewed on the Today Programme on Radio 4 this morning at >> approximately 8:15.(UK time) The interviewer mistakenly stated that the >> UN weapons inspectors had been expelled by Iraq in 1998. The very >> same lie that Ben Bradshaw MP was pedalling just last week. The >> weapons inspectors were of course withdrawn by UNSCOM >> preceding the bombing of Iraq in December of that year. >> >> Tony Maturin, >> Wellington Quakers Peace and Public Questions Committee, >> Aotearoa/New Zealand. ------------------------------------------------------------ See how the rest of the world sees today's news at http://www.cafe-uni.com. News of world events and international politics from the world's newspapers --------------------------------------------------------------------- Express yourself with a super cool email address from BigMailBox.com. Hundreds of choices. It's free! http://www.bigmailbox.com --------------------------------------------------------------------- _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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