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[casi] News, 30/3-6/4/02

News, 30/3-6/4/02

Hi! Fellow windy wobblers (see 'Saddam land war
is vital' below). Producing this without the
luxury of my own computer has been such a
nightmare that I've hardly any energy left for
smart alecky comments. Another week has gone by
in which Ariel Sharon has been doing what it
might take to unite Arab opinion and, at least
temporarily, give Iraq a little breathing space,
or 'wiggle room' to use the preferred terminology
of the New World Order. A lot of speculation as
to whether there will be an oil embargo and, if
so, if it will have much effect. And a whole
series of entertaining Pepe Escobar articles on
his visit to Iraq.


*  US lifts block on Russian contracts with Iran
[And no-one seems to think that this blatant use
of the holds on Iraqi trade for political
purposes is in any way scandalous or even worthy
of comment].
*  U.N. releases $995 million for Iraqi invasion


*  Saddam, Iran threaten to play 'oil card'
*  Iraq lobbies Arab world to cut oil exports to
*  Interview with J.Taylor, Cato Institute, on
threat of oil embargo [He argues that it wouldn't
really matter]
*  Pretoria, Iraq Oil Deal Shrouded in Controversy
*  Bush, Saddam and the shoot-out at the Opec


*  Detained Kuwaiti Returns Home
*  Iraq scoring series of diplomatic coups
*  Iraq Raises Suicide Bomber Payments
*  Iraqi Vice President Leaves for Syria, Lebanon
*  US's Richard Murphy discuss issues in
roundtable meeting [in Damascus]

AND, IN NEWS, 30/3-6/4/02


*  Iraqi Kurdish leader evades assassins
*  Jude Wanniski's Genocide Denial ['Wherein the
supply-side guru disputes, against all evidence,
Saddam's gassing of the Kurds.']
*  U.S. Envoy Visits Kurds in Iraq
*  Kurdish leader survives Saddam assassination


*  Defector: I Bought Iraq Nukes [Yes, indeed,
another one pops up just when he's needed.]
*  Gulf War POWs Accuse Iraq of Torture


*  IRAQ DIARY, Part 2: The vanishing middle class
[Series by Pepe Escobar]
*  IRAQ DIARY, Part 3: Baghdad and Ramallah - the
same struggle
*  IRAQ DIARY, Part 4: Sorry, your credit is no
good [Interview with Iraqi minister of trade,
Mohamed Mamdi Salim]
*  IRAQ DIARY, Part 5: What is terrorism?


*  Teachers make a stand on Iraq sanctions
*  Short 'carpeted' over Iraq
*  Overthrow Saddam But don't Harm His People,
Urge Protesters [Yasser Alaskary advocating the
rather difficult trick of toppling Saddam without
hurting anyone else].
*  'Saddam land war is vital' [In-depth analysis
by SAS Major Peter Ratcliffe, writing in The Sun]

tagid=IX LMS1QTICC&subheading=global%20economy

*  US lifts block on Russian contracts with Iran
by Carola Hoyos, United Nations correspondent
Financial Times, 3rd April

The US lifted blocks on more than $200m (£140.8m)
worth of Russian contracts last week in an
attempt to win Moscow's agreement to refocus
United Nations' sanctions against Iraq, diplomats

The release of the contracts, described as a
sweetener, secured Russia's approval last week -
after a year of protest - of a list of goods that
countries could sell to Iraq without violating

Washington is expected to release additional
Russian contracts in the next few weeks, lifting
the total value of the deal to nearly $750m,
according to one diplomat.

The US had blocked many of the humanitarian
contracts on the grounds that they could be
misused by Iraq for military purposes. Others
were delayed by a lack of information submitted
by the seller. A US official, however, disputed
that the release of the contracts was linked to
last week's breakthrough with Russia, saying the
US had been working to reduce the estimated $5bn
of contracts that are currently on hold.

The so-called "smart sanctions", which were one
of the first Iraq policy initiatives taken by
Colin Powell, US secretary of state, refocus
current sanctions to ease the export to Iraq of
humanitarian goods without increasing the amount
of money covertly going to Iraq's regime. Iraq
vehemently opposes them.

The timing isn't totally coincidental," said one
diplomat. Another was more blunt saying the
decision marked the boldest move yet by the US to
use the holds to buy political agreement.

Last June, the US released more than $80m of
Chinese contracts it had blocked in order to gain
Beijing's support for an earlier resolution
retooling UN sanctions.

Last week, the US released a contract it had
blocked last August. The contract was for $105m
worth of electricity equipment for a thermal
power station, to be sold to Iraq by
Technopromexport of Russia.

The second largest contract was for $58m of
vehicles for the food-handling sector, to be sold
by JSC Hydromash Service, also a Russian company.
Other Russian contracts released in the past week
included, $34m for the agricultural sector,
$13.2m for telecommunications equipment, $7.1m
for bulldozers, $3m for water sanitation
equipment and $2m in the oil sector.

Overall, Russian contracts released totalled
$237.5m, diplomats said. The number of blocked
contracts belonging to all countries fell 5 per
cent or by $280m in the week ending March 29, the
UN reported on Tuesday.

The UN's oil-for-food programme allows Iraq to
export its crude oil and buy humanitarian
products. Any country on the UN's Security
Council can block a contract for products going
into Iraq.

Russia has been under pressure from Baghdad not
to go along with the new policy on sanctions.

Russia is Iraq's biggest trading partner and its
closest ally on the Security Council.

*  U.N. releases $995 million for Iraqi invasion
CNN, 4th April

GENEVA, Switzerland (AP) -- The U.N. panel
overseeing compensation to victims of Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait released $995 million

The amount set aside for Kuwait in the periodic
payment is $807 million, most of it for 1,058
individuals claiming more than $100,000 each for
losses, said the U.N. Compensation Commission.
Corporations and the Kuwait government also are
receiving payments.

The next largest payments are $82.6 million for
Saudi Arabia and $44.9 million for Jordan.

The payments bring to $14.8 billion the total
that the commission has released to companies,
governments and individuals who suffered losses
from the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The awards are funded through the U.N. oil-for-
food program. The compensation fund currently
receives 25 percent of the revenue Iraq earns
through the sale of oil permitted by the U.N.
Security Council. Iraq is allowed to use the rest
for humanitarian goods for Iraqis suffering under
U.N. sanctions.

The commission is made up of representatives of
the 15 Security Council members.


New York Post, 3rd April

April 3, 2002 -- BAGHDAD - Saddam Hussein is
calling on Arab states to punish America and
others who support Israel by slapping an embargo
on oil shipments - in a rerun of the 1970s energy

Use oil as a weapon in the battle with the enemy
[Israel]," Saddam's ruling Baath Party said in a
statement published by Iraq's media yesterday.

Iraq, the world's No. 3 oil producer, and Iran
(No. 2) issued a joint statement saying they are
prepared to cut exports "immediately," even if
other major oil producers refuse to join them.

They said their goal was to pressure Israel's
supporters into forcing the Jewish state to call
off its crackdown on terrorism in the West Bank.

The world understands the language of economy, so
why do not Arabs use this language?" Saddam told
Iraqi dignitaries.

Iran and Iraq account for about 10 percent of the
world's oil exports. The United States is the
biggest oil importer.

Saudi Arabia and other major OPEC members say
they will not support an embargo, although the
Saudis have been sharply critical of Israel.

In Albany, federal Interior Secretary Gail Norton
refused to say what an embargo would mean in
terms of gas prices and availability, but pointed
out that America depends far more on foreign oil
today than it did during the 1970s crisis.

She urged Senate adoption of President Bush's
energy plan, including a controversial provision
allowing oil drilling in the Alaska's Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge.

*  Iraq lobbies Arab world to cut oil exports to
by Patrick Cockburn
The Indepednent, 5th April 2002

Iraq is once again presenting itself as the
patriotic bastion of the Arab world by sending a
draft resolution to the Arab League asking oil
producers to cut off supplies to America
inresponse to the military campaign being
orchestrated by George Bush to topple Saddam

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are unlikely to
join any embargo, but the sense that the Middle
East crisis is spiralling out of control is
keeping oil prices at a six-month high despite
weak consumption and high oil stocks.

Adam Sieminski, of Deutsche Bank Securities,
said: "First Iraq and nowIsrael/Palestine have
added a $6 [£4] a barrel to oil pricesbeyond what
we think supply, demand and inventories warrant."
North Sea Brent hit a six-month high of $27.68 a
barrel on Tuesday, having risen from $20 at the
beginning of March.

Paul Horsnell, of the investment bank JP Morgan,
said: "The combination of fundamental,
macroeconomic, political and military factors is
rapidly creating an oil market version of the
perfect storm. Strap in tightly, this could get

Ali Rodriguez, the secretary general of Opec, the
association of oil-producing states, said
yesterday it had no plans for now to increase
crude output. He echoed fears that the recent
price rises were the result of speculation
and "political uncertainties" rather than any
change in supply or demand.

Earlier an Iraqi minister said Baghdad was ready
to cut its oil supplies to America if Iran would
join it – unlikely given the traditional
hostility between the two countries. Iraq has
already made important gains from the crisis in
Gaza and the West Bank, which is hampering
Washington's efforts to garner support,
internationally and in the Middle East, for the
overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Repeated crises because of the actions of Iraq
and the Israeli-Palestinian question have
affected the price of oil over the past 30 years,
but the degree of instability in the region now
appears greater than before because of the
military focus of American foreign policy since
11 September.

And in the present jumpy atmosphere militant
Iraqi rhetoric has greater impact than a few
months ago. Crude futures – financial instruments
based on the future price of crude oil – rose
spectacularly on Tuesday when Naji Sabri, the
Iraqi Foreign Minister, said in Kuala Lumpur that
the oil producing countries had the right to co-
ordinate their policies to put pressure on Israel.

Iran, which has not exported oil to America since
1995, appeared cautious about the Iraqi proposal.
Kamal Kharrazi, the Iranian Foreign Minister,
said: "This is not a decision that one country
alone can make for itself. It has to be a
collective decision for it to be effective."

Loyola de Palacio, the European Union energy
commissioner, said Opec officials had assured her
they would not seek to use the threat of an oil
boycott to pressure Israel and its allies. "They
do not want oil to be used as a weapon in Israeli-
Palestinian conflict.",2933,49537,00.html

* Interview with J.Taylor, Cato Institute, on
threat of oil embargo
Fox News, 4th April

This partial transcript of Special Report with
Brit Hume, April 3, 2002 was provided by the
Federal Document Clearing House.

BRIT HUME, HOST: Iraq has called for a cutoff of
oil sales to the United States by Muslim
countries as way of pressuring the U.S. to back
off its support for Israel in the struggle with
the Palestinians. This has conjured up visions of
an Arab oil embargo that would send fuel prices
soaring, gas pump lines around the block. But is
this realistic?

For answers, we turn to Jerry Taylor, director of
natural resources studies at the Cato Institute
here in Washington. Jerry, welcome back.


HUME: Now, let's assume that Iraq did this on its
own and cut off oil supply to the United States.
How much difference would that make?

TAYLOR: It wouldn't make any difference. There is
enough oil sloshing around in the global economy
that if we didn't buy oil from Iraq we would buy
it from Canada or Mexico or someplace else. The
fact is that Iraq cannot unilaterally embargo the
United States to any good effect, nor can the
rest of OPEC.

HUME: Because all the oil that it produces is
dumped into the world market, and whether it goes
directly to the United States, it f it doesn't,
it would be made up for elsewhere.

TAYLOR: We'll, that's exactly right. In 1973, all
that happened during the oil embargo is that the
United States stopped buying oil directly from
OPEC. We bought oil from people who bought oil
from OPEC. Or we increased our purchases from non-
OPEC suppliers who had been supplying Europe, and
then they supplied the United States, and Europe
decided to buy more from OPEC.

And there was a reshuffling of supply lines. But
the OPEC oil embargo of '73 did not reduce oil
imports to the United States one bit.

HUME: But it did cause a lot of trouble here.

TAYLOR: It did cause a reshuffling of supply
lines. But it didn't cause the gasoline lines at
the service stations that we remember. And it
didn't cause the bulk of the price increase.

HUME: What did?

TAYLOR: Price controls in the United States did.
It's a somewhat complicated story. But the short
end of it is that the United States imposed price
controls on the amount that major oil companies
could charge for imported oil. It was so steep,
these price controls, that major oil companies
quit buying oil from abroad because they would
lose money on the sale at home. So, when we
reduced the imports, that reduced the amount of
supply to the United States, and that caused the
gas lines.

HUME: Let's talk a little bit about where the
United States gets the oil it gets from foreign
sources. It gets it from a bunch of different
countries. I think we even have a graphic that
shows that. Canada, number one. Go ahead, lay
that out for us.

TAYLOR: Well, Canada is a major oil producer,
15.4 percent. And it is also a relatively cheap
source because transportation costs are pretty

HUME: Right. Saudi Arabia?

TAYLOR: Right, 14.3 percent. It is a major
supplier. It's a major supplier in the global
market. But, actually, what most people don't
realize is that Saudi Arabia, while it's the
largest exporter of oil, is actually only the
second largest producer. The Soviets are the
largest producer right now.

HUME: Now, I don't see the Soviets on that list.

TAYLOR: Or the Russians, I should say.

HUME: The Russians. I'm sorry. The Russians are
not on that list. I see, looking at that group of
countries, only Iraq and Saudi Arabia are
nominally at least Muslim countries. Would
Russian supplies be able to make up — let's
assume that our major Muslim country suppliers
tried to shut us out or shut down altogether.
Would Russia be able to make up the difference?

TAYLOR: Not tomorrow, but soon. Right now, the
major problem Russia has in delivering its oil to
market is that its transportation infrastructure
needs some investment. They don't have the port
capacity or the pipeline capacity to get all the
oil to the global market that they would like.

Now, most of it, analysts think that will change
in a few years and expect the Russians actually
to be the number one oil producer and the number
one oil exporter, which is bad news for OPEC. I
think OPEC in a sense as we know it is living on
somewhat borrowed time because I think the
Russian entrance into the oil market is going to
really change things.

HUME: Now, the kind of cutoff that Iraq is
talking about is a cutoff of direct sales to the
United States.

TAYLOR: Right.

HUME: That's presumably what it is calling for
Iran and for other Islamic countries to do.


HUME: Your view of that is that that by itself
wouldn't do anything because the oil would simply
flow to other countries, and then that would
slacken the demand from those countries for other
oil. And we would get it anyway.

TAYLOR: Absolutely.

HUME: But if they cut off oil altogether, is that
a possibility?

TAYLOR: If they shut down oil production

HUME: Right.

TAYLOR: ... If Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, and
Kuwait, and the rest of OPEC just stopped
producing oil, they would probably cause a
revolution within their own borders within a
matter of weeks...

HUME: Because?

TAYLOR: ... because oil revenue is the only thing
that separates that economy from, say, a
Zimbabwean or Ugandan economy. It's the only
thing they have to sell on the world market. And
one of the major reasons for instability, say, in
Saudi Arabia, is that the oil dole, the checks
that the Saudis got from the government for their
oil revenues, have been cut by two-thirds over
the past 20 years.

Without oil revenue, that economy implodes. And
that's one of the main reasons why there is
instability. The oil revenues are not what they
used to be in these countries.

HUME: Now, what about this recent spike that
we've seen in oil prices on the market that have
been attributed, at least in newspaper accounts
that I've read, to uncertainties about what Iraq
or Iran might do?

TAYLOR: Yes. Oil markets really hate instability.
They don't like uncertainty. Right now, whenever
military tensions rise in the Middle East, oil
prices are going to rise along with them.

But you can overstate this really. Oil prices
always go up in the spring because we're building
up inventory for the summer driving seasons. So
you always see gasoline prices going up at that

You also see a global economy recovering right
now. The United States is coming out of a
recession. That increases oil demand. And that's
playing a factor as well. And now, of course,
saber rattling in the Middle East is also going
to panic some buyers into signing contracts for
longer-term supply.

HUME: And that ups the prices, at least in the
short term?

TAYLOR: Absolutely in the short term. But in the
long run, you originally asked what would happen
if OPEC just stopped producing oil.

Even in the short run, it would bring us back to
a world in which oil prices where, after
adjusting for inflation, where they were in 1981.
Prices would go up to around $65 a barrel in the
short term. After adjusting for inflation, we've
been there before. It's not a pleasant thing.
Nobody has fond memories of the economy circa-
1991, but it wasn't the end of the world.

HUME: Right. Well, Jerry Taylor, glad to have
you. Thank you very much.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

*  Pretoria, Iraq Oil Deal Shrouded in Controversy
by Stefaans Brümmer
Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg), 5th April

In a first for the state oil sector, South Africa
is buying R1-billion worth of crude oil from Iraq
to replenish strategic stocks. But some industry
sources question the deal, saying it "smells" of
another oil scandal.

Iraq has been under international embargo since
the 1990 Gulf War. Oil transactions with Iraq
have to be individually approved by the United
Nations in terms of the world body's "food-for-
oil" programme, which intends to ameliorate the
humanitarian impact of the sanctions.

Industry sources ask why the Strategic Fuel Fund
(SFF), the South African state body responsible
for maintaining emergency fuel stocks,
specifically called for Iraqi "Basrah Light"
crude - a grade of oil they claim is not
regularly used by local refineries.

The contract, announced this week by SFF chief
executive Renosi Mokate, was awarded last month
to a inexperienced black empowerment company,
Imvume Resources, in partnership with a Swiss-
based trading company, Glencore International.

The government in the mid-1990s sold off large
parts of South Africa's strategic oil stocks held
at Saldanha.

In 1999 the government decided to relocate more
stocks stored in mine shafts at Ogies, east of
Johannesburg, to Saldanha, where it would be more
accessible. The idea was to sell the Ogies stocks
and acquire fresh stocks for Saldanha.

That decision led to perhaps the greatest scandal
yet in a series afflicting the state oil sector,
when SFF outsourced the deal to a local and
international joint venture without Minister of
Minerals and Energy Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's

Mlambo-Ngcuka fired the entire SFF board in
December 2000 and repudiated that contract amid
confessions from some officials involved that
they had each accepted $20 000 cash bribes.

That matter is still in the courts, but the SFF,
under a newly appointed board, completed the
Ogies sell-off.

Mokate said in a statement this week that the SFF
identified two types of oil - Nigerian Bonny
Light and Iraqi Basrah Light - to replenish
stocks at Saldanha. The SFF briefing documents
said an SFF subcommittee recommended the two
types of oil based on the needs of local
refineries and the range of oil products that
could be produced by them.

Mokate said UN guidelines were that a country
should hold 35 days of consumption in stocks -
14,75- million barrels in South Africa's case.

In November SFF bought two cargoes, or four
million barrels, of Bonny Light on the open
or "spot" market.

A decision was taken to issue a tender - rather
than another spot market transaction or a
government-to- government transaction - to buy
four million more barrels, this time Basrah
Light. "The decision to issue the tender was
taken prudently in order to facilitate entry by
new players, particularly black-empowerment
companies, while at the same time ensuring the
best deal for the country."

The SFF issued the tender on December 5, with a
closing date only nine days later, on December
14. The tender asked for delivery of two cargoes
of two million barrels each during January and
February - a short time considering that the
successful bidder would have had to arrange
shipping and UN clearance.

The SFF briefing documents deny the initial
tender period was "unrealistic", but say it was
extended as "we needed to ensure we received all
the information from bidders to enable us to
reach a fair and valid decision the adjudication
process was delayed because we required
additional information."

The Mail & Guardian understands, however, that
the delay could have stemmed partially from
infighting or complaints over the initial tender
period and other aspects of the deal that had
raised suspicion that a preferred bidder could
already have been at the starting blocks.

One source, well placed in the local and
international oil industry, disputed that local
refineries preferred Bonny and Basrah Light as
asserted by the SFF. And he questioned why, even
if local refineries needed that grade of oil,
SFF's tender had specifically asked for the Iraqi
Basrah Light. If the SFF had specified a grade of
oil with the same quality as Basrah Light, rather
than insisting on the Iraqi product, a wider
range of potential suppliers would have qualified
and a more competitive bid would have resulted.

Another oil expert pointed out that quite a few
countries produced oil with specifications
similar to Basrah Light, and speculated that the
tender would have "excluded" certain suppliers.

In the event, the contract, worth about R1-
billion according to Mokate, went to Imvume -
which the SFF says it chose because of
its "competitive price, black-empowerment
credentials and capacity to deliver" - a
capacity "enhanced by their partnership with
Glencore International".

Imvume is a company with no expertise in the
field. It was registered about a year ago and
directors Sandi Majali, Elliot Mashile, Mphumzi
Mhatu and Phila Venkile were appointed last May.
Nomdakazana Mbina was another director mentioned
by Mokate. None seems to have a high business

Mokate acknowledged that Imvume did not have oil
trading experience, but said that ability would
come "partly through Glencore, and partly though
one of the [Imvume] partners, who has traded
0 2/04/06/ixcoms.html

*  Bush, Saddam and the shoot-out at the Opec
Daily Telegraph, 6th April

History tells us that fears of another oil crisis
are ill-founded, says George Trefgarne

YOU have to hand it to the Arabs. They are pretty
useless at many things - like democracy, for
instance - but they have an impish talent for

This week was a case in point as Iraq called on
its fellow Gulf States to use "the oil weapon"
against the West in retaliation for supporting
Israel. That old outlaw Saddam Hussein is trying
to position himself as saviour of the Arab people
in general and the Palestinians in particular. He
was also indulging his favourite pastime: goading
the Americans.

As a soundbite, "the oil weapon" is pretty good.
At one point this week, traders on the
International Petroleum Exchange in London,
concerned that an oil embargo is a far greater
threat than Saddam's rusty Scud missiles, drove
the benchmark price for a barrel of crude for
delivery in May through $28 a barrel to its
highest for six months.

There are distant echoes here of 1973, when Arab
countries announced an oil embargo to punish the
West for supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War.
Egypt and Syria had attacked when Israeli
citizens were in the synagogue, and the move
precipitated the first oil crisis (the second was
in 1978 when the fundamentalist revolution began
against the Shah of Iran).

The oil price quadrupled and there were queues
for petrol across America and Europe. This
provided the backdrop to the shambles of 1970s
Britain: power cuts, miners' strikes, Ted Heath,
inflation and currency crises.

There is now a "war premium" for oil. Analysts
say that without all the scimitar-rattling in the
Middle East, the price would be close to $20.
Petrol in the UK has followed oil upwards,
although most of the cost is taxation. Prices
have risen by 3p in the last month, and there is
about 2p still to come. Gordon Brown has
signalled that this will not put him off adding
still more to his tax take the week after next.

All this comes at a difficult time for President
Bush, whose finger is itching on the trigger of
his six-gun. It is just over two months since he
dubbed North Korea, Iran and Iraq the "axis of
evil". He stopped short of actually announcing he
was going to attack them, but warned: "I will not
stand by as perils draw closer and closer." The
message was clear: they better co-operate, or
it's High Noon.

Oil is one of the many strands which link the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the war on
terror. So far, the connection is a political
one. The oil market is hypersensitive to any sign
of tension in the Middle East, even though the
black stuff nearly always continues to flow.
Speculators, like Saddam Hussein, are gamblers.
They recognise that oil is the ace for Arab
states against the US.

As the old saw has it, the American Republic is
built not so much on the Constitution, but Gas,
God and Guns. The US itself produces 7m barrels a
day - about 10pc of the world total and nearly as
much as Saudi Arabia - but it consumes even more,
and must import 11m barrels a day. It is the
world's biggest oil importer by far, absorbing
25pc of world imports.

It is not surprising that since the President's
speech, the oil price has risen by $8 a barrel,
to the point where higher petrol prices might
impact on the fragile economic recovery underway
in America.

Expensive oil also worries central banks, which
have cut interest rates to their lowest level for
a generation. Any sign of inflation and rates
will rise quickly, as happened when there was a
jump in the oil price in 2000. More expensive
borrowing helped prick the dotcom bubble and, by
September, the fuel protests were underway in
France and Britain.

It is too early yet to man the barricades, block
motorways and start hoarding petrol. Another oil
crisis looks improbable. There are three reasons
the price could soon fall back.

First, it is by no means certain the US will
attack Iraq. The American military build-up in
the Gulf is so far limited to about 20,000
personnel and a couple of carrier battle groups.
That is about one tenth the size of the coalition
assembled in the Gulf War.

Even if it does attack, and Iraqi supplies are
temporarily lost, there is little chance that the
oil price will rise above $40 a barrel, the level
it hit in the Gulf War, far less the inflation-
adjusted $60 of the 1970s. Once an attack had
begun, one of the first objectives would,
presumably, be to secure Iraq's oil fields, which
would then be in much safer and more efficient
hands than they are now.

Second, Iraq is probably bluffing. It would not
be the first time Saddam Hussein fired his
Kalashnikov into the air to no great effect.
Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the
Opec exporters' cartel, has so far said an oil
embargo would be inappropriate. In 2000, Opec
adopted a resolution saying that oil should not
be used as a political instrument. Only Iraq
failed to agree to the resolution.

Arab nations are heavily dependent on oil and
could not afford to withhold supplies for long.
With the exception of a bit of tourism, they have
failed to develop any other industry. Saud al-
Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, recognised
this earlier in the week when he said: "If they
[Arab countries] want to strengthen themselves
against Israeli aggression, they have no
alternative but to continue to exploit oil and

The Saudi Arabian government is already running a
budget defict, while Iran is depressingly poor.
According to the World Bank, income per capita is
only about £1,700 a year, and it has over $100
billion of debts run up during the war with Iraq
in the 1980s.

Since 1996, the United Nations has allowed Iraq
to export about 2.5m barrels of oil a day in
order to buy food. The UN said on Wednesday that,
in the last two weeks, Iraq has actually
increased its exports rather than cut them. It
relies on oil completely for foreign exchange.
Without it Saddam is skint.

Third, we are far less dependent on Arabian oil
than we used to be. President Putin of Russia,
spying his opportunity to cuddle up to the West,
has urged his country's producers to accelerate.
The West has turned a blind eye to his war in
Chechnya, and he returned the favour by refusing
Opec's requests to cut production.

Russia is the new oil superpower, with an output
which should overtake Saudia Arabia's this year.
Opec supplies only around a third of the world's
oil now, down from a half in the 1970s.

As it stands, there is plenty of oil washing
around, and the world economy isn't guzzling it
fast enough to cause any serious problems. The
oil market recognises this. It is in what is
known as 'contango', where futures prices are
higher than spot prices (ie for immediate
delivery) by about 40 cents a barrel.

The latest figures from the American Petroleum
Institute on US commercial stocks show there are
more than 820m barrels of oil at refineries,
which is above average. The rise in the futures
price for crude is not, therefore, based on a
physical shortage, merely on a bet by speculators
that there may be a shortage later in the year.
The bet is political, not economic.

In June, Opec will meet to discuss whether to
continue the production cuts it began two years
ago. Then, the oil price was less than $10, and
the organisation has learned that engineering an
oil shortage also produces a glut in its wake.
Any sustained price over $25 would encourage new
supplies from the former Soviet Republics,
Nigeria and Alaska.

A re-run of 1973 is still unlikely. A crisis
would require genuine shortages. But as a weapon,
oil is like a blunderbuss: rather old fashioned
and liable to blow up in the user's face. We
should be far more worried about the other, more
modern, armaments Saddam may have in his locker.


*  Detained Kuwaiti Returns Home
Las Vegas Sun, 30th March

KUWAIT (AP) - A Kuwaiti who was detained in Iraq
for two weeks after he inadvertently crossed the
border with a Venezuelan delegation returned home

U.N. observers, who have patrolled the closed
border since the 1991 Gulf War, said Jassem al-
Randi was handed over by representatives of the
International Committee of the Red Cross to
Kuwaiti Interior Ministry officials at the
Kuwaiti-Iraqi border.

He was released into the care of the
International Red Cross in Baghdad on Wednesday.

Al-Randi, who works for Kuwait Municipality, was
accompanying the Venezuelan ambassador on March
15 when their U.N. escort inadvertently took them
across the border.

News of Baghdad's decision to free the Kuwaiti
was announced Wednesday at an Arab League summit
in Beirut, Lebanon, where Iraq affirmed its
respect for Kuwait's independence and pledged to
avoid "all that could repeat what happened in

Kuwait was invaded by Iraq in 1990, and liberated
by a U.S.-led coalition seven months later.

On Friday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told
the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai Al-Amm in a landmark
interview that Baghdad wants to resume relations
with its small neighbor.

Kuwait responded that it was still too early and
that it wanted to see Baghdad implement all
relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions,
including the one that requires Iraq to account
for the fate of more than 600 missing Kuwaitis
and other nationals since the 1990 invasion.

Baghdad says it holds no prisoners of war. But
Sabri told the newspaper his country was willing
to look for any "missing" people.

*  Iraq scoring series of diplomatic coups
by N Janardhan
Dawn, 3rd April, 19 Muharram 1423

DUBAI: Notwithstanding the deterioration of the
Middle East crisis in recent days, last week's
Arab summit in Beirut proved to be a success at
least on one count - Iraq.

While the summit's final
statement "categorically" rejected a military
strike against Baghdad, bigger gains came by way
of a well-orchestrated series of diplomatic coups
that President Saddam Hussein's regime unfolded
in the presence of 22 countries in Beirut.

 First, in the face of US threats, Iraq sought to
consolidate reconciliation efforts with its Gulf
neighbours by pledging in writing, for the first
time, never to repeat its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Second, and equally if not more significant in
the immediate context, Iraq's presidential envoy
Izzat Ibrahim and Saudi Arabia Crown Prince
Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz hugged and kissed - again
the first such high- level public contact since
the 1990 Gulf crisis, when Iraq had threatened to
oust all "illegitimate Gulf monarchies" and
Riyadh had allowed the United States to use its
base to raid Baghdad.

The breakthrough came after Iraq and Kuwait
reached a landmark rapprochement agreement and
Ibrahim and the head of the Kuwaiti delegation,
First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh
Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah, nodded at each other and
shook hands.

Hailing mediation efforts by Oman and Qatar, the
agreement said Arab leaders "welcomed Iraq's
confirmation to respect the independence,
sovereignty and security of the state of Kuwait
and guarantee its safety and unity to avoid
anything that might cause a repetition of what
happened in 1990."

Kuwait had long insisted that Iraq admit that its
invasion was in violation of all international
charters and norms. The US-led Gulf War ended the
Iraqi occupation in 1991.

Later, the Kuwait foreign minister said that the
handshake was merely a "protocol" courtesy but
admitted that he was "100 per cent satisfied"
with the agreement. He also hinted that Kuwait no
longer demanded an apology from Iraq for the 1990

Under the declaration, Iraq was urged "to
cooperate in order to find a prompt and final
solution to the issue of the Kuwaiti prisoners
and missing persons and for its restitution of
properties in line with the relevant
international resolutions".

But the prospect of the agreement sticking rests
on how Kuwait and Iraq resolve the prisoners of
war issue. Kuwait maintains that more than 600 of
its and other countries' nationals disappeared
during the Iraqi occupation and charges that the
missing are still being held in Iraq.

Baghdad has admitted taking prisoners but said it
lost track of them during a Shia uprising in
southern Iraq that followed its eviction from
Kuwait in 1991. Iraq also says around 1,140 of
its own nationals are still missing since the

Obviously, the process of reconciliation, coupled
with the summit's rejection of use of force
against an Arab country, has to be seen against
what is widely seen as US determination to launch
military strikes against Iraq as part of
Washington's 'war against terrorism'.

Even though Ibrahim stressed that Iraq was
holding out its olive branch as a sign of
goodwill, not "out of fear of the United States,
Britain or any other enemy," there is little
doubt that Iraq carried out a third diplomatic
win with its move at the Arab League summit - by
inserting "another thorn in Washington's
hegemonic designs".

In Baghdad, Salim al Kubaisi, head of the Iraqi
parliament's foreign and Arab relations
committee, hailed the agreement as "a big step
towards foiling (American) hostile schemes
against Iraq".

Mustafa Alani, an Iraqi analyst, said Baghdad has
finally woken up to George W Bush
administration's avowed intention to topple
Saddam Hussein and is trying to internationalise
its standoff with Washington.

"Iraq may have been able to add Arab backing to
European opposition to a US attack on the grounds
that it would throw the Middle East into turmoil,
but Washington feels that ousting Saddam is a
goal worth defying world opinion for," he

"Seen in its entirety, the summit's rejection of
any attack on Iraq and call for the lifting of UN
sanctions imposed against that country in 1990
should serve as the strongest-yet message that
the Arab world is united in rejecting the US
approach to Iraq," says PV Vivekanand, editor of
a Gulf daily.

What facilitated that approach was "adopting of
the moves to settle differences and burying the
hatchet in the Iraq-Kuwait and Iraq-Saudi
standoffs," he adds.

Vivekanand also says that it was clear that the
Arab summit was in no mood for any horse-trading
over Iraq, like linking American efforts to
resolving the Israeli-Palestinian crisis with
Arab support for anti-Iraq US action.

"The summit sent an unambiguous message to
Washington that the crisis in Palestine and any
military action against Iraq are two different
issues and could not be linked together in
whatever context except for the cause of
stability and security in the region," he argued.

The US said it was "profoundly sceptical" of the
Iraqi-Kuwaiti non-aggression pact. US State
Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Baghdad
has "a deplorable record of flouting its
international obligations and UN security

In trying to build on the new camaraderie, Kuwait
said it was toning down its media rhetoric
against Iraq. Kuwaiti editors held a meeting with
the foreign minister and took note of the sudden
changes in Iraq's state- controlled media, with
references being made to "brotherly ties" between
the neighbouring countries.

The latent message in the rapprochement is that
the Arabs, including the immediate region around
Iraq, do not feel any threat from Iraq. It also
has an unasked question - why the United States
insists on seeing such a threat when the
potential targets of that "threat" fail to see it.

All eyes are now on how Washington would respond
to the message that the Arabs see the worsening
situation in Palestine and the repercussions of
possible military attacks against Iraq as equally
destabilising to the region. -Dawn/InterPress

*  Iraq Raises Suicide Bomber Payments
The Associated Press, 3rd April
  NABLUS, West Bank: Saddam Hussein has increased
money for the relatives of suicide bombers from
$10,000 to $25,000, drawing sharp criticism from
Washington. But Palestinians say the bombers are
driven by a priceless thirst for revenge,
religious zeal and dreams of glory — not greed.

Since Iraq upped its payments last month, 12
suicide bombers have successfully struck inside
Israel, including one man who killed 25 Israelis,
many of them elderly, as they sat down to a meal
at a hotel to celebrate the Jewish holiday of
Passover. The families of three suicide bombers
said they have recently received payments of

The devout Muslims among the bombers, a majority,
believe they will go to heaven as martyrs and
spend eternity in the company of 72 virgins. In
grainy farewell home videos, they often read
passages from the Muslim holy book, the Quran,
and praise God. Secular attackers know that after
the deed, their families will win the adulation
of friends, neighbors and strangers.

The other motive seems to be a strong yearning
for revenge. Relatives of many of the bombers
recall how many of the young men's formative
years were spent in Israeli jails. The mother of
one bomber said her son once watched Israeli
soldiers beating his father.

Mahmoud Safi, leader of a pro-Iraqi Palestinian
group, the Arab Liberation Front, acknowledged
that the support payments for relatives make it
easier for some potential bombers to make up
their minds. ``Some people stop me on the street,
saying if you increase the payment to $50,000
I'll do it immediately,'' Safi said. He also
suggested such remarks were made mostly in

Saddam has said the Palestinians need weapons and
money instead of peace proposals and has provided
payments throughout a year and a half of Israeli-
Palestinian battles. ``I saw on Iraqi TV
President Saddam saying he will continue
supporting the (uprising) even if it means
selling his own clothes,'' said Safi.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Saddam's
payments inspire a ``culture of political

``Here is an individual who is the head of a
country, Iraq, who has proudly, publicly made a
decision to go out and actively promote and
finance human sacrifice for families that will
have their youngsters kill innocent men, women
and children,'' Rumsfeld said Wednesday.

But Saddam is not the only one giving money.
Charities from Saudi Arabia and Qatar — both U.S.
allies — pay money to families of Palestinians
killed in the fighting, including suicide

The mother of Jamal Nasser, a 23-year-old
architecture student who died trying to ram an
explosives-laden car into a bus carrying Jewish
settlers, said she received a check for $10,000
from Iraq and another for $5,000 from Saudi
Arabia. She said she plans to put the money
toward buying an apartment. She wants to move her
family from the small place they've been renting
for more than 20 years. The money she received is
about half the cost of a small apartment in
Nablus.  Fifty-five Palestinians have blown
themselves up in attacks on Israeli civilians in
the past 18 months of fighting.

Under the new Iraqi payscale, decided on March 12
during an Arab conference in Baghdad, the
families of gunmen and others who die fighting
the Israelis will still receive $10,000, while
the relatives of suicide bombers will get

*  Iraqi Vice President Leaves for Syria, Lebanon
People's Daily, 5th April

Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan on
Thursday left for Syrian and Lebanon to enhance
relations with the two Arab countries.

Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan on
Thursday left for Syrian and Lebanon to enhance
relations with the two Arab countries. Before
departure, Ramadan told the official Iraqi News
Agency (INA) that he will discuss with the
presidents of the two " brotherly countries" the
current situation in the Palestinian territories
as well as issues of common concern.

Ramadan said he will also discuss with Lebanese
officials the possibility of boosting bilateral
cooperation and signing a free trade agreement.


*  US's Richard Murphy discuss issues in
roundtable meeting Arabic News, 5th April

Herewith is the full text of the roundtable
meeting former US ambassador in Damascus, former
US under secretary of state for the near East and
of the foreign affairs council Mr. Richard Murphy
held with correspondents of Arab and foreign
media in Damascus.

Here follows the Question and Answer session:

Murphy: I have been travelling in the area for
the past three weeks, first attending a
conference on "Islam and the Dialogue of
Civilizations" that the National Library
sponsored under the auspices of Crown Prince
Abdullah in Riyadh, then visiting a number of the
GCC states. I arrived in Beirut just after the
Summit, and in Damascus the day before yesterday.
It's a great pleasure to be back in Damascus. My
wife and I first came to your country in 1960,
before at least two of you were born, and served
in Aleppo when we had a Consulate there, until
1963. Then I came back as Ambassador in 1974 and
stayed until mid-1978.

"I've been able to visit Syria since then as
Assistant Secretary and now in my capacity at the
Council on Foreign Relations which is a private
institute. It does not accept any federal
government funding or support. It carries out a
program of independent studies; foreign policy is
the core of its activities, but it includes work
on international trade and technology transfer,
refugee issues. It tries to cover a wide variety
of programs with an international aspect, and
make recommendations to improve American foreign
policy. But, I emphasize again, it is not an
organ, not a part of the U.S. Government at all,
and our advice, if asked for, is not always
followed. Thank you.


On Iraq, I can only tell you that the
determination in Washington appears to be very
firm that the Iraqi people, this region of the
world, and the broader international community
would be much better off were there to be a
change of regime in Baghdad. And we can discuss
that further, but I see no flexibility in the
American position that the Iraq regime is one
which has caused great damage to the Iraqi people
and the region, and is pursuing a program of
weapons of mass destruction, weapons which it has
used in the past against its people and against
Iranian neighbors. But exactly how that change of
regime will come, again, I can't predict.

I did want to make it clear; I think that the
change in rhetoric by the American Secretary of
State, Colin Powell, last November in describing
the situation in the West Bank and Gaza as one
of "occupation," which may strike readers in this
part of the world as a normal phrase, had never
been used by a senior American official before.

Q: Yesterday (Tuesday), Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld made a statement in which he accused, or
actually, warned Syria, Iraq and Iran about their
support to what he called "terrorist groups."
These groups are considered terrorist by Mr.
Rumsfeld while they are considered liberation
movements by these countries. What are your
comments on that

A: I don't know what prompted Mr. Rumsfeld's
comments the other day. The American authorities
have talked for some years about the activities
of the Hizbullah militia in Lebanon, which they
have described as terrorist. I think without
getting into the debate of what is liberation,
what is national resistance and what is
terrorism, we should remember the experience of
the Americans in the 1980's when the American
Embassy was blown up twice, when the Marine
barracks were blown up in Beirut, when the
hostages were taken, and where the hand of
Hizbollah was clear behind all of those events.
So, any support for any activity of Hizbollah has
been considered supporting terrorism. Now, when
Hizbollah redirected its activities to focus on
Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon, there's
ground to argue that that was not terrorism. But
American officials, and Mr. Rumsfeld was, as you
know, in the first Bush Administration, has very
dark memories of those times. And, to the extent
that the organization (Hizbollah) has been
assisted over the years by other parties, I think
that may explain his view. However, I repeat, I
don't know what brought him to make that
particular statement about Syria, Iraq, and Iran.
Iraq and Iran were labelled part of the "axis of
evil" as the President used the term last
January. But, I think this may be the first
senior-level statement to include Syria.

Just to clarify again, some say that the shift in
focus of Hizbollah, that that was not terrorism.
(Question interjected: who are the "some?" Is it
the leadership?) I don't think it's the top
leadership, no. The top leadership tends to use
the word terrorism as a very general charge,
almost equating it with violence. I think there
is an essential difference between violence and
terrorism, but the prevailing view in the
Administration is that is for intellectuals to

Q: Mr. Murphy, as a strategist, and following the
September 11 attacks in New York and Washington,
everybody thought that the intellectuals, the
decision-makers, the U.S. Administration, would
take new considerations into their policy making
vis-a-vis the Middle East. Everybody thought that
reaching a peaceful resolution to this conflict
was imminent. Now, what we see is contrary,
especially over the last week. I would like to
have your comment in general. And, in your
opinion, what criteria does the U.S.
Administration adopt when classifying Syria as a
member of the "axis of evil." Thank you.

A: The wound of September 11 is still very fresh
in American minds. The anger is very strong. For
a period of several weeks, to discuss anything
but the horror of the attack and to ask why it
had happened was considered as trying to justify
the attack -- even to explain was to justify. You
remember the incident of Prince Walid bin Talal
presenting a check to Mayor Guiliani and having
the check rejected because his press officer had
distributed a statement at that moment that
America should re-examine its Middle East policy.
In September, that was considered an insult by
the mayor, by many Americans who felt as I say
that to ask such a question, make such a
suggestion was to be party to approving what had
happened. That has changed. There are many asking
the question, "why are we hated as Americans?"
There is a much broader debate on that subject
today than I can remember in many years.
Americans are accustomed to seeing their country,
my country as well-meaning, benevolent, helpful,
all of the nice words and not the opposite. But,
September 11 never promised, and I don't think
any in the Administration or those of us
following American policy from outside, forecast
a major change, a quick major change, in American
policy towards the Middle East. The policy was to
try to find a way to bring the level of violence
down, start the process that would get the
parties back to negotiations, Israelis and
Palestinians, and that hasn't changed. That is a

The American government has not classified Syria
as the axis of evil. The Secretary of Defense
made a comment the other day; I cannot explain
his comment. The President of the United States
is the ultimate shaper of American policy; I have
not heard any such comment from the President or
from the Secretary of State. But there is an
uneasiness, there's deep uneasiness in Washington
about the current level of violence, concern that
it might spread, spill-over, that's why you've
heard the statements of the last 24 hours about
the worries concerning southern Lebanon once
again. The Israeli Prime Minister made one of his
stern statements about no-one being immune to
Israeli retaliation. Is he serious? Do his words
mean action? Not necessarily leading to a
specific reaction, but it's a worrisome time.


Yes, it took 54 years (sic) to use the
word "occupation." That's a long time. It
reflects the complexities of American policy-
making. We have an expression in English that if
something looks like a duck, walks like a duck
and quacks like a duck; then it's a duck. And, I
think we're now fortunately able to use that
word, "occupation.


Q: First of all, you said that the Council is
independent from the government. Are there Jewish
groups which support this Council? And, what's
the size of their contributions, and are there
pro-Arab groups which support this council? And,
back to the situation in the region, the
situation is potentially explosive with a green
light from the U.S. Administration. Would the
United States exploit the tension in the region
and take advantage of this opportunity to launch
military action against states in the region?
Iraq or any other? Especially given the
statements made by Rumsfeld and Sharon.

A: The financial support for the Council on
Foreign Relations comes from basically three
sources. One is the annual membership dues of
some 3,500 members in the United States with a
few of those living outside the country. And from
corporations; we have about 200 corporations that
pay a higher fee for membership and it gives them
the opportunity to attend our sessions. The third
source of funding are foundations such as
Rockefeller, Ford Foundation to which we go when
there's a project we want to carry out, and it
cannot be funded from the endowment that has been
accumulated by the Council's membership fees and
from donations. I'm not aware of any donations,
to use your term, by Jewish groups or Arab
groups. We have perhaps a dozen chairs: one is
named after David Rockefeller, one is named after
Paul Volcker the economist, so it's not a
question of being a mouthpiece for any particular
political party, ethnic group, or any particular
point of view. As I said, the Council does not
have a point of view; it's a forum. I think the
private funding is something that is not common
outside of the United States, private
philanthropy. And people are used to assuming,
and correctly assuming that many research
institutes in Europe, for instance, enjoy a
healthy measure of government support.

We use the term about our senior staff; we
described them as holding a chair. This is a term
taken from universities, a chair endowed by,
funded by someone. My own is known as the Hasib
J. Sabbagh chair, you may know his name from his
work as a major Palestinian businessman whose
been very active in trying to advance peace in
the region over the years.

The question about the United States Government
exploiting tension in the region shows that the
conspiracy theory of international politics
remains alive and well in your mind. No, is the
short answer. I don't think there's any evidence
that Washington intends to exploit this tension.
Washington was extremely concerned about the
Iraqi regime for years before the present
tension, at a time when the peace process, Arab-
Israeli, Palestinian-Israeli, was in far
healthier condition, when there was a very
promising dialogue. That concern is not new. And
a terribly long period of time has passed since
the war in '91 and the imposition of sanctions
which were imposed, very tough sanctions, through
the United Nations Security Council on the
assumption they need only last until the regime
collapsed, was overthrown presumably from within,
and that was predicted publicly by any number of
commentators, experts, specialists. It would take
about six months. Then the revulsion against the
leadership would be so strong that it would be
put aside. It didn't happen for reasons that you
are all familiar with.

But I don't think Washington is looking for an
excuse to launch a military operation. The term
that the President has used, "War on Terrorism,"
is a very aggressive statement of intentions, yet
those are not necessarily involving military
action. It's a war which can be a war of
persuasion. A "campaign" might be a less
emotional word; a campaign against terrorism. As
I understand it, the Al Qaeda network may be
present, may have cells in some 60 different
countries. The President has said it's going to
be a long war. And, he has felt the anger of the
American people about September 11, and the
threat to modern civilization, and we all hope it
will be preserved. And terrorism is described -
this is my definition but I think it is one
generally acceptable -  as an act against
innocent civilians to achieve or to advance a
political cause. This is something that the
President intends to fight against. But it need
not be a question of American military force.
President Bush is seen through many eyes as a
cowboy, prone to take violent, impulsive action,
but just remember how he tried to get Mullah
Omar, as leader of the Taliban government to
deliver the leaders of Al Qaeda. Some in
Afghanistan wanted that to happen. There was a
meeting of the senior clerics who said perhaps
the sooner that Osama bin Laden would leave the
country, the better. But the political leadership
of the Taliban could not bring itself to deliver
Al-Qaeda, which we have been convinced from the
beginning was behind September 11th. And it was
only then that military action was undertaken.
There was an effort to handle it politically and
there will be further such political efforts.

Q: I'll start from the place where my colleague
ended. Do American institutes try to offer an
answer to the American people about why they are
hated. There is a general belief that the
American people are good people, but it seems
that American officials arrive at the truth when
they leave their positions, as seen in the
statements made by former Secretary Albright and
former President Bill Clinton. Another question
about the situation in the region. Are American
efforts sufficient now to stop the violence? And,
how can we understand the American Secretary of
State when he justifies what the Israeli Prime
Minister, Ariel Sharon, is doing. Yasser Arafat
is besieged, he is a Palestinian citizen and
perhaps what's happening to the Palestinian
people is more important than what's happening to
the Palestinian leader.

A: The debate in America on this topic, why do
they hate us, isn't confined to institutes or
think tanks. You'll find it discussed in the main
pages of our newspapers, by our columnists and on
our TV talk shows. It's a very open debate, a
very general debate. Forty different
nationalities died in the World Trade Towers. It
was an attack on an American symbol, the economic
power of the United States. It killed nearly
3,000 innocents, unless one is fanatic enough to
accept Osama bin Laden's definition that every
American should be killed wherever he is because
all Americans pay taxes and therefore are
responsible for their government's policy. But
it's only the fanatic that would try to explain
the world in those terms. But Americans are very
proud of being the host to the world. It's made
us great. We are all immigrants to America;
including the American Indians who came from
Asia. But we're all immigrants. And we've tried
to make everyone welcome who chooses to come to
our country. So, it's puzzling to be wounded in
that way, to be attacked in that way as it
occurred in September.

I've often heard the statement that our officials
arrive at truth only when they leave office. It's
not that. Being in office does impose a certain
discipline. There is always debate within an
Administration, there's always discussion about
different ways to proceed. But, at the end of the
day, there's a President, and he expresses the
policy for the Executive. We have only one
President at a time. It's like the debate, I
assume, that may go on in some news offices when
you have an editor, and occasionally you may
write an article that doesn't get published for
reasons best known to the editor.


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