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News, 12-19/4/02 This rather rough and ready news mailing is a week late owing to a jinx operating against the news compiler or, more precisely, against a variety of computers the news compiler is using. These problems, sorry to say, are still continuing. NEWS, 12-19/4/02 (1) IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Oman signs free-trade pact with Iraq * IRAN: 220 IRANIAN COMPANIES PARTICIPATE IN RECONSTRUCTING IRAQ * Call to raise voice for Iraqi children [Not before time that an anti-sanctions movement should develope among Iraq’s neighbours in the Gulf.] * 52 killed, 122 injured while defusing Iraqi mines: Official [in Iran] * Daily comments on Saddam's blunder [Iranian argument that unilaterally cutting off oil supply merely weakens the Arab/Muslim, and especially Iraqi, hand.] * Egyptian trade fair opens in Baghdad PROSPECTS FOR WAR * War is best road to peace [If a cess pit could talk, this is what it would sound like. Easily wins the prize for most nauseating article of the week.] * Iraq War: The Coming Disaster [I don’t know who Immanuel Wallerstein is. But he seems to be an intelligent conservative, attacking US imperialist adventures from a point of view of US self interest and proclaimed values. As things stand at the resent time such people are rarer and more precious than diamonds. Note, for example, the following: ‘the U.S. economic position is not significantly better than that of the European Union or Japan. This relative economic decline has cost the U.S. the unquestioned political deference of its close allies. All that is left is military superiority. And, as Machiavelli taught us all centuries ago, force is not enough: If that’s all you have, then its use is a sign of weakness rather than of strength and weakens the user.’ That’s the sort of thing we don’t hear very often.] * Our enemy’s enemies [I share Nick Cohen’s feeling that there is something nasty about the way the CIA has been trashing the INC. Still, when he says: ‘The INC left me in no doubt that its guerrillas will carry on fighting if Saddam is replaced with another dictator.’ one wonders what ‘guerrillas’ he is talking about. The only guerrillas in sight are the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution, and somehow Shi’i fundamentalist revolutionaries don’t seem to be so much in favour as they once were among the world’s most powerful paymasters of terror.] * Crisscrosses hamper arms inspection in Iraq [Extracts. The article indicates very clearly that the ‘debate’ between the Defense and the State departments is about timing. not principle. The State Department think (almost certainly rightly) that wepaons inspections are a necessary legal cover for the forthcoming war, useful for securing the necessary general state of paranoia and inducing international compliance. The Defense Department think (almost certainly rightly) that the mood in the US is perfect for an immediate strike, and advantage should be taken of it.] * Rumsfeld: Iraq Checks Not Worthwhile * Legality of intervention against Iraq [Letter to The Times in which former diplomat, Sir Brian Barder, argues that military intervention should always require the consent of the UN Security Council. Which would be fine except that the UN Security Council, by putting the most powerful countries in the world above the law, is not itself founded on any legal principle that is worthy of respect. It occupies the position of an ‘arbitrary monarch’ (without even possessing the coherence of a real monarch’s will). Sir Brian goes on to say that to get the UNSC permission for a strike (on the ludicrous pretext, which he takes very seriously, of Iraqi military capacity) the US should renounce the aim of overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Which is a monstrous proposal to make. I am deeply opposed to the forthcoming war on Iraq but, if it is to be fought, it MUST result in the end of sanctions. Which, given the intellectual limitations of the current Masters of the Universe, will never happen so long as Mr Hussein remains in power.] * Mideast distracts US from Iraq [Extract] AND IN NEWS, 12-19/4/02 (2) ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES * Oil is the reason America wants to be rid of Saddam [Argues that European and US interests with regard to oil are different. As far as Iraq is concerned, the US is anxious to keep it united (= Sunni strongman) while Europe should be quite happy to see it split in three (= popular rising). Doesn’t have much to say about what people living in Iraq might think about it all.] * If Military History Should Repeat Itself, Will The Markets And Economy Follow Suit? [Argues that a war on Iraq shouldn’t do much harm to the stock market. So that’s all right.] * Will the euro be a casualty of Blair’s Iraq war? [Short extract] INSIDE IRAQ * IRAQ DIARY, Part 8: Ghosts [Pepe Escobar] * IRAQ DIARY, Part 9: The voice of a Baghdad Palestinian [Pepe Escobar] MINDLESS PARANOIA * Iraq warnings prompt rush to order vaccine * Iraqis 'could turn camel virus into bio-weapon' IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Washington’s Chavez dilemma [Not a lot to do with Iraq but we include this and the following just for the pleasure that this incident has given us.] * Oil rises as OPEC champion Chavez returns to power * U.S. Planes Met With Iraqi Fire [US/British airstrikes start up again] * European peace delegation arrives in Baghdad * Jasmine rice for Iraq [from Thailand] * 60,000 tons wheat being exported to Iraq [from Pakistan] ------------------------------------------------- This mail sent through UK Online webmail _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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