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News, 18-25/5/02 (titles) This week has seen President Bush¹s visit to Europe overshadowed by what looks like a minor revolt on the part of the American military leadership against the idea of a war on Iraq. Some of the reasons look unconvncing. Its difficult to believe that the mighty US military machine really is overstretched by hanging around in Afghanistan and Bosnia and chasing a couple of hundred bandits in the Philippines. Recommended articles this week: America the Fearful¹ and Robert Fisk¹s There is a firestorm coming ...¹ both under New World Order. PROSPECTS FOR WAR * US may attack Iraq with Kurds' assistance [Curious French prediction that the US will attack but may not win. Also claims that the US have been nurturing¹ Kurdish forces. The Kurds of course have their own well established military tradition but my impression is that over the past ten years this has been discouraged rather than nurtured. Simply put, what access do they have to arms and training?] * Toll could be high in Iraq strike [The New York Times argues that possession of chemical and biological weapons is a necessary prerequisite for any country that wishes to maintain its national sovereignty in the face of possible US aggression: "Without question, it's the toughest nut to crack."] * U.S. military action to oust Saddam reportedly on hold [This widely diffused article states very bluntly that the Joint Chiefs of Staff are opposed to a war on Iraq and even that the term Iraq hysteria¹is current among them.] * Iraq invasion would be error to rival Hitler's attack on Russia [according to British general, Sir Michael Rose] * Bush backs off Iraq invasion URL ONLY: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-306696,00.html * Pentagon retreats from plan to attack Baghdad by Giles Whittell The Times, 25th May BUSH VISIT * Thousands join anti-war protests * Bush Urges Europe to Deal With Saddam [This article suggests a rather col recep[tion for Bush in the Reichstag. In contrast to the headline in The Washington Times, which read: In Berlin, stunned applause¹ - http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020524-99926062.htm] * U.S., Russia Sign Landmark Treaty [Includes the following surprising statement from Bush, supposedly giving the Russians advice over Chechnya: "The experience in Afghanistan has taught us all that there are lessons to be learned about how to protect one's homeland and, at the same time, be respectful on the battlefield."] * Tough talk from Bush on eve of summit [Extract on reasons for Russian reserve with regard to the Axis of Evil¹ rhetoric.] IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraq blames Iran for failure to resume air link * Kuwait says Iraq not cooperating on POWs * Rafsanjani Blasts Western Policies Towards Iraq * MKO angrily denies US charges on Iraq links [Here is an interesting point. Are the Mujaheedin al-Khalq terrorists¹ because they launch guerrilla attacks in Iran? or only when they do such things at the behest of the government of Iraq? Were the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan terrorists?] * Iranian rebels in quandary [More of the same] NO FLY ZONES * US Plane Attacks Iraqi Air Defense * 4 Hurt in U.S. Air Attack on South, Baghdad Says * Danger looms in Iraq no-fly zone * 4 U.S. planes attack 2 Iraqi weapons sites with missiles AND, IN NEWS, 18-25/5/02 (2) NEW WORLD ORDER * America the fearful [Excellent article on the culture of fear currently being cultivated by the US government: The destruction of the twin towers shows that there are things to be afraid of, but our government's mad responses are making us more vulnerable to such things, not less.¹] * Iran, not Iraq, cited as top terror sponsor [State Department report on terrorism. Includes the curious statistic that: the number of terrorist attacks declined in 2001. There were 346, compared with 426 in 2000. And more than half of the year's attacks were on an oil pipeline in Colombia not in the volatile Middle East or troubled South Asia.¹. It leaves us very curious to know how the term terrorist attack¹ is defined. For example: why should an attack on an oil pipeline be regarded as terrorist¹? And why should the bombing of Afghanistan not be regarded as terrorist?] * The schizophrenic Russian-Iranian nexus [Long, interesting article on Russian-Iranian relations. Only an extract, on the dispute over oil production in the Caspian Sea is given here, unbalancing the article somewhat since the rest of it is on reasons for Russian/Iranian friendship and cooperation.] * US "planned to attack Iran in 2003" : Mohsen Rezai * Iran Diary, Part 1: Sea of peace or lake of trouble? [Iraq isn¹t mentioned in this article, but its Pepe Escobar on oil politics (in the Caspian) so in it goes.] * IRAN DIARY, Part 1: Sea of peace or lake of trouble? [Pepe Escobar meets the Grand Ayatollah Sannei in the Holy City of Qom. Sannei tells him that all human rights are guaranteed under Islamic law. So that¹s OK.] * Time to end cold war with Cuba [Well deserved praise for Jimmy Carter and his visit to Cuba and equally well deserved scorn for the present administration¹s attempt to trash it by suggesting that because the Cubans have developed an impressive pharmaceutical industry they¹re probably manufacturing chemical weapons, and probably selling thm to terrorists. Though a little unfair to blame the Cuban government for the country¹s poverty when they¹ve been subjected to US embargo for 40 years ...] * There is a firestorm coming, and it is being provoked by Mr Bush [Robert Fisk on the general none too encouraging state of the world] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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