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News, 25/5-1/6/02 (titles) One could almost start feeling sorry for Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, William Safire et al. A month ago they seemed to have the ball at their feet. The world was divided neatly into two camps: good guys and bad guys, and the good guys were about to knock hell out of the bad guys. Now the world in all its complexity has managed to upstage the simplicities of the war against terror¹, and the prospects for a final solution of the problem of Evil are fading fast. We could derive satisfaction from this except that it has involved the destruction of all the paltry gains the Palestinian people thought they had made through the wretched Oslo agreement; and an imminent prospect of nuclear war in the Indian subcontinent. News, 25/5-1/6/02 (1) IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraq's trade minister arrives in Damascus * Iraq, UAE signed joint cooperation agreements * Iraq Using Oil Pipeline To Sway U.S. Ally [Turkey] * Saudi- Iraqi border opened today * Iraq, Lebanon ink media cooperation protocol * Moroccan health minister expected Sunday in Iraq * Qatar's economy minister to visit Iraq in June * Iraq-Jordan pipeline work 'to start before year-end * Call for concerted GCC military efforts * American factor gains strength in Jordan * Iraq allowed to send ambassador to OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) * Saudis channel anger into charity [Short extract on the rather obscure distinction to be drawn between Saudi aid for victims of Israeli aggression and Iraqi aid for victims of Israeli aggression. The article seems to be suggesting - but surely I¹ve misunderstood it - that the Saudis aren¹t financing Hamas, well, not very much anyway ...] * Jenin families pocket Iraqi cash [Note that houses are being rebuilt in Jenin with large sums of money from the United Arab Emirates. Has anyone even suggested that Israel should pay - um - compensation?] URL ONLY: http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20020531670.4 _eb720015bbbd6cb8 * Cairo government cashes in on linchpin role in the Middle East Hoover's/Financial Times (from Lloyds List), 31st May [Interesting piece on Egypt¹s debt problems and relations with the IMF.] IRAQI/IRANIAN RELATIONS [See also the Pepe Escobar supplement] * Iranian naval units trade fire with phony Iraqi fishermen [The article claims that Iranian fishing boats have repeatedly been the target of Iraqi aggressions in recent months.¹] * On the Occasion of 20th Anniversary of Liberation of Khorramshahr [The incomplete paragraphs come from the original but I thought the article worth presenting anyway for some interesting insights into Western support for Iraq during the Gulf War - the real Gulf War, not the subsequent massacre that goes by that name. Pity the apparently very interesting quote from Kissinger ("If Iraq had won the war, there would have been no concern and fear in the Persian Gulf ...²) is truncated.] * Daily on UN inaction towards production of chemical weapons [Claims that Some 130,000 Iranians have been suffering from injuries caused by dangerous chemicals used in the (Iran-Iraq) war.¹ Yet this is rarely cited as among Saddam¹s crimes, perhaps because of course the Iranians too are known to be evil.] * Islamic republic¹s drive to develop ballistic missiles boosts regional tensions * Iranian Abandons Push To Improve U.S. Ties [Predictable consequence of the Axis of Evil¹ rhetoric.] IRAQI/US RELATIONS * Hesitant Hawks [I have a feeling that an article like this positively mocking the Bush/Blair warmongering rhetoric couldn¹t have been published in the Washington Post even a month ago.] * The confusion deepens over U.S. foreign policy [It is really very encouraging, indeed heartwarming, to see articles appearing in the US press which are beginning to treat the President and his war against terrorism with the cool intellectual contempt that they deserve.] * U.S. fears Iraq could channel weapons into terrorist hands * Global Eye -- The Foggy Dew [If even the Moscow Times is publishing cheeky articles about the US government things are really on the slippery slope ...] URL ONLY: http://www.dawn.com/2002/05/29/int13.htm * Cold war won, can Nato fight terror? by Peter Ford Dawn (from Christian Science Monitor), 29th May, 16 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1423 [Since 1986, defence spending as a proportion of GDP has fallen from 5.3 per cent to 2.5 per cent in Britain, from 3.2 per cent to 1.5 per cent in Germany and from 3.9 per cent to 2.7 per cent in France. The 48 billion dollars increase in the Pentagon budget that Congress approved recently is more than the total defence budgets of 12 Nato allies.¹ Savour this rare opportunity to feel proud of being European.] AND, IN NEWS, 25/5-1/6/02 (2) NO FLY ZONES * US Drone Crashes in Return From Iraq * 18 Iraqis Hurt in Allied Airstrike * US jets strike air defence sites in southern Iraq * Iraq says it 'Forced down' Spy drone * Wisdom of Aerial Game¹ With Hussein Comes Into Question [Interesting to note that the Turks too, like the Saudis, impose limitations on the behaviour of US patrols from their territory.] * Iraq Says Over 1,140 Killed in US, British Air Raids * U.S. Planes Bomb Radar Site in Iraq IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * Report: Iraq Earned $6B Illegally [Best news of the week. We may be getting back to the pre-September 11th pattern in which with painful slowness and considerable skill on the part of the Iraqi administration sanctions fall away of their own accord as Iraq¹s neighbours summon up the political courage to break them discreetly. If only they could summon up the political courage to break them openly ...] * Iraq-U.N. Oil Price Dispute Bankrupts UN Goods Plan [This was forwarded to the list by Drew Hamre who tells us that the full text of the document referred to can be found at http://www.un.org/Depts/oip/background/latest/bvs020529.html] * U.N., Iraq to Focus on Inspections IRAQIS OUTSIDE IRAQ * Iraqis end hunger strike in Denmark IRAQI/UK RELATIONS * Battle of SAS Gulf patrol gets bloody [Battle over veracity or otherwise of A.McNab.] * British MP predicts revolution in Middle East [Very outspoken views from G.Galloway, who makes clear his belief that to a large extent the Arab leaders are to blame for the present mess: ³Once you allow the elephant through the door, you are no longer in a position to tell the elephant where to sit.²] * Navy frigate stops Iraqi smugglers [Mighty victory by crack team¹ of specialist Royal Marines¹ over shabby tanker¹. And all in spite of the heat.] URL ONLY: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,482-308681,00.html * The world can be grateful Bush is a quick learner by William Rees-Mogg Times, 27th May The global dangers from terrorism are now a threat to our remarkable peace and prosperity in Europe. The United States is the leader upon which we depend for security. Some exaggerated US self-interest, a few rough edges of diplomacy, a blunt Texan willingness to state uncomfortable truths, seem a small price for Europe to pay.¹ The rest is in much the same vein.] IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Indonesian, Indian cos to carry out gas exploration in Iraq URL ONLY: http://atimes.com/c-asia/DE29Ag03.html * Caspian oil not seen to threaten Middle East by N Janardhan Asia Times, 28th May [Mainly notable for the following amusing sentence: Once the Middle East is no longer deemed important to meet the energy needs of the rest of the world, there would no longer be a compelling reason for outsiders such as the United States to ensure that most of it remains at peace.¹] INSIDE IRAQ * Saddam¹s men kill 40 in mosque fight [There has been some dispute about this on the list, but it seems to me a perfectly possible consequence of the state of paranoia which is being deliberately and irresponsibly fostered in Iraq by the US and UK governments.] * Saddam cries victory [Further to the list dispute over whether the article LITTLE BY LITTLE, IRAQ SHOWS SIGNS OF ECONOMIC LIFE by Howard Schneider (Washington Post, 17th May) is US propaganda or not. Schneider quoted the CIA World Factbook as saying that per capita income in Iraq now stands at around $2,500 annually -- double that of Egypt¹. And here is Saddam saying that that proves what a good government Iraq has got, to achieve this under such difficult circumstances.] URL ONLY; http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20020527_73.html * Iraqi Kurds Worry About U.S. Action ABC News, 27th May [I haven¹t given this because it seems to me not very different from many other accounts of the Kurdish problem¹. It does however give the link to an interesting, apparently basically Kurdish group called the Iraq Institute for Democracy, accessible at: http://www.iraq democracy.org/.] SUPPLEMENTS (1) Articles by Pepe Escobar on Iran [Extract from Part 4: Shariatmadari uses Francis Fukuyama and his thesis of liberal democracy as the end of history to challenge the concept of liberal democracy itself. "I believe that today Bush, after the accident of September 11, killed liberal democracy in the US. He says that one of the main principles of execution of liberal democracy is the building up of dialogue. But when he was asked if al-Qaeda had perpetrated September 11, he said this was a time for building up war. If someone is not with us, then he is our enemy, and we go to war against him. I'd like to know whether Western theoreticians consider this as liberal democracy." In the current climate of ideological confusion, "Western intellectuals and official authorities don't know what liberal democracy is anymore. So how do they want to transfer it to the whole world?"¹] (2) Articles by Jon Sawyer on Iraq [INTRODUCTORY NOTE BY ST LOUIS POST DISPATCH: Washington Bureau Chief Jon Sawyer returned last weekend from a 10-day trip through central and southern Iraq, the first extended trip in that country by an American newspaper journalist since before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. He traveled with two American groups opposed to the United Nations sanctions against Iraq, the St. Louis-based Veterans for Peace and the Chicago group Voices in the Wilderness. The two groups permitted Sawyer to accompany them on trips to hospitals, water treatment plants, schools and markets. Iraqi government officials were usually present but not always, reflecting an apparent relaxation in control of foreign journalists. Sawyer conducted independent interviews in Baghdad, Basra and Fallujah. He also spent a day observing journalists from the al-Jazeera satellite network, as they covered a story on demolitions experts collecting cluster bombs dropped by U.S. and allied warplanes. ] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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