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News, 1-8/6/02 (titles) The forces of darkness go back on the offensive with what might be called the Bush/Rumsfeld/Tojo doctrine of the right to a pre-emptive strike (in case anyone doesnıt know, General Hideki Tojo was Prime Minister of Japan at the time of the attack on Pearl Harbour. Actually it is profoundly unfair to General Tojo to lump him together with Bush and Rumsfeld. The attack on Pearl Harbour was a response to a US embargo which had had the effect of reducing Japanıs foreign trade by three quarters and cutting off nine tenths of her oil supply at sourceı. One imagines how Bush would respond if anyone even thought of doing that to him!). Rumsfeld has come to Europe to berate NATO countries for not keeping up with the ludicrous US defenseı budget. He boasts of what heıs done to Afghanistan and tells us thereıll be lots more of the same, then goes to India and Pakistan to council moderation and restraint. And the worldı continues to take it all seriously. But, lest we despair, here is an encouraging quotation from N.Chomsky taken from an interview published in the Croatian Feral Tribune early in May. The whole interview can be found at http://www.zmag.org/content/TerrorWar/chomskygab.cfm: More surprising, to me at least, was that the Sept. 11 atrocities had the opposite effect among the US population [to the effect it had on the US establishment and in the world at large - PB]. Very quickly, it was clear that there is far more openness to critical and dissident analysis, and there has been a remarkable upsurge of concern, often activism, about issues that were pretty much off the agenda before - including, among others, the US role in the Middle East. Naturally the media and journals of opinion claim the opposite, hoping to still independent thought and impose obedience. But people who have any contact with the general population know better. Demands for talks have spiralled competely out of control, and the scale and engagement of audiences is without precedent apart from the peak moments of the anti-war movement in the late 1960s. The same is evident in sale of books, and in fact by every other relevant measure. Even the media have been to some extent effected, and though still highly restricted, are more open than they have ever been in my experience over 40 years of intensive activism.ı FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ * Lesson of Iraq's Mass Murder [This article is an expression of indignation over Iraqi use of chemical weapons and concern for its victims, so long as they happen to be Kurdish. Iranian victims are only mentioned in passing, but Iran, as we all know, is part of the axis of evil (so, presumably, were the Kurds when they were allied with Iran in the Iran/Iraq war). The authors complain that the gassing of the Kurds has never been properly investigated because of the UNıs respect for Iraqıs sovereignty over Southern Kurdistan. Which begs the question why the Americans and British who, we all know, are protectingı the Kurds, havenıt conducted their own investigation. And also why Iran hasnıt requested an investigation, though perhaps most of the Iraqi chemical attacks on Iranian soldiers occurred in Iraq, ie they were done in self defence. What means, we wonder, would the US or British deploy if the Martians actually succeeded in invading our territory? The indignation and concern (and frustration at the lack of adequate investigation) expressed in the article rather resembles the indignation and concern we express over US/UK use of conventionalı (!) weapons, including the consequences of depleted uranium. Perhaps we should get together ...] * Czech Ambassador Defends Meeting [The Czech insistence on maintaining this story is strange since none of these statements ever seem to bring forward any new evidence. One feels its part of a need to render themselves indispensable to the New World Order] * Report: Iraq Offered to Hand Over Terror Suspect [This and the next have already been sent to the list by Drew Hamre, who makes the relevant comment: Television journalist Leslie Stahl strikes again ... Stahl, you'll recall, was the journalist who elicited then-UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright's infamous "price is worth it" comment about the death of 500,000 Iraqi children associated with sanctions ... The 1993 WTC bombing is relevant to current attack-Iraq hysteria, because several proponents - chiefly Laurie Mylroie - has argued that Iraq was behind the bombing, or that it's sheltered conspirators. Stahl's report rips a hole in these arguments.ı The full transcript can be found on http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/06/02/60minutes/main510847.shtml] * US names 'mastermind' of twin tower attacks [This will almost certainly reactivate the Laurie Mylroie thesis of an Iraqi connection to Sept 11 via the 1993 WTC bombing. On the other hand it could imply the intriguing possibility that OBL and Al-Qaida werenıt in fact responsible for the US Embassy bombings or for Sept 11.] * Delhi company fuelled Iraq's weapons system: Daily [This is the closest Iıve yet seen to evidence that Iraq is developing a WMD facility. Why is more not being made of it?] IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Iraq Says Kampala Government Paid US $1m Out of $10m Debt * Russia can't please Iran, Iraq and America [How Russia can crawl to the US, betray its friends and still preserve some shreds of an appearance of national dignity.] IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraqi aid money wins Palestinian hearts * MPs lead delegation on trip to Iraq * Pentagon to sell advanced missiles to Kuwait [A flagrant example of weapons proliferation, justified because "Kuwait is threatened by hostile neighbors with credible air, land and sea forces." Well, yes, it does seem that Iraq still has two Scud missiles that havenıt been accounted for ... But perhaps the reference is to Iran. is there any sign that Iran hjas any aggressive intentions against Kuwait? Why should the Kuwaitis allow themselves to play this idiotic and dangerous game?] * IRAN DIARY, Part 7: It's the economy, Ayatollah [Pepe Escobar. Description of how the Iranian economy works and why it is unlikely that Khatami will get very far in reforming it.] * New trade rules will transform Arab economyı [On the efforts to build an Arab free trade zone] * Saddam Sends Telegram of Condolences to Syria Over Dam Collapse AND IN NEWS, 1-8/6/02 (2) NO FLY ZONES * 3 reportedly injured in US-British air attack * Radar system bombed in Southern Iraq * Coalition Forces on Alert as They Patrol Northern No-Fly Zone in Iraq [Last week (Wisdom of Aerial Gameı With Hussein Comes Into Questionı, News, 25/5-1/6/02 (2)), we were told that the Turkish government wouldnıt allow bombing raids out of Incirlik. But here, in an article on pilots operating out of Incirlik, weıre told that the F-16 pilot's main objective is to hunt down active Iraqi launch sites for surface-to-air missiles, known as SAMs, and to destroy these sites if possible.ı The Kurds are almost reproached for their reluctance to act as a proxy force in the event of a US invasion despite being willing to shelter behind the protectionı offered by their kindly big brotherı - the phrase is used by the commanding general of Operation Northern Watch. The article begins with a reference to The U.S., British, and Turkish coalition enforcing the no-fly zone over northern Iraqı. Does this mean that the Turkish military effort to bomb the Kurds is now fully incorporated into the US/British pretense at protecting them?] * Iraq reportedly steps up bid to down U.S., British warplanes [Geoff Hoon, justifying an earlier statement that Iraq is more of a threat than it used to be.] OIL/GAS POLITICS * BAGHDAD: Exports on hold * Pracsi set to commission $7m project in Iraq [Long overdue refurbishment of the oil infrastructure. How long before it all gets blown up again? Not that Pracsi will mind, so long as they get the contract to build it up again.] * Iraq oil flows again * Interfax: Gazprom, SIBUR win tender to develop Iraqi gas field * Factors Pushing Iraq on Surcharges IRAQI OPPOSITION * Iraqi Exile Groups Wary of U.S., Each Other [Usual conflicts as to who best represents the Iraqi opposition. Usual failure to make sense of the divisions. Includes reference to 1996, when the Clinton administration abandoned a CIA plan to support an invasion of central Iraq by Kurds in the north. Hussein's forces then invaded Kurdish areas with impunity.ı We really need a coherent account of the events of 1995/6 in the Kudish autonomous zone, but it has to be constantly stressed that Husseinıs forces entered at the invitation of the KDP because the whole area was about to be overrun by the PUK in alliance with Iran. And that the US was perfectly happy to see the Iranian invasion stopped by the only means possible - Iraqi counter-attack - despite the small detail of the number of US sympathisers who got killed as a result.] * US drifts into chaos in Iraq [Nick Cohen defends the INC but one wonders why the INC, unlike nearly every other substantial opposition group throughout the world (the IRA for example) is so hopelessly reliant on US financial support and so utterly unable to find its own sources of income.] * US plans meetings with anti-Hussein Iraqi group [The group in question is the so-called Group of Four. No-one is yet explaining to us why the KDP, PUK and SCIRI - 3 out of the 4 - are no longer connected to the INC. Or what is left of the INC without them. Or what the Iraqi National Accord is. Or why the KDP and PUK are publicly identified with this group which seems to want war on Iraq when their public position is still that they donıt want war on Iraq ...] * U.S. plans for Iraq after Saddam [Money for the Iraqi Jurists Associationı and for the Iraqi National Movementı, or is the INM another name for the Iraqi National Accord? One wonders what kind of creatures these can be who are prepared to accept money from the government that has destroyed the industrial infrastructure of their country and reduced millions of their fellow citizens to penury ...] IRAQIS OUTSIDE IRAQ * Ethnic Kurd is not a refugee [Rather confusing and intriguing account of recent Court of Appeal decision on refugee status of Kurd from the Autonomous Zone. He is not deemed to be at risk, even though the US is planning to use his homeland as a base to launch a new war against Iraq, and even though the KAZıs legally recognised government is still in Baghdad, and the Kurds cannot defend themselves against an Iraqi invasion and are being given no guarantee of any defense from anyone else (the patrolling of the No Fly Zones offers nothing as can be seen from the case of the Marsh Arabs in the No Fly Zone in the South). Nonetheless, the only available route of return to the KAZ is via Baghdad, and it is conceded that that that might be dangerous. But the British government has given him a guarantee that he wonıt be returned by that route (the only route available). So heıs in no danger. So he isnıt a refugee. Got it?] * Immigrant plan assailed [US policy for fingerprinting and keeping tabs on immigrants from the ever expanding axis of evil.] URL ONLY: http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=598222002 * ıThey say we come here for a better life. What better life?ı The Scotsman, 3rd June [Interesting article on the life of asylum seekers in Glasgow, one of them being a Kurd from the Kurdish autonomous zone (who fled when his daughter was killed by a rival Kurdish group so he canıt possibly be a genuine refugee since, as is well known, Kurds are perfectly safe in the Kurdish autonomous zone).] REMNANTS OF DECENCY * UW student groups plan Albright protest [Interesting anti-Allbright alliance between Muslims and Latinos in the University of Washington.] * MP berates Blair's leadership [Tam Dalyell reminds us that: "Harold Wilson, alright he weaved and ducked, but he kept Britain out of the Vietnam War."] IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * UN appoints humanitarian official in Iraq * Iraq 'has no terror weapons' [Denis Halliday praises Boutros Boutros Ghali above Kofi Annan. And at last someone says what I believe is most important thing to say at the present time: "We have to reform the Security Council. At present it's an old boys' club of the world's major arms traders.² But when he adds ³"It needs a permanent voice from the developing world, and probably only one European Union member. So either France or the UK should go.", he seems to imply that the permanent member system should remain. It should be abolished. But if it remains and if one European power has to go then it should obviously be the UK, which isnıt in any meaningful sense a European power.] AND IN NEWS, 1-8/6/02 (3) PROSPECTS FOR WAR * Bush Warns Cadets of Unprecedented Threats [How is it that, after a speech like this, the world continues to treat the US as a respectable member of the family of nations? And that countries in difficulties, such as India and Pakistan, should accept the US as an international authority with a right to intervene diplomatically in their disputes? There is an answer to that question, constantly hammered home by the US and British establishments: Might is rightı.] * Terror war must target 60 nations, says Bush [This article adds the dimension that countries which tolerate the expression of anti-US sentiment also need to be sorted out. And it includes the following amusing observation, which could only surely be made in The Times: If the United States decides to make surprise strikes on other countries, it will mark a big change in strategy for the US military, which traditionally acts only in self-defence.ı] * Weighing an Attack on Iraq . . . [Fred Hiatt eloquently lays out the reasons why US citizens can never sleep easy in their beds at night so long as any traces of evil remain in the world.] * Pro-Arab policy is to give Iraqis a new regime [Charles Duelfer, who was pretending, while he was vice chairman of UNSCOM, to be some sort of politically impartial technical expert, suggests that the Arab world will be delighted to see the installation of a US puppet government in Iraq so long as it resembles as closely as possible the existing Iraqi government, sans Saddam, who, it is well known, is the source of all the sufferings and tension in the region.] * . . . We've Too Much at Stake to Risk It [A further indication that its becoming possible once again in the US to murmur a few words of dissent. Though it has a rather naive attitude towards the US role in the world: Think of America not as the playground bully but as the well-muscled mild-mannered good kid who finally hauls off and whacks the loudmouth pipsqueak who won't stop bugging him.ı Well-muscledı is one way of putting it. Bristling with weapons of mass destruction is another.] * Gephardt backs offensive against Iraq [Democratic Party leader complains that Bush isnıt tough enough.] * US hawks embrace 'hot pre-emption' [A strange argument from former secretary of State George Schulz which, if Iıve understood it aright, says the War against Terrorism is necessary to create strong states throughout the world. States have been weakened by globalisation and need to be strengthened. One example given is the Palestinians. The weakness, or absence, of a Palestinian state has allowed terrorism to flourish. The conclusion is, presumably, that the aim of Israeli policy in the West Bank is to create a strong Palestinian state (or is there something I havenıt understood??)] * Dems Look for Policy Position on Iraq * Hoon's talk of pre-emptive strikes could be catastrophic [The clear message is that the UK and US are now willing to use nuclear weapons where there is no threat of nuclear retaliation. The clear lesson to be drawn is that all states should arm themselves with nuclear weapons if they do not wish to be reduced to the status ofUS/UK satraps.] * The Bush doctrine makes nonsense of the UN charter [This article could almost be read as a defense of the policy it is attacking and provides enough information to show that the UN Charter has already - long - been reduced to nonsense.] * Cheney urges action on Iraq * Rumsfeld's terror warning for NATO [Mr Rumsfeld says: "Literally the only way to defend against individuals, or groups, or organisations, or countries that have weapons of mass destruction and are bent on using them against you, for example... then the only defence is to take the effort to find those global networks and to deal with them as the United States did in Afghanistan. Now is that defensive or is it offensive? I personally think of it as defensive." One wonders if this is the advice he is giving India and Pakistan at the present time ...] URLs ONLY: http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/commentary/2002/jun/06/513544705.h tml * Where I Stand -- Mike O'Callaghan: Looking at the Saudis by Mike O'Callaghan Las Vegas Sun, 6th June [The US media reflect on the need for regime change in Saudi Arabia] http://www.sunspot.net/news/opinion/oped/bal-pe.embargo02jun02.story?coll=ba l%2Doped%2Dheadlines * Embargoes often fail to hit target by Michael Hill Baltimore Sun, 2nd June [Academics arguing against the effectiveness of embargoes. Trade as a more effective means of undermining regimes we donıt like.] http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020605-98861273.htm * Hot and cold on Iraq by Helle Dale THE WASHINGTON TIMES, 5th June [Complaint in wake of Chief of Staffs memo that Bush regime might be going wobblyı on Iraq. Nothing we havenıt read before.] http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/commentary/2002/jun/06/513544705.h tml * Where I Stand -- Mike O'Callaghan: Looking at the Saudis by Mike O'Callaghan Las Vegas Sun, 6th June [The US media reflect on the need for regime change in Saudi Arabia] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk