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[casi] (new) News, 1-8/6/02 (titles)

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
Œreducing 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 Œdefenseı
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 Œthe 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
ŒMore 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


*  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 Œprotectingı 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 Œconventionalı (!)
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:
ŒTelevision 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]
*  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?]


*  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 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 Œwill 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)


*  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 (ŒWisdom of Aerial ŒGameı 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 Œthe 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 Œprotectionı offered by
their kindly Œbig brotherı - the phrase is used by the commanding general of
Operation Northern Watch. The article begins with a reference to ŒThe 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.]


*  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
*  Iraq oil flows again
*  Interfax: Gazprom, SIBUR win tender to develop Iraqi gas field
*  Factors Pushing Iraq on Surcharges


*  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 Œ1996, 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 ŒIraqi Jurists
Associationı and for the ŒIraqi 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 ...]


*  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.]

*  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).]


*  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


*  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)


*  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: ŒMight 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: ŒIf 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
*  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:
ŒThink 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 ŒWell-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
*  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 ...]

*  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]
*  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.]
*  Hot and cold on Iraq
by Helle Dale
[Complaint in wake of Chief of Staffs memo that Bush regime might be going
Œwobblyı on Iraq. Nothing we havenıt read before.]
*  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]

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