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[casi] News, 15-22/6/02 (titles)

News, 15-22/6/02 (titles)

This mailing brings us back up to date. The item of most immediate interest
to anti-sanctions activists is probably the prosecution of Bert Sacks in the
US (under ŒRemnants of Decencyı). There is also George Bush, licensing the
CIA to do Œsuch things/What they are, yet I know not, but they shall be/The
Terrors of the earthı (King Lear, II.iv), which is, if anything, reassuring;
but note the commentary (under ŒLicense to Killı) by Scott Ritter. Note also
that the general intention of all this is to increase the already
well-established paranoia of the Iraqi government, which is hardly
calculated to make life more agreeable for the citizens of Iraq. US policy
is to force the Iraqi government into the modes of behaviour (seeking
radical means of self defense and tighter security) which it then condemns.
We also now have the quote we want giving the precise nature of the Czech
Œevidenceı for the Atta/al-Ani meeting (under ŒFinger pointing at Iraqı).
Otherwise its the usual old mixture.


*  Iraq accused of smuggling nuclear arms parts on aid flights [The Times
does its patriotic duty in relaying incendiary bits of anonymous
*  U.S. agencies doubt terrorist Atta's meeting in Prague [This article at
last gives us the full story on the Czech sighting of Atta in Prague in
April 2001 (though really this has been obvious for a very long time): ŒThe
service based its intelligence on a recruited agent who identified Atta from
a photograph after September 11. The agent said he met both Atta and al-Ani
in the Iraqi Embassy in Prague but was not 100 percent confident about the
identities of the men ...ı There is also a quote from the FBI which scotches
William Safireıs claim (News York Times, 18th March) that the FBI had
concrete evidence that Atta visted Prague in April 2001. If readers are
curious, as I am, to know why the Czechs have been so insistent on the story
it may interest them to learn that the PM of the time, Milos Zeman, caused a
bit of a scandal in Czechoslovakia because he had said, in Jerusalem, that
the Israelis should deal with the Palestinians in the same way that the
Czechs (at a time when, if Iım not mistaken, Madeleine Albrightıs father was
in the Czech government) had dealt with the Sudeten Germans. Zemanıs party
has since been re-elected, but without Zeman at its head.]
*  Al Qaeda find Iraqi escape [This article could more accurately have been
titled: ŒAl Qaeda members might have passed through Iraq. But on the other
hand, they might not ...ı But that wouldnıt have had quite the same ring to


*  Relics of Iraq's colonial past join the ghosts of other empires
[Impressionistic acccount of British/Iraqi relations with curious note at
end that the British Council is planning to resume activities (has no-one
told them...?). On the whole however the letter that follows this article
may serve as its commentary.]
*  Maintaining war graves in Iraq [Letter from the Director-General of the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission]
*  Saddam may hand power to his son [Qusay] to avoid attack [If this should
happen I predict that Mr Hussein will be indicted before a specially created
International Kangaroo Court and Iraq will move into the Serbia category.
The sanctions will be seasoned with bribes with a view to securing his
Œvoluntaryı surrender.]
*  Iraq's tortured children [Preview of John Sweeney programme on Monday
24th. See note sent to list by Gabriel of Voices in the Wilderness, 22nd
June. Note also the following, from Œ100 MPs back protest over strikes on
Iraq Œ, article in the Daily Telegraph, 15th March (News, 9-16/3/02):  ŒJohn
Sweeney, a journalist working for BBC Five Live, unearthed the fact that an
Arab from whom Mr Galloway received thousands of pounds in cash for expenses
in the 1990s was the same man who was named in an American court as the
purchaser of a satellite telephone used by al-Qa'eda in Afghanistan.ı There
was also an enthusiastically pro-sanctions representative in Congress - Rep,
NY - called John Sweeney, but it could hardly be him, could it?]

*  Iraqis not ready to lie down just yet
by Kim Ghattas
Asia Times (from Inter Press Service), 21st June
[Account of life in Iraq. Seems fine as far as it goes but nothing we
havenıt seen before.]


*  Russia May Reap Policy Dividends [Russia, appearing in this article as a
prostitute, haggling over the price.]
*  Sudanese VP Visits Iraq to Boost Ties
*  US 'Strike First' Strategy Gets Thumbs-Up From Australia

AND, IN NEWS, 15-22/6/02 (2)

LICENSE TO KILL [in self defense]

*   CIA given powers to topple Saddam: WP [You and I probably thought this
was US policy already, even though it is presumably illegal under UN
principles, not that that matters. The license to kill clause, devised to
conform to US domestic legislation, is, however, quite amusing: ŒPossible
use of CIA and US Special Forces teams, similar to those that have been
successfully deployed in Afghanistan since the Sept. 11 airliner attacks.
Such forces would be authorized to kill the Iraqi president if they were
acting in self-defence.ı]
*  Gunning for Saddam - but is the CIA capable of triggering his demise? [In
the light of the CIA license to kill President Hussein (in self defence)
this is a little roundup of CIA history for those who may not already be
familiar with it.]
*  Behind 'Plot' on Hussein, a Secret Agenda [Clearsighted explanation by
Scott Ritter of the license to kill announcement as a deliberate effort to
sabotage the effort to reintroduce weapons inspectors to Iraq. Discussion of
Iraqi fears - clearly not at all groundless - that the role of such
inspectors is to gather intelligence to aid an assassination attempt.]


*  Islamist militants suspected behind Iraq blasts
*  Iraqi Kurds fear talk of war [Includes an interview with a retired bazar
salesman in Erbil called Jamil who seems a little confused: ŒWe don't want
the U.S. to bomb Iraq, because we're part of Iraq and we don't want the
Iraqi people to suffer ... If nothing like in '91 or '96 [when the US
betrayed two previous Kurdish efforts at revolt - PB] happens, then we'll
help [a U.S. attack]," Jamal said.ı It is the same confusion (we support the
US war on Iraq so long as they donıt kill any Iraqis) that exists in the
heads of some of the contributors to the CASI list.]
*  Kurds report ethnicity cleansing by Iraq [This article states that Kurds
can only stay in the area by declaring thmeselves to be Arabs. A previous
article [ŒIraqi Kurds' story of expulsionı in Kurdish supplement,
3-10/11/01] stated that, on declaring themselves to be Arabs, Kurds were
liable to be displaced on the grounds that, as Arabs, they would clearly be
happy to settle anywhere in Iraq. Iım not suggesting that either of these
stories are discredited by this discrepancy. It is bound to be very
difficult to get an idea of what is happening in that part of the world.]


*  3 new Israeli submarines may carry nuclear warheads [The article includes
an analysis by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace  on the
reasons why different countries in the area might want nuclear weapons. Only
Iraq (the country which above all has been the victim of a continual
international aggression over the past thirteen years) is accused of merely
aggressive intentions. With regard to US complicity in the Israeli
programme, the following is said: Œ"It is above top secret knowing whether
the sub-launched cruise missiles are nuclear-armed." Another former official
added, "We often don't ask."ı And the world continues to accept the US as an
honest broker in international affairs including questions of nuclear
proliferation, and the Israeli/Palestinian dispute.]
*  Iraq is ready to discuss issues of the missing since the Gulf war [This
is a recurring item and I nearly didnıt give it. The obstacle to this
co-operation taking place is, so far as I can see, the Kuwaiti insistence
that the US and Britain should participate in the discussions.]
*  Iran 'opposes US attacking Iraq'


*  U.S. Plane Bombs Iraqi Defense Site [Wednesday]
*  US planes strike command center in Iraq [Thursday]
*  US-British raids kill four Iraqis in Baghdad [This refers to the Thursday
raid and actually occurred 366 km south of Baghdad.]


*  US turf wars betray the Iraqis [Complaints about US failure to support
the INC. The article attributes this to the INCıs Œpro-democracy agendaı, ie
to the State Departmentıs preference for a Saddam lookalike, a Sunni
strongman. But this doesnıt explain why the INC also appears to have been
dropped by the KDP, PUK and SCIRI. Also the article (the title implies that
the Guardian supports the forthcoming war on Iraq) takes for granted the
reliability of the defectors that the INC has smuggled out of Iraq even
though being set up comfortably in the West is clearly being offered as the
reward for a good story ...]
*  Iraqi opposition to hold meeting in London [The longawaited meeting of
ex-army generals, calling themselves the ŒIraqi National Coalitionı. A quick
search of previous news reports came up with only one reference to this
name, an obvious error for the Iraqi National Congress. Or is it another
name for the Iraqi National Accord?]

AND, IN NEWS, 15-22/6/02 (3)


*  Attack on Iraq may surprise everyone [This, suggesting that the war will
start out of the blue without any military buildup, I think, belongs to the
realms of fantasy, but with the current US leadership one never knows.]
*  Third time a charm for Albright [Madeleine Albrightıs latest reflections
on Iraq. She thinks a war would be a mistake (systematic reduction of the
population to a state of destitution is better) but that it will happen.]
*  U.S. Talks Iraq but Thinks Iran [ŒThe application here would be that once
250,000 U.S. and British troops mass to strike in that festering part of the
world, they would hit in two quick blows at Iraq and Iran. I believe that's
the reason for the delay in striking Iraq.ı This is what passes as
respectable political speculation in the USA today. Note the reference to
Œthat festering part of the worldı and the way in which the Œand Britishı
part is taken for granted.]
*  Iraq Attack: Why an October surprise is likely" [Latest thoughts, or
rather, latest hopes, of James Woolsey and Francis Brooke, ie the white boys
of the INC. They seem to think, I donıt know on what grounds, that the
demise of President Hussein will result in the establishment of democracy in
*  Cheney Sees 'Gathering Danger' in Iraq

*  Bush's scary Iraq policy
Toronto Star, 17th June
[The article boldly declares that ŒWashington ought not act as if it were a
law unto itselfı, but the author has already swallowed so many outrages that
his whining over this matter carries very little weight.]


*  First US dissidents speak out against 'war on terrorism' [Text of
statement referred to in News 8-15/6/02, ³US artists damn 'war without
*  The U.S. vs. Bert Sacks' principles on Iraq [Sympathetic account of
Voices activist Bert Sacks given in his local press.]
*  Treasury Department vows to prosecute Iraq activist [This version of Bert
Sacks contains an intriguing reference to the US Customs Œconfiscating
illegal film from their (Voicesı members) baggage.ı One assumes they werenıt
smuggling pornography but what other sort of film is illegal in the freedom
loving United States?]


*  Iraq: UN Oil Pricing Threatens Program
*  UN Gulf war reparations panel approves $4.7b claims  [One hopes that any
potential leader the US finds to replace Mr Hussein will insist as a
condition of taking office that this particular circus comes to an end. One
hopes, but its more likely that compliance with outrageous compensation
demands will be made a condition of being installed as leader of (the new,
democratic) Iraq.

*  Iraq presses firms to forgo billions in reparations
The Wall Street Journal, 19th June
[Readers will hardly credit it but this is a long article expressing moral
outrage that Iraq uses its economic muscle to prevent companies from jumping
on to the UN compensation scam: ŒSaddam Hussein's regime - with the
complicity of major corporations and some governments - has repeatedly
subverted the international goal of forcing Iraq to take responsibility for
the losses it inflicted.ı Well, thatıs one way putting it. The possibility
that firms may have made false compensation claims in order to oblige Iraq
to bribe them to drop them isnıt, so far as I can see, considered.]


*  US says diplomat from Iraq is a spy [US demands expulsion of Iraqi
diplomat accredited to UN. This is the principle version of the story which
Iıve taken. The other related items give details that arenıt given here.]
*  U.S. says Iraqi U.N. envoy was spying, seeks expulsion [Note on US
refusal to give Iraqi mission any detailed explanation.]
*  US orders Iraqi diplomat expelled from UN [Note on relations with UN]
*  Iraq: Expulsion of Diplomat is Revenge
*  Accused Spy for Iraq on Trial [It may be noted that there is no
suggestion here or in other accounts weıve seen of this case that Iraq
accepted the offer Mr Regan is said to have made to them.]
*  Iraqi Diplo Credit Bill Hits 70G
*  Poll: U.S. should take military action in Iraq [But support for military
action is still declining.]

*  U.S.: Iraqi U.N. Envoy Ordered Expelled For Alleged Spying
UN Wire, 17th June
[This article refers to a previous case when an Iraqi official accredited to
the Algerian Embassy Œwas expelled in 1994 for allegedly lobbying the U.S.
Congress illegally.ı]


URLs ONLY:,,585-332916,00.html
*  Who's in charge here?
by Caitlin Moran
The Times, 20th June
[A funny article, for those who like that sort of things. I donıt, so Iım
not giving it.]
*  Global Eye -- Southern Cross
by Chris Floyd
Moscow Times, 21st June
[Another funny article for those who like that sort of thing. But this one
hides a serious point. It seems that Brazil is about to elect a Socialist
President, so Brazil might be next after Iraq (and Iran?) on President
Bushıs hit list]

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