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News, 15-22/6/02 (3) PROSPECTS FOR WAR * Attack on Iraq may surprise everyone * Third time a charm for Albright * U.S. Talks Iraq but Thinks Iran * Iraq Attack: Why an October surprise is likely" * Cheney Sees 'Gathering Danger' in Iraq REMNANTS OF DECENCY * First US dissidents speak out against 'war on terrorism' * The U.S. vs. Bert Sacks' principles on Iraq * Treasury Department vows to prosecute Iraq activist IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * Iraq: UN Oil Pricing Threatens Program * UN Gulf war reparations panel approves $4.7b claims IRAQI/US RELATIONS * US says diplomat from Iraq is a spy * U.S. says Iraqi U.N. envoy was spying, seeks expulsion * US orders Iraqi diplomat expelled from UN * Accused Spy for Iraq on Trial * Iraqi Diplo Credit Bill Hits 70G * Poll: U.S. should take military action in Iraq PROSPECTS FOR WAR http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-iraq15.html * ATTACK ON IRAQ MAY SURPRISE EVERYONE by Ron Fournier Chicago Sun Times, 15th June WASHINGTON--President Bush is determined to topple Saddam Hussein, perhaps with military force, despite qualms of some U.S. military leaders, lawmakers and allies. He may feel compelled to act without warning. In recent weeks, the administration has intensified its rhetoric against Saddam and unveiled a new military policy that allows for preemptive action against enemies with weapons of mass destruction. ''When we see evil--I know it may hurt some people's feelings, it may not be what they call diplomatically correct--but I'm calling evil for what it is,'' Bush said this week. ''Evil is evil, and we will fight it with all our might.'' The president may choose diplomatic pressure or covert action to undermine Saddam. If he decides to go to war, there will be more choices--such as whether to follow his father's blueprint or launch an unconventional surprise attack. Most analysts assume Bush would slowly generate support inside and outside the country with a series of warnings to Saddam and a deliberate marshaling of U.S. troops. The world saw the Persian Gulf War coming for six months before Bush's father ordered the attack. But there may be little or no warning this time. Given notice, Saddam might strike the United States first or help a terrorist group do so. He could become cornered and desperate--and he is presumably armed with a greater arsenal of deadly weapons than in the Gulf War. Some military leaders favor delaying any Iraqi invasion until next year and perhaps not moving at all. They warn that at least 200,000 troops would be needed. If Bush decides to strike without warning, there are alternatives to a conventional military buildup. One strategy calls for attacking Iraq with a combination of air strikes and special operations assaults in coordination with Iraqi fighters opposed to Saddam. A sneak attack would create a huge uproar in the international community and expose Bush to criticism at home, particularly if U.S. troops get bogged down. Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he recently told Bush: ''There's a reason why your father stopped and didn't go to Baghdad.'' http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134476336_godden17.html * THIRD TIME A CHARM FOR ALBRIGHT by Jean Godden Seattle Times, 17th June [.....] Although she did not back the Gulf War, she says, "I wish the first President Bush had finished that war. He had 100,000 troops on the ground. He could have gone all the way to Baghdad." But she believes to invade Iraq now would be a mistake. She said, "Afghanistan is not finished. To open a whole new front would be terrible timing. We'd be there for the foreseeable future." Albright added, "The betting is we will do it." The paradox, she said, is the U.S. has more power than has existed for any nation but is more vulnerable than ever before. Albright worries about the post-9/11 atmosphere. She said, "I'm troubled that it is unpatriotic to ask questions. It is the duty of citizens to ask questions. It is a strange period." [.....] http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-000042715jun18.story * U.S. TALKS IRAQ BUT THINKS IRAN by Ranan R. Lurie Los Angeles Times, 18th June President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are talking about Iraq, but they're contemplating Iran. It may eventually be written in the annals of contemporary history that the ultimate clever deception by the United States was concentrating the warnings on Baghdad while the intended target was Tehran. The chroniclers will describe Osama bin Laden and the few thousand fanatics he gathered in Al Qaeda as horrible terrorists who managed to attract the attention of the world for a short time. They will describe Saddam Hussein as a megalomaniac and glory hunter who wanted to be remembered as the hero of the Arab world who stared down Washington. But the historical records will emphasize the massive, well- organized, state-subsidized terror that stemmed from and flourished in Iran. That country, history will record, was overtaken by a religion that incorporated itself into a so-called legitimate state for one strategic purpose: the Islamization of the world as the endgame. Iran is the personification of Islam, equipped with a navy and an army, which is developing what would be, in effect, the Islamic bomb. This nuclear missile will be ready within two to three years at most. Iran will have no moral dilemma about using weapons of mass destruction against infidels once it has such devices. It certainly will be comfortable using such a tool for blackmail. Indirectly, of course. Iran is much stronger than Iraq, and its religious fanaticism cements its mission to eliminate nonbelievers wherever they are. You can read nowadays open analysis by military pundits in the Iranian press debating whether two Hiroshima-size bombs would be more than enough to destroy Israel, or whether one would be sufficient, thus allowing the second one to be saved for bigger and better things, say Philadelphia. Iran--a terror organization with a country, a flag and embassies all over the world--can use its diplomatic pouches to deliver whatever it sees fit: intelligence information for terrorist attacks or even small containers of the appropriate germs produced in laboratories 38 miles southeast of Tehran. It is inconceivable that we'll attack Iraq, succeed, destroy its unconventional laboratories and arsenal, come home for a ticker-tape parade on Wilshire Boulevard and go to the beaches--while Iran is still there. Imagine a brain surgeon penetrating the skull of a patient who has two malignant tumors and yet extracting only one of them. Logic says that, as long as you are in that skull, the same incision should serve for the removal of the second tumor. The White House and the Pentagon have the responsibility of planning the big picture. Remember the two bulls, a father and son, walking pleasantly down the meadow and seeing ahead of them a group of attractive cows? The excited young bull requests permission from the father bull to run and make love to one of them. Walk, and make love to all of them, answers dad with a grin, reflecting common sense. Ranan R. Lurie is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and a syndicated columnist and political cartoonist. SENT THROUGH LIST. NO URL GIVEN * IRAQ ATTACK: WHY AN OCTOBER SURPRISE IS LIKELY": National Review Online, 19th June The much-publicized administration split over the fate of a possible Iraq invasion has given way to adoption of the hawks' timetable and message by President George W. Bush, meaning an October surprise could be in the offing. The nation's capital has been buzzing with Iraq speculation following the Washington Post article over the weekend stating that Bush had signed an order earlier this year for the Central Intelligence Agency to use lethal force, if necessary, to effect "regime change" in Iraq. Although the story, which many administration officials believe was leaked by CIA Director George Tenet, may have been intended to show that military action won't be needed until winter (since the CIA is "on the case"), it actually underscores the president's firm commitment to ridding the world of Saddam Hussein's tyranny. The only direction from there is an attack on Iraq sooner, not later. The Iraq guessing game has been popular for months now, but with inaction dragging on, the general sentiment among career bureaucrats in the State Department was typified by a senior administration official, who explains that attacking Iraq is a matter of "waiting for the environment to ripen." Former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, who has been an open advocate of freedom for the Iraqi people, believes that the wait-and-see approach is pure folly. "I hope to God they're getting forces in place while they're waiting for the 'environment to ripen'," he comments. Preparations for an assault on Iraq are already being made. "The military planning is considerably more advanced than most people realize. There's more than 40,000 troops in the arena already," notes Francis Brooke, the Washington adviser to the Iraqi National Congress (INC), the umbrella group for anti-Hussein resistance organizations. Brooke also cites reports he has heard that Kuwaiti hotels are practically overrun lately by United States military personnel. Aside from the slow, if relatively modest, military buildup in the region, planning for a covert-style operation is barreling forward, full-speed ahead. A senior administration official says that this is necessary because, "superpowers don't wait for environments, they create them." Another senior administration official says that the military campaign in Iraq will be one marked by stealth, "[because] the ability to act clandestinely is vitally important" The "clandestine" model is one patterned intentionally after the successful Afghanistan campaign, but even most proponents of this strategy readily acknowledge that Iraq is not a straight parallel. Though Hussein's military power far exceeds anything controlled by the Taliban, "the greatest concern is that [Hussein] will follow a Hitler-in-the-bunker mentality," notes a senior administration official. There seems to be legitimate disagreement about how loyal Hussein's troops will remain after a ground campaign is launched — the smart money seems to be on not very — but even the most cautious military planners concede that the calculus is different than in the Gulf War, where use of ground forces lasted a fraction of the time spent deploying them. The Army, under the leadership of Secretary of the Army Thomas White (who is ensnarled in Enron entanglements) and Gen. Eric Shinseki (whose greatest accomplishment is getting Army soldiers into black berets, and shifting the elite Rangers into tan ones), has been leaking like a sieve to the media, warning that 200,000 to 250,000 troops — less than half the number deployed for the Gulf War — will be necessary for any invasion into Iraq. But retired Gen. Wayne Downing, perhaps the foremost expert on military operations in Iraq from his experience as commander of the joint special-operations task force during the Gulf War, has been spearheading the move, from his new perch at the National Security Council, to attack Iraq with a fluid mix of special forces and air strikes as part of the Afghanistan model. The stealth strategy would bear little resemblance to the Gulf War, with elite United States forces working with Kurds in the north and Shiite Muslims in the south — under the cover of the respective no-fly zones — to topple Hussein. The first step in this game plan would likely be capturing the oil fields in southern Iraq, which a senior administration official describes as "vital." "Take away [Hussein's] oil, and you sap his strength," he says. The only other major piece of the puzzle relates to basing issues. Few in the administration are optimistic that Saudi Arabia will actively lend a helping hand, but a strong showing of American might will almost certainly result in passive cooperation from the House of Saud, in the form of granting permission to fly thru Saudi air space. The Saudi royal family dreads the prospect of a beachhead of democracy being established at its doorstep, but the despotic princes probably fear the possibility of America as an enemy even more. The Saudi problem isn't one under the scenario of using Turkey and Kuwait as basing hubs, and both nations are expected to be in the fold when the invasion is launched. Though publicly skeptical toward U.S. plans in the region, conventional wisdom has it that Kuwait won't get in the way of a serious and concerted U.S. effort to topple Hussein. Many had thought that signing up Turkey posed the more challenging hurdle, but ailing Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will have enough on his hands with trying to hold together his fragile, three-party ruling coalition. The current balance of power is such that "the power is with Turkey's military, and they will persuade the government to come along if we are clear and decisive," says Woolsey. Outside of Turkey and Kuwait, the United States already has a strong presence in nearby Oman, and as mentioned in a previous NRO piece, Gen. Tommy Franks has been to Eritrea several times to discuss basing issues. The coalescing of favorable strategic factors no doubt played a role in the president's recent embrace of the hawkish position on Iraq. The shift in power between the civilian leadership at Defense and careerists at State became clear with the unveiling of the new "first strike" policy nearly three weeks ago, which says that America will abandon the Cold War principles of containment and deterrence in favor of striking first when necessary. Despite such public signals of Bush's newfound sympathies, a senior administration official happily notes that the doves at Near East Affairs (NEA) in the State Department still "don't realize that they're being left out of the process." The same official, however, expresses dismay that NEA bureaucrats are "doing their best to screw things up with the INC and on sanctions." Interestingly, administration officials advocating a fall attack on Iraq have fleeting concerns, if any, about inevitable charges from the left of an "October surprise" or of "wagging the dog." Cooler heads are thankfully prevailing with the argument that military policy can't be dictated by politics. Even though most systems seem to be pointing to go, the INC's Brooke cautions, "We've been through this game before. The old thinking was May, but Afghanistan and the Mideast got in the way, and now there's India-Pakistan. And of course, suicide bombings can always flare up again at a moment's notice" http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/reuters20020620_598.html * CHENEY SEES 'GATHERING DANGER' IN IRAQ ABC News, 20th June DETROIT (Reuters) - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein represents a "gathering danger" to the United States, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Thursday, while warning that Washington will act preemptively against threats of terrorism. "We are greatly concerned about any possible linkup between terrorists and regimes that have or seek weapons of mass destruction," said Cheney. "In the case of Saddam Hussein, we've got a dictator who is clearly pursuing and already possesses some of these weapons," he said. "A regime that hates America and everything we stand for must never be permitted to threaten America with weapons of mass destruction," the vice president added, referring to Saddam and the Iraqi forces he fought as defense minister under President Bush's father during the Gulf War in 1991. Cheney, who spoke at a political fund-raiser here, stopped short of saying there were any established ties between Baghdad and the al Qaeda network, or the Sept. 11 attacks that took about 3,000 U.S. lives. But he said the possibility of such links was too great to ignore, especially in light of Saddam's defiance of U.N. weapons inspection programs and international oversight. "This gathering danger requires the most urgent, deliberate and decisive response," he said. "It is very clear that our enemies are determined to do further significant damage to the American people," Cheney said, citing recent intelligence reports. "Wars are not won on the defensive," he added. "We must take the battle to the enemy anywhere necessary, to preempt greater stress to our country," he said. REMNANTS OF DECENCY http://www.dawn.com/2002/06/15/int14.htm * FIRST US DISSIDENTS SPEAK OUT AGAINST 'WAR ON TERRORISM' Dawn (from The Guardian)15th June, 03 Rabi-us-Saani 1423 LONDON: Let it not be said that people in the United States did nothing when their government declared a war without limit and instituted stark new measures of repression. The signers of this statement call on the people of the US to resist the policies and overall political direction that has emerged since September 11, which poses a grave danger to the people of the world. We believe that peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers. We believe that all persons detained or prosecuted by the US government should have the same rights of due process. We believe that questioning, criticism, and dissent must be valued and protected. We understand that such rights and values are always contested and must be fought for. We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do. We must first of all oppose the injustice that is done in our own name. Thus we call on all Americans to resist the war and repression that has been loosed on the world by the Bush administration. It is unjust, immoral and illegitimate. We choose to make common cause with the people of the world. We too watched with shock the horrific events of Sept 11. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the terrible scenes of carnage - even as we recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City and, a generation ago, in Vietnam. We too joined the anguished questioning of millions of Americans who asked why such a thing could happen. But the mourning had barely begun, when the highest leaders of the land unleashed a spirit of revenge. They put out a simplistic script of "good vs evil" that was taken up by a pliant and intimidated media. They told us that asking why these terrible events had happened verged on treason. There was to be no debate. There were, by definition, no valid political or moral questions. The only possible answer was to be war abroad and repression at home. In our name, the Bush administration, with near unanimity from Congress, not only attacked Afghanistan but arrogated to itself and its allies the right to rain down military force anywhere and anytime. The brutal repercussions have been felt from the Philippines to Palestine. The government now openly prepares to wage an all-out war on Iraq - a country which has no connection to Sept 11. What kind of world will this become if the US government has a blank cheque to drop commandos, assassins, and bombs wherever it wants? In our name the government has created two classes of people within the US: those to whom the basic rights of the US legal system are at least promised, and those who now seem to have no rights at all. The government rounded up more than 1,000 immigrants and detained them in secret and indefinitely. Hundreds have been deported and hundreds of others still languish today in prison. For the first time in decades, immigration procedures single out certain nationalities for unequal treatment. In our name, the government has brought down a pall of repression over society. The president's spokesperson warns people to "watch what they say." Dissident artists, intellectuals, and professors find their views distorted, attacked, and suppressed. The so called Patriot Act - along with a host of similar measures on the state level - gives police sweeping new powers of search and seizure, supervised, if at all, by secret proceedings before secret courts. In our name, the executive has steadily usurped the roles and functions of the other branches of government. Military tribunals with lax rules of evidence and no right to appeal to the regular courts are put in place by executive order. Groups are declared "terrorist" at the stroke of a presidential pen. We must take the highest officers of the land seriously when they talk of a war that will last a generation and when they speak of a new domestic order. We are confronting a new openly imperial policy towards the world and a domestic policy that manufactures and manipulates fear to curtail rights. There is a deadly trajectory to the events of the past months that must be seen for what it is, and it must be resisted. Too many times in history people have waited until it was too late to resist. Bush has declared: "You're either with us or against us." Here is our answer: We refuse to allow you to speak for all the American people. We will not give up our right to question. We will not hand over our consciences in return for a hollow promise of safety. We say not in our name. We refuse to be party to these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name or for our welfare. We extend a hand to those around the world suffering from these policies. We will show our solidarity in word and deed. We who sign this statement call on all Americans to join together to rise to this challenge. We applaud and support the questioning and protest now going on, even as we recognize the need for much more to actually stop this juggernaut. We draw inspiration from the Israeli reservists who, at great personal risk, declared "there is a limit" and refused to serve in the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. We draw on the many examples of resistance and conscience from the America's past: from those who fought slavery with rebellions and the underground railroad, to those who defied the Vietnam war by refusing orders, resisting the draft, and standing in solidarity with resisters. Let us not allow the watching world to despair of our silence and our failure to act. Instead, let the world hear our pledge: we will resist the machinery of war and repression and rally others to do everything possible to stop it. SIGNED: Laurie Anderson, Edward Asner, Russell Banks, Noam Chomsky, Ossie Davis, Mos Def, Eve Ensler, Martin Luther King III, Barbara Kingsolver, Tony Kushner, Edward Said, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, John Edgar Wideman, Howard Zinn, and 53 others. (The above statement has been signed by 60 leading US figures). http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/74924_sacks17.shtml * THE U.S. vs. BERT SACKS' PRINCIPLES ON IRAQ by Charles Pope Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 17th June Washington -- Bert Sacks looks like he could be anybody's favorite grandfather. Wafer-thin with unruly white hair, a gentle manner and soft spoken, the 60-year-old Seattle resident professes a love of children and a steely desire to live by principle. Yet those two traits have brought federal prosecutors to his doorstep threatening to put him in jail for up to 12 years for aiding an enemy of the United States. Sacks, a retired engineer, admits it's a strange position for someone who embraces non-violence and it's why he has come to Washington, D.C. Today is the deadline for Sacks to pay a $10,000 fine for violating economic sanctions against Iraq. The violation is connected to a 1997 trip Sacks took to Iraq in which he has acknowledged taking $40,000 worth of medicine. While the government is pursuing him on that single event, Sacks has made eight trips to Iraq over the last six years, taking medicine, including antibiotics and vitamins, each time in an attempt to ease what he believes is untenable suffering for Iraqi children and to draw attention to what he claims are illegal sanctions. He has accompanied and/or helped arrange trips to Iraq for several groups, including the Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility and Voices in the Wilderness, a Chicago based organization. Mild mannered as he is, Sacks is steadfast in his opposition to the sanctions that have been in place for 12 years. He refuses to pay the fine and is willing to face the consequences. "We should speak in clear English," he says. "It's killing 5,000 children a month. It's not honest; it's not accurate to say it penalizes the Iraqi people. It kills them. I've been to Auschwitz, I'm Jewish. Nobody would say Auschwitz created hardships for the Jewish people. We need to be honest." So Sacks and a rapidly growing number of supporters and other groups across the country continue to go to Iraq. And he has come to Washington with other activists in an attempt to persuade the government to rethink its position. "It is very clear that U.S. policy of bombing civilian infrastructure and 11 years of sanctions is knowingly causing suffering and death, deliberately causing suffering and death of Iraqi civilians in order to coerce the government of Iraq. And that's wrong. "If you're doing something very wrong ... you need to stop doing what's wrong. So we need to stop the economic sanctions and let the country rebuild," Sacks says. A spokesman for the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is responsible for enforcing the economic provisions, refused to comment about Sacks' case. But he reiterated the U.S. government's determination to maintain the sanctions. Sacks' mission is one that few in America have noticed. Polls show a combination of indifference for foreign affairs and support for toppling Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The desire to depose Saddam has grown strong since the Sept. 11 attacks. Sacks, however, presses on, sustained by the belief that if American people understood what the sanctions were doing in Iraq there would be strong public pressure to change the policy. "If that truth gets out, then there's a chance for change," he says. And along with trying to educate the public, Sacks goes to Iraq to help -- in a small way -- relieve the suffering of children. The sanctions, combined with destruction of Iraq's water systems, electrical grid and other infrastructure during the Gulf War, causes more than 5,000 children to die each month, Sacks says in explaining why he is risking jail. "I go to Iraq; I've been warned, and I keep doing it because kids keep dying. We can't figure out what better to do. There's no better course," he said. "We've put into place a policy that we know is deadly. We're doing it to coerce, and that's a crime even on our books." Sacks doesn't object to all sanctions. He says he supports a military embargo of Iraq and even economic sanctions if they are carefully crafted. But the current sanctions, he says, are not achieving the goal of destabilizing Saddam or stopping the development of weapons of mass destruction. "People who put the policies in place say we're being tough on Saddam. It's not true. We're killing children," he says. "They are keeping medicine out of the hands of people and if I were to go request permission from a law that I view is immoral and illegal, then I'm complicit in the crime. And this is a crime." [.....] Sacks admits he isn't sure what will happen with his case, though he is certain that the American government will one day realize the sanctions must be changed. "There is some part of me that has fear; that I can find myself in this situation by continuing to challenge my government," he said. "I can get thrown in jail for 12 years. "There's another part of me that feels very good, that I'm finally walking a certain walk." http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020620-90202341.htm * TREASURY DEPARTMENT VOWS TO PROSECUTE IRAQ ACTIVIST by Sean Salai The Washington Times, 20th June An activist who is refusing to pay a $10,000 fine for violating U.S. sanctions on Iraq will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, a Treasury Department spokesman said yesterday. "The Treasury Department enforces the law of the land," said Rob Nichols, deputy assistant press secretary. "If someone doesn't pay a fine, we begin a collection process that can last up to six months." Mr. Nichols refused to comment specifically on the case of Bert Sacks, a retired civil engineer from Seattle who said Monday that he won't pay the May 17 fine for making illegal currency transactions in Iraq in 1997. However, he acknowledged that the Treasury Department has rarely needed to prosecute an unpaid fine. "I don't know of any debt collection that has lasted beyond six months," Mr. Nichols said. The Treasury Department would refer any such case to the Internal Revenue Service after six months. The IRS would then follow its own collection process, which could result in further fines and eventual jail time for Mr. Sacks. On Monday, the deadline for payment, Mr. Sacks sent a letter to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), refusing to pay the fine. He said his only violation of the sanctions against Saddam Hussein's regime was bringing more than $40,000 worth of medicine to Iraq in 1997. "I admit to bringing medicines to Iraq," Mr. Sacks wrote. "This is the only violation of United States' sanctions regulations I admit to." Mr. Sacks cited U.N. reports that 5,000 children die each month in Iraq, and blamed U.S. led economic sanctions. U.S. policy specifies legal ways in which American citizens may export medicines to Iraq, but Mr. Sacks rejects U.S. sanctions authority. "I believe that U.S. sanctions against Iraq are illegal under the U.S. Constitution and international law and that I have a moral and legal obligation to resist them," wrote Mr. Sacks. Sanctions against Iraq were first implemented after Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990. Current sanctions are intended to prevent shipments of aid from being intercepted by the Iraqi dictator's regime. Mr. Sacks' $10,000 fine stretches back to a 1997 incident involving him and four other activists against sanctions. While confiscating illegal film from their baggage, a customs official at Detroit International Airport detained them as they were returning from Iraq. The Treasury Department subsequently sent letters to all four ‹ signed by OFAC Director R. Richard Newcomb ‹ in December of 1998. Only Mr. Sacks has been fined to date. "We all received pre-penalty notices," said Kathy Kelly, spokeswoman for the Chicago based Voices in the Wilderness campaign against the Iraq sanctions who traveled with Mr. Sacks. Mr. Sacks has made eight trips to Iraq since 1996, and said that he will continue to do so regardless of whether he is eventually fined and jailed by the IRS. IRAQI/UN RELATIONS http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/jun/15/061500758.html * IRAQ: UN OIL PRICING THREATENS PROGRAM Las Vegas Sun, 15th June BAGHDAD, Iraq- Iraq on Saturday accused the United States and Britain of interfering with the U.N. oil for food program, which lets Iraq use oil revenue to buy food and medicines. The program was created in 1996 to ease the suffering of Iraqi civilians under sanctions imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It allows Iraq to sell unlimited amounts of oil to purchase basic needs for its people. In October, the United States and Britain won committee approval to set the price of Iraqi oil retroactively at the end of the month to prevent Iraq from taking advantage of market fluctuations to impose an illegal surcharge. Before October, the committee approved the oil price at the beginning of each month, leaving Baghdad free to add and pocket the surcharge. Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rashid told a news conference Saturday that the new U.N. oil pricing policy for Iraqi oil has caused a big drop in revenues and could sabotage the program. Rashid accused the United States and Britain of promoting the U.N. pricing system with the objective of "hindering Iraqi oil exports and thus undermining the oil-for-food program." The pricing policy, Rashid charged, led to an estimated 500,000 to 700,000 barrels a day drop in sales, because traders were discouraged from buying oil without knowing its current price. "This means the loss of about $2 billion to $4 billion" for each six-month phase of the oil-for food program, he said. Rashid said oil exports were expected to drop to 1.1 million barrels a day in June, compared to 2.1 million barrels a day in October 2001, when the policy began. He said Iraq was doing its best to make the oil-for-food program work. He said the oil pricing policy will be on the agenda of a third round of talks between Iraq and the United Nations, scheduled in Vienna on July 4-5. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=55188 * UN GULF WAR REPARATIONS PANEL APPROVES $4.7B CLAIMS Gulf News (Reuters), 22nd June The United Nations Gulf War reparations body approved payment yesterday of more than $4.7 billion to Kuwait and other countries for damage caused by Iraq, UN officials said. Kuwaiti individuals and companies will get the bulk of compensation, $4.4 billion, including nearly $1.6 billion to the Kuwait National Petroleum Company for crude oil processing fees lost during the 1990-91 Iraqi occupation, they added. But the UN Compensation Commission's Governing Council rejected a $354 million claim by state-owned Saudi Aramco because the losses were found to have been offset by "extraordinary profit", said council secretary Mojtaba Kazazi. "Altogether at this session the Compensation Commission awarded claims totalling $4.74 billion," spokesman Joe Sills told a news briefing before the body ended a four-day session. The General Council, made up of the same 15 members that sit on the Security Council, asked the UN Environment Programme to set up a data base on environmental damage caused by the oil fires set by Iraqi troops as they fled U.S.-led forces. The statistical data, to be gathered over two years, will help legal experts analyse some $50 billion in claims filed by regional countries against Iraq for environmental damage. "This constitutes for us the most important type of claim. The results of the studies will be carefully monitored," Khaled Ahmad Al Mudhaf, chairman of Kuwait's Public Authority for Assessment of Compensation for Damages Resulting from the Iraqi Aggression, told Reuters. The Geneva-based fund will begin assessing this last major category of claims later this year and wrap them up by the end of 2004, according to UN sources. More than $300 billion in claims have been filed for damage allegedly caused by Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and occupied it for seven months. Sills said the next round of payments to successful claimants, worth some $600 million, would be made in July. IRAQI/US RELATIONS http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/166/nation/US_says_diplomat_from_Iraq_is_a _spy+.shtml * US SAYS DIPLOMAT FROM IRAQ IS A SPY by Colum Lynch Boston Globe (from Washington Post), 15th June United Nations - The Bush administration yesterday ordered the expulsion of a UN-based Iraqi diplomat on the grounds that he has spied on the United States, according to US officials. A US official delivered a letter to the Iraqi mission in New York City yesterday that demanded that the diplomat, Abdul Rahman I.K. Saad, leave the country by the end of the month. ''He was engaging in activities that are incompatible with being a diplomat,'' said a US official. ''He was spying. We found sufficient evidence, overwhelming evidence.'' Mohammed Douri, Iraq's UN ambassador, denied that Saad or any of the other 15 Iraqi diplomats serving at the United Nations have conducted espionage in the United States. ''We have no spies; we are diplomats,'' Douri said in an interview. ''We are working at the United Nations.'' The American action marks the first major diplomatic incident with Iraq since the United States began planning for a potential war to oust Saddam Hussein, Iraq's president. It also came a year after two diplomats serving at Iraq's UN mission defected and began cooperating with federal agents. US officials declined to say whether the two former diplomats, Mohammed Humaimidi and Fela Hesan Rubaie, supplied American authorities with evidence linking Saad to espionage. A UN source who knows Saad said that he arrived in the United States about the time that Humaimidi and Rubaie approached American authorities, making it unlikely that they would have firsthand knowledge of Saad's activities in the United States. US officials declined to discuss the nature of Saad's alleged espionage. Another source familiar with the US investigation said that Saad, an economist who served on a UN committee that deals with economic and social affairs, had sought to recruit US citizens. Douri said that Iraqi diplomats frequently meet with Americans and Europeans about the impact of an 11-year-old UN embargo on Iraq. ''I have to talk about the plight of the Iraqi people,'' Douri said. ''They consider this spying?'' The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iraq, but it is allowed to keep a small mission in New York to conduct business at the UN. The United States recently expelled nearly 50 Russian diplomats in New York and Washington for spying. A Sudanese diplomat at the UN was forced to leave in the 1990s for his alleged role in aiding in an assassination attempt against Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/134475361_wdig15.html * U.S. SAYS IRAQI U.N. ENVOY WAS SPYING, SEEKS EXPULSION Seattle Times, 15th June [.....] The U.S. Mission gave Iraq 24 hours to respond. Iraq sent a letter to the U.S. Mission seeking further information. The United States must now decide whether to provide details, which appeared unlikely, diplomatic sources said. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=13046573 * US ORDERS IRAQI DIPLOMAT EXPELLED FROM UN Times of india (from AFP), 15th June [Note on relations with UN] [.....] Abdul Rahman Saad is accredited to the United Nations, but under an agreement between the world body and the US, such cases are handled bilaterally and the UN does not get involved, diplomatic sources said. Earlier, the US had delivered a letter to the Iraqi mission seeking withdrawal of the diplomat and that he leave by June end. Sadd is working with the economic and social committees of the world body. "The UN Secretary-General has no role in this. It is a bilateral issue. And if Iraq would submit any information to the UN, the information would be passed on to the US mission," a UN spokesman said. The United States has had no diplomatic relations with Iraq since it attacked Kuwait in 1990 but allows the Iraqi mission to the UN to operate from New York. Some 16 diplomats are accredited to the United Nations. In 1989, Washington asked an Iraqi diplomat to leave in retaliation to the Iraqi expulsion of an American diplomat who visited Kurdish areas in the north without permission. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nat-gen/2002/jun/18/061806454.html * IRAQ: EXPULSION OF DIPLOMAT IS REVENGE Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 18th June UNITED NATIONS- Iraq's U.N. ambassador says the U.S. expulsion of an Iraqi diplomat is an act of revenge for a failed U.S. attempt to get three Iraqis to defect to the United States. Ambassador Mohammad Al-Douri said two Iraqis with ministerial rank and one with lower rank were approached by U.S. officials during the last round of U.N.-Iraq talks in early May. The Iraqis were members of the delegation led by Foreign Minister Naji Sabri. "They have been asked to stay in the United States - to defect," the ambassador said in an interview Tuesday. The three Iraqis refused, and Iraq complained to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the U.N. committee that deals with relations with the host country about U.S. "harassment," Al-Douri said. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said "We routinely never discuss intelligence issues." [.....] http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nat-gen/2002/jun/18/061805478.html * ACCUSED SPY FOR IRAQ ON TRIAL Las Vegas Sun, 18th June WASHINGTON- Lawyers for an accused spy want the judge to prevent the government from seeking the death penalty during trial, arguing that others prosecuted on more serious espionage charges did not face the threat of execution. The lawyers, representing Brian Patrick Regan, 39, noted that none of the 11 people indicted for espionage since 1994 faced the death penalty, including Robert Hanssen of the FBI, who pleaded guilty to spying that led to the deaths of three foreign agents. Defense lawyer Nina J. Ginsberg of Alexandria, Va., said the government's decision to seek the death penalty for Regan was "arbitrary and irrational." Prosecutors have until July 19 to respond to the defense arguments. They previously said Regan placed U.S. and allied pilots over the No-Fly Zone in Iraq at "grave risk of death" by offering to give Saddam Hussein information about U.S. satellites hunting for anti-aircraft missiles. A grand jury indicted Regan in February on charges that he tried to spy for Iraq, Libya and China, and accused him of offering secrets to Saddam in a form letter for $13 million in Swiss currency. Court records indicate that Regan, a father of four, carried debts of at least $53,000 earlier this year. Regan allegedly wrote to Saddam that, "If I am caught, I will be imprisoned for the rest of my life, if not executed for this deed." Regan, a retired Air Force master sergeant who was working in the National Reconnaissance Office in Chantilly, Va., has pleaded innocent to two counts of attempted espionage and one additional count of illegally gathering national security information. The Regan case is notable because it is the first time in decades the government has sought the death penalty in an espionage case and because prosecutors do not allege that Regan's actions resulted in anyone's death. Even U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee noted in an earlier ruling that the government's decision to seek the death penalty "was unexpected in light of other espionage cases heard in this district." No U.S. citizen has been executed in an espionage case since Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the 1950s. The death penalty was re-enacted in 1994 as a possible punishment in peace time espionage cases. http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/krnewyork/20020620/lo/iraqi_diplo_credit_bill_h its_70g_1.html * IRAQI DIPLO CREDIT BILL HITS 70G by Greg B. Smith Yahoo.com, 20th June Iraq is not only part of the Axis of Evil, its diplomats are credit-card deadbeats.U.S. officials say 10 employees of the Iraqi Mission to the UN in New York have run up $70,000 worth of charges on Chase Bank, Macy's and Eddie Bauer credit cards ‹ then bolted to Baghdad without paying the bills. When the victims complained, the U.S. Mission to the UN entered the fray ‹ diplomatically ‹ on Tuesday. "We delivered to the Iraqi Mission a diplomatic note, which said these bills have come to our attention from Chase, and we expect the mission to pay these bills," one U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said yesterday. Officials said the Iraqis appeared to have hit upon a scam in which they obtain credit cards in New York, and then, in the last week of their U.S. rotation, spend like fiends. Safe at home in Iraq, they simply refuse to pay up, officials say. The Chase credit-card bills ranged from Nawaf Shathel Jassim's mere $63.80, to Gesim Al Mulgawi's bone-crushing $32,364.06, officials said. JP Morgan Chase spokeswoman Charlotte Gilbert-Biro declined to comment on the debtors, saying only, "We do not comment on any specific inquiry or investigation." The Iraqis ‹ who happen to owe the city $162,000 for 1,400 parking tickets ‹ responded to the U.S. Mission yesterday by saying they would look into the matter, the feds said. Representatives of Saddam Hussein's government did not return calls seeking comment yesterday. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2002/06/21/iraq-poll-usat.htm * POLL: U.S. SHOULD TAKE MILITARY ACTION IN IRAQ by Andrea Stone USA Today, 21st June WASHINGTON ‹ A majority of the American public backs sending U.S. troops to topple Saddam Hussein, but support for military action against Iraq has fallen significantly in recent months, a Gallup Poll shows. The Bush administration has been debating the best way to change the regime in Iraq. Nearly six in 10 Americans (59%) polled favor a military attack. However, that's down from 74% in November, when the war in Afghanistan was at its peak. A third (34%) oppose military action, up from 20%. Yet the poll also shows that a vast majority, 83%, say removing Saddam should be a top U.S. foreign policy goal. That's down slightly since March, when 88% said Saddam should go. The poll of 519 people Monday-Wednesday has a margin of error of +/-5 percentage points. [.....] _______________________________________________ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk