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News titles, 22-29/6/02 This mailing is being sent out for the first time in what I think is Rich Text Format. If people have problems with this, please let me know. The most significant item in what follows may be the resignation of former General Wayne Downing, author of the 'Downing Plan' for taking out the Iraqi government quickly and cheaply. His dissatisfaction suggests that the Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz faction isn't doing quite as well as we have been led to believe. Otherwise its all business much as usual. Two raids in the No Fly Zones and the incompetent propaganda piece by John Sweeney (I call it incompetent even though it may have been effective among people who don't think very much. But if he wanted to make a strong case against Saddam Hussein's government he could have done better working his way through articles that have been posted over the past two years in the present mailing list. I think I could have done better without stirring from my computer screen) ENFORCING THE BLOCKADE * [Australian] Navy ship heads for terror duty [The interception of fishing boats smuggling dates out of Iraq is now being described as an essential part of the War against Terror.] * Iraq Slams Turkey for Extending Mandate for U.S.-British Forces * Western warplanes hit Iraqi air defences [27th June] * U.S. planes attack Iraqi command center [28th June. This is an attack on the southern zone, where the previous one was an attack on the northern zone, so we may assume thay are different attacks. Yet here it is stated that The last U.S. attack was on June 20ı] * Iraq Says One Civilian Hurt in Western Air Raid * US says Iran no longer helping Iraq smuggle oil INSIDE IRAQ * How Saddam 'staged' fake baby funerals [This article has been much circulated and discussed on the list. See in oarticular the excellent mediaLens posting from Katy Connell on 28th June. The article is only included here for the record. One small observation, though, on the subject of mass funerals of babies. Though they have certainly taken place, theyıre hardly an important part of the international campaign. In two years of producing this news mailing I donıt remember a single article on the subject. I did a quick search on the word funeralı and the only reference I could find to mass funerals of babies was in an article by Robert Fisk (These children had cancer. Now they are dead. I believe they were killed by depleted uraniumı Independent, 10 January 2001: Depleted Uranium Supplement, 19/12/0014/1/01.). Fisk, who, we imagine, is on our side in these matters, dismissed the funerals as Iraqi government propaganda but says that this does not change the fact that large numbers of real children are dying.] * Saddam's moment of truth [Iraqi election on October 15th] * Sayyed Muhammad Taqi al-Hakim [Times obituary for leading Iraqi Shiıi jurist.] URL ONLY: http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-iraq24.html * Newspaper says Saddam is staging baby funerals Chicago Sun-Times, 24th June [Paraphrase of Sweeneyıs Observer article. But note the amusing first sentence: Evidence is mounting that Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein is faking mass baby funerals to try to show that Western sanctions hurt Iraqis', a British newspaper reported Sundayı.] IRAQIS OUTSIDE IRAQ * 35 Australia Asylum Seekers Break Out IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraq, Iran set timetable for repatriation of refugees * Iraq's culture minister to visit Iran * Iraq protests to UN at Iran truce breaches * Iraqiıs message welcomed in Sidon [Lebanon] after marathon walk URL ONLY: http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=55538 * UAE 'has most liberal economic system' by Nadim Kawach Gulf News, 25th June [According to the Index of Economic Freedom. The UAE ranks 23rd out of 156 countries. Iraq ranks 155th. But is it mentioned that under the system imposed by the US and its allies, all Iraqıs oil revenue is given in lump sums to the Iraqi government which is only allowed to spend it on items approved by a UN committee made up of its enemies, which will not allow expenditure on any internal Iraqi economic activity. This doesnıt exactly make for the development of an economic life free of government control, does it?] NEW WORLD ORDER * UN urged to oppose US immunity [The US proposal isnıt quite as ridiculous as it appears, if this account is to be believed. It calls for a blanket protection from prosecution by the court for all personnel taking part in all UN operations.ı UN operationsı presumably means operations approved by the Security Council which is under the malignant spell of the Permanent Membersı veto. But in theory, keeping to the terms of this report, US troops would still be liable for prosecution for actions taken outside the UN framework, eg during the war on Serbia, which didnıt have UNSC backing (nor, I believe, did the war on Afghanistan). My own instinct would be to accept this exemption, but work for a tighter definition of what constitutes a UN operationı; and for a strict internal UN disciplinary procedure.] * Belgian court rejects war-crimes case vs. Israel's Sharon [While it might have been satisfying to see Ariel Sharon arraigned for war crimes, the ambition of national courts to obtain international jurisdiction is ridiculous and deserves to be squashed. It may be noted that the basis for this judgement is not that AS didnıt commit war crimes, but that he doesnıt live in Belgium.] * Two world orders [Useful summary of the New World Order which is being constructed, in which The new supreme power has substituted the "rule of law" by a doctrine of "ruling above the law".ı The only cavil being with the idea that things have changed, that the US behaved any differently in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia.] * A time for dissent in America [Refers to an article in the current edition of the US journal Foreign Policy by Immanuel Wallerstein advancing the intriguing case that US power is still in decline following its defeat by the Vietnamese in 1970: We look best, he declares, when we attack countries without armies, triumphing in Panama and Grenada.ı] URLs ONLY: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/27_06_02/art19.asp * Murky machinations in US dragnet for Al-Qaeda by Ed Blanche The Daily Star, Lebanon [Nothing much to do with Iraq but quite an interesting account of the success or lack of it so far in rounding up al-Qaida.] http://www.dailystar.com.lb/27_06_02/art20.asp * Will US think tanks hatch a viable Mideast peace? by George S. Hishmeh The Daily Star, Lebanon, 27th June [Account of new think tankı on the Middle East - the Saban centre for Middle East Policy in the Brookings Institute, headed by a pro-Israeli lobbyist, Martin Indyk but claiming to represent a balanced, middle of the road approach towards such issues as - er - organising a post-Saddam Iraq.] OIL POLITICS * OPEC job likely to stay with Venezuela [One of the reasons for the attempt to overthrow Hugo Chavez was the US hope that Venezuela (like Kuwait in 1989/90) would break OPEC oil quotas. It seems that even with the return of Chavez this hope is still alive - one of the arguments being that Venezuela must increase production to make up for what was lost during the strike!] * France Wants End to Iraqi Oil Policy [Includes quite a clear account of the present problems over oil pricing. the French proposal is another way of exercising discipline over Iraq without disrupting the market.] * OPEC to hold steady on oil output * DJ. UN Panel Approves Iraq Oil Prices For Europe, June 1-15 * OPEC has new leader, plan AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/6/02 (2) PROSPECTS FOR PEACE * By invading Iraq, America will lose the war on terror [A brief column piece. Scott Ritter is quoted - approvingly - as saying: "When America becomes the arrogant, international bully, we will lose the world on this.² Which is fine, but the process described has already occurred. The problem is how to turn the worldı into an effective political force.] * Peace has to remain an option [A good summary of the run-up to war so far, concentrating the attention on the dismissal of Jose Bustani, with his proposal for international rather than US controlled weapons inspections in Iraq.] * Bush warned against hasty action on Iraq [Anxieties G.Bush doesnıt have to worry about from Britain; and anxieties he does have to worry about from Congress] * No reason behind Iraq attack [Refers to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Khidr Hamza, reminiscing about how, back in the 1980s, he had been working on a dirty bomb. The present article is strong on the contrast between the anti-Iraq rhetoric and the lack of any real evidence that Iraq poses a danger. Which is fine but of course it can easily be construed as an argument for maintaining sanctions (which keep Iraq in the desired position of powerlessness).] * White House hawk [General Wayne Downing ] on Saddam quits * Anti-terror chief quits after being 'ignored' [Extract] PROSPECTS FOR WAR * Sighting in on Saddam [This purports to be the background story behind G.Bushıs determination to go after Iraq, the switch from Colin Powell to Donald Rumsfeld. It more or less follows the course of the media reporting on the affair - a rash of articles on defectorsı tales of WMDs and contacts with al-Qaida, followed by a sort of hangover in which second thoughts appear. Except that, according to the article, the decisions made before the second thoughts began to appear still stand. One assumes however that the US administration is less subject than this implies to the vagaries of the media and that it has its own agenda to pursue. Which it isnıt going to share with us.] * Spooks vs. Saddam [A rather strange article from J.Hoagland saying that the CIA arenıt any good at sneaky operations and shouldnıt do them. They should only operate in support of outfront, honest activities such as massive bombing campaigns which have public support. The article seems to suggest that recruiting an Iraqi general to put a bullet in the brain of Saddam Hussein or ... mounting any other successful covert operation that would avoid a U.S. invasion of Iraqı falls into the category of sneaky activities. Mr Hoagland wants lots of ass to be kicked and to be seen to be kicked.] * Gulf War Lessons for the Bush Administration [This article appears to be proposing a brilliant strategy for taking out the Iraqi government without deploying thousands of US troops or killing thousands of Iraqis. The essence of the thing appears to be to air-drop large numbers of troops into the middle of Iraq, thus cutting Baghdad off from the borders. But I donıt feel Iıve quite grasped it yet.] * US near appointment of Iraq envoy [to Iraqi opposition. Opposition elements who want to deal with the US should note the respect in which they are held: US officials contend that dealing with the opposition is - in the words of one - like ''herding cats''ı] * American reinforcement in Turkey for striking Iraq; Baghdad: dialogue with the UN will not bring back the inspectors [The article quotes a Turkish daily newspaper as saying: following its decision to start military operations against Baghdad during the two next month ... the number of US troopers in Turkey will be increased from 7,000 to 25,000 during July.ı] _______________________________________________ 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