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News titles, 17-20/7/02 This is just, for the record, completing the mailing of the week before last. I see nothing here worthy of note except the recognition, in the first two articles, that this time round the rape of Iraq will probably have to be followed by a more or less long period of concubinage. Which means that the US government will have to assume responsibility for rebuilding what it has destroyed. It was largely to prevent that awful eventuality that George Bush Sr decided to leave the country in the hands of Mr Hussein. It is perhaps the one consideration that would give his son a reason to hesitate. THE MORNING AFTER * US would keep troops in Iraq to aid reform [Although it seems very likely that the US will wish to hang on to Iraq if only to prevent it from falling into the hands of Iran, and to keep the Kurds and the Shi-i under control, no source worthy of the name is given. Only Anthony Cordesman.] * Iraq: The Day After [Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says Europeans are right to be anxious since 'if the Bush administration is serious, then the United States is on the verge of making a huge commitment in Iraq and the Middle East, not unlike the commitment it made in Japan more than a half-century ago.' Extracts.] * Iraq turns to Belarus for expertise in oil industry, manufacturing * Goodbye Saddam, hello your Majesty [This article, here taken from the National Post, 25th July, also appeared in the Daily Telegraph on the 19th July, under the heading 'If Iraqis want a king, Hassan of Jordan could be their man', so this seems an appropriate place to put it. Rubin praises Hassan's 'genuine desire for peace', without mentioning that it was manifested in his efforts to prevent the US war on Iraq (and that Jordan, like the Yemen, was severely punished for it afterwards). He portrays Saddam Hussein's war on Iran as an act of wilful badness without indicating that having the Ayatollah Khomeini on your doorstep in the immediate aftermath of the Islamic revolution would be a disquieting experience, especially if you have a Shi'i majority in your country; he has Saddam suppressing the Kurds without mentioning that the Kurds were allied to the said Ayatollah, and that together they almost brought about the defeat of Iraq. A dishonest article, then, but no more so than most of the rest that has been written on the subject.] * Jordan prince touted to succeed Saddam [Michael Rubin's article could be just an individual's bright idea but this article from the Guardian suggests that Hassan has been cultivated by Wolfowitz and the Pentagon.] INSIDE IRAQ * Saddam Says U.S. Won't Be Able to Oust Government [Untendentious account of Saddam's 17th July speech from the Tehran Times.] * Five reported dead in attack on Iraq URL ONLY: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,757067,00.html * Saddam taunts 'evil tyrants' in 4,000-word tirade by Brian Whitaker The Guardian, 18th July [The Guardian sneers that Saddam's 17th July speech was 'the mother of speeches - a 4,000 word tirade against "devils" and "oppressors", wrapped in a cloak of religious piety.' Is 4,000 words that long?] IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Iraq lodges protest against US for refusing to grant visas ['to an Iraqi delegation that was supposed to take part in the preparatory meeting of the International Criminal Court in New York'. The article also reveals that the US played visa games with the Iraqi delegation going to negotiate the return of weapons inspectors with Kofi Annan, which is why the talks eventually took place in Vienna. If this is true it is surely deeply scandalous so why is no one making an issue of it?] * Malaysia calls US action against Iraq undemocratic * France Opens Court Inquiry Into Gulf War Syndrome URL ONLY: http://www.dailystarnews.com/200207/20/n2072013.htm#BODY14 * Iraq sees progress in talks with UN on arms inspection Daily Star (Bangladesh), 20th July [Just worth noting for the following, which should be kept in mind when refusal to allow the inspectors in is used as a pretext for a fresh massacre: 'UN disarmament chief Hans Blix "was hesitant, apparently under US pressure, to accept an Iraqi proposal... to list what has been achieved in disarmament, the outstanding issues, and the means to settle them ..."' NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Homeless and friendless [This article is mainly about the condition of the Kurds in Turkey, especially since the EEC, which was once quite sympathetic, seems to have turned against them - just at the moment when they formally renounced the armed struggle. Given the crucial question of the role of the Kurds in Iraq this remains highly relevant to us but it is still proving very difficult to get any real sense of the relation between the Iraqi and Turkish Kurds (on the surface it looks simply as if the Iraqi Kurds have sold the Turkish Kurds down the river ...)] URL ONLY: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,756978,00.html * Iraq's Kurds assess risk of backing the US by Michael Howard in Sulaymaniyah The Guardian, 18th July [Usual account of the Kurdish dilemma as usual missing the point made recently by Colin Rowat that one of the Kurds' worries is that their autonomy may not be protected if Saddam Hussein is replaced by a pro-western Sunni strong man.] AND, IN NEWS, 17-20/7/02 (2): IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Hussein Tries to Mend Fences With Neighbors [Readers of these news reports will know that Iraq's efforts to improve relations with other Arab countries, especially through the signing of trade agreements, long predate Bush's call for 'regime change'. Interesting (for those who didn't know it already) to note that Naji Sabri, like Tariq Aziz, comes from a Christian background. Extracts] * Turks deny debt deal the price of support * Israel TV shows "distribution" of cheques from Iraq to "families of terrorists" [This article speaks volumes for the mentality of Israeli TV at the present time. It begins by saying: 'The families of terrorists receive financial compensation sent by Iraqi President Saddam Husayn. For the first time, the camera documented the distribution of such funds in Gaza.' Then it continues: 'The members of the bereaved families, who this time were not the parents of suicide bombers ...' So the bereaved families were, in this case - the one 'documented' by the camera 'for the first time' - simply ordinary victims of Israeli terror. Yet the first sentence blandly characterises them as 'families of terrorists ...'] AMERICAN OPINION * Invading Iraq: Would the public go along? [Some indications that the American public is not quite as enthusiastic for war as we are led to think.] * 'Let's get Saddam,' soldiers tell Bush * US senator demands vote before strike against Iraq IRAQI OPPOSITION * Iraqi exiles in Iran agree to help US: Attack to overthrow Saddam [The SCIRI (here called SAIRI) says that if the US would confine themselves to helping the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, then that would be all right.] PROSPECT FOR WAR * We're gonna kill Saddam, but we need an excuse [Christopher Hitchens, not saying anything we don't know and not committing himself but doing so quite eloquently.] * Pentagon Probes Leak on Iraq Plans [But it is still difficult to believe that the leak was not government inspired. It will be interesting to see if the 'perpetrator' is indeed caught and punished. Doubly interesting if it turns out to be Gen. Wayne Downing.] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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