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[casi] News titles, 27/7-3/8/02

News titles, 27/7-3/8/02

In the debate on the war against Iraq a danger for the anti-sanctions
movement is to fall into arguments which justify the use of sanctions ('so
long as Saddam is kept securely in his box he can't pose any danger to his
neighbours'). The debate in the mainstream press is between 'containment'
and war; but we are opposed to both options, which means arguing either:

1) that President Hussein unbound would not, all other things being equal,
pose a threat to anyone outside the borders of Iraq. This happens to be my
own opinion. But of course I could be wrong ...


2) that some means can be devised by which Iraq can remain bound militarily
while its civilian economy is freed. An intrusive but clearly honest and
independent inspections regime might just do the trick, and the Iraqi
government has accepted it in principle. But its difficult to put in place
under the malign eye of Washington.

The hearings on the prospective war in Congress this week were not concerned
with the moral rightness of the war, nor with the option of ending
sanctions. They were simply concerned with the practical implications of a
war whose rightness in principle was taken for granted. But even on the most
benign reading of the war (the Iraqi army throws its guns down at the first
shot and the population of Baghdad come out to cheer their liberators) these
practical implications appear enormous - both in terms of money and of
longterm commitment. There is a very real possibility that the Americans
would at last have to turn themselves into a real Imperialist power and take
direct, governmental responsibility for the mess they have created. Assuming
that they want to maintain the unity of Iraq they would have to engage in
the process of nation-building, continuing the so far not entirely
successful efforts of the British, the Hashemite monarchy and the Ba'ath
Socialist Party. Or, against ferocious opposition throughout the region,
they would have to undertake a process of partition. Or of course they could
just let the whole thing fall into civil war and mayhem with the prospects
of rich pickings for Iran, Syria and Turkey.

None of these implications are very pleasant ­ and only the most naive of
hippy idea;lists would be content, like Thomas Friedman ('War on Iraq II ')
or the Daily Telegraph ('The world after Saddam'), to make peace signs with
his fingers and mumble the magic words 'democracy, man'. The result was
that, though the hearings were generally pro-war, the general effect was to
put a dampener on the whole exercise. So that by the end of the week the
prospect of war seemed to have receded a little.

It was a good moment for the Iraqi government to invite Mr Blix to Baghdad
(at the time of writing no formal reply has been given. While the US and
Britain may express scepticism, its difficult to see any good reason why
they should refuse. Especially since they are still a long way off an actual
declaration of war and therefore can't complain that Iraq is stalling for
time). But again, the public discussion over the return of inspectors is
one-sided. It is assumed that the Iraqi government is simply putting off the
evil day. But they have real and reasonable grounds for concern. Under
Richard Butler, UNSCOM had indeed allowed itself to become a vehicle for US
political brinkmanship and intelligence gathering. This charge was widely
accepted in 1998 and it has recently been confirmed by Butler's predecessor,
Rolf Ekeus ('Weapons inspections were 'manipulated'' below). It was in
recognition of this that the constitution was remodelled to reduce the
possibility of interference by national governments when UNMOVIC was formed.

Given all that, the countries that were responsible for the subversion and
failure of UNSCOM (the US and Britain) cannot simply repeat 'any time, any
where' (it tends to become 'any time, any place, any where', because all
good things come in threes). Especially in the context of imminent war, the
Iraqi government have the right and duty to defend themselves against any
possibility of espionage. The former deputy chairman of UNSCOM, Charles
Duelfer, almost acknowledges this in his article 'Prospects remain dim for
inspectors allowed in sites'. He argues that the weapons inspections are
useless, not because of unreasonable conditions imposed by the Iraqi
government but because of conditions that are in themselves entirely

If we go to war, it will be because of a hypothetical possibility that Mr
Hussein might sponsor an act of devastating terrorism some time in the
future (the argument can be found inter alia in the Economist's 'The case
for war' below). Although under the circumstances his restraint over the
past ten years has been remarkable, no-one could say for certain that such
fears are unjustified. The trouble is that anyone might sponsor an act of
devastating terrorism some time in the future. September 11 was managed by a
handful of men armed with box cutters and some rudimentary knowledge of how
to handle an aeroplane. The leadership of Al-Qaida may have known about it
in advance, might even have facilitated some of the details, but they
weren't necessary to it. And it didn't need the support of a state, not even
the shelter provided by the Taliban in Afghanistan. All it required was a
handful of spirited people with a sense of grievance. And that is exactly
what the current direction of US policy is guaranteed to produce in


*  Mideast US Congress Seeks Information on Possible Iraq Invasion
*  Profound Effect on U.S. Economy Seen in a War on Iraq
*  Bush stockpiles oil for multibillion-dollar war with Iraq
*  GOP will tie ANWR [the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge] to Iraq
*  War on Iraq II [Part One was a not very interesting piece by Graham T.
Allison from the Washington Post. In this one, Thomas Friedman suggests that
a successful outcome in Iraq could result in a huge increase in Iraqi oil
production, a huge fall in oil prices and hence popular revolts in the other
OPEC countries which, such is the bizarre mood that prevails in the US at
the present time, it is assumed would bring to power governments favourable
to the US and to Israel. The same result (increased oil production, lower
prices, trouble for OPEC) could, however, probably be achieved more simply
by lifting sanctions ...]
*  US Senate told of Iraq's deadly virus laboratory
*  Bush, Jordan King Disagree on Iraq [Extracts indicating that King
Abdullah has been diplomatic in his dealings with president Bush. We learn
too that Mr Shimon Peres, the well known man of peace, is in favour of war
on Iraq.]
*  The Empire Strikes Back Again, Redux, Part 2 [A splendid piece of
anti-war rhetoric, giving a catastrophic view of the possible consequences,
but marred by the bizarre statement that Œa Turkish Kurdish group, the
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has split off from Iraqi Kurds as it
launches guerrilla attacks within Turkeyı (the PKK is of course the body
that was maintaining a guerrilla war in Turkey, took refuge in Iraq, called
a ceasefire after the arrest of its leader, but is currently being pursued,
in Iraq, with Iraqi Kurd complicity, by the Turks.)]
*  Ten questions to ask before we go to war [Doubts on the advisability of
war from a point of view which assumes the basic decency of the US.]
*  Post-Saddam Iraq will cost you, US warned [Evidence before the Senate
Commission from the Iraqi Foundation, anxious at the possibility of a messy
collapse and unimpressed by what has happened in Afghanistan (but do we know
what has happened in Afghanistan?). The Iraqi Foundation calls for a
Œdemocraticı solution but that is surely not something that can be secured
easily or painlessly either. Perhaps if the US was capable of acting like an
intelligent and disinterested monarch? of playing a Juan Carlos role?]
*  White House says Sept. 11 skyjacker had met Iraqi agent [Difficult to
entirely let go of the only card youıve got? The article certainly doesnıt
bring forward any new evidence.]

*  Foundations are in place for martial law in the US
by Ritt Goldstein
Sydney morning Herald, 27th July
[Possibility of emergency legislation developed by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA), a body which had previously produced proposals for
the detention "of at least 21million American Negroes". Useful in the event
of a Louis Farrakhan inspired million man march.]
*  Strikes on Iraq 'highly unlikely' this year
by Richard Wolffe in Washington
Financial Times, 31st July
[says ŒJoseph Biden, chairman of the Senate's foreign relations committee
... the most influential foreign policy figure in Congress.ı

AND, IN NEWS, 27/7-3/8/02 (2)


*  The Reverend Blair has met his match [Possibility that Archbishop
Williams might find a useful role for the Church of England in line with
Coleridgeıs dictum that it is 'the compensating counterforce to the inherent
and inevitable evils and defects of the state' (pity Dr Williams appears to
be in favour of disestablishment).]
*  There should be no war in Iraq without more jaw-jaw [Mainly concerned
with practical, not moral, difficulties. Menzies Campbell (Lib Dem foreign
affairs spokesman, missing another opportunity to establish the Lib Dems as
a real party of opposition) supports the immoral status quo.]
*  Rift over Saddam [Sunday Mirror thinks the unthinkable - that Mr Blair
may yet express disagreement with Mr Bush.]
*  MP warns of Iraq attack backlash [Bruce George, who chairs the Commons
Defence Select Committee. He wants a UN mandate.]
*  Blair warned: Iraq attack 'illegal' [in 'highly confidential' advice from
unnamed government lawyers.]
*  The madness of war with Iraq [After arguing that a war would become a
quagmire, General Sir Michael Rose concludes: 'A more successful strategy
would be to strengthen economic sanctions, help create a viable political
and military opposition to the regime within Iraq, obtain improved
intelligence about his arsenal of weapons and whereabouts, and where
necessary carry out limited airstrikes against associated targets.' Which is
more or less the current policy. Which is coming apart at the seams.]
*  The world after Saddam [The Daily Telegraph decides that it needs to
stiffen the resolve to take on Saddam. It does so by painting a ridiculously
rosy view of the benefits that would ensue and presenting the war as a
crusade for democracy. The problem is that democracy would mean (if it means
anything. Perhaps it doesn't) rule by the people. And the Arab people are
not enthusiastic supporters of the American world view. (But this comment
doesn't do justice to the unimaginable depths of self satisfied, murderous
pomposity the article manages to plumb, its contempt for the lesser peoples
of the world and for the peculiarities of their own history and culture; and
its conviction that all the problems of the world can be solved by the
application of a sufficient degree of terror.)]
*  No mandate: no war [This article mentions in passing that the war on
Kosovo was fought without a mandate from the UN Security Council. It says
this mustn't be allowed to happen this time. But the precedent in Serbia,
which the Guardian supported with great enthusiasm, was fatal. Once the pot
is broken it cannot be put together again.]
*   If we must go to war, for God's sake tell us why [Somewhat rambling
piece by Simon Jenkins.]
*  Army not equipped for Iraq war [It appears that the British army is not
well equipped for fighting in the desert. Since it is very unlikely that a
British army whose only role was to defend Britain would have to fight in
the desert this should not matter very much. Should it?]
*  Blair's worries over Iraq invasion revealed [by King Abdullah of Jordan]
*  Only Bush, Blair want a war on Iraq [Hugo Young reminds us that in
addition to Œthe usual suspectsı there are people who supported the evil of
the 1990 Gulf Massacre, the evil of the subsequent sanctions, the evil of
the international intervention in the Balkans which prolonged the war and
climaxed in the bombing of Serbia, and the evil of the war on Afghanistan -
but who balk at the evil of the renewed war on Iraq. While of course
tactically we may be grateful for this it looks rather like a case of
straining at a gnat after youıve swallowed the camel. Mr Young says that in
this case, unlike the others, Iraq hasnıt been engaged in any acts of
aggression; but that is only because, for reasons of their own, Bushıs
advisers have decided not to make an issue of the ethnic cleansing of Kurds
from around Kirkuk; or of the Marsh Arabs - allegations that are every bit
as serious as anything that could reasonably be alleged against Mr
Milosevic. And of course, the Hugo Youngs, who donıt have the stomach for
war, will do nothing to stop the policy of slow genocide that goes under the
misleading name of Œsanctionsı. The machinery of US military power is now in
place throughout the world, advancing into the vacuum left by the collapse
of the Soviet Union, cheered on by the opinion formers who excite Mr Youngıs
admiration (as opposed to the despised Œusual subjectsı). It is of its
nature that it cannot stop its advance. The only thing that could make a
convincing obstacle is a world opinion acting on principle. Such a
development could occur through the UN General Assembly or through the
International Court at the Hague, but one of its principles would have to be
a rejection of the authority of the UNSC. Any obstacles placed in the way of
the Juggernaut by the UNSC itself can only be temporary. They will be
flattened unless the US decides, for purely domestic considerations, to
pretend to take account of them. That (using the UNSC as an excuse to do
what the US government has already decided to do anyway) is the best option
that the Hugo Youngs of this world are able to offer.]
*  Deaths of SAS men spur talk of Iraq attack
*  The case for war [The Economist almost seems to attain to something
resembling genuine passion in the pitch of its moral indignation pitted
against Saddam Hussein. But its difficult to see how those who defend the
US' right to pre-emptive action against the very remote danger posed to it
by Iraq can complain against the pre-emptive action Mr Hussein attempted
against the very immediate danger posed to Iraq by Iran in 1979. Highly
dishonest of course to mention the gassing of Kurds before the war on Iran
as if it preceded it and was not a consequence of Iraq's near defeat at the
hands of Iran (something I imagine the Economist would have regretted).
Nor has a paper which supports the right of the US and Britain (countries
whose geographical situation renders them eminently free from any danger of
invasion) to possess weapons of mass destruction much to say against the
right of a country like Iraq, threatened on every side, to have them. The
Economist calls on the US not to ask for a UN security Council mandate on
the grounds that it would be embarrassing (but not fatal to the project) if
they didn't get it. I would respect that position if the Economist was
calling for the disbandment of the UN Security Council. But it isn't. It is
accepting the logic built into the Security Council system and calling for a
principle of one law for the mighty, rich and racially superior nations of
the world and another for the lesser breeds, who are expected to abide by
the 'laws' created by their betters in the UNSC.
The article is prefaced with the dictum: 'If you will the end, it is only
honest to will the means'. It looks like a quote but no source is given. But
isn't it the same thought - exactly the same thought - as underlines the
famous phrase: 'the end justifies the means', associated with the Communists
and usually, these days, thought to be discreditable?
Finally, the Economist pulls out its biggest argument: 'if Mr Hussein had
already had nuclear weapons when he invaded Kuwait 11 years ago, he might
still be there.' Perhaps and perhaps not. There isn't room here to argue the
case but there is a case to be argued. But perhaps also some hundreds of
thousands of people, many of them children, murdered by Mr Bush and his
predecessors and by Mr Blair and his predecessors would still be alive

AND, IN NEWS, 27/7-3/8/02 (3)


*  Dangers of going it alone against Saddam [If you're a 'UN correspondent'
you presumably have an interest in attaching importance to the UN and its
'security council', but Carola Hoyos and the diplomat who is quoted as
saying: "No matter how big you are, if you don't have moral authority, you
get into trouble pretty quickly," said one diplomat. "You can't win just
because you are big and tough. It is the force of argument rather than the
argument of force that counts." '(!) seem to have forgotten the war on
Serbia which was fought without a UN mandate to the general delight of the
British media.]
*  Weapons inspections were 'manipulated' [The Financial Times takes up the
story of Rolf Ekeus' interview in Sweden. To what we learned from Per
Klevnas they add that in another interview Ekeus claimed that after his
departure, ie under R.Butler, the US inserted two of their own agents into
UNSCOM. All this was of course perfectly obvious to anyone following the
events of the time but its good to have it on the record. And if Mr Ekeus is
a little late in saying it, he nonetheless has chosen his moment rather well
*  Iraq complains against US prevention of 2000 civilian contracts
*  Iraq Asks U.N. Inspector For Meeting
*  Blix underlines gulf separating UN and Iraq [Clarification of differences
in discussions with Iraq. The UNSC insists that the UN inspectors should
have two months investigating what might have happened after 1998 before
they devise a definite programme of action. The Iraqis want a programme of
action to be agreed before they are allowed to enter.]
*  Strikes on Iraq will be unwise: Annan
*  How the inspections broke down [Rather selective chronology which gives
no idea of why the inspections broke down. Doesnıt mention the february 1998
negotiations with Kofi Annan. As I remember these, Iraq wanted the
inspectors to be accompanied by a group of diplomats from other members of
the UN Security Council. Annan agreed but somehow (and I never found out
how) it didnıt happen. We are usually told that Annan was gulled by the
Iraqis but my memory was that he was seriously wrongfooted by the US.]
*  Prospects remain dim for inspectors allowed in sites [Charles Duelfer
says that it is impossible to ensure genuinely surprise inspections. He even
argues this quite reasonably saying: Œis it reasonable to demand that Iraq
turn off its entire air defence system so inspectors may fly into Iraq
anytime, and anywhere? Baghdad will reasonably point out that it has a
legitimate air defence system and some accommodation must be made to provide
information on UN flights. From this, the Iraqi government can derive
warning information on inspections. Similar accommodations will sprout in
virtually all inspection activities.ı He concludes that the US should just
go ahead and overthrow Mr Hussein anyway, for the sake of the wellbeing of
the Iraqi people, regardless of inspections.]
*  Powell Rejects Iraqi Invitation to UN Arms Inspector [The article also
gives the UN response (offer not in keeping with UNSC requirements) and the
Russian response (positive. See next article)]
*  Russia hails Iraqi decision to invite chief UN weapons inspector to
Baghdad [The Russians claim to have had a hand in securing the Iraqi
initiative which may make them all the more anxious to defend it.]


*  Depleted Uranium held responsible for Down's Syndrome in Iraq: Study
*  Iraq stops visas for Asian groups [Mainly Indians and Pakistanis visiting
Shi'i holy places.]
*  Iraq to sue French company over AIDS polluted blood
*  Pracsi gets seven Iraqi contracts worth $1.6m [Control systems for the
oil and gas industry.]
 *  Iraq: report on construction of a detection and prevention system
against environmental contamination [Good to see that the Iraqi government
has a conscience in ecological matters.]
*  Iraq Goes Quiet on Invasion Date [2nd August, invasion of Kuwait.]

URL ONLY:,3605,767337,00.html
*  The writing on the wall
by Jonathan Glancey
The Guardian, 3rd August [or The Observer, 4th August?]
[A very nice article by an enthusiast for the area's history passing through
Iraq and meeting Syrian Orthodox and Yazidis as well as visiting the ancient
city of Eridu. Too long for inclusion here but worth a visit.]


*  Kurds, 'Al Qaida men' in tense stand-off [We learn that, in addition to
the Ansar el-Islam in the east of the Kurdish autonomous zone there are also
the more - but apparently not very - moderate Islamic League and the Islamic
Movement. The (Kurdish) Islamic Movement is quoted as being strongly opposed
to a US war against Iraq. At the risk of proving to be badly wrong, the
Ansar el-Islam desecration of Sufi holy sites suggests to me that they are
closer to the Wahhabi, militant Sunni (therefore possibly al-Qaida) position
than to the Iranians.]
*  Narsai David, a Bay Area link to north Iraq [Somewhat chatty account of
the role of Assyrian Christians in the Kurdish zone.]

AND, IN NEWS, 27/7-3/8/02 (4)


*  Turkish non- governmental organizations stand against striking Iraq [The
Turkish Dentists' Union has come out against the war. Well, every little
helps ...]
*  Tough political choices lie ahead for Turkey on Iraq [A variety of
positions being canvassed in Turkey, coming to the following rather
problematic conclusion: 'In exchange for lending a hand to an attack on
Iraq, the Turks will insist on the following conditions being met: No
Kurdish state; autonomy for the Turcomans; and a major part in future
investment in Iraq. To avoid the negative ramifications of its participation
in Americaıs war on Iraq in its relations with the Arab world, Ankara wants
Washington to ensure that Saudi Arabia will publicly and actively support
this course of action.']
*  Turkey determined not to be the loser in a possible regime change in
Baghdad [Turkey proposes to occupy Southern Kurdistan until a government is
established in Baghdad to their satisfaction.]
*  Iraqi Turcomen Democratic Party established in London [Interestingly this
party, while wanting to do its bit to overthrow Saddam, says: 'the Turcomen
have been the most affected group from the embargo enforced on Iraq ...
every year thousands of Turcomen have died because of the lack of drugs and
*  Iraq waives surcharge on new Turkey supply


*  French Leader Warns on Iraq Attack [Chirac wants Iraq to accept
inspectors and no war on Iraq without a UNSC mandate. So does Schroeder. No
sign that either of them have any understanding of the legitimacy of Iraqıs
anxieties over the inspections.]
*  Is it possible that Mr Blair will not back President Bush over Iraq?
[Article in The Independent which suggests that if the US were to set about
seriously getting European support they would probably succeed. If they
haven't tried its because they don't care very much ...]
*  Australian involvement likely, says Howard [Commentators frequently refer
to Britain (and sometimes Israel) as the USıs only potential ally in the war
against Iraq, but they are forgetting Australia which has shown such
gratuitous enthusiasm over the past few weeks that it risks losing an
important wheat contract with Iraq.]
*  Irish neutrality warning over Iraq [The Workers Party (formerly Official
Sinn Fein) points out that allowing US military boats and planes to use
Irish port facilities is a violation of the principle of neutrality.]
*  German SPD to Campaign on Opposition to Iraq Attack


*  Saudis, Gulf Emirs Bitterly Divided over US Iraq War; Mubarak to Stay out
[This is only indirectly about Iraq but a story about an attempt on King
Fahd's life involving at least three known members of al-Qaida; of al-Qaida
members providing personal security for Crown Prince Abdullah; and a
statement made with great confidence that Jordan is in the pro-war camp -
all these seem worthy of note., it should be said, is an Israeli
news agency. And according to an article in Dawn ('Saudi prince found dead
in desert', 31st July), Fahd has been in Switzerland since May (not July as
stated here) and has only just left a hospital in Geneva where he underwent
a successful eye operation.]
*  Lebanon: Iraqi readiness to fund development of system for oil refining
in Lebanon
*  Any attack must be a knockout: Kuwait [If the Kuwaiti information
minister talks like this in the press it suggests that Kuwaiti opposition to
the war doesn't go very far.]
*  Souring Relations Between Qatar and Saudi Arabia Threaten U.S. Forces
*  Hardliners threaten Middle East peace, says Abdullah [Times interview
with Prince Abdullah of Jordan. Most interesting comment is probably about
Hassan's attendance at the Iraqi opposition conference: 'The King called his
uncleıs last-minute decision to attend the meeting unfortunate. ³Prince
Hassan blundered into something he did not realise he was getting into and
weıre all picking up the pieces."' That's as may be, but Hassan is a very
experienced politician ...]
*  Arabic Press Review [This interesting article is divided into several
parts: first, on the possibility that the US are pressuring Jordan by
imposing an embargo on the port of Aqaba; and then a couple of very
dismissive comments (from Jordan and From Saudi Arabia) on the worth of the
emigre opposition.]
*  Abdullah: Foreign Leaders Oppose Attack
*  Baghdad, Riyadh, Manama [Bahrain] talk free trade zones
*  Iraq 's Ibrahim gets a message from Qatar 's crown prince [Is this little
item significant, in the light of the assumption that Qatar is the USıs most
secure base in the region?]

AND, IN NEWS, 27/7-3/8/02 (5)


*  Iraqi protest over [US and Australian] navy action
*  U.S. refurbishes Iraqi air bases in North
*  Intercepts of Iraqi Vessels Widened
*  Western Morning News: HMS Ocean will not go to Iraq, says MoD
*  US, UK planes raid 16 regions: Iraq
*  Iraqi buildup near border puts Kuwait on heightened alert
*  UN sees no Iraqi troop buildup near Kuwait
*  Whitehall dossier says Saddam plans biological weapons for Palestinians
[If we judge uniquely from the text of this article then it is a disgraceful
piece of work. It provides no indication that evidence of any sort has been
found. It is, or appears to be, simply a speculation as to what sort of
activities Saddam Hussein might get up to that wouldn't yield any evidence.
An inattentive reader might think these are known facts, especially in the
light of the following sentence: 'Analysis of US satellite imagery over the
past four years has provided sufficient evidence to show what Saddam has
been doing since the expulsion of the United Nations weapons inspectors in
December 1998.'  Really? But this is followed by the statement that Saddam
has concentrated all his attention on biological weapons because they can't
be picked up by satellites. Presumably US satellites have spotted some
trailers and 'analysis' (by unbiased, objective, purely technically minded
analysts like the UNSCOM weapons inspectors) have concluded that they may be
laboratories for biological weapons. And then, one thinks, what might he do
with the results? Well, he gives money to the families of dead Palestinians,
so perhaps ...]


*  US may go straight for Iraqi jugular [Another military strategy (the
'inside out' strategy) to chat about in the pub after a day's work if you've
nothing better to do.]

NO URL (sent through list)
*  U.S. Fears "Basra Breakout"
by Tony Allen-Mills
The Times, 28th July
[Lurid speculations by A. Cordesman on what Mr Hussein might do to fight
back. One feels that his intention in painting such a grim picture of Iraqıs
military capacities is to turn the war from self indulgence that could be
foregone into a grim duty that must be assumed ...]

*  The son of all battles?
The Economist (Global Agenda internet service), 29th July
[The Economist performs its usual trick of telling us what we already know
about the 'debate' on intervention in Iraq as if it was revealing great
hidden truths only accessible to the cognoscenti.],,3-369183,00.html
*  Dangers in gamble of going for a city too far
by Michael Evans, Defence Editor
The Times, 30th July
[The 'inside out', Baghdad first, option compared to the 'bridge too far'
attack on Arnhem in 1944. The Times defence editor doesn't think its a good
*  Analysis: The 'inside-out' solution to the problem of Saddam
by Rupert Cornwell in Washington
Independent, 30th July
[Yet another trudge round the well worn circuit of arguments about a
possible war.]


*  The last thing the US wants is democracy in Iraq [The Guardian's Nick
Cohen continuing his support for the INC against the option of another Sunni
*  Salvation council appeals Saddam Hussein to resign [The Iraqi army in
exile seems to be going into overdrive at the present time. In addition to
the longstanding Iraqi National Accord, we have the Iraqi National Council,
formed at the recent meeting in London and allied, it seems to the Iraqi
National Congress; then we have the Iraqi National Movement (see Iraqi
National Movement calls for Provisional Government in Iraq in News,
20-27/7/02 (3)); and now we have the Higher Council for National Salvation.
The reference to Denmark gives us a clue as to who is behind that. This body
makes the original observation that "there are Arab countries which
expressed readiness to receive Saddam Hussein and give him political asylum,
if that will avert Iraq [sic] an American strike.", which would be
interesting if true, but all the signs are that that would be impossible
given the present idiotic fashion for war crimes trials which leaves blood
soaked tyrants with no option but to fight to the finish.]


*  Studies Find No Link between Depleted Uranium And Balkans Health
Problems: Pentagon [So that's ok]

*  Iran reactor may test first-strike doctrine
by Dana Priest
The Washington Post, 29th July
[Slightly off focus on Iraq but the possibility that the US or Israel might
do to Busheir what Israel did to the Iraqi Osirak reactor in 1981 should be
kept in mind. Interesting to note that Iraq bombed the Busheir site twice
during the 1980-8 war.]
*  Evil Axis Ramifications
by Dilip Hiro
Moscow Times (from Washington Post), 30th July
[Reflections on the possibility that Bush might succeed in creating an
Iran-Iraq-Syria axis. The article is interesting on Iran's reasons for
feeling aggrieved over Afghanistan.]

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