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News titles, 3-10/8/02 The last week has, we hope, made life a little more difficult for the Masters of War both in the US and in the UKJ (the little Master of War in Australia doesn't seem to count for very much). It is very difficult to imagine how President Bush can proceed with so much world opinion against him, though this world opinion is still very timid. Not much real moral indignation is being expressed and no-one is proposing that means should be found for punishing the US if it goes ahead. Assuming he does go ahead, Mr Bush's best hope must be what he is being promised by the INC: a quick victory followed by crowds cheering the liberators in Baghdad. And that might well be the result since the crowds in Baghdad will reasonably think that only a US victory will liberate them from the effects of US imposed sanctions. Though there's still a little matter of compensation 'owed' to Kuwait that has to be sorted out. If Bush defies world opinion and gets this result then he will be in a very strong position. If on the other hand the campaign drags and the victory is clearly not welcomed by the Iraqi people then the blow to US influence and prestige will be enormous. The development that seems most likely at the present time is a decision to postpone the war until the climate of opinion is more favourable, perhaps when a crisis has been worked up over weapons inspections. And who knows? If the inspections are allowed to go ahead, perhaps they might even find something incriminating? In the interim, the US will try to tighten the sanctions regime. Is there a means by which the world opinion that has opposed war on such weak grounds ('We know that Saddam is a bloodthirsty tyrant who eats babies for breakfast, but ...') could be turned into a really effective campaign against sanctions. UK OPINION * Iraq invasion "would be messy" [says Field Marshall Bramall.] * Church leaders warn Blair on Iraq [But the extract I've picked is to do with Scott Ritter's invitation to address a fringe meeting on the first day of the Labour Party conference.] * It is risky to attack Saddam; but it is much more risky to leave him alone [Bruce Anderson's argument is based on the assumed monstrous wickedness of Saddam Hussein. It is, however, difficult to judge to what extent Mr Hussein's wickedness is gratuitous and to what extent it has been a product of circumstances. For the past ten years the major source of suffering in the area has not been Mr Hussein but USUK. Previous to that, President Hussein's worst offences were war crimes in the context of the Iran/Iraq conflict - crimes therefore of much the same nature as those that were committed by us during the conflicts with Germany, 1914-18, and 1939-45. The wrong done to Iraq has of course been so enormous that it is reasonable to suppose the Iraqis will want revenge but, if we assume that they are a spirited people (and admittedly the behaviour of the various defectors and opposition groups in alliance with USUK suggests they might not be) then this should continue to be a danger whether Mr Hussein is still around or not.] * PM urged to recall Parliament over Iraq [Tam Dalyell. The article includes a reference to a newspaper letter written by ten trade union leaders which I have not seen.] * We must agree before Saddam action [Douglas ('Lord') Hurd, the man responsible for the disastrous Anglo-Irish Agreement, pretends to be a wise old Hobbit and advocates that the UN Security Council should be used to legitimise the coming war on Iraq. The cloven hoof appears when he says: 'I doubt if there would be a Russian or any other veto - or serious opposition from any important country provided the evidence is clear.' There are 'important countries (the five permanent members) and countries (most of the countries in the world) that are not important, countries inhabited by small, dark skinned people with odd religious ideas, who don't possess nuclear weapons. In any case, Hurd has accepted the US doctrine of the pre-emptive strike (the doctrine which justifies, abundantly, the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbour). And that is the end of even the smallest fig leaf of protection by 'international law'.] * U.K. Clergy Urge Against Iraq Strike * 2,000 British Clergy Oppose Iraq Attack * The logic of empire [George Monbiot on the need to resist US power and so far as possible to operate independently of it in international affairs.] * We should keep clear of Bush's war [Brian Sewell turns his gruff, grumpy style from savaging contemporary 'art' to opposing military adventurism. He finishes with an argument which we've seen before but which I don't find very convincing: 'We should wait: Saddam is 65 and soon enough death will do the job without charging us a penny'. 65 isn't that old. Is it?] * And then what?' is no defence against action in Iraq [Tim Hames is right to complain that many of the opponents of war accept too much of their enemies' case - as that Saddam Hussein is 'a professional psychopath' who is straining all his nerves to accumulate fiendish weapons merely for the purpose of doing evil. It needs to be said again and again that if Saddam Hussein did evil things there were reasons for it every bit as good (in fact, they were rather better) as the reasons we can advance for the evil things we have done (the systematic murder of at least tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens over the past ten years, for example ...] * Ministers attack US war chaos [This is only rumour and tittle tattle but, as rumour and tittle tattle go, its rather gratifying.] * War with Iraq not inevitable, says minister [Mike O'Brien in Libya. He also says: "It is more likely Libya will move away from terrorism if it is part of the international community and that¹s why I am meeting with Colonel Gaddafi ...". Couldn't the same be said about another, er, head of an important oil-producing country?] * Wars have to be justified by the conviction that the alternative is worse [This is quite an interesting phenomenon - a ferocious, obviously deeply felt, attack on Saddam Hussein and those whom David Aaronovitch sees as his apologists (notably G.Galloway), arriving at the conclusion that, regrettably, the necessary conditions - a necessary consensus - haven't been assembled to justify a war. The nuns and bishops are silly in detail, he thinks, but right in the broad principle. He concludes, rightly in my view, that: 'This is not a fact to be celebrated, because it leaves us with sanctions and no-fly zones, and it leaves the Iraqi people with Saddam.' A word could be said here about the Farhad Barzoft case. DA gives the impression that it all happened very quickly and that 'Mrs Thatcher, among others, pleaded for his life.' Mrs Thatcher did no such thing (can anyone even imagine her doing such a thing?) She demanded that FB be returned in her most characteristic bullying and hectoring style, informing the world that the judgments of the Iraqi judiciary (which had concluded that trying to obtain Iraqi military secrets for the purpose of broadcasting them to the world was an act of espionage) were beneath contempt. My distinct impression at the time (and I had no sympathy for Mr Hussein. My sympathies were with the Iranians) was that she left him with no choice but to carry out the court's death sentence. To have obeyed her orders would have been to admit she was right. It seemed to me then, and I still believe it, that Margaret Thatcher killed Farhad Barzoft as surely as if she had pulled the rope with her own hands. And this attempt to humiliate Saddam Hussein was, I believe, the beginning of the 'Gulf War'.] * War on Iraq: a blunder and a crime [by Sir Michael Quinlan, permanent under-secretary at the Ministry of Defence, 1988-92. This is indeed a powerful reinforcement for the anti-war cause but something of a poisoned chalice for the anti-sanctions cause since it argues that 'containment' has worked and should be continued.] * Immoral and illogical: No convincing case has been made for the slaughter that would follow an attack on Iraq [Another truly excellent article from The Guardian, and to myself as a Christian interested in politics it is really surprising to see such a well-developed political argument issuing from the pen of a Bishop. And how long is it since the churches in general and the Church of England in particular have shown such moral self-confidence and sense of leadership ('Churches are rightly at the forefront of an emerging coalition, comprising key elements of civil society such as trade unions, NGOs and parliamentarians')? Something is happening here but I don't know what it is ...] * UK warns US against attacking Iraq [A useful Indian roundup of items from the British press, some of which I missed, e.g.: 'The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, quoted a Labour Party insider saying that Blair's siding with Bush was the single-biggest reason why donations to the party were down a staggering 88 percent on the same period last year.' Also a piece by Richard Perle in the Daily Telegraph in which British public opinion is dismissed with a contempt which is not likely to appeal even to Daily Telegraph readers.] * Unions to challenge Blair on Iraq war AND, IN NEWS, 3-10/8/02 (2) US OPINION * Biden sees pre-emptive strike [though Mr Biden also thinks Bush should be securing international support, which he plainly isn't doing. Others want a debate in Congress (though there's presumably little doubt as to the result) and 'Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he doesn't believe President Bush has made a "final decision" to attack Saddam.'] * A Marshal plan for Iraq [Argues that the US should do in Iraq what it did in Japan and Germany. Doesn't mention Dresden, Hamburg, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Nagasaki etc. but concentrates instead on post war construction. However, at least as regards Japan, it should be noted that Japan was a unified nation state and that the US (credit where credit is due) had the intelligence to keep the Emperor in place (not to have him hauled off to a war crimes tribunal, as some would have liked) to confer legitimacy on the proceedings. There is no equivalent sense of national unity or source of legitimacy in Iraq (though there could have been if the world hadn't acquiesced in the suppression of the caliphate). Also there is no Communist bloc to stimulate the current notoriously ungenerous US administration into generosity. There is, however, the prospect of opening up a huge market for genetically modified wheat ...] * Democrats send mixed signals over Iraq attack * 3 options emerging for U.S. on Iraq regime [Reasonable summary of the arguments for the three options invoked (war; containment; buying time to build a coalition for a future war). The option of ceasing to be a menace to the people of that part of the world is not discussed.] * Bush adviser warns against war with Iraq [Brent Scowcroft (Bush Sr adviser) in a round up of comments on US chat shows.] * How American leadership can be the only saviour [Mr Kasparov, famous as a Soviet chess champion, is in favour of a vigorous prosecution of the 'war against terror', which he identifies with Muslim Fundamentalism. It is easy to understand why this should lead him to advocate war against Riyadh and Tehran (as he does) but not so obvious why he should also want war with Damascus and Baghdad which have governments based on the non-Islamic Fundamentalist Arab political tradition. Nor is it obvious why he should disapprove, as he appears to, of Vladimir Putin's activities in Chechnya, very much in line with Israel's activities in Palestine or the policy he advocates in the whole area for the US. He has the analogy with Hitler and 'appeasement' in mind. But Hitler was in full expansion in 1938/9. Appeasement was a matter of trying to mollify a power which inspired fear. At present the power which inspires fear and is in full expansion is the US. So it is Mr Kasparov who is advocating appeasement.] * Iraq war can boost markets: Study * Why Saddam's regime must go [My old chum John O'Sullivan, formerly of the Daily Telegraph, advances a slightly (but only very slightly) more sophisticated case than the usual, arguing that 'unless the United States overthrows Saddam, there will be a conflagration in the Middle East, a serious threat to the Saudi regime and an Israeli-Palestinian dispute without end.' But his argument is based on the curious notion that Saddam Hussein is behind the Islamic fundamentalist movement, and that he is even the motivating factor behind the Palestinian suicide bombers. This is so far from being the case as to be almost laughable. Again, he wants the US to back the Saudi despots against the Fundamentalist (or perhaps we should say 'more Fundamentalist') challenge. But (and is this evidence that John O'sullivan still has a bit of the bleating liberal inside him?] this involves, he says, promoting political and press freedom. Why he thinks that will favour US interests in the country is anyone's guess. There is one argument he has not made but he is intelligent enough to understand it. In the normal run of things Saddam Hussein should be 'our' friend, against the hordes of Islam (he broke the impetus of the Ayatollah Khomeini's revolution). We have made him our enemy. Our error in this respect may be irreparable. And if one is making calculations without any concern for the thousands of people who will be blown apart, then that might be a reason for going to war ...] * U.S. advisers see Saudis as enemies [The argument, which is developing in popularity in the US, that Iraq should be attacked BECAUSE the Arab world is opposed to the idea.] * Al-Qaeda in Iraq: Rumsfeld [Donald Rumsfeld admits that the assault on Afghanistan was in vain. Al Qaida have slipped through the net and are now 'all over' the whole region.] * Senate didn't hear from Iraq experts [The experts in question being von Sponeck, Ekeus and Ritter. It is a wonderful thing that articles of this quality are beginning to appear in the US. The writer (Sean Gonsalves) in particular stresses, from von Sponeck, that the humanitarian problem under sanctions is not the importing of food and medicines but 'the lack of adequate water and electrical supply systems, which were intentionally destroyed in the Gulf War by U.S. bombs.'] * Huntington opposes invasion [Samuel (Clash of Civilisations) Huntington. Unfortunately its just brief replies to questions without any substantial argument but nonetheless it adds more grist to the mill.] * Bush faulted on Iraq policy by top Republican [Dick Armey, House majority leader. First sign of a crack in the Republican political establishment.] * 'No' to a Bay of Pigs in the Gulf [Doubts from Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger (whose own method of dealing with Iraq was the slow but steady slaughter of its citizens by starvation and disease).] URL ONLY: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/08/06/1028157935758.html * White House unable to see beyond toppling Saddam Sydney Morning Herald, 7th August [Includes the following memorable quote from G.Bush: "There's no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland".] AND, IN NEWS, 3-10/8/02 (3) IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Al-Watan: Kuwait renew rejection to striking Iraq [But not very passionately judging from this account.] * Alba to ship [aluminium] products worth $6m to Iraq soon * Oman adds voice in rejecting US strike on Iraq ["We are opposed to an attack on Iraq or any other Muslim state because we think that any differences with regard to the Middle East must be resolved under UN auspices." Which is fair enough but what he should be saying now, given the US subversion of the UN, is 'under Arab auspices'. And the Saudis should be making it clear that war on Iraq means the end of Saudi oil.] * Iran, Saudi Arabia Seeking Convergence on Palestine, Iraq [The possibility of a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the face of current developments is obviously very exciting; but to judge from this interview with a member of the Iranian majlis, the thinking is still very timid.] * Saddam's son fails to buy arms from Iran [according to 'reformist Iranian websites.'] * Iran Not to Repeat Mistake in Case of Iraqi Refugee Influx [will set up camps on the Iraqi side of the border] * Two Iraqi ministers visit Araar center on Saudi border * [Lebanese foreign minister Mahmoud] Hammoud warns against US campaign in Iraq * US revises plans as kingdom courts Iraq [Evans presents the Saudis as wanting to cover themselves so that 'if President Bush¹s plans went wrong, Baghdad will not take revenge' on them. They seem to be the only people who think President Bush's plans might go wrong in such a way that Mr Hussein will be left in a position to take revenge.] * Iraqi, Turkish FMs in Amman for Talks on U.S. Pressure Against Baghdad * Turkey Has not Agreed to Use its Land Against Iraq: FM * Jordan denies show of support for Iraq, the Palestinians URL ONLY: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/06_08_02_b.htm * The unseen dangers of a war on Iraq by Palestinian analyst, Abdeljabbar Daily Star, Lebanon, 6th August [Things President Hussein might do if he has the means; cost to the US; effect on the Israel/Palestine conflict.] URL ONLY: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/08_08_02_b.htm * Nasser makes a new debut on Egypt¹s stage by [Lebanese journalist] Saad Mehio Daily Star, Lebanon, 8th August [Reflections on the government led revival of the Nasser cult in Egypt and what it might mean, shorn of the socialism. The author concludes: 'The beginnings of sweeping change in the ideological-political order in the region have commenced. And more is bound to come." In the one brief reference to Iraq its imminent passing into the pro-US camp (a Baghdad Pact Mark II, grouping post-Saddam Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Pakistan and Jordan) is taken for granted.] WEAPONS INSPECTIONS * Powell Dismisses Iraqi Gesture ["Inspection is not the issue, disarmament is, making sure that the Iraqis have no weapons of mass destruction,", which, one would have thought, requires inspections. The Article continues with a speech by a National Security Council staff member, Zalmay Khalilzad, saying Iran should help in the war against Iraq and vaguely threatening that it too is a possible target. But really nothing we haven't seen before.] * U.N. Asks Iraq to Accept New Terms [This is an account of the formal UN response from Baghdad's invitation to technical talks. The issue is UNSC insistence that, owing to their four years absence, the UN inspectors need sixty days free of constraint before a formal programme for inspections is decided (which would then have to be okayed by the UNSC, therefore by the US, so the prospects aren't very good). The Iraqi position, if I understand it aright, is that they need a formal programme to begin with to guard against the possibility of espionage in the present atmosphere of war.] * Why not put our offer to the test? [Congratulations to The Guardian for letting the case of the Iraqi government be heard. And congratulations to Mudhafar Amin for expressing it so well. And whatever the opposite of congratulations might be to the rest of the media for having ignored it so determinedly. Amin concludes: 'The UN's moral and legal authority is at a crossroads. If Britain supports US military action against Iraq, it will set in stone the beginning of the end of UN authority and the concept of international law.' I am of the opinion that 'UN authority and the concept of international law' came to an end (if they can ever be said to have existed) in the Balkans, but if they are able to stop the present US juggernaut I will be very happy to have been proved wrong.] * Iraq brands UN chief weapons inspector a spy URL ONLY: http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020803-14335276.htm * Biochemical weapons boost Iraq's military might by Bill Gertz The Washington Times, 3rd August [I think most of this has already appeared elsewhere. But Richard Butler comes over as more than usually pompous and inane: "I think the ultimate goal of Saddam is to have a nuclear weapon deliverable by missile," Mr. Butler said. "That's a very effective way to deliver a nuclear warhead. It's by long distance. You're well away from where the explosion will take place." What a great thing it is to be an expert.] NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * South Kurdistan under Turkish hegemony [Readers may have wondered why we've been hearing so much of Jalal Talabani and the PUK these days, and so little of Masoud Barzani and the KDP. This article may provide part of the answer. The PUK has won the favour of Turkey. The KDP are too Kurdish for the tastes of the Turk. An interesting glimpse into that part of the world in which, we are sometimes told, the Kurds are enjoying unlimited freedom of politics and of expression under USUK's noble and self sacrificing protection.] * PUK Leader in U.S. to Discuss Iraqi Crisis: Radio [Talabani assures the Turks that he is more enthusiastic about being an Iraqi than he is about being a Kurd. Barzani is less forthcoming and has not yet (Wed/Thurs) decided whether or not to attend the US summoned opposition conference.] * Turkish army denies presence in northern Iraq [They deny it, but Talabani is quoted appearing to confirm it.] PREPARATIONS FOR WAR * Iraq to use bio-weapons 'soon' [says Ahmad Chalabi] * The Ark Royal and war on Iraq * War plan [Account of satellite photos of the al-Udeid air base in Qatar. Is there any suggestion that Qatar should be expelled from the Arab league?] * Hussein likely to avoid desert fighting [And because Mr Hussein declines to lay his military means out in the middle of the desert where they can be bombed and shot at will he will doubtless himself be held responsible for the civilian casualties of the USUK war effort.] URLs ONLY: http://observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,769064,00.html * Bush ready to declare war by Peter Beaumont, Gaby Hinsliff and Paul Beaver The Observer, 4th August [This and its companion piece, the following URL ONLY, are object lessons in how to cobble together a newspaper article when you have absolutely no material worthy of the name. The only thing I spotted that was worth retaining was the remark by Lib Dem Foreign Affairs spokesman Menzies Campbell about the famous dossier on SH's efforts to accumulate weapons of mass destruction: 'By delaying publication the Government has raised expectations. There would be a political price to pay if this much promised document did not amount to more than a collection of press cuttings'. Oh, and a large consignment of tan painted army trucks has been spotted passing through Chicago.] http://observer.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,769074,00.html * Amid the clouds of deception, US speeds along road to war by Peter Beaumont The Observer, 4th August THE IRAQI COLLABORATION * Defense Dept. to Take Over Funding of Iraqi Opposition Group [the INC Note that this only refers to the 'use of U.S. money to lure defectors and gather intelligence from Iraq.' Previous reports have been rather vague as to what exactly the 'accounting irregularities' complained of were.This report seems to suggest that the flow of defectors with tales of WMD production (the only source of evidence that has so far had any public existence) was secured through the payment of quite large sums of money which, if this were a court of law, would raise serious questions as to its value. Note also the following: 'Phebe Marr, a government expert on Iraq for more than 20 years, most recently at the National Defense University, said the exile leadership groups would provide pro-U.S. leadership in Iraq.' So much for any pretence of democracy.] * Al-Hakeem brother in Iraqi opposition meeting under US support [Abdul Aziz al-Hakeem is the head of the Higher Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Actually it appears to be his son who is joining the opposition groups who have been summoned to the United States.] * Iraqi Groups Claim Unified Stand [Only a very short extract from an article which for the most part is the usual roundup of the present state of opinion. Its to do with the Iraqi opposition's visit to the USA. Remember that six groups were invited. They include the most powerful Kurdish groups and the SCIRI, the only group which is actually waging war (a type of war which in another context would be called 'terrorism') inside Iraq at the present time. Here only Chalabi is mentioned by name and the group get to meet two undersecretaries and to speak to Cheney on a secure video link (he is on his holidays). Is this how you would treat the people you seriously believed to about to form the next government of Iraq?] * Bush: No timetable for a decision on attacking Iraq [Extracts giving a further account of the opposition meeting with the under secretaries. They lasted two hours. Colin Powell put in a brief appearance. Do these people, who travelled long distances and (in the case of the SCIRI) took some risks with their credibility not see that this is insulting?] URL ONLY: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0, , 3-379228, 00.html * US meets leaders vying to rule Iraq by Richard Beeston Times, 10th August [Includes the following comical quotation from D.Rumsfeld: "Wouldn¹t it be a wonderful thing if Iraq were similar to Afghanistan? If a bad regime was thrown out, people were liberated, food could come in, borders could be opened, repression could stop, prisons could be opened." We look forwards to DR visiting Afghanistan and travelling about the place (outside Kabul) to enjoy the accolades of a grateful people. And who is responsible for food not coming in and borders being closed?] AND, IN NEWS, 3-10/8/02 (4) IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, China, Pakistan, Ireland, Far East in general, Israel, France) * War on Iraq won't help our interests [Doubts from Canada about the effect on the Muslim world and the likely cost.] * Schröder distances his party from raid on Iraq [This includes the following encouraging passage: 'Wolfgang Schäuble, the foreign affairs adviser to Edmund Stoiber, the challenger for the chancellorship, said the SPD "was trying to paint the CDU in a pro-war corner while presenting itself as the party of peace".' Which suggests that the Christian Democrats don't wish to be painted into a pro-war corner. Is Germany beginning once again to have a life of its own?] * A vote for me is a vote against war on Iraq, says Schroeder * [Australian] PM promises Iraq debate * [Japanese]Antiterror law won't cover Iraq: Nonaka * China Welcomes Iraq's Invitation for UN Weapons Experts * Claim against Iraq may be withdrawn [This is a curious item about a Pakistani claim made through the UN Compensation Committee. The Pakistanis are offering to negotiate it directly with the Iraqi government, but if they expect the imminent overthrow of the Iraqi government one would have thought it was in their interests to keep the issue in the hands of the INCC.] * US Rejection of Iraq Dangerous, Canadian FM [Canada won't join the US without a UN mandate, and has seen no evidence that Iraq possesses Weapons of Mass Destruction (Mr Blair hasn't shown them the famous dossier).] * US denied [Irish] airspace for Iraq war * Iraq complains to UN about Aust [ralia over interference with shipping in the Gulf.] * Japan says US must show restraint against Iraq * Asian govts oppose US strikes, urge Iraq to obey UN [Roundup of Far Eastern opinion. Very encouraging, though to say that Australia is urging caution is perhaps a little exaggerated)] * In the name of the father [Article from Ha'aretz which starts off like a tough, mocking personal attack on George Bush but ends up endorsing the war on Iraq. I somehow missed the connection between the two parts of the argument.] * War on Iraq Could Seriously Damage Global Economy: Analysts [According to French specialists] MILITARY MATTERS * U.S. Jets Attack Target in Southern Iraq: Military [Monday] * The new nukes AND, IN NEWS, 3-10/8/02 (5) INSIDE IRAQ * Saddam Hussein's Billions [Most of this article is an account of sources of Iraqi government income outside Oil for Food. It shows that most of Iraq's neighbours are involved in this, thus giving the lie to the pretence (which in all fairness seems to have been pretty thoroughly abandoned) that all the horror was being imposed out of a selfless desire to protect the neighbours. The conclusion - that Oil for Food should be scrapped -does not at all follow from the argument. She's not suggesting that the Oil for Food money itself is being used for nefarious purposes. Only that it is not used as effectively as it should be. It is however, what is enabling most Iraqis to live at the present time. Susan Blaustein is therefore proposing a measure that will plunge the population into even greater misery and starvation without in any way affecting the regime's 'illicit' earnings. One is left wondering how such a level of irresponsible idiocy has been able to find its way into print.] * Running dry: Sanctions hit Iraq's young the hardest [Surprisingly full account of the effects of sanctions showing clearly that the problem does not lie in the inadequacies of Iraq's implementation of Oil for Food but much more in the inability to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed in the 1991 war (the inability to spend oil money inside Iraq and therefore bring an Iraqi economy back into existence is not discussed) . The article is slightly marred by the indications that its all ultimately Saddam Hussein's fault for not co-operating with weapons inspectors, when it has long been obvious, and sometimes said explicitly, that sanctions would be continued, inspections or no.] * Iraq chose Saddam for good reason. The West needs a history lesson [At last. A longer perspective on Iraqi history which does not suggest that Saddam Hussein suddenly appeared like a black cloud in a clear blue sky (which only needs to be removed for the clear blue sky to come back again).] * Iraq targets 11pc annual growth over next decade * Amnesty for Iraq prisoners * Iraq issues 10,000 dinar banknote * Top officers retired on suspicion of disloyalty [This piece, from an anti-Saddam source, does not suggest that he executed them 'on suspicion of disloyalty'] * Oil-for-Food Chief Worries for Iraq * Saddam Speaks to Attack Possibility [Sorry I don't seem to have picked up a better account of S.Hussein's much publicised speech.] * Iraqi leader tells Labour MP Galloway he hopes Britain will not join strike OIL MATTERS * OPEC To Meet In Osaka Sep 19 - Spokesman * Valero Urges US To Stop Retroactive Pricing Of Iraqi Oil * US, UK seek to suppress Iraqi oil sales: Baghdad REMNANTS OF DECENCY * Labour MP makes Iraq visit * U.S. Anti-Sanctions Activists Protest at UN Offices in Baghdad _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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