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[casi] News, 3-10/8/02 (2)

News, 3-10/8/02 (2)


*  Biden sees pre-emptive strike
*  A Marshal plan for Iraq
*  Democrats send mixed signals over Iraq attack
*  Bush adviser warns against war with Iraq
*  How American leadership can be the only saviour
*  Iraq war can boost markets: Study
*  Why Saddam's regime must go
*  U.S. advisers see Saudis as enemies
*  Al-Qaeda in Iraq: Rumsfeld
*  Huntington opposes invasion
*  Bush faulted on Iraq policy by top Republican
*  'No' to a Bay of Pigs in the Gulf


by Robert Stacy McCain
The Washington Times, 5th August

The United States has "no choice but to eliminate" the threat posed by
Saddam Hussein's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, the chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee said yesterday  and that "probably"
means war with Iraq.

"I believe there probably will be a war with Iraq," said Sen. Joseph R.
Biden Jr., Delaware Democrat. "The only question is, is it alone, is it with
others, and how long and how costly will it be?"

Meanwhile yesterday, the chief arms inspector for the United Nations said he
will not accept an invitation to meet with Iraqi officials until Baghdad
agrees to resume full U.N. inspections.

"I think [the Iraqis] have to say that they accept the return of weapons'
inspectors according to the resolutions of the Security Council," said Hans
Blix, head of the U.N. inspection program.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Mr. Biden was asked about the danger
posed by Saddam's biological and chemical weapons and the potential that
Iraq might develop nuclear weapons.

"We have no choice but to eliminate that threat," Mr. Biden answered. "The
question is the means by which we eliminate the threat and the means by
which you build support to be able to do that."

Conceding that "it's highly unlikely" Saddam will curtail his weapons
programs, Mr. Biden said, "I think Saddam either has to be separated from
his weapons or taken out of power." But he emphasized the need to build
support among the American public and with foreign allies.

"We're talking about the United States pre-emptively moving upon a country
with tens of thousands of [troops]," Mr. Biden said. "The American people
must be brought along. The world must understand why we must do it. And
ultimately, that is going to be a responsibility that rests with the
president, to be able to make that case."

Some Republicans in Congress and some members of the administration have
suggested that because of evidence of ties between Iraq and Osama bin
Laden's terrorist network a Sept. 14 congressional resolution authorizing
military force against the nations responsible for the September 11 attacks
can be used to justify war against Iraq.

But Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said yesterday that he "would
certainly vote for" a resolution, introduced by Democratic Sens. Dianne
Feinstein of California and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, requiring separate
congressional authorization for a war with Iraq.

"This is an issue that I believe ought to deserve the debate in the
Congress," Mr. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, said on ABC. "And clearly I
don't think the president has any ability to launch a full-force effort
without some real bipartisan and bicameral and complete response from the
part of the Congress, too."

That view was echoed by Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania Republican.
Appearing on CNN's "Late Edition," Mr. Specter said that "the resolution
which we passed on September 14th to act against al Qaeda does not apply to
Iraq unless there is some evidence that al Qaeda and Iraq are tied together,
and that hasn't been forthcoming."

On CBS' "Face the Nation," one Republican said the Pentagon may be planning
to use a quarter of a million troops against Iraq.

"Some of the numbers we heard are 250,000, 200,000," Sen. Chuck Hagel,
Nebraska Republican, said on CBS. "But as I said this week, if you think
you're going to drop the 82nd Airborne [Division] in Baghdad and finish the
job, I think you've been watching too many John Wayne movies."

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.

"I think the senior military leadership wants us to be much more cautious
than some of the civilians in the Defense Department, so I do not believe
that that final decision has been made," said Mr. Levin, Michigan Democrat.
"A lot will depend on the events, as to whether the intelligence concludes
that [Saddam] will attack anyway, in which case surely there's

But Mr. Biden dismissed such speculation, saying that attempting to divine
Saddam's plans "is like reading the entrails of goats." What matters is his
capacity to unleash the weapons, whatever his intentions, Mr. Biden said.


by Roger D. Carstens
Washington Times, 5th August

With the possibility of a major war with Iraq looming in the distance,
newspapers and talk shows are filled with those who offer divergent views on
how best to topple Saddam Hussein's military regime. Unanswered is the more
important question of the desired end state: What does the United States
want Iraq to look like 15 years after the completion of hostilities? Make no
mistake about it: The United States will spend billions of dollars on the
postwar reconstruction of Iraq. The question is whether we spend that money
through a dysfunctional effort led by the United Nations or whether we
invest that same amount in an U.S.-led effort geared to promoting long-term
national interests. It is time to consider a Marshall Plan for Iraq.

Truth be told, it is known throughout the academic and political world that
the United States does not have a very good track record in war termination.
The running uncertainty over the Gulf War, the never-ended Korean War and
our hurried exit from the CIA's covert war in Afghanistan in the 1980s are
examples of U.S. failures to end a conflict in a way that meets both short
and long-term national interests. Typically, the United States focuses on
short-term interests, and fails to take into account second and third order
effects of a quick exit.

Two notable exceptions: the reconstruction of postwar Japan under the
military administration of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and the postwar
reconstruction of Europe, initiated by Secretary of State George Marshall
(thus called "The Marshall Plan") and executed by Gen. Lucius Clay. In both
cases, the United States led the effort, concentrating on setting up a
framework for economic recovery, good governance, social advancement, war
recovery, and the rebuilding/building of viable state institutions. These
frameworks (which included writing the Japanese constitution) enabled both
countries to be economically, politically and socially integrated into the
international community. The result? The United States now counts on both
Japan and Germany as two of her strongest allies.

The second and third order effects of our post World War II successes here
are all positive. Militarily, the United States can rely on both Japan and
Germany for basing and coalition support  important factors in shaping a
peaceful and stable world. Economically, these two powerhouses have provided
regional stability, bolstering European economic unity and Asian fiscal
synergy. Politically, the United States could not ask for stronger allies,
replete with values and goals that closely mirror ours.

Decisive American leadership set the conditions for success and ensured that
these two destroyed countries would have viable governments that would be

Contrast the examples of our post-World War II success with that of Bosnia
Herzegovina. The 1995 Dayton Peace Accords set up a framework that was
negotiated and implemented in great part by the United Nations and the
international community. In doing so, the brokered framework denied the
fledgling country the means to get to the end. These accords produced a
constitution that is difficult to modify in order to fit the realities of
Bosnia; three separate states that have more power than the central
government; a budgeting process that lacks transparency; and a political
system that is both convoluted and divisive. To make it even more
frustrating, the accords have resulted in gross expenditures of $6 billion
with the end state ill-defined and far away. With donor fatigue setting in
and the country forever on the verge of political and economic collapse, one
wonders whether we will one day witness an implosion of the first order.

So, why did efforts in Bosnia meet with less-than-successful results?
Because the United States abrogated its leadership responsibilities to the
United Nations, an inefficient organization that lacks the ability to plan
and execute a comprehensive and synergistic solution to the complex
contingency operations that fall within the scope of the its charter.

Simply stated, if the United States wants to shape the world in a way that
supports America's national interests, values and positive relationships
with stable nation states, then America has to roll up its sleeves and get
dirty. If the United States relies on the United Nations to get it done,
then it must be prepared to live with the results garnered by the consensus
of the 191 member counties of the United Nations.

The problem before us is daunting  to force a regime change in Iraq in
order to facilitate the creation of a viable, prosperous state capable of
economic and political integration into the world community.

The solution is to provide U.S. leadership in the implementation of a
Marshall plan for Iraq. An Iraq that is stable, strong and pro-American is
in our interests. Both America and the people of Iraq deserve it.

Roger D. Carstens is a member of the Council for Emerging National Security
Affairs (CENSA).

Dawn (from AFP), 5th August

WASHINGTON, Aug 4: As the Republican-run White House warns of possible armed
action in Iraq, key Democrats sent mixed signals on Sunday over whether the
time has come for a decisive military move.

"We have the strength to remove him. We can put together a plan to replace
him with a unified Iraqi government. Let's get on with it, and let's give
the president the authority to do what we elect commanders in chief to do,"
Connecticut Democrat Joe Lieberman thundered on Fox television.

Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's governmental affairs committee and
failed vice presidential candidate with Al Gore, said that "before this
session of Congress recesses, (there) ought to be a congressional debate on
whether or not to authorize the president, as commander-in-chief, to take
military action to remove Saddam Hussein.

"I will support that resolution," Lieberman said. "I will do anything I can
to convince my colleagues to adopt it, because I feel it is so critical to
our security.

Delaware Democratic Senator Joe Biden was clearly not in the same high gear.
"I think Saddam either has to be separated from his weapons or taken out of
power," said the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"We probably have some time before he is able to have 'the bomb' (and) I
think the case can be made that there is a lot more to do" before any
military action, Biden said on CBS television.

Biden said UN inspectors should go to Iraq inspect, not negotiate. "I think
it's important that we have real inspections .. even if (Saddam) just
rejects it" Biden said, adding that ultimately that could help rally needed
and currently lacking international support for allied action against

"This is very difficult to do all by yourself" Biden said in reference not
to the military operation as such but to the follow-up that could involve

Biden said he believed there would be military action against Baghdad, but
that the question was when and with whom. "I don't think this is the time
for the president (Bush) to set any deadlines. ... We've got to make sure
we've got those" airbases in the region, Biden said.

"Big nations can't bluff. We have to do this and do it right. Getting the
French, getting the Russians on board ... there's ways to do that, " Biden
said, warning: "This is a bad guy. This is guy who's an extreme danger to
the world."

Opposition Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi charged that Iraqi
President Saddam Hussein soon would use weapons of mass destruction.

"Saddam has advanced chemical weapons, he has advanced biological weapons,
and he has produced and engineered biological weapons which contain a
combination of viruses such as smallpox and ebola.

by Steven Mufson,
San Francisco Chronicle (from Washington Post), 5th August

Washington -- Leading members of Congress and a key adviser to President
Bush took the debate on whether to invade Iraq to television talk shows
Sunday, with retired Gen. Brent Scowcroft, chairman of the president's
Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, strongly urging restraint.

While acknowledging that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was trying to become
a threat to the region, Scowcroft warned on CBS's "Face the Nation" that an
American invasion of Iraq "could turn the whole region into a cauldron and,
thus, destroy the war on terrorism."

Scowcroft, who advised Bush's father during the Persian Gulf war and who has
been a voice of skepticism about invading Iraq to oust Hussein, said the
United States should focus first on the war against terrorism and on calming
the battle between Israel and the Palestinians.

He also said the United Nations should press Iraq to accept weapons
inspectors who could inspect facilities without giving the Iraqi government
any advance notice. Hussein might reject such a plan, Scowcroft said, but
that would give the United States a "casus belli that we don't really have
right now."

On Fox News Sunday, however, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., said he
supported action against the Iraqi leader "because every day Saddam remains
in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons and the development of
nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States of America."

On "Face the Nation," Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., also expressed concern about
Iraq. "We know Saddam Hussein is a threat," he said. "The real question here
is, what is the urgency of that threat?"

Like Scowcroft, Hagel said that the United States could not approach Iraq or
"any of these hot spots in a vacuum." But he said the Bush administration
had to plan for a possible large-scale invasion of Iraq. "If you think
you're going to drop the 82nd Airborne in Baghdad and finish the job, I
think you've been watching too many John Wayne movies," Hagel said.

On the same program, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the threat from Iraq
could probably be contained because Hussein wanted to survive in power.

"Does he love himself more than he hates us?" Levin asked. "I think the
answer is probably yes. And if that's true, then it would be unlikely that
he would initiate an attack with a weapon of mass destruction because it
would be certain that he would be destroyed in response."

Scowcroft agreed. "This is not a man who will risk everything on the roll of
a dice," he said.

Several lawmakers said the administration should seek agreement from
Congress before launching any action against Baghdad. Hagel noted that
Sunday was the 38th anniversary of the Tonkin Gulf incident, which provided
a pretext for a congressional resolution two days later that President
Lyndon Johnson used to wage war in Vietnam.

Lieberman said he would support a resolution that would give Bush the
authority to take action to remove Hussein. On NBC's "Meet the Press,"
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del., said Bush
"needs that support under the Constitution." Biden said a debate in Congress
could also help Bush mobilize support from the American public and allied

"I believe there probably will be a war with Iraq," Biden said. "The only
question is, is it alone, is it with others and how long and how costly will
it be?"

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., said that Congress has a role to
play. "We all support strongly a regime change (in Iraq), but I think we've
got to get our ducks in order." He cited the need for support from allies, a
post-war plan and military logistical arrangements.

Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., however, said that the
resolution of support Congress passed Sept. 14 authorizing Bush to fight
terrorism was sufficient for Bush to act without further measures by

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

by Garry Kasparov
The Scotsman, 6th August

[This article first appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Garry Kasparov, the
world's top ranked chess player, is a Journal contributing editor.]

ON 6 December, 1941, the Second World War was already in full swing. And as
with the Japanese airstrikes on Pearl Harbour, the attack on 11 September
brought Americans into a pitched battle over the future of Western
civilisation - one that the United States had ignored for too long.

As in the Second World War, the war waged by terrorists began with attacks
on Jews. Any attempt to separate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the
war on terror is futile.

Once again, momentum is building toward a Middle East peace push, but I am
convinced it is hopeless to look for a separate solution to the Middle East
crisis before we achieve victory in the war on terror.

As in the Thirties, every delay in prosecuting this war will raise the price
of victory, not just in terms of lives lost in the Palestinian conflict, but
also of Westerners who will be targeted.

Conventional wisdom says that victory against terrorists will require
decades. I do not believe it will take anywhere near that long.

But America's focus on homeland security could prove dangerous if it breeds
complacency in the offensive war. While it is important to strengthen
homeland defences, preventive action holds limited promise in the absence of
a clear offensive.

No shield, no airport checks, no intelligence budget will be sufficient if
militant Islam retains its foothold, its access to cash, training and

It is easier and cheaper to execute a terrorist attack than it is to prevent
one. The price of a successful attack against America may be $10 million or
less; the price to America would be many times that. Time and expense work
in favour of terrorists, so the longer it takes to root out terrorists, the
greater the likelihood of another attack on American soil.

If the war on terror is to be won swiftly, President George Bush must not
lose sight of the war's twin imperatives: a decisive counter-attack and a
total unwillingness to appease our enemies.

As to the first, it was, to an extent, easier to fight the original Axis of
Evil 60 years ago. German and Japanese armies and industries made obvious
targets. Today, air strikes would have partial effect at best. Cutting the
financial roots of terror will be crucial and ground troops must play a
decisive role.

The war on terror also has a powerful political dimension. It requires the
US to rebuild the nations ravaged by Islamic fundamentalism. We cannot wait
for the internal liberalisation of rogue countries. There will be moaning
about a new colonialism. Yet ask if the people of Afghanistan are better off
now. It is in our interests that others, too, are freed.

But offence comes first. Baghdad remains the next stop, but not the last. We
must also have plans for Tehran and Damascus, not to mention Riyadh.

The tactics will vary, but the goal - total defeat of terrorism - is clear.
Once American ground troops are in Iraq, the message must go out to all
terrorist sponsors that this game is up.

On the second imperative - the courage of our convictions - America's allies
in Europe are wavering. Listening to European leaders on the subject of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I find myself more sympathetic to the plight
of Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Dalladier, the British and French prime
ministers, in Munich in 1938.

Chamberlain and Dalladier could not search the past for relevant analogies.
They, too, had a clear mandate to prevent war from their respective
electorates. And Hitler seemed to be a "legitimate" partner for peace talks:
the Nazis were elected by the German people. The multi party system had been
abolished, but it wasn't unusual in that era for representative democracy to
be questioned. Indeed, Hitler's solutions for Germany were viewed
sympathetically around the civilised world, as communism looked to be a much
more dangerous threat.

The price for "eternal peace" paid in Munich by the leaders of the free
world didn't seem excessive for many of their contemporaries. And while
Hitler's persecution of Jews should have been a portent of bigger trouble,
long-running prejudices and anti-Semitism made that detail easily
overlooked. Who would have imagined that the Nuremberg laws and
Kristallnacht could imperil Paris and Coventry?

Chamberlain and Dalladier did not have a crystal ball to see the
consequences of their deal with Hitler, but today we have valuable historic
lessons with which to avoid fatal mistakes.

America's allies have yet to recognise the urgency of the situation; they
are still questioning the need for tough measures to counter the most
serious challenge to our civilisation for the past half-century.

It is customary in Europe to allow suicide bombers the luxury of a
"political" cause. European Union countries and banks are working on
underwriting Iranian government bonds. Multilateralism and multiculturalism,
not to mention anti-Semitism, exert too strong an influence for Europe to
play a constructive role.

In another striking resemblance to the Second World War, Russia could once
again be America's valuable ally. Despite Vladimir Putin's record in
Chechnya and on human rights, he is way ahead of "Uncle Joe" - the hero of
the Western liberal press from 1941-45.

America's European allies will join the action against Saddam Hussein, or at
least not openly oppose it. But the pressure will then be strong to declare
the war won and the offensive stage over. That would be disastrous.

Those who instigated the current war must remember that Coventry and Pearl
Harbour backfired on Dresden and Hiroshima. There will be no peace in Gaza,
no freedom from fear in Jerusalem, until we have prosecuted the war on
terror in Baghdad, Tehran, Damascus and elsewhere.

American leadership saved Europe from fascism and communism. It is again the
last hope.

Times of India (from Sunday Times), 6th August

LONDON: An American-led war against Iraq could be "strongly positive" for
financial markets, a new analysis says. It challenges the view that an
attack on Iraq, in an attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein, would hit the
markets and the economy by pushing up oil prices.

The report, by economists at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), suggests the
oil market is already discounting a war. The subdued world economy means
that demand is weak, so the effect on prices of a conflict would be
temporary and minor.

The bank also believes that a successful operation against Iraq, or even
what it describes as a "non-disastrous operation", would provide a boost for
the markets.

It would, it says, "significantly alter the profile of risks from West Asia,
including terrorist risks, potentially a strong positive for investor and
business confidence and global growth".

Jonathan Wilmot, an economist with CSFB, said: "Everybody is aware of what
the negative consequences could be but if you think about the political
endgame, you should not rule out more optimistic scenarios." The big risk,
the report says, would be a protracted conflict or an inconclusive outcome.

by John O'Sullivan
Chicago Sun Times, 6th August

Louder and louder, growing more confident hourly, gradually recovering its
nerve following the fiasco of the predicted "quagmire" in Afghanistan, the
international peace party is massing to prevent a U.S. attack on Iraq.

>From the usual suspects--the New York Times editorial page, the moderate
Arab despotisms, Europe's leftish politicians like German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder--to relatively new recruits such as former National Security
Adviser Brent Scowcroft and anonymous Pentagon generals, the same message is
heard: Any American attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein would threaten the
stability of Saudi Arabia, cause a "conflagration" in the Middle East,
alienate our European allies, and undermine U.S. power and influence
throughout the world.

And if it were to be attempted despite these horrendous drawbacks, the very
least the United States should do beforehand to avert Arab anger is to force
the Israelis to the conference table and subsequently to a just and lasting

So goes the familiar refrain. So familiar, in fact, that I am sometimes
tempted to put it to music and sing along while watching the talk shows. It
is, of course, occasionally amended at the margins to deal with
uncomfortable realities that don't quite fit the theory.

For a while it was an article of this particular faith that "the Europeans"
were strongly opposed to U.S. action. And to be sure, some Europeans
were--and are--so opposed. Now that the British, French, and perhaps the
Italians, are making military preparations to join the U.S. expedition--a
British aircraft carrier has left for the Mediterranean--this line has had
to be changed. The Europeans, we are now informed, are privately opposed but
will go along so as not to be "left out."

Exactly why they would not want to be "left out" of a "conflagration" or
even a "quagmire" is never explained. We simply have to assume that those
peace-loving post-national Euro weenies just can't resist a good brawl.

The real explanation is very different and quite significant: namely, that
the Europeans realize that the United States will win such a war, and they
want a share in drawing up the peace. So much for the theory that a war
would weaken the United States worldwide.

Not all of the peace party's arguments are quite so absurd, admittedly. They
are merely the exact opposite of the truth--which is 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.

Let me now justify these perhaps seemingly extravagant claims.

Take the Saudi regime. Today, without any U.S. action, the House of Saud is
facing a massive threat to its rule of the Arabian peninsula. Its policy of
buying off Wahhabi mullahs with vast subsidies for the international spread
of Islamic fundamentalism is finally running into the desert sands. The
mullahs despise the Saudi princes for their non-Islamic private lives and
believe--probably rightly--that a revolutionary regime would be even more
willing to subsidize war on the infidels.

The United States is therefore in a position to offer a deal to Riyadh: We
will protect you against any domestic insurrection provided that you break
with the mullahs, end subsidizing terrorism and fundamentalism abroad, bring
in liberal reforms of the polity and the economy today--free speech, freedom
of the press, rule of law--and begin the gradual transformation of the
country into a constitutional democratic monarchy.

But such an offer is worthless as long as Saddam remains in power. His
existence next door would aggravate the internal threat posed to the Saudis
by the mullahs. Saddam's departure is essential both to the survival of the
Saudi regime--and to its transition into something better rather than
something worse.

Ditto the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Almost all the scenarios for a just
and lasting settlement include some such list of ingredients as an
independent Palestinian state; the withdrawal of Israeli settlements from
the West Bank; the diplomatic recognition of Israel by the entire Arab and
Muslim worlds; generous European Union subsidies to both Israel and
Palestine, and U.S. troops to guarantee the peace and Israel's security.

Does anyone suppose any of these aims can be achieved--with the possible
exception of EU subsidies--while Saddam sits plotting and paying for terror?
Would Israel accept an independent Palestine in which terrorists financed by
Saddam planned suicide bombings and turned the state into another anarchic
Lebanon? Would other Arab rulers recognize Israel if their populations were
cheering the "rejectionist" in Baghdad? Would the political will in Israel
to force an end to settlements survive the first bomb that had Saddam's
fingerprints on it? And would the American people agree to police a
settlement in which both sides--under Saddam's influence--were either still
fighting or on the verge of doing so?

None of these aims, however worthy, can be achieved until Saddam has been

Which brings us to the well-advertised "conflagration" in the "Arab street."
It is possible that there would be a few short-term riots against a
victorious United States as Saddam's supporters elsewhere let off steam. But
it is against all the rules of Middle East politics- where power is
everything--that Arab nations would seriously aggravate the superpower that
had just imposed its will upon one of the most advanced Arab nations.

And there might be no riots. Why did the Arab street not riot at the fall of
Kabul? Because the Afghan people welcomed U.S. troops as liberators. If
oppressed Iraqis welcome allied troops into Baghdad with flowers, any
popular opposition to the United States over the war will be similarly
undercut in other Arab capitals. And the establishment of a genuinely
popular constitutional democratic regime in Baghdad would signal to ordinary
Arabs and Muslims throughout the Middle East that their oppressors were not
in Langley or Foggy Bottom but in the palaces of their domestic despots.
That would perhaps finally set the Middle East on the road to democracy,
prosperity and a soundly based stability.

That said, for these good things to happen, a war will have to be fought.
Though we can count on ultimate victory, no one can guarantee that the war
will be either short or bloodless. It may inflict heavy casualties on
soldiers and civilians. It may indeed be waged with what few or primitive
weapons of mass destruction Saddam has managed to stockpile. Better, then,
to wage it before he has assembled a full armory of sophisticated ones.

by Thomas E. Ricks
The Washington Post, 6th August

WASHINGTON: A briefing given last month to a top Pentagon advisory board
described Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States, and recommended
that U.S. officials give it an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face
seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United

"The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to
financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader,"
stated the explosive briefing. It was presented July 10 to the Defense
Policy Board, a group of prominent intellectuals and former senior officials
that advises the Pentagon on defense policy.

"Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies," said the
briefing prepared by Laurent Murawiec, an analyst for the Rand Corporation.
A talking point attached to the last of 24 briefing slides went even
further, describing Saudi Arabia as "the kernel of evil, the prime mover,
the most dangerous opponent" in the Middle East.

The briefing did not represent the views of the board or official government
policy, and in fact runs counter to the present stance of the U.S.
government that Saudi Arabia is a major ally in the region. Yet it also
represents a point of view that has growing currency within the Bush
administration, especially on the staff of Vice President Cheney and in the
Pentagon's civilian leadership, and among neoconservative writers and
thinkers closely allied with administration policymakers.

One administration official said opinion about Saudi Arabia is changing
rapidly within the U.S. government. "People used to rationalize Saudi
behavior," he said. "You don't hear that anymore. There's no doubt that
people are recognizing reality and recognizing that Saudi Arabia is a

Asked for his reaction, Prince Bandar ibn Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to
the United States, said that he did not take the briefing seriously. "I
think that it is a misguided effort that is shallow, and not honest about
the facts," he said. "Repeating lies will never make them facts."

Adel al Jubeir, a foreign policy adviser to Crown Prince Abdullah ibn
Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, added: "I think this view defies reality. The two
countries have been friends and allies for over 60 years. Their relationship
has seen the coming and breaking of many storms in the region, and if
anything it goes from strength to strength."

The decision to bring the anti-Saudi analysis before the Defense Policy
Board also appears tied to the growing debate over whether to launch a U.S.
military attack to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. The chairman of
the board is a former Pentagon official, Richard Perle, one of the most
prominent advocates in Washington of just such an invasion.

The briefing argued that removing Hussein would spur change in Saudi Arabia,
which, it maintained, is the larger problem because of its role in financing
and supporting radical Islamic movements.

Perle did not return calls to comment. A Rand spokesman said Murawiec, a
former adviser to the French Ministry of Defense who now analyzes
international security affairs for Rand, would not be available to comment.

"Neither the presentations nor the Defense Policy Board members' comments
reflect the official views of the Department of Defense," a Pentagon
spokeswoman, Victoria Clarke, said in a written statement Monday.

Clarke continued: "Saudi Arabia is a long-standing friend and ally of the
United States. The Saudis cooperate fully in the global war on terrorism and
have the department's and the administration's deep appreciation."

Murawiec said in his briefing that the United States should demand that
Riyadh stop funding fundamentalist Islamic outlets around the world, stop
all anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli statements in the country, and "prosecute or
isolate those involved in the terror chain, including in the Saudi
intelligence services."

If the Saudis refused to comply, the briefing continued, Saudi oil fields
and overseas financial assets should be "targeted," although exactly how was
not specified.

The report concluded by linking regime change in Iraq to altering Saudi
behavior. This view, popular among some neoconservative thinkers, is that
once a U.S. invasion has removed Hussein from power, a friendly successor
regime would become a major exporter of oil to the West. That oil would
diminish U.S. dependence on Saudi energy exports, and so, in this view,
permit the U.S. government to confront the House of Saud for supporting

"The road to the entire Middle East goes through Baghdad," said the
administration official, who is hawkish on Iraq. "Once you have a democratic
regime in Iraq, like the ones we helped establish in Germany and Japan after
World War II, there are a lot of possibilities."

Of the two dozen people who attended the Defense Policy Board meeting, only
a former secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, spoke up to object to the
anti-Saudi conclusions of the briefing, according to people who were there.

Some board members clearly agreed with Kissinger's dismissal of the briefing
and others did not. One person summarized Kissinger's remarks as saying,
"The Saudis are pro-American, they have to operate in a difficult region,
and ultimately we can manage them."

Kissinger declined to comment on the meeting. He said his consulting
business does not advise the Saudi government and has no clients that do
large amounts of business in Saudi Arabia.

"I don't consider Saudi Arabia to be a strategic adversary of the United
States," Kissinger said. "They are doing some things I don't approve of, but
I don't consider them a strategic adversary."

Other members of the board include the former vice president, Dan Quayle;
two former defense secretaries, James Schlesinger and Harold Brown; two
former House speakers, Newt Gingrich and Thomas Foley; and several retired
senior military officers, including two former vice chairmen of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, retired Admirals David Jeremiah and William Owens.

In the 1980s, the United States and Saudi Arabia played major roles in
supporting the Afghan resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan,
pouring billions of dollars into procuring weapons and other logistical
support for the mujahidin.

At the end of the decade, the relationship became even closer when the U.S.
military stationed a half-million troops on Saudi territory to repel
Hussein's invasions of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Several thousand U.S. troops
have remained on Saudi soil, mainly to run air operations in the region.
Their presence has been cited by Osama bin Laden as a major reason for his
attacks on the United States.,5936,4861710%255E15574

Murdoch Press, Australia, 8th August

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said members of the al-Qaeda
terrorist group are in Iraq, but he would not say whether their presence was
sanctioned by the government.

"If you're asking, are there al-Qaeda in Iraq, the answer is yes, there are.
It's a fact, yes," Rumsfeld told reporters at a Pentagon news conference.

But he declined to say whether there was any evidence of Iraqi support for
al-Qaeda operations or whether members were in Iraq with the government's

Washington has highlighted the threat posed by "rogue" states with weapons
of mass destruction and links to terrorism.

But so far it has not shown evidence of Iraqi support for al-Qaeda or the
September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Rumsfeld noted that after the US military assault on their strongholds in
Afghanistan, al Qaeda dispersed throughout the region.

" ... they're in Yemen, they're in Saudi Arabia, they're in the United
States, they're in Iraq, they're in Iran, they're in Afghanistan, they're in
Pakistan, they're undoubtedly in some of the northern countries above
Afghanistan where they've fled, they're undoubtedly in South-East Asia," he

"I mean, they're all over."

by Sean Gonsalves
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6th August

Last week's Senate hearings on whether the United States should go to war in
Iraq could hardly be given much credibility by any serious student of
U.S.-Iraq policy, given the conspicuous absences of Iraq experts who offer
indispensable insight.

For starters, even though he notified Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Chairman Joseph Biden of his willingness to testify, Hans Von Sponeck was
not invited to the discussion table. Who is Von Sponeck? Only a former
United Nations assistant secretary general with impeccable credentials and
the former head of the U.N. oil-for- food program in Iraq -- the
organization that sanctions supporters claim is adequate to meet the
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi civilian population.

Von Sponeck resigned his post several years ago in protest of the sanctions,
realizing that not only was the oil-for-food program inadequate from the
beginning, its hands were tied; not by the Iraqi government but by the
"Washington consensus."

I spoke to Von Sponeck last week. More familiar with the atrocities of the
Iraqi dictator than most, he's no Saddam Hussein dupe. Nevertheless, he
said, a fair and honest assessment must be made.

"No one can approach this from a black or white perspective, " he told me.
"There is a massive sharing of responsibility for what is happening to the
people of Iraq" that stretches from Baghdad to Washington. "The impression
given here is that the oil-for-food program is being abused by the Iraqi
government. Not true. Extensive independent medical research has been done
investigating the impact of the sanctions."

The root of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq is the lack of adequate water
and electrical supply systems, which were intentionally destroyed in the
Gulf War by U.S. bombs. With the sanctions blocking the contracts and
materials needed to repair Iraq's infrastructure, thousands of innocent
Iraqi children die each month of easily treatable, water-borne diseases in a
country whose health care system was so advanced prior to the sanctions
regime that the biggest problem facing Iraqi pediatricians was obesity.

"That should be absorbed into the minds of those who deal with Iraq, " Von
Sponeck said. "We are grooming more anger, more extremists." And that's why
he thinks the hearings are important. If only there were a broader range of
expert opinion allowed at the discussion table so that the American people
can understand what's really going on in Iraq.

Although former UNSCOM Executive Chairman Richard Butler was called to
testify, the man who served in that post the longest, Rolf Ekeus (1991 to
1997), was not. Ekeus, by the way, wrote a piece last week in the Swedish
press about his tenure over the toughest weapons inspection regime in
history and how the inspections process had been misused by the U.S.
intelligence community to gather information that had nothing to do with the
U.N. disarmament mandate.

He also wrote about what he perceived as UNSCOM being used to provoke
military confrontations with Iraq. Footnote: the weapons inspectors were
pulled out of Iraq by Butler in December 1998 because of an imminent U.S.
military strike. They were not kicked out by the Iraqi government, as has
been widely misreported in our "free" press.

The hearings also didn't include the technical expert UNSCOM called in to
lead the inspection team on the ground when it had become apparent that
Iraqi officials were lying about weapons retention -- former UNSCOM chief
inspector Scott Ritter, a retired Marine intelligence officer who worked
directly under Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during the Gulf War.

"I feel very agitated by the deliberate distortions and misrepresentations,
" Von Sponeck said. "You have this attempt to portray Iraq in a way that
makes it look to the average person in the U.S. as if Iraq is a threat to
their security. I don't know by what stretch of the imagination that claim
can be made."

Having been in Iraq two weeks ago with a German TV news crew, Von Sponeck
visited two of the sites that both media and government officials claim are
likely sites for the production of chemical and biological weapons.

"One of those sites is called Al Dora. It is on the outskirts of Baghdad.
That facility was disabled by Mr. Ritter and the other inspectors in 1996. I
visited there in 1999 and it was totally disabled. It was a shell with
destroyed machinery. And two weeks ago, with a German television crew, we
saw exactly the same thing. We didn't even have electricity.

"But Mr. Ritter is a real expert on this. And he was there on the ground.
You should check with him, " Von Sponeck suggested.

So, unlike the Senate hearing organizers, I did. Next week I'd like to share
with you what Ritter -- a self-proclaimed "card-carrying Republican ... who
voted for George W. Bush for president" -- thinks about all this.

Dawn (from Reuters), 9th August, 29 Jamadi-ul-Awwal 1423

SANTIAGO, Aug 8: The Harvard academic who has predicted a "clash of
civilizations" between the West and Islam warned on Wednesday against a US
invasion of Iraq.

Samuel Huntington, a political scientist who is influential in US
conservative circles, also criticized Washington's support for Israel in its
conflict with the Palestinians.

"I don't think a military invasion would be at all desirable, I think it
would cause great upheavals in the Middle East, " Huntington told Reuters in
Chile. "But unless there is some other way of bringing about a regime
change, that means Saddam Hussein will remain in power, " he said after a
speech at a Chilean university.

Huntington has been accused in the Muslim world of stirring anti-Islamic
sentiment with his 1993 thesis that Islam was on a collision course with
Western society. He published a book on the same theme in 1996.

His warning on Iraq came amid pressures on the Bush administration from
Europe and the Arab world not to launch an attack in an attempt to carry out
the official US policy of a "regime change" in Baghdad.

President George W. Bush on Wednesday promised to be patient and consult
with Congress and US allies over how to deal with Iraq, which Washington
accuses of developing weapons of mass destruction and supporting

Huntington, in Chile to inaugurate a university chair in political science
said that although an invasion of Iraq would be unwise, the idea that Saddam
must leave office was widely accepted.

"I think everyone in the United States would support that goal and so does
just about everybody in Europe and, at least privately, most of the Arab
governments in the Middle East. The question is, how do you achieve that?"
he said.

He offered no concrete proposal to remove Saddam.

Huntington called on Washington to be more even handed in dealing with the
conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

"I think the United States should pursue a more balanced policy with respect
to Israel and the Palestinians, " said Huntington, a member of the US
National Security Council in 1977 and 1978.

"Israel has been pursuing a military occupation of Palestinian territory now
for many decades and that has to come to an end, " said.

Palestinian Cabinet ministers headed on Wednesday for Washington for the
first high-level US-Palestinian meeting since June. Huntington said talk of
Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States was "overstated."

News organizations in the United States reported that a top Pentagon
advisory panel had received a briefing depicting the Gulf kingdom as a
backer of terrorism.

byEric Schmitt
International Herald Tribune (from The New York Times), 10th August

WASHINGTON: The House majority leader, Representative Dick Armey, warned
that an unprovoked attack against Iraq would violate international law and
undermine world support for President George W. Bush's goal of ousting
Saddam Hussein.

The remarks by Armey, a Texas Republican who is retiring this year, are the
most prominent sign of congressional unease that the administration is
moving rapidly toward a war against Iraq, and were especially striking
coming from a leading conservative and a staunch Bush ally.

"If we try to act against Saddam Hussein, as obnoxious as he is, without
proper provocation, we will not have the support of other nation states who
might do so, " Armey said Thursday in Des Moines during a campaign swing for
a House candidate.

"I don't believe that America will justifiably make an unprovoked attack on
another nation, " Armey said. "It would not be consistent with what we have
been as a nation or what we should be as a nation."

"My own view would be to let him bluster, let him rant and rave all he wants
and let that be a matter between he and his own country, " Armey said in
response to a reporter's question. "As long as he behaves himself within his
own borders, we should not be addressing any attack or resources against


by Samuel R. Berger
International Herald Tribune (from The Washington Post), 10th August

WASHINGTON: Saddam Hussein is a menace to his own people, to the stability
of a critical region and potentially to the United States directly. He has
attacked his Persian Gulf neighbours. He has demonstrated his intent to
develop weapons of mass destruction and his willingness to use them. He has
proven his contempt for the international community and his implacable
hostility to the United States. A nuclear-armed Saddam sometime in this
decade is a risk America cannot ignore.

But concluding that regime change is the necessary goal is to begin the
discussion, not to end it. It is just as foolhardy to underestimate the
challenges involved in ousting Saddam's regime as it is to underestimate the
threat it poses.

One approach is to provide support to those around Saddam who can take
matters into their own hands. Achieving success in this manner is difficult,
although Washington can enhance these possibilities to some degree by
increasing international efforts that delegitimize Saddam and defining more
clearly what a new Iraqi government can expect from the world.

Another approach is the Afghan "surrogate" model: arming the Iraqi
opposition to march on Baghdad, supported by U.S. air power but with limited
manpower. Unfortunately, the Iraqi opposition is weaker than the Northern
Alliance, while the Iraqi armed forces are significantly stronger than the
Taliban. The United States should be very wary of turning its military into
an emergency rescue squad. America does not need a Bay of Pigs in the Gulf.

A U.S.-led invasion ultimately may become the only option. But Americans
must define the objective more broadly than simply eliminating Saddam's
regime. They must achieve that in a way that enhances - not diminishes -
America's overall security. U.S. strategy should bring greater stability to
the region, not less. It should help end Israel's isolation, not compound
it. It should not come at the expense of the support needed to destroy Al
Qaeda or the stability of regional friends. It would be a Pyrrhic victory if
America got rid of Saddam only to face a radical government in Pakistan with
a ready-made nuclear arsenal.

That is why Americans need to do more than simply plan a military invasion:
The United States needs to put in place the building blocks that can make
long-term success possible, and needs to proceed on a timetable that is
dictated, not by elections or emotions, but by a hard-nosed assessment of
the trajectory of Iraq's capabilities, particularly its nuclear program.
First, the United States must be engaged consistently in trying to resolve
the Middle East crisis. If there is not progress in ending the violence and
improving people's lives, regional support for action against Iraq will be
scarce, and an invasion very well could break along an already precarious
Arab-Israeli fault line. Second, Washington needs a sustained strategy to
make evident to others the legitimacy of U.S. actions. That doesn't mean a
need to resurrect the Gulf War coalition. America acted essentially
unilaterally in Afghanistan, but the world accepted U.S. actions as a
legitimate response to a terrible provocation. Yet, many U.S. allies do not
share a sense of the Iraqi threat. If Americans are right about the threat
Iraq poses, they ought to be able to build that case for the world. The fact
that America can do it alone does not mean it is wise to do so. Power by
itself does not confer legitimacy.

Third, an honest discussion with the American people is needed about what's
involved. Pride in what U.S armed forces can do must not blind Americans to
the dangers of war in Iraq. This would be a challenging, costly mission,
with possible urban combat, chemical weapons attacks, Saddam's use of
civilian shields and a long-term American military presence in Iraq after
the invasion succeeds.

It's time to start asking and answering the hard questions:

What allies does the United States need, from both a military and political
standpoint? What impact will American action have on governments such as
Jordan, Pakistan and Turkey? How will Washington keep post-Saddam Iraq
together and avoid a Balkanized outcome?

What kind of U.S. assistance - economic, political and military - can a new
Iraqi government expect? Who will pay for Iraq's recovery - with current
estimates ranging from $50 to $150 billion?

There's no question that the world would be a better place without Saddam's
regime. But if we don't do this operation right, we could end up with
something worse. We need to be clear and open about the stakes, the risks
and the costs that genuine success - meaning a more secure America and a
more secure world - will require.

The writer was President Bill Clinton's national security adviser. He
contributed this comment to The Washington Post.

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