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News titles, 10-17/8/02 This week saw a continuation of the general drift of opinion against the war. It began with a meeting of iraqi opposition elements summoned to new york, where some important people gave them a few minutes' attention. In the light of the series of articles at the end of the Kurdistan section below it seems reasonable to speculate that the purpose of the meeting was to heal a breach that is widening between the Kurd leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, and between Barzani and the Turks. Barzani is playing up the distinct Kurd interest and Talabani is playing it down. The thing fell flat because Barzani didn't turn up, possibly because he was prevented by the Turks, more probably because he didn't want to. This is all very bad news for the advocates of a 'minimalist' intervention use the Kurds like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan; don't get bogged down in the business of reconstructing the country. The INC claimed to have obtained an assurance from Cheney that the US was committed to establishing 'democracy' in Iraq. In all the excitement caused by this (and I saw no evidence of any confirmation from Cheney himself) the following very interesting remark of the 'moderate', Colin Powell seems to have been overlooked. According to the article 'Spain official cautions U.S. on Iraq' (US Opinion below) he 'said the aim was to measure the effectiveness of the opposition elements to see whether a representative form of government could be put in place in Baghdad after Saddam. Powell said he was not sure this was possible ...' A number of articles on the pro-war side express dismay at the crudity of the US propaganda effort. They (especially The Observer in the British Opinion section below) argue that there is a liberal, left wing, internationalist case to be made for bombing Iraq but the Americans are refusing to make it; that the Americans don't seem to be making any efforts to seek allies in the fight. And indeed it is this shift of emphasis in the rhetoric (not the substance) of US policy, from Clinton to Bush, that has strengthened the anti-war movement. For that reason the current strength of anti-war sentiment may prove to be illusory. Perhaps the best article in what follows is 'Bush may get un support for his war' by Dan Plesch (British Opinion, below). It indicates the weakness of one of the main arguments being used by opponents of the war. This tends to concede that the overthrow of Saddam would be a Good Thing but insists that it has to be done with the agreement of the UN Security Council. Plesch points out that the US might just get the agreement of the UN Security Council. While this is all too possible, it should be noted that it would mark a defeat for the leading advocates of the war. They are not so stupid as to think that Iraq really poses a serious threat to the security of the US (though in time Israel might be another matter). For them, the whole point of the exercise is to assert US power in the world - unilaterally, outside all foreign entanglements. To seek a US blessing is to keep up the pretence of recognising UN authority. It may also be noted that a UNSC blessing might not come cheaply. In particular, Russia will want some sort of guarantee that all the lucrative contracts Russian companies have signed with Hussein will be honoured by his successors. If the US goes it alone, whatever government they instal can tear those contracts up and reassign them to US companies. The hawks' maximalist position the US against The World has the advantage of clarity and should give the opponents' of US power a clearer idea of what needs to be done. Useless to appeal to the fiction of the 'International Community' whose institutional expression is the US-dominated UN Security Council. Instead we should be turning to an at present ill-defined 'world opinion', whose institutional expression is the UN General Assembly and the International Court (not the UNSC created War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) at The Hague. In this way the hawks'; policy of the US against the world can serve a useful purpose. 'The World' will learn that it has to organise to meet the challenge. BRITISH OPINION * Could the left back an Iraq war? [This article is interesting for what it reveals about the psychology of The Observer. The poor Observer has been trying to develop a 'left wing' argument for the war on Iraq, continuing the 'extraordinary turnaround in the sensitivities of the left on questions of war and peace in the 1990s' largely pioneered in Britain by its sister paper The Guardian in the context of the war on Serbia (and in Europe by Bernard Kouchner in France and Joschka Fischer in Germany). For the moment however it isn't working in the context of the war on Iraq. What is required is to mobilise 'the universalist impulses that led their fore-runners to support military action during the second world and the Spanish civil war' (sic!) and to overcome that darned anti-American gut instinct that keeps getting in the way. The problem is however that, though Saddam's crime in murdering 5,000 people in a state of war in Halabja was indeed terrible it pales in comparison with the systematic murder of tens or hundreds of thousands of people through starvation and disease in a supposed state of peace. And that is why it is strictly impossible for USUK to make any sort of moral case for the invasion of Iraq.] * The world needs a plan for Iraq [The Observer expresses frustration that its attempts to work up a 'liberal humanitarian' case for bombing Iraq are being drowned out by the blare of trumpets coming from the coarse persons currently surrounding Mr Bush in America. What is required is a bit of 'courage and inventiveness' of the kind the Observer modestly ascribes to itself. The Observer's courageous and inventive policy goes as follows: 'the EU, with the support of Russia and China, could propose delivering Saddam an ultimatum: open Iraq freely to weapons inspection while abandoning nuclear and chemical weapon manufacture or face trial at the International Criminal Court, and commit to use every means, including the possibility of invasion, to apprehend Saddam if he did not comply.'] * This is a recipe for global turmoil and endless war [George Galloway, writing in the Guardian.] * A man with a gift for making enemies [Most of this article from W.Rees-Mogg is an attack on D.Rumsfeld whose personal arrogance, it is said, is making the development of a war policy that much more diffcult. Unfortunately, Rees-Mogg concludes, he can't be removed yet because it would look like a victory for Saddam. What Mr Rees-Mogg, like the editorial line in The Observer, fails to realise however is that the policy of attacking Iraq at the present time is, in any normal way of looking at things, insane. It therefore requires craziness in high places if it is to be implemented.] * U.S. can count on England [John O'Sullivan reckons that current British opposition to the war is superficial and that British public opinion will swing round once the case for war is expressed better, ie not 'war against Iraq' but 'war to liberate Iraq', and not 'the US' but 'the allies' (O'Sullivan hasn't understood that the whole point of the exercise, in the eyes of its leading advocates, is to show that the US doesn't need allies).] * British Band Joins Campaign Against Iraq Attack [Massive Attack. We also have Primal Scream on our side, though they have had to re-record a song they produced in August 2001 under the title 'Bomb the Pentagon'.] * Iraqi war "would spark more attacks" [Islamic clerics warn England of possible consequences.] * George Galloway: in from the cold [Enthusiastic account by the Daily Mirror of the life and opinions of George Galloway, noting his membership in the 1970s, after the Ba'ath takeover, of the Campaign Against Repression and for Democratic Rights in Iraq.] * Bush may get UN support for his war [A very perceptive article from The Guardian. Dan Plesch warns that 'MPs who have signed Alice Mahon's carefully moderate early day motion calling for UN support as a prerequisite to any attack will have found that they have trapped themselves into support for a UN-sponsored war.' and concluding that the best policy for the anti-war movement if it wants to play the card of 'legality' (in the UN understanding of the term) is to go back to the 1991 resolutions, which placed the problem of Iraq in the context of 'a wide-ranging list of objectives including a nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East, control of armaments in the region, a stronger biological weapons convention, universal adherence to the chemical weapons convention and the obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.'] * MPs are sidelined over war on Iraq [Prescott says Parliament can discuss but can't decide.] * Cook Urged to Speak Out over War on Iraq * Celebrity call to fight Iraq attacks [Includes a possibility that Madonna might come out against the war on Iraq. Gosh.] URLs ONLY: http://argument.independent.co.uk/regular_columnists/fergal_keane/story.jsp? story=323004 * America will brush aside our concerns and attack Saddam in the spring by Fergal Keane The Independent, 10th August [Fergal Keane predicts that the US will invade and the slaughter will be terrible leaving a legacy of humiliation and bitterness throughout the Arab world, a gift for Al Qaida and its equivalents.] http://observer.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,772579,00.html * Doves launch last-ditch campaign for Gulf peace by Jason Burke, Gaby Hinsliff and Ed Vulliamy in New York The Observer, 11th August [On the propaganda war (Ed Vulliamy being a specialist in the art of working up wars through propaganda). Last week, they say, the anti-war camp did very well but they expect the hawks to come back again (probably from their holidays). The article does indicate reassuringly that anti-war feeling is strong in Mr Blair's own constituency.] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2188757.stm * US adding to Iraq confusion - Mandelson BBC, 12th August [Non-descript and non-committal intervention from P.Mandelson.] http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,773603,00.html * Brutish, short, and probably pointless by Ian Buruma The Guardian, 13th August [Ian Buruma expresses puzzlement as to the US' reasons for wanting to go to war, a puzzlement compounded by some very vague but confidently asserted notions of general Euopean history. The conclusion, however, is OK: 'The cobbled-together Iraqi opposition in exile has now been assured by Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld that a democratic revolution in Iraq will be fully backed by the US. This sounds very fine. But how long is the US prepared to stay in Iraq to see it through? Too long, and they will be running a colony, as they did in the Philippines. Too short, and the whole thing is likely to collapse in bloody chaos. Without a better idea about US intentions, a democratic citizen surely would be foolish to plump for going to war.'] http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,774059,00.html * George is nuts about Saddam's soft centre by Rod Liddle The Guardian, 14th August [Unpleasant expression of hatred directed against G.Galloway followed by some vaguely anti-war reflections over a bottle of (probably Australian) Chardonnay. We have to be glad at the support of people outside the circle of 'the usual suspects' but let us never forget that it is the 'usual suspects', notably G.Galloway, T.Dalyell and A.Mahon, who have the moral edge ...] http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/aug/16/16082002pa.htm * Iraq War or Peace? Part-I War by Forrest E. Cookson The Bangladeshi Independent, 16th August [Serious, but very long, reply to last week's Economist article which gave The Case for War. The article reminds us that Bertrand Russell had advocated nuclear war against the Soviet Union at the time when the US had a monopoly of nuclear weapons. It also includes the following argument which is worth retaining because it isn't heard often enough: 'If biological weapons can be made then this may be achieved in any advanced biological laboratory. How is one to protect against this? There is no end to the interventions and attacks on people and countries when one starts out to eliminate potential makers of biological warfare weapons.'] http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,775294,00.html * One in six Iraqis are in exile, and they want this war by Martin Woollacott The Guardian, 16th August [Martin Woollacott complains rightly that in discussions on possible war on Iraq the opinions of Iraqis have been neglected. He goes on to assert baldly that most Iraqi emigres favour war but provides no evidence for this except that it is the opinion of someone he happens to know. The great problem appears to be that Iraqi emigre opinion remains largely unorganised even by those, the INC for example, who would have had most interest in organising it.] AND, IN NEWS, 10-17/8/02 (2) INSIDE IRAQ * Iraq Makes Case Against U.S. Claims [Iraqi officials escort a group of journalists 'to a dusty laboratory to prove it wasn't a biological weapons center'.] * 'Saddam's Cubs' train at camp [A glimpse of some of the boys who will probably be dead in the near future if Nick Cohen, Mark Leonard et al get their way.] * Despite an embargo, Iraq boosts military with smuggled parts [though the embargo on Iraq was supposed to allow the Iraqis to maintain a limited defensive capacity, wasn't it?] * Nerve gas plants dormant but deadly [Account of aerial photos of chemical plant at Fallujah in Iraq.] * Iraq Said to Move Materials at Site [Trucks spotted at alleged former chemical weapons plant at Taji] * US begins push for humanitarian aid in Iraq * NGOs wary of US aid for Iraq * U.S. to Help Iraqi Dissidents [Extract dealing with the $6.6 million earmarked for humanitarian work in Iraq. If this article is right, and if I've understood correctly then the two preceding Financial Times articles above are based on a misconception since this money appears to be clearly destined to be spent in the Kurdish autonomous zone.] * War on Iraq: No Surrender: Saddam is 160ft under [Account of G.Galloway's descent into the underworld to meet the Devil.] * Saddam¹s son [Qusay] injured in attempted assassination [say INC] * Saddam to run for another term [Who says Iraq isn't a democracy?] URL ONLY: http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=901032002 * The real Saddam by Mark Bowden The Scotsman, 17th August [Long but very run of the mill account of Hussein's career by the author of Black Hawk Down. A singular absence of any attempt to understand the political context.] INTERNATIONAL OPINION (Germany, France, Australia, Japan) * Joschka Fischer: Iraq is not a test of solidarity for anti-terrorism * Schröder ally attacks him for Iraq war stance [This is hardly surprising since Schroeder is currently going against the general trend of his own policy of the past few years and in particular the policy of the Gernman secret service, the BND, which has been busy trying to furnish pretexts for war, though it hasn't yet reached the heights it managed with the fabled 'Operation Horseshoe' that helped prepare the way for the war against Serbia.] * Germany calls for NATO decision on Iraq [Gerhard Schroeder pretends that he thinks NATO has an existence separate from the will of the US. But it is an interestingly subversive idea ...] * Most French Oppose to US Military Attack on Iraq [even if it has the support of the UN Security Council.] * Not one drop of Australian blood should be spilt in Iraq: [former Australian Prime Minister, Bob] Hawke * Likely war with Iraq is not Rambo rhetoric: Howard [Effect of Australian PM John Howard's belligerence on the Australian wheat market.] * Saddam jibe fans Iraq row [The dispute over the Australian government's belligerent support for Mr Bush is getting hot and heavy.] * PM polls apart from public over Iraqi strike [Opinion poll in Australia showing that most people oppose a war on Iraq.] * Bring an end to all war [The article suggests usefully that Japan should no longer passively acquiesce in US projects but should join with Europe to create a moral counterweight to US military power. It begins with an account of the 'delusions' of the late nineteenth century Japanese PM, Aritomo Yamagata which led to the catastrophe of Japan's involvement in the Second World War. It gives the impression that for most of the twentieth century, the US was a force for peace and world order. But Yamagata's delusion (that Japan had an interest in controlling the politics of its nearest neighbours and preventing undue European influence in the region) surely bears a certain resemblance to the Monroe Doctrine ...] AND, IN NEWS, 10-17/8/02 (3) NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Kurdish guerrillas poised to fire first shots in war on Iraq [Tim Judah, who did his bit for the expansion of the American Empire in the Balkans, joins the Observer campaign for a 'left wing' defence of the war on Iraq. He concentrates on the possible Ansar el-Islam/Iraqi government connection, interviewing a prisoner in a Kurdish (PUK) jail who claims he smuggled thirty refrigerator motors from Saddam Hussein to Al Qaida in Afghanistan in 2000. Judah mentions in passing that the area of the PUK/Ansar el-Islam confrontation is ' well beyond the Iraqi no fly zone'.] * Iraqi Kurds feel the brunt of Saddam's 'Arabization' [This of course is a much better pretext for war than the ludicrous notion that Iraq poses a threat to the security of the United States. So why is this (and equivalent actions against the Shia in the South) not being used? Could it be that the US don't want the Kurds or the Shia to actually 'win', in the way the Albanians 'won' in Kosovo, or the Tajiks 'won' in Afghanistan? The Kurds because it would displease Turkey, the Shia because it would please Iran. And while we're asking questions, why has the Observer, looking desperately for some kind of 'humanitarian', left wing angle, not come up with this line either? And why should conditions for Kurds in refugee camps in the Kurdish autonomous zone be so poor?] * Kurds offer territory for Iraq attack [A very bizarre piece in which Talabani proposes that the US should use 'tens of thousands' of Syrians (sic! And he mentions Syria so he's not thinking of Assyrian Christians) to help overthrow Saddam Hussein. He offers the use of Kurdish territory but Rumsfeld is quoted as saying 'he doesn't recall hearing the offer in the meetings'.] * Jalal Talibani rejects attacking Iraq [How does this relate to the report that Talabani offered 100s of thousands of Kurds and 10s of thousands of Syrians to attack Iraq? Answer of course is that he is opposing the option of massive US invasion and subsequent occupation, and arguing instead that Iraqis should be allowed to do the job themselves.] * Jalal Talabani denies offering US use of territory for Saddam attack [The plot thickens] * Logistical problems prevented US visit by Iraqi Kurd leaders [The INC and US administration try to put the best face on the absence of Massoud Barzani. A fuller account will be found in subsequent articles.] * Kurd chief shuns talks on deposing Saddam [Massoud Barzani again. This New York Times article says he sent a representative to complain of broken promises and indicates that Cheney did not, as claimed above, offer to defend the Kurds in the event of an Iraqi pre-emptive strike. He said the US would respond 'at a time and place of its choosing' (ie not of the Kurds' choosing. It could be long after the event and far away). Barzani clearly recognised that this meeting was not going to offer much - even if he might have been permitted to enter into the Presence of G.Bush Himself.] * Turkey threatens to cut Iraqi diesel imports [as a move against the KDP, partly because of recent KDP insistence that Kirkuk is inalienably Kurd though Kirkuk surely is close to Suleimeniyah, so, in the event of a liberation, would it not fall into Talabani's fiefdom?] * The US must democratise Turkey before Iraq [Barzani could have gone to New York via Syria but chose not to in order to draw attention to the difficulties put in his way by Turkey.] * KDP: Mr Barzani does not need Turkish passport * KDP is 56-year-old today [A brief account of the history and politics of the KDP: 'The KDP proposal goes as far as changing the name of the state from the ¹Republic of Iraq¹ to the ¹Federal Republic of Iraq¹ and makes Kirkuk, the Kurdish oil rich city, the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government.'] URL ONLY: http://www.kurdmedia.com/reports.asp?id=991 * Nazar Al-Khazrajee: The supervisor of the killing fields awaiting political asylum by: Fawzi Atroshi. KurdishMedia.com, 13th August [Kurdish article pointing the finger at 'opposition' leaders Nazar Al-Khazrajee and Wafiq Al-Samara¹ee for their involvement in the Anfal campaign. Unfortunately the English translation is sometimes difficult to penetrate.] IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Fadlallah Issues Decree Banning Muslims From Helping U.S. to Strike Iraq [This would seem to be an obviously correct gloss on the Quran - that no Muslim can help an infidel in war against a fellow Muslim; that the evils done by Muslim to Muslim (Saddam against the Shia, for example. Fadlallah is a Lebanese Shi'i cleric.) must be dealt with exclusively by Muslims. And the rightness of Mohammad's view on this matter is surely proved by the catastrophe which befell Islam when sections of the Muslim world accepted the 'help' of the US in righting the wrong done by Saddam against Kuwait.] * Syria's Assad met Saddam on border: Report [Surely a personal encounter between the Syrian and Iraqi presidents deserves more attention than it seems to have received?] * U.S. Base in Qatar Seen Central to Any Iraq Attack [Fairly detailed account of the development of the al-Udeid base in Qatar since November, when the Saudis refused to allow the US the use of the Prince Sultan airbase in the war against Afghanistan.] * 4000 U.S. troops arriving in Jordan for major exercises * Jordan opposition fears U.S. troops will stay * Iraq to return Kuwaiti loot * US attack against Iraq bound to fail: Palestinian official [Faruk Qaddumi who, the article says, acts as the Palestinian Authority's foreign minister, speaking in Iraq.] * US intelligence says Israel could nuke Iraq if attacked [Wasn't there a time when the US used to pretend it didn't know that Israel possesses nuclear weapons?] * 125 Iranian Refugees Return Home from Iraq * Sabah: US secret delegation to East Turkey relating to Iraq * Israel Says Delaying US Strike on Iraq is Dangerous [Peres said that 'Israel would be very careful and reluctant to use anything other than conventional weapons.' Is this Peres admitting that Israel has something other than conventional weapons? And why should Iraq's possession of nuclear weapons be more 'terrible' than Israel's possession of nuclear weapons?] AND, IN NEWS, 10-17/8/02 (4) MILITARY MATTERS * Experts: Iraqi Military No Pushover [This is just a list of what each side has. The way it is written an ignorant person such as myself could get the impression Iraq has more than the US!] * US Navy moves into Persian Gulf * Coalition planes strike Iraqi air defenses, U.S. military says * Four injured in US-British raid * US 'keeping Britain in dark over Iraq attack' URL ONLY: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/225/nation/US_takes_new_tack_in_war_games+ .shtml * US takes new tack in war games by Robert Schlesinger Boston Globe, 13th August [Account of US war game, Millennium Challenge 2002. Designed to impress. Though whether it will impress US citizens who rely on medicare or not is another matter (it cost $250 million.)] OIL MATTERS * Baghdad: Exports cut in half * Iraq Says It Will Drop Surcharge [according to Russia. Difficult for Iraq to say it as they deny that the surcharge exists.] THE OPPOSITION * Cheney Assures Dissident Iraqis [that the US wants to see a democratic government installed in Iraq. But the quote comes from the INC, not from Cheney himself.] * Who will save Iraq? [There is something almost attractive about Nick Cohen's passion. He has assumed the thankless task of spokesman for a small and despised political tendency - the Iraqi National Congress - and he is proving himself to be a loyal friend. The problem with the INC, however, is that they don't appear to have much existence outside the person of AhmedChalabi. It is understandable that if they have an existence in Iraq itself they can't reveal it, but they don't seem to have developed the support one might have expected in the Iraqi emigre community. Supposedly they speak for the Kurds and Shia but they clearly don't. So N.Cohen has made himself the spokesman for something that is very nebulous. And in this role he has made himself an advocate for the torture of the Iraqi people through sanctions, and now for their imminent slaughter. And all to bring to power a new, pro-US, dictator. That is assuming, of course, that the INC fails to assert itself. Which is a fairly safe assumption since if there is one thing that is certain it is that the Iraqi people, in the unlkely event of their being consulted in the matter, will not want to replace Saddam with people who are irreparably associated with the US policy of starvation and murder.] * Iraqi Dissident, U.S. End Dispute [The US will protect the Kurds if Saddam launches an unprovoked attack on them (but see 'Kurd chief shuns talks ...' in the Kurdistan section) and the INC will be getting the money they were supposed to have a long time ago to launch tv broadcasts in Iraq (and perhaps they will be able to pay the electricity bill on their London office ...)] * Amsterdam hosts plenary conference of the Iraqi opposition [This announcement is coy as to which Iraqi opposition is concerned with this conference whose aim is 'to elect an executive committee to be a sort of a parliament in exile'. Could the suggestion have come perchance from Denmark?] * Iraqi Shiite opposition counsels US against attack [The SCIRI according to this Iranian account was present in New York to argue against an invasion of Iraq and in favour of US support for the forces on the ground (the only effective force on the ground in Saddam controlled Iraq being the SCIRI.)] URL ONLY: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/225/oped/Caution_light_on_Iraq_plans+.shtm l * Caution light on Iraq plans by Thomas Oliphant Boston Globe, 13th August [Sceptical view of the war plans proposed by the INC, with a view to reserving a determinant role for themselves and preventing an outright US takeover.] IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * 'Smart sanctions' will hurt Iraqis, aid agency [Cafod] warns * Iraq: U.N. Weapons Inspections Over [This has been interpreted as a refusal to let inspectors back in but it appears to be no more than a reassertion of Iraq's long held view that the work of the inspectors was finished long ago and has only been prolonged out of malice.] * Iraq Seeks Abuja's [Nigeria] Support On Rights Resolution [In reference to a resolution condemning Iraq's human rights record which is to be debated by the UN General Assembly (remember that?) on September 10.] * U.S. says no to Iraq using humanitarian funds to pay U.N. Dues [Reminder of a long running scandal - the 'humanitarian funds' are of course the money earned by Iraq through oil, the only commodity it is allowed to sell. So the 'international community' - that prostitute - denies Iraq any legal means of paying its UN membership dues.] * Iraq Sends Lengthy Reply to Annan [Latest exchange over weapons inspectors. 'Lengthy' means ten pages.] * Security council splits deepen on Iraq sanctions [Emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the problem of a collapse in Iraqi oil sales due to the pricing system imposed by USUK.] AND, IN NEWS, 10-17/8/02 (5) US OPINION * Don't need Saudis to deal with Saddam [A raw expression of anti-Arab hatred from the NY Daily News] * Bush hears war naysayers [This article indicates a state of panic in the US political establishment as eyes are opened to the implications of the Richard Perle strategy of all out support for Israel in opposition to the entire Muslim world.] * US opposition to Iraq attack grows [Remarks by Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.] * Democrats face 'tricky issue' with Iraq [Roundup of opinion. Everyone wants to overthrow Mr Hussein but some express doubts as to the timing. Includes a poll which says a majority of democrat voters oppose a war on Iraq.] * Iraq policy risky, says Kissinger ['"It is not in the American national interest to establish pre-emption as a universal principle available to every nation," he advised.'] * Spain Official Cautions U.S. on Iraq [The Spanish foreign minister's opinions are uninteresting but hidden in the article is a curious quote from C.Powell saying he is not sure if 'a representative form of government could be put in place in Baghdad after Saddam'. All he aspires after is someone who "will reflect the best values of the 21st century world and not the criminal values represented by Saddam Hussein." Someone like Augusto Pinochet perhaps.] * Saddam an 'evil man,' Rice says [Condoleeza Rice opts for what Suzy Kane might call the Porky Pig approach to arguing the case for war with Iraq.] * War on Iraq is not inevitable [Philip Stephens argues that the US electorate, like the British, doesn't want its wartime leaders in charge in peacetime. So, if President Bush goes to war it will probably cost him a second term even if it is a great success (it will certainly cost him if it isn't). The article refers to his admiration for Winston Chuchill and we've heard much this week of President Hussein's admiration for Winston Churchill. Any coincidence that the two great modern advocates of unprovoked war are both admirers of Winston Churchill?] * Don't Attack Saddam It would undermine our antiterror efforts [Brent Scowcroft's article in the Wall Street Journal. Scowcroft argues that 'Saddam's strategic objective appears to be to dominate the Persian Gulf, to control oil from the region, or both', not an ideological war against the US. Better to gain allies in the war against terrorism and through an honest attempt to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (allies who can then be used against Iraq if that becomes necessary) than to lose them in a war no-one else wants and which doesn't serve any clear immediate US interest.] * Republicans break ranks over Bush's Iraq policy [Summary of the week's developments from the New York Times] URLs ONLY: http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020812-31252825.htm * Talk the walk on Iraq by Roger D. Carstens Washington Times, 12th August [Reflections on Clausewitz and Thucydides. Interesting as an example of the current anxiety of the world's only superpower to locate itself in relation to the whole of human history. Oh. The conclusion to all the philosophical musings is that it is a good thing that Congress should have a chance to discuss the approaching war.] http://www.sunspot.net/news/opinion/oped/bal op.chapman13aug13.story?coll=bal%2Doped%2Dheadlines * Bush administration lurches toward a big mess in Iraq by Steve Chapman Baltimore Sun, 13th August [What could go wrong in the war and problems of nation building in Iraq] http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,775324,00.html * With talk of conflict with Iraq, Americans remember the human cost of Vietnam by Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles The Guardian, 16th August [Attempt of a general roundup of opinion in the US, for and against.] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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