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News, 17-24/8/02 (1) IRAQI/US RELATIONS * But What's The Legal Case For Preemption? * U.S. aided Iraq in '80s despite gas use, officials say * General tells Bush: Don't go it alone * For an Iraq Amnesty * New York Times misrepresents Kissinger on Iraq * U.S. Agents Tried to Bribe Iraqi Officials During UN Talks: Sabri * Times Takes Flak on Iraq * Editorial: Irrational on Iraq U.S. justifications for war do not measure up * US Congress already at war over Iraq * President says he can wait on Iraq * Poll: Support for action against Iraq dropping IRAQI/US RELATIONS http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A29313-2002Aug17.html * BUT WHAT'S THE LEGAL CASE FOR PREEMPTION? by Bruce Ackerman Washington Post, 18th August Among other things, the first Gulf War was a triumph for the rule of law. Before the United States fired a single shot, the president had gained the formal approval of both the U.N. Security Council and the U.S. Congress. In waging war against Saddam Hussein, he was not invoking some novel presidential doctrine. He was enforcing the U.N. Charter's explicit prohibition against any state using force to cross another's border. In intervening to reverse Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, he was upholding a central tenet of modern international law. The first President Bush has often been derided for lack of vision, but these actions created a precedent that gave legal substance to his "new world order." In the aftermath of the Cold War, Bush was establishing the principle that America could deal with threats to world peace without recourse to an imperial presidency. He was inaugurating a new era in which major wars were not to be launched by presidential fiat, but only after the considered approval of representatives of the nation and the world. The second President Bush has surrounded himself with advisers who condemn this vision as a harmful delusion. It is not enough for them to correct his father's mistake in failing to march on Baghdad; it is no less important to destroy the checks and balances his father constructed on the road to war. In the face of the father's multilateralism, the son is constructing a double unilateralism -- freed from the restraints of the Security Council abroad and Congress at home, the imperial presidency claims the authority to strike preemptively at any danger. It is one thing to make war with Iraq, quite another to endorse this double unilateralism. Nothing that Congress has done remotely justifies this leap. In responding to the attacks on New York and Washington, Congress authorized the president to use "all necessary and appropriate force" only against "those nations, organizations or persons" who "planned, authorized or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11." The Bush administration has not implicated Hussein in these attacks. If a second invasion of Iraq is justified, it is because of Hussein's future threat, not his past involvement in Sept. 11. If the nation is to launch a second Gulf War, the Constitution explicitly leaves this decision to Congress, not the president. The case for congressional approval is especially compelling when the president seems intent on acting without the authorization of the Security Council. The president's "realist" advisers may choose to ignore international law, but this is not the view expressed in the Constitution of the United States. It declares that treaties approved by the Senate are the "supreme Law of the Land" and it explicitly requires the president to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." The U.N. Charter is a solemn treaty overwhelmingly ratified by the Senate in the aftermath of World War II. Since the charter is a binding treaty, a key question is the meaning of its sole provision authorizing the unilateral use of force. Article 51 expressly recognizes the inherent right of all states to engage in self-defense in the case of "armed attack." In his commencement speech at West Point, the president argued for an expansive reading of this provision. States need not wait for an imminent attack before invoking self-defense, he declared. In an age of terrorism, they should be authorized to launch preemptive strikes long before terrorists are in a position to cross borders and unleash weapons of mass destruction. The breadth of this doctrine is breathtaking, going far beyond any claim made by previous American governments. None of our military interventions since World War II has required such a wrenching revision of international law. Even when America was directly threatened during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy did not invoke any notion of "anticipatory self-defense." Although the risks of mass destruction were high, the president's legal arguments were unadventurous: When it came to intercepting Soviet missiles on the high seas, he relied on the regional peacekeeping provisions of the U.N. Charter. When America has claimed self-defense, it has been in less controversial settings -- citing a clearly defined threat to U.S. citizens or, after Sept. 11, the need to prevent a second attack by an organized group of terrorists. Rather than expanding the scope of preemptive attack, American statesmen have played leading roles in carefully limiting the doctrine. Secretary of State Daniel Webster is the originating source. In 1837, the British sought to suppress a revolt in eastern Canada that had gained the enthusiastic support of private militias operating from the United States. To cut off this foreign support, the British launched a night raid into New York, burning the Americans' ship and sending it over Niagara Falls. Five years later, Webster reached an agreement with the British that prohibited future preemptive strikes. Cross-border raids were justified only if there was a "necessity of self defence, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation" -- and if nothing "unreasonable or excessive" was done. Webster's formulation remains at the core of international law today. The United States was also the central player at the decisive moment for self-defense in the 20th century: the judgment at Nuremberg. We remember Nuremberg for its condemnation of genocide. But this was not its major focus. The principal charge against the Nazis was that they waged aggressive war -- and the only way to establish the meaning of aggression was to endorse the limited doctrine of self-defense enshrined in traditional law. American support for restraint was tested most famously by the Israeli attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. The Israelis claimed the right of preemptive self-defense, but the United States joined in a Security Council resolution condemning the raid as illegal. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was characteristically blunt: "Armed attack in such circumstances cannot be justified. It represents a grave breach of international law." But do such Thatcherite certainties make sense against the current terrorist threat? Law evolves, and it is certainly arguable that international law should now recognize a right of self-defense in certain unprecedented cases. Let's assume a repeat of the 1981 scenario, with the Israelis offering compelling evidence of an Iraqi threat to their very survival as a nation. Shouldn't they be authorized to preempt such an attack without the prior authorization of the Security Council? Perhaps, but it is a big stretch to expand this doctrine further to include America's present complaints against Iraq. It is not just a question of establishing that in fact Hussein has developed weapons of mass destruction (and we haven't proved that yet); it is also a question of what he could do with such weapons. While Iraq's missiles can reach Israel, they can't touch American soil. Before the U.S. government can claim to be acting in self-defense, it must present compelling evidence that terrorist groups linked to Hussein, or Hussein himself, are both willing and able to launch an imminent attack on the American homeland. Unless the administration can make this showing, it will create a devastating precedent for India or Pakistan or China when they, too, seek to evade the Security Council by invoking an open-ended and fact-free notion of "preemptive self-defense." If the president's new doctrine is acceptable at all, it is only after making a compelling factual demonstration to Congress that there is a clear and present danger and that there is no practical alternative to a preemptive strike. Which leads us back to the crucial constitutional issue. Will the president leave the final decision on war to Congress, or will he attempt to marry unilateralism abroad with unilateralism at home? To be sure, the president has promised "to consult" with Congress, but this can mean many things -- hurried briefings just before the bombs start to fall, some committee hearings after the fact. Such half-measures aren't remotely sufficient. As in the first Gulf War, the Constitution requires each senator and representative to stand up and be counted, after soberly considering how unilateral intervention will shape the future of international law. The American people, and the people of the world, deserve nothing less. Congress's involvement is not something to be avoided, as the administration seems bent on doing, but to be revered. To make our way in this new and unsettling world, we must hold fast to our old and most valued principles. Bruce Ackerman is Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale and author of "We the People" (Harvard University Press), a history of constitutional law in the United States. http://www.iht.com/articles/68038.html * U.S. AIDED IRAQ IN '80S DESPITE GAS USE, OFFICIALS SAY by Patrick E. Tyler International Herald Tribune, from The New York Times, 19th August WASHINGTON: A covert U.S. program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when U.S. intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program. These officers, most of whom agreed to speak on the condition that they not be named, spoke in response to a reporter's questions about the nature of gas warfare on both sides of the conflict between Iran and Iraq from 1981 to 1988. Iraq's use of gas in that conflict is repeatedly cited by President George W. Bush and, last week, was cited by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as justification for "regime change" in Iraq. The covert program was carried out at a time when President Ronald Reagan's senior aides, including Secretary of State George Shultz, Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci and General Colin Powell, then the national security adviser and now the secretary of state, all were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison gas, especially after Iraqi forces attacked Kurdish civilians in Halabja in March 1988. During the Iran-Iraq war, the United States decided it was imperative that Iran be thwarted, so it could not overrun the important oil-producing states in the Gulf. It has long been known that the United States provided intelligence assistance to Iraq in the form of satellite photography to help the Iraqis understand how Iranian forces were deployed against them. But the full nature of the program, as described by former Defense Intelligence Agency officers, was not previously disclosed. Powell, through a spokesman, said the officers' description of the program was "dead wrong," but declined to discuss it. Carlucci said, "My understanding is that what was provided" to Iraq "was general order of battle information, not operational intelligence." "I certainly have no knowledge of U.S. participation in preparing battle and strike packages," he said, "and doubt strongly that that occurred." Later, Carlucci added, "I did agree that Iraq should not lose the war, but I certainly had no foreknowledge of their use of chemical weapons." Though senior officials of the Reagan administration publicly condemned Iraq's employment of mustard gas, sarin, VX and other poisonous agents, the U.S. military officers said that Reagan, Vice President George Bush and senior national security aides never withdrew their support for the highly classified program, in which more than 60 officers of the defense agency were secretly providing the Iraqi general staff with detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning and bomb-damage assessments. The Iraqis shared their battle plans with the Americans, without admitting the use of chemical weapons, the military officers said. But the Iraqi use of chemical weapons, already established at that point, became more evident in the final phase of the war. Saudi Arabia played a crucial role in pressing the Reagan administration to offer assistance to Iraq, out of concern that Iranian commanders were sending human waves of young volunteers to overrun Iraqi forces. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, then and now, met with President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and then told senior officials of the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency that the Iraqi military command was ready to accept U.S. assistance. In early 1988, after the Iraqi Army, with the aid of U.S. planning assistance, retook the Fao Peninsula, reopening Iraq's access to the Gulf, a defense intelligence officer, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, now retired, toured the battlefield with Iraqi officers, the former U.S. officers said. He reported that the Iraqis had used chemical weapons to cinch their victory, one former defense agency official said. Francona saw zones marked off for chemical contamination, and containers for the drug atropine scattered around, indicating that Iraqi soldiers had taken injections to protect themselves from the effects of nerve gas that might blow back over their positions. (Francona could not be reached for comment.) CIA officials supported the program to assist Iraq, but were not involved. Separately, the CIA provided Iraq with satellite photography of the war front. Colonel Walter Lang, retired, the senior defense intelligence officer at the time, said in an interview that he would not discuss classified information, but added that both DIA and CIA officials "were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose" to Iran. "The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern," he said. What Reagan's top aides were concerned about, he said, was that the Iranians not break through to the Fao Peninsula and spread the Islamic revolution to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to the south. Iraq did turn its chemical weapons against the Kurdish population of northern Iraq, but the intelligence officers say they were not involved in planning any of the military operations in which these assaults occurred. They said the reason was that there were no major Iranian troop concentrations in the north and the major battles where Iraq's military command wanted assistance were on the southern front. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-387997,00.html * GENERAL TELLS BUSH: DON'T GO IT ALONE by Tim Reid in Washington and Clem Cecil in Moscow The Times, 19th August NORMAN SCHWARZKOPF, the US general who commanded allied forces during the Gulf War, joined a growing number of senior US military and political figures yesterday who are opposed to a unilateral invasion of Iraq and said President Bush "should not go it alone". General Schwarzkopf, now retired from the US Army but still a commanding voice on matters relating to Iraq, said that the success of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and the expulsion of President Saddam Hussein's troops from Kuwait was almost entirely based on the existence of a broad international coalition. He said: "In the Gulf War we had an international force and troops from many nations. We would be lacking if we went it alone at this time." He emphasised the dangers of an invasion without international consensus and military support because of the size and strength of the Iraqi Army. "It is not going to be an easy battle but it would be much more effective if we didn't have to do it alone," he said. To be effective, a US-led invasion would need launching points not only from Kuwait and Turkey, but also from Saudi Arabia, which Riyadh has so far pointedly refused, he added. Wesley Clark, the retired general who led the Nato alliance during the Kosovo campaign, also joined the voices counselling against an invasion without international co-operation. In an article for the September issue of The Washington Monthly, he said: "The early successes (in Afghanistan) seem to have reinforced the conviction of some within the US Government that the continuing war on terrorism is best waged outside the structures of international institutions. This is a fundamental misjudgment. The longer the war goes on . . . the more our success will depend on the willing co-operation and active participation of our allies." [.....] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37961-2002Aug19.html * FOR AN IRAQ AMNESTY by Thomas D. Grant Washington Post, 20th August With a consensus forming that the civilized world must bring the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq to an end, debate turns to the perils of this imperative action -- and ways to avoid them. The conventional forces of Iraq stand in parlous state. Demoralized, their numbers halved and their hardware rusting, Iraqi soldiers will pose even less resistance than in their 1991 debacle. Back then, at the height of their power and prestige, the Iraqi army and the elite Republican Guard presented warm butter to an allied knife. Under the generally accepted definition of the term, Hussein has no "weapon" in his regiments and divisions. If the Iraqi dictator wields any weapon at all, it takes the form of an unconventional pairing of unconventional assets. Hussein possesses an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Military analysts and former U.N. arms inspectors ponder the quality and quantity, but this much, they say, is clear: The Iraqi WMD stockpile includes forms of mustard gas and nerve gas, a variety of species of dangerous microorganisms, and at least some of the parts and fissile material necessary to make an atomic bomb. Yet, when it is said that Hussein "possesses" WMD, this really means something else. Hussein stands at the top of a chain of command containing many people who, if they all perform their duties in that chain of command -- that is, if they accept Hussein's orders and execute them -- will allow Hussein to carry out deployment of these weapons. The primary peril of war against Iraq is that, seeing his end approaching, Hussein will try to cause others around him to share in his demise. But to cap off his career not just with suicide but with a final paroxysm of murder, Hussein needs his every subordinate, from the Revolutionary Command Council down to -- and especially to -- the men in the field with immediate custody over WMD to accept and execute the conductor's cue for Götterdämmerung. How could he make this happen? Hussein has spent his entire career fashioning the baton -- and its raw material is complicity. He has, in his ruthlessly systematic way, rendered thousands of Iraqis accessories -- or worse -- to his crimes. To be sure, any dictator spreads the blood around. But in Iraq, according to exiles, including defectors from the regime itself, Hussein has made the common stain not incidental but a primary object. Virtually every member of the Baath Party elite who has survived to the present is said to have blood on his hands. Mass complicity in mass crime produces a dynamic that Hussein knows can serve him well. Hitler exploited the dynamic relentlessly. To Berlin in the final days of his 12-year Reich, the Nazi dictator called in divisions of SS, the worst offenders in the Nazi system. And not only "regular" German SS but a legion of traitors, too, from the Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia and elsewhere -- men who knew they had two choices: to die beside their comrades in a final battle against the hated Soviets, or to go home and be hanged amid the derision of their countrymen. Few survived the Battle of Berlin. Hussein counts on his men to do no less. Thousands of them will recognize that in the aftermath of the Baath regime, even if the attack leaves Hussein dead and the country shattered, their own fate lies just around the corner. Whether at the hands of rampaging army mutineers or vengeful members of victims' families, or in the grinding but certain wheels of a victor's law courts, Hussein's subalterns know they are doomed. To those complicit in his crimes and thus likely to follow even suicidal commands, the United States must address itself creatively and aggressively. The weapon against them is a simple -- if, to a just society, not entirely palatable -- message: After regime change, there shall be no retribution. A limited roster of the very worst offenders might well be slated for justice. Hussein, his incorrigible sons Qusay and Uday, perhaps some dozen others -- but no more. This list must be communicated very clearly, through pamphlets dropped by air, the broadcast media, and, not least of all, in both public and private communications to the Iraqi National Congress and its associates. If necessary, the United States must ride herd over the prospective successor regime, making it clear to people in Iraq that, once Hussein is gone, there will be no room for reprisals or further bloodletting. Amnesty has played a powerful role in facilitating transition in troubled countries. The dictators of Chile and Argentina and the apartheid apparatchiks of South Africa all stepped aside with surprising grace -- once they trusted pledges of security and immunity. Critics decry such "get out of jail free" cards but ignore the greater value of stability. In Iraq, the case for an amnesty pledge, communicated loud and clear, is infinitely stronger than anywhere else in the past. Hussein's weapon -- a tandem between weapons of mass destruction and complicity -- poses a terrible threat to American forces and the region. This peril will not go away completely until Saddam and his regime themselves take their final bow. Whether they are ushered out a stage exit by American forces with minimum possible casualties on all sides or incinerate the theater depends on whether we succeed in convincing those on whom Hussein relies that Iraq without their old master is an Iraq in which they can still live. Thomas D. Grant is Warburg Research Fellow at St. Anne's College, Oxford University. http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020819-54487003.htm * NEW YORK TIMES MISREPRESENTS KISSINGER ON IRAQ Washington Times, 19th August Last Friday, the New York Times ran a willfully misleading front-page story which mischaracterized Henry Kissinger's critical endorsement of President Bush's Iraq strategy. Combined with the intellectual slovenliness and pack instincts of much of the Washington press corps, the Times article could undermine support for the President's Iraq war aims ‹ which, of course, was the purpose of the article. On Monday, Aug. 12, Henry Kissinger had delivered his considered opinion that Bush's plan for pre-emptive war against Iraq was justified. He carefully described the necessary diplomatic and follow-through details necessary for success. He even judged that the Israeli Palestinian crisis would probably best be resolved by first defeating Iraq. As he put it, "the road to Jerusalem will [more likely] lead through Baghdad." Faced with this formidable buttress of the President's plans, the New York Times on Friday, in its lead story by Todd S. Purdum and Patrick E. Tyler, offered up the headline "Top Republicans Break with Bush on Iraq Strategy." The first name they listed of the "leading Republicans" who were "breaking ranks with President Bush" was Mr. Kissinger. They sneakily reported that "These senior Republicans . . . . All say they favor the eventual removal of Saddam Hussein, but some say they are concerned . . . that Iraq is [not]an urgent threat." They didn't then mention that Mr. Kissinger was not one of the "some" who are concerned, etc. Not until over 700 words into the story (and deep in to the jump on Page A9), did they mention that Mr. Kissinger was actually in favor of a prompt war and supported pre-emption. The other, lesser names mentioned in the article ‹ Brent Scowcroft, Sen. Chuck Hagel and Rep. Dick Armey ‹ actually had broken ranks. But most of the public haven't heard of them, and none have the worldwide prestige and respect of Mr. Kissinger. So, The New York Times kidnapped Mr. Kissinger's name and reputation on behalf of their opposition to the President's strategy. While it is true that a careful reading of the 1000-plus-word article presented a fuller picture of Mr. Kissinger's opinion, the editors of the New York Times knew quite well that they need not worry about that. Most members of the reading public, and ‹ even more importantly, most members of the Washington and New York press corps ‹ weren't likely to read the full article. By mid-morning on Friday, leading Washington journalists and news producers were casually repeating to each other what they had gleaned from a quick glance at the headline and the first few paragraphs of the story. When challenged on this misreading of the story, one prominent Washington journalist admitted that the false conclusion was not based on either reading Mr. Kissinger's article ("Kissinger's writing is so confusing") or reading the full Times piece. Actually, Mr. Kissinger writes with great clarity on complex issues. But it does take some intellectual rigor to follow his complex but lucid arguments. Later, MSNBC online was repeating as true this word-of mouth reversal of Mr. Kissinger's true position. Another of the cable news networks was ready to headline this misreading until Mr. Kissinger's actual article was pointed out to one of their producers. As the pre-eminent newspaper in America (and probably the world) the New York Times has a singular responsibility to get its stories right. News outlets around the world rely on the accuracy of its reporting and assume they are not being intentionally misled. It is one thing to add opinion to a news story. But to intentionally mislead and confuse its readers on the newspaper's top, right, above-the-fold front-page story (presumably a report on the most important event of the day) is a dangerous and disgraceful occurrence. Curiously, the Times' lead editorial that day, on Page A18, which was on the same topic, got it factually right. It mentioned all the other dissenting Republicans, but never mentioned Mr. Kissinger. The New York Times takes pride in being considered America's newspaper of record. This willful misrepresentation on a story of historic importance will leave a deep and perhaps indelible stain on that reputation. http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=8/21/02&Cat=2&Num=033 * U.S. AGENTS TRIED TO BRIBE IRAQI OFFICIALS DURING UN TALKS: SABRI Tehran Times, 21st August BAGHDAD -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said in an interview published Tuesday that U.S. secret service agents tried to bribe Iraqi officials who took part in talks with the United Nations in New York in May. "The U.S. secret service violated the personal freedom of certain members of my delegation by trying to recruit them to betray their homeland," Sabri told the "Al-Raifdain" weekly newspaper. Sabri and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan met at UN headquarters in May, the second round of talks between the United Nations and Iraq since dialogue resumed at the beginning of the year. Sabri accused the United States of having violated the status of the UN by delaying visas for the technical delegation accompanying him and by trying to corrupt team members in a "crude and tactless way." "The security services at the airport (on arrival) also searched us deliberately to provoke us," AFP quoted Sabri as saying. "All that led us to ask Kofi Annan not to hold the last session of talks in New York," he said. A third meeting between Annan and Sabri took place in July in Vienna, but the two-day talks also did not yield an agreement on a return of weapons inspectors, evacuated from Baghdad in December 1998 on the eve of U.S.-British strikes. The U.S. administration has repeatedly threatened to launch a military strike on Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein, whom it accuses of developing weapons of mass destruction. Iraq denies the allegations. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A41976-2002Aug20.html * TIMES TAKES FLAK ON IRAQ by Howard Kurtz Washington Post, 21st August Conservatives have declared war on the war coverage of the New York Times. The charge is being led by the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal editorial page and columnist Charles Krauthammer, who argue that the Times is using its front page to mobilize opposition to a U.S. attack on Iraq. And some on the right have put Executive Editor Howell Raines in the bull's-eye, saying that the former head of the paper's liberal editorial page is behind the slanted coverage. "If you're going to have subtle opinionizing, I thought the place for that was the editorial page," says Paul Gigot, the Journal's editorial page editor. Through a spokesman, Raines declined to comment yesterday, and staffers in the paper's Washington bureau say any comment would have to come from Raines. Some of the criticism is clearly ideological, and some reflects a conspiratorial view of how newspapers work. But after weeks of grumbling by online commentators, the complaints seem to have peaked over a front-page story Fridaythat declared: "Leading Republicans from Congress, the State Department and past administrations have begun to break ranks with President Bush over his administration's high-profile planning for war with Iraq." The chief beef is that the Times story prominently included Henry Kissinger among the GOP critics. The problem is that the former secretary of state had argued in a recent Washington Post op-ed piece that there is "an imperative for preemptive action" against Iraq. The Times highlighted some of the caveats in the Kissinger argument, such as that "military intervention should be attempted only if we are willing to sustain such an effort for however long it is needed." The paper did note that Kissinger was "far from ruling out military intervention." Still, the conservative floodgates burst open. "The question of the New York Times is now in play," says Standard Editor Bill Kristol. "The degree to which they seem in their news columns to be leading the charge against the war has struck everyone, including people like me, who are not big complainers about the news media." Although some conservatives have long portrayed the Times as anti-Bush, critics from National Review to U.S. News & World Report columnist Michael Barone have joined the chorus of criticism on Iraq coverage. Columnist George Will, on ABC's "This Week": "The New York Times has decided to be what newspapers were 220 years ago, which is a journal of a faction, and has been, I think, exaggerating the Republican differences." Krauthammer, in his Washington Post column: "Not since William Randolph Hearst famously cabled his correspondent in Cuba, 'You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war,' has a newspaper so blatantly devoted its front pages to editorializing about a coming American war as has Howell Raines's New York Times. . . . That's partisan journalism, and that's what Raines's Times does for a living. It's another thing to include Henry Kissinger in your crusade. That's just stupid." The Weekly Standard: "There's nothing subtle about the opposition of the New York Times to President Bush's plan to depose Saddam Hussein in Iraq. This bias colors not just editorials but practically every news story on the subject." The Journal editorial page objected not just to the way the Times story treated Kissinger but also to the way it pounced on a Journal op-ed piece by Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser to Bush's father when he was president. Although Scowcroft clearly opposes an administration attack on Hussein, the Journal says the Times was "trumpeting our story to advance a tendentious theme." "We're not running a campaign against the Times coverage of Iraq," Gigot says. "But when they take something we do and spin it into some big deal that seems untrue, you're obliged to say something in response." (The Times also cited statements of concern about Iraq policy by House Majority Leader Dick Armey [R-Tex.], Sen. Chuck Hagel [R-Neb.] and former secretary of state Lawrence Eagleburger.) Liberal columnist Joshua Micah Marshall, who writes the Web site TalkingPointsMemo.com, says that "conservatives have always seen the New York Times as a bete noire." But he says the "echo chamber" on the right is "just wrong" about Kissinger's stance, because "if you look at what he said, it was not in favor of the administration's position." Critics cite a spate of other stories in arguing that the Times is beating the antiwar drums: On July 30, a front-page Times story said a war against Iraq "could profoundly affect the American economy." On Aug. 1, the Times headline on a Senate hearing declared: "Experts Warn of High Risk for American Invasion of Iraq." On Aug. 3, a series of man-on-the-street interviews was headlined: "Backing Bush All the Way, Up to but Not Into Iraq." On Friday, the same day as the "Top Republicans Break With Bush on Iraq Strategy" piece, the Times editorial page also cited GOP dissenters in arguing that a war on Iraq "carries great potential to produce unintended and injurious consequences if handled rashly by Mr. Bush." The news pages that day did not mention Condoleezza Rice's attack on Hussein as "evil," although the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post carried front-page stories on the national security adviser's remarks. On Saturday, the Times reported: "President Notes Dissent on Iraq, Vowing to Listen." Dissent, of course, is part of the story. Marshall, who describes himself as "pretty hawkish on Iraq," says the Times is "running articles that point out the downside" of a U.S. invasion. But, he says, "it seems appropriate because this is a mass investment of money and lives on the country's part. They're pretty much doing what a newspaper should be doing." http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/20020821ediraq0821p2.asp * EDITORIAL: IRRATIONAL ON IRAQ U.S. JUSTIFICATIONS FOR WAR DO NOT MEASURE UP Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 21st August In arguing in support of a U.S. attack on Iraq, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice has raised Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against the Iranians in the 1980-88 war as evidence of his perfidy. Although true, there is a problem with this as a justification - and it is indicative of many arguments raised in support of a war. The problem is that the United States -- led by President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush -- was fully aware that Iraq, which the United States supported against what it considered to be an even-worse Iran, was using chemical weapons while it also received and used U.S. military intelligence and other support. That fact brings us back to the question we raised in an editorial yesterday: Why does the Bush administration persist in trying to roll this rock up the hill? One possible explanation is that this president sees himself as somehow obliged to finish the work of his father, work left undone when Saddam was permitted to remain in place at the end of the 1990-91 war. If that were the case, the defection of Gen. Scowcroft, his father's national security adviser and family friend, could now serve to take any such obligation off the younger Bush's back. There is also the argument that the Israelis, made nervous by the evenhandedness implicit in the current American approach to arranging peace between them and the Palestinians, want to tie the United States more closely to them, through an American-launched war against Iraq. Such a war would annihilate current American relations with countries like Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia. The irony is that Israel is, in fact, safer with America having a reasonable relationship with the Arab states of the region, than it is with the United States in the process of waging a solo, hot war against an Arab state, even one as unloved as Iraq. The third theory as to why the Bush administration is continuing to beat the drums for a war with Iraq is the popular -- but to us slightly loony -- claim that oil barons in the administration want to grab control of Iraq's oil production, to anchor the world energy market against potential instability in Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing states. The trouble with that argument is that the level and nature of instability introduced to the Middle East and its oil market by a unilateral U.S. attack on Iraq would be immeasurable. The governments of all its oil producers would shake and shudder. The only guarantee against such instability would be the introduction of even more U.S. troops to the area as occupiers. Sound U.S. policy at this point would be to let the current reverberating threats against Saddam Hussein serve as incentives for him to permit resumed U.N. inspections of Iraq's weapons capacity; to maintain vigilance over what Iraq is actually doing through overflight and satellite surveillance, in case a pre-emptive strike against its facilities becomes necessary; and to continue to rattle the nerves of Saddam's regime through contacts and some help to his opposition, feckless though most of them appear to be. But no unilateral, solo U.S. attack on Iraq should occur, no matter how evil it or its leader may be. The case for such a momentous undertaking has not been made. http://www.iht.com/articles/68226.html * DESPITE THE WAR TALK, BUSH IS UNLIKELY TO ATTACK IRAQ by Robert A. Levine International Herald Tribune, 21st August Los AngelesGeorge W. Bush probably won't order a military attack on Iraq in the near future because Karl Rove is unlikely to let him. If the president's top political adviser is doing his job, he should point out the distinct possibility that an unsuccessful - or a slow and costly - attack can end a presidency. Lacking an imminent danger to the United States, the political danger to the administration is likely to prevail. The current debate among intellectuals in and out of office is relevant but not central, although the lineup is impressive. Urging the president on are ideological "movement conservatives" like Ronald Reagan's assistant secretary of defense, Richard Perle, the current deputy secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, and the writer Robert Kagan. Counseling caution are former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, a retired NATO commander, General Wesley Clark, and a range of left-to-moderate-right commentators. It is said that Vice President DickCheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice are pushing, and that most Pentagon generals and Secretary of State Colin Powell are holding back, but on the public record all that is less clear. The real political game, in any case, is being played by non-movement conservatives like retiring House Republican Majority Leader Richard Armey and Republican Senators Richard Lugar and Chuck Hegel, who oppose precipitate action. Most Democrats are positioning themselves to join in the patriotic fervor if the attack is mounted, while preserving their capability to take advantage if it bogs down. Congressional hawks in both parties have been quiet lately. Few politicians are pure cynics. In matters of deep national interest at least, they pay attention to policy arguments. In this case the movement conservatives have not convinced them to override their natural caution. The movement's foreign policy ideology centers on the need for the United States to free itself of the timid old constraints and strike alone in times of high danger exemplified by Iraq's drive to build weapons of mass destruction. As put by Kagan, the United States "must sometimes act unilaterally, not out of a passion for unilateralism but, given a weak Europe that has been moved beyond power, because the United States has no choice but to act unilaterally." Applying that to Iraq, Perle says: "Our European allies are just not relevant to this. [Aside from Britain], the rest of the Europeans prefer to look the other way or cut deals with Saddam or buy him off in various ways." They are right - the United States can act without Europe, although that is less for ideological reasons than because there is no Europe. Fifteen sovereignties cannot a foreign or military policy make, even though, were they to federate into one sovereignty, they could exert power equal to that of the United States. In trade and economics they do; in political and military affairs, the European Union is a discussion group and the Eurowimps' opposition to an attack on Iraq can be discounted. But Europe is a straw man. Reality is to the east. A successful U.S. attack on Iraq - with or without European allies - would require some support from within the region. And without a solution in Israel and Palestine, or at least a softening of America's unqualified support for Ariel Sharon, that is unlikely to happen. In any case, the cascade of leaks from the Pentagon makes clear the military establishment's doubts about any easy victory in Iraq, with or without local support. The possible death throes of an Iraq regime probably already armed with dangerous weapons add further qualms. Here is where political reality cuts in. The record shows that Americans will support a successful near-zero-casualty war for a clear-cut cause, for a while. Bush père pulled off such a war against explicit Iraqi aggression that threatened the world's oil supply. The Sept. 11 attacks engendered near-unanimous support for what turned out to be a workable war in Afghanistan. But neither the fuzzy threat of a future potential of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction nor the proposed "preemptive" counterattack fit those specifications. Rather, the appropriate political models are Harry Truman's bogged-down war in Korea and Lyndon Johnson's in Vietnam; both presidents declined to run for re-election. An attack on Iraq before November's congressional election would be militarily near impossible and politically blatant. After November, President Bush will be running for re election. A war begun in 2003 and continuing without clear victory for a year or more - as is possible if not probable - would invoke the Korean and Vietnamese precedents. Perhaps that is why in recent days the president has backed off his earlier rhetoric, remarking that he might not make a decision this year, and that he is still listening to the debate. The writer is an economist, defense analyst and former official in the U.S. executive and legislative branches. He contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune. http://www.dawn.com/2002/08/21/int13.htm * US CONGRESS ALREADY AT WAR OVER IRAQ by Jim Lobe Dawn, 21st August, 11 Jamadi-us-Saani 1423 WASHINGTON: War has been declared in Washington, but not against any foreign country, at least for the moment. Rather, the war, which should switch into high gear when Congress returns from its August recess early next month , is for the heart and mind of President George W. Bush, who will come under excruciating pressure by November to decide whether or not the United States will go to war against Iraq some time during the first half of next year. For now, the war is strictly among Republicans - between the conservative realists who dominated the administration of former president George H.W. Bush and the predominantly neo-conservative coalition of hawks clustered in the civilian leadership of the Pentagon and in Vice President Dick Cheney's office. A series of leaks this month from senior military brass, who have grown increasingly distrustful of the adventurism of their civilian bosses, marked the preliminary skirmishes in the conflict. The war burst into the open last week when the elder Bush's national security adviser, ret. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, lambasted the idea of war with Iraq in the editorial pages of the staunchly hawkish Wall Street Journal. Arguing that war against Baghdad would likely destroy international co-operation for the 'war against terrorism', Scowcroft also warned that it "could well destabilize Arab regimes in the region, ironically facilitating one of Saddam's strategic objectives". Scowcroft, who doubles as the chairman of the current Presidential Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) and hence has access to top-secret intelligence, also cast doubt on rumours of any link between Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, let alone Iraqi involvement in the Sept 11 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. Left alone, the Scowcroft op-ed would have created a stir. But it became a sensation when the 'New York Times' the next day cited Scowcroft's dissent in its lead article headlined, 'Top Republicans Break with Bush on Iraq Strategy'. Citing Scowcroft's article and a column by former secretary of state Henry Kissinger - who argued that war against Iraq could be justified but that Washington had to do much more to cultivate public support at home and abroad - the Times also quoted unnamed senior State Department officials who said they were trying desperately to halt the course toward war in intra- administration debates. The Times also quoted another former Republican secretary of state, Lawrence Eagleburger, as sharing Scowcroft's views, and cited a Republican on the Senate foreign relations committee as leading the forces opposed to the war. The response was not long in coming. On Monday, readers got a double blast, aimed at both the Times and Scowcroft, by two leading neo-conservative organs, the Wall Street Journal' and the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard, which often speak for the Pentagon and Cheney hawks in the administration. In its lead editorial titled 'This is Opposition?', the Journal ridiculed the notion of a split in Republican ranks and went after Scowcroft, and Secretary of State Colin Powell as practitioners of 'realpolitik'. "So it typically favours 'stability', even when it's imposed by dictators, over democratic aspiration," according to the Journal, which went on to catalogue a series of "mistaken judgments" allegedly made by Scowcroft, Eagleburger and Powell during the first Bush administration. On the list were: the failure to intervene against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic; favouring the maintenance of the Soviet Union under Mikhail Gorbachev; and, worst, urging Bush I to "stop the Gulf War early, based in part on a CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) fear that a divided Iraq without a dictator was worse than a 'stable' Iraq ruled by Saddam or his Baath Party successor". In a second article, the Standard weighed in with its own attack on Scowcroft and the Times. The article, 'The Axis of Appeasement', was penned by the publication's chief editor, William Kristol, who doubles as co-founder of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a five-year-old front group that consists of close associates of the Pentagon Cheney forces. "European international-law wishfulness and full-blown Pat Buchanan isolationism are the two intellectually honest alternatives to the Bush Doctrine," he added. "Scowcroft and the Times wish to embrace neither, so they pretend instead to be terribly 'concerned' with the administration's alleged failure to 'make the case' (for going to war)." On one side, the ranks will be led by Rumsfeld and Cheney and their cheerleaders at the Journal, the Standard, and a handful of other publications; on the other will stand the Bush I veterans, led by Scowcroft outside the administration and Powell and the not inconsiderable help of the military brass within. How the Democrats weigh in - and they, too, face strong divisions on the issue of war with Iraq - remains to be seen. http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/234/nation/President_says_he_can_wait_on_I raq+.shtml * PRESIDENT SAYS HE CAN WAIT ON IRAQ by Robert Schlesinger Boston Globe, 22nd August WASHINGTON - President Bush yesterday dismissed the mounting speculation about a US invasion of Iraq as a "frenzy," describing himself as a "patient man" who would consult with international allies and congressional leaders before taking any action against Saddam Hussein. "What I need to do is continue to, as we call it, consult with people who share our interests to make the world a safer place, and I will do so," Bush told reporters at his Texas ranch. Addressing troops later in the day at Fort Hood, near Crawford, Texas, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld had a similar message. While noting that Bush is "thinking about" attacking Iraq, he added: "We are doing things diplomatically, we are doing things economically, and we've got some military activity in [the northern and southern no-fly zones] - all of which are designed in cooperation with some coalition countries to try to see if we can't find a way to see that that region is not developing weapons of mass destruction." Though the president has previously promised to consult with world leaders and members of Congress, his remarks yesterday seemed to shift emphasis away from hints of a unilateral US assault on Iraq. The administration is facing public skepticism from US allies abroad and from many US politicians and policymakers, including some prominent Republicans. Representative Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican and the majority whip in the House, became the latest high-profile figure yesterday to join the public debate on the issue, but on the side of taking strong action. He described Hussein as "the most dangerous man in the world today" and called for the United States to remove him from power. "Only regime change in Iraq can remove the danger from Saddam's weapons of mass destruction," DeLay said in a speech in Houston. "Only by taking them out of his hands can we be certain that nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons won't wind up in the hands of terrorists." DeLay characterized the opponents of military action against Iraq as "appeasers." Bush made his comments after meeting with his national security team at his ranch in Crawford. Members of the team - including Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and General Richard Myers, chairman of the joints chiefs of staff - discussed a range of issues relating to the military budget. Their agenda included an update on the missile-defense program, contingency planning for future conflicts around the globe, and the ongoing transformation of the military that Bush officials say is necessary to fight battles in the 21st century. Iraq was not discussed, Bush said. The president said that Iraq is a threat to world security and that Hussein should be removed from power. "Regime change is in the interests of the world," Bush said. "How we achieve that is a matter of consultation and deliberation. ... I'm a deliberative person. I'm a patient man." Bush's administration has been criticized throughout his term for being too quick to act unilaterally on a range of international issues, from global warming to withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. But the stakes have never been as high as in a decision on going to war against Iraq. "We will, obviously, continue to consult with our friends and allies," Bush said. "And those are needed consultations. Not only will we consult with friends and allies, we'll consult with members of Congress." Bush and Rumsfeld, who often addresses the need for regime change in Iraq, have lectured the press in recent days about what they call an obsession with the topic. Appearing with Rumsfeld after their meeting, Bush said: "There's this kind of intense speculation that seems to be going on, a kind of a - I don't know how you would describe it. It's kind of a churning ... a frenzy." At Fort Hood later in the day, when a soldier asked Rumsfeld about the subject, he quipped, "You must be with the press." In recent weeks, prominent leaders - including House majority leader Richard Armey, Republican of Texas, and Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser under President Georger H.W. Bush - have questioned the wisdom of a US-led strike against Iraq. "I don't believe that America will justifiably make an unprovoked attack on another nation," Armey told reporters in Des Moines earlier this month. "It would not be consistent with what we have been as a nation or what we should be as a nation." Comments such as Armey's have given rise to speculation about a breach within the GOP over the issue, and DeLay seemed to underscore the division with his comments yesterday. DeLay, who is expected to replace Armey as majority leader if the Republicans retain control of the House this fall, went further than the administration has in linking Iraq with the US war on terrorism. "The question is not whether to go to war, for war has already been thrust upon us," Delay said. "Defeating Iraq is far from a diversion in the war on terror. Defeating Saddam Hussein is a defining measure of whether we will wage the war on terrorism fully and effectively. Regime change is a central goal of the war on terror." In an interview on CNN, DeLay accused unnamed diplomatic employees of being disloyal for voicing their reservations about invading Iraq. "Those that work in the State Department should know who they work for and be loyal to the president of the United States," he said. "They should certainly discuss with the president behind closed doors their feelings and how they think that he should proceed. But to leak it to the national media is undermining our ability to fight this war." http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/nation/1546128 * POLL: SUPPORT FOR ACTION AGAINST IRAQ DROPPING Houston Chronicle (from Associated Press), 23rd August WASHINGTON -- Half of Americans believe Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, but support for sending U.S. troops to remove Saddam Hussein has slipped, according to a poll released Thursday. The CNN/USA Today poll showed support for deploying troops to Iraq has dropped from 61 percent in June to 53 percent this week. Four in 10 favor sending troops if it meant they would be in combat there for at least a year, and two in 10 favor sending troops even if the United States received no support from Western allies. The poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday and having a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, comes at a time of intensifying debate over what to do about Iraq. A growing number of politicians and foreign affairs experts have spoken out in recent days about whether to invade, and the issue has moved onto the front pages of the nation's newspapers. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer scolded reporters for focusing on Iraq when President Bush met Wednesday with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at Bush's ranch. Iraq did not come up at the meeting, Bush said. "It reached an absurd point of self-inflicted silliness that goes beyond the usual August hype," Fleischer said Thursday. "There have been meetings about Iraq in the past, there will be meetings about Iraq in the future. Yesterday's wasn't, and the press didn't care. ... The president's opinion is the press looks silly." Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under President Clinton, said the debate is vital. Iraq is "not a direct threat to the United States, which is why, I think, we need to have a discussion about whether we are, will be or would be better off with an attack or a pre emptive attack on Iraq from where we are now," she said Thursday on the PBS program "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." "I believe that Iraq and Saddam Hussein are contained pretty well within this sanctions box," she said. Henry Kissinger, secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford, said Iraq "threatens the United States by its capacity to threaten its neighbors." Allies have shown little interest in backing military action against Iraq. Earlier Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Trubnikov called the idea of an attack on Iraq "unacceptable," and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said his government's policy was to pressure Saddam into allowing the resumption of U.N. weapons inspections. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said he would not send troops to what he called an "adventure" in Iraq. Kissinger blamed the reluctance on political pressures inside those nations. "Several of these countries are having elections in Europe. Several of these countries have center-left governments in which the debate about how to deal with the United States has been endemic," Kissinger said on PBS. "At the end of the day, once there is a clear American decision, I believe most Europeans will ask themselves whether they can really afford to separate on a matter of vital security interests of the United States from the country that has been assuring their vital security interests for 50 years." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk