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News, 24-31/8/02 (4) US OPINION * Police tackle war protesters after Bush dinner is disrupted * Teaching the Teacher * Pentagon brief details Iraq's arms capability * Cheney Speech on Iraq (text) * Key Bush ally urges cooperation with allies on Iraq * Former US attorney general backs Iraq's resistance against war threats * Joe Conason's Journal: Cheney does a bad Churchill imitation. Plus: Hitchens' Kissinger isn't any better * Bush finds legal loophole for attack on Iraq * The Terrible Logic of Nukes * Mark Shields: Bush's 'ouchless' war against Saddam Hussein * Activists worried about Iraq attack plan Las Vegas protest * Bush should seek Security Council approval * Cost of making war on Iraq needs a close look * The war with Saddam never ended * Clinton Questions Attacking Iraq US OPINION http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=327063 * POLICE TACKLE WAR PROTESTERS AFTER BUSH DINNER IS DISRUPTED by Rupert Cornwell Independent, 24th August American police used pepper spray to disperse hundreds of demonstrators protesting against war with Iraq, near a hotel where President George Bush was addressing a Republican dinner. Chanting "Drop Bush, not bombs", the protesters hammered on the bonnets of police cars and taunted Bush supporters as they arrived for the fund-raising event in Portland, Oregon, for the re-election campaign of the state's Republican senator, Gordon Smith. Though relatively small in scale, the demonstration is further evidence of cooling national enthusiasm for a campaign to oust Iraq's President, Saddam Hussein at least without compelling evidence that the threat he poses is great enough to justify the likely loss of American servicemen's lives and the cost of a war which the US would have to fight virtually alone. A poll in USA Today yesterday showed that only 53 per cent of the population favours ground troops being sent to Iraq to achieve Mr Bush's goal of "regime change". That figure is down from 61 per cent in June, and a high of 74 per cent last November, when the Taliban regime in Afghanistan had just been toppled. Unusually wide coverage has been given in the United States to statements by the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, that Britain's main goal was to secure the return of United Nations weapons inspectors to Baghdad rather than to remove President Saddam from power forcibly. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/25/magazine/25LIVES.html?ex=1031360592&ei=1&e n=1b7788c4858a21c4 * TEACHING THE TEACHER by Megan J. Breslin New York Times, 25th August I don't know where Mukhalid and Mohammed are now, but I can only assume that they are back in Iraq. While they were in New York during their father's three-year posting to the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations, I taught E.S.L. to both brothers, who were 16 and 18. In my class, Mukhalid, the younger of the two, became friendly with a Catholic Ecuadorian and took to wearing Tommy Hilfiger. They learned about the Holocaust for the first time in 1999 when we read "The Diary of Anne Frank." One question puzzled Mohammed again and again: why the Jews had not mounted a widespread violent resistance. "Why didn't they fight?" he asked me. Mohammed didn't know about the Holocaust's role in the founding of Israel. "Perhaps now you understand why the Israelis fight as they do," I said. When the Holocaust came up again months later, Mukhalid, knowing of my Jewish heritage, grew concerned. "Were you in a concentration camp?" he asked. He was relieved to learn that I, 27 years old, had not been. Halfway through the school year, I held parent-teacher conferences. Their mother came in, a dark-haired woman 20 years my senior. I knew that their father intended to return to Iraq at summer's end and was concerned. "If Mukhalid doesn't pull his grades up," I explained, "he will have a hard time getting college scholarship money and, consequently, the U.S. student visa that would keep him from having to return to Iraq." She smiled indulgently, but her reply was firm: "When we go back to Iraq, Mohammed and Mukhalid will come with us." "I hope I haven't offended you," I said. "It's just that I worry about what could happen to them." She paused. "Mukhalid told me that you have said something about that." I was nervous, recalling several sarcastic quips I had made in front of her sons, both of whom had a penchant for adolescent sassing and boisterousness. Just the week before, I had joked with Mukhalid that if he didn't do his homework, there would be "an international incident." But the previous semester, I had gone further. When I had caught Mohammed looking at someone else's quiz, I warned him that cheating could get him thrown out of his future college. He could get sent back to Iraq where, if he joined the army as he sometimes fantasized, he might be killed by a U.S. bomb. Mohammed had laughed out loud at that speech. But Mukhalid, the younger and more sensitive of the two, hadn't been amused when I tried out the same routine on him. Now I was horrified; what I had intended as an edgy, in-kind response to adolescent cynicism, I recognized for the crass remark it was. "I wanted to come to school and say something," his mother said. "But Mukhalid wouldn't let me. He said that you were a good teacher." "My comments were inappropriate," I began to apologize. "I just wanted him to do his homework." She interrupted me. "All teachers want their students to do well. I used to be a teacher, too, in my country." Then she asked me a question. "You taught Mukhalid an Iraqi poem, from one of our most classical poets. How did you know about it?" "I saw it in a book of translations of women poets from all over the world," I said. "Mukhalid left Iraq when he was very young. We have been away from our country for so long that he and Mohammed have forgotten how to read and write in Arabic." "There is a mountain in the poem," I said. "Mukhalid remembered it." "Mount Qulab," she said, softening a bit. Her son's recollection seemed to cheer her. She stood up, ready to end the conference, and we shook hands. By the time his family was preparing to return to Iraq, Mukhalid was signing his papers "Mike" and speaking English with a Brooklyn accent. Nevertheless, both brothers continued to carve the letters "P.L.O." into all available surfaces and speak proudly of Saddam Hussein. When the U.S. Army came to recruit their classmates on career day, Mukhalid could not resist inquiring sarcastically about where he, as an Iraqi, could get security clearance. I can't help wondering what their feelings were when they heard, back in their country, that the towers had fallen. Sometimes I imagine that they felt a burst of pride, even as they feared for the people they knew still in New York. But as the Bush administration decides whether to invade Baghdad, the city of their childhood, did they cheer when Saddam declared that the "forces of evil will carry their coffins on their back, die in disgraceful failure?" Then again, they may assume that I supported Bush without reservation when he spoke of attacking the "axis of evil." Now we can only wait, on opposite sides, to find out what the next months will bring. http://www.washtimes.com/national/default-200282643144.htm * PENTAGON BRIEF DETAILS IRAQ'S ARMS CAPABILITY by Rowan Scarborough The Washington Times, 25th August The Pentagon is circulating a detailed assessment of Baghdad´s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs, and has briefed key allies and lawmakers privately as the White House weighs whether to strike Iraq. The military also is working on a document that purportedly will show links among the al Qaeda terrorist organization and Iraq, its security forces and government-run businesses. Those documents have not yet been widely distributed within the government, officials said. Administration officials call the weapons briefing "educational" and say it talks of all threats from weapons of mass destruction, not just Iraq´s. But they also acknowledge it will help to make the case for invading Iraq should President Bush give the order. "It´s compelling," one official said. The briefing was spearheaded by J.D. Crouch II, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy. Mr. Crouch is among the so-called "hard-liners" inside the Pentagon who favor military action to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The briefing was presented to NATO allies in Brussels some weeks ago. A group of a dozen or so U.S. senators visited the Pentagon on Aug. 1 to hear the classified briefing in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld´s conference room. The Bush administration to date has not persuaded European allies to back an attack. Only British Prime Minister Tony Blair has endorsed some of Mr. Bush´s tough language aimed at Saddam. But European opposition could melt if Mr. Bush decides to attack and the White House begins a concerted public relations drive. Officials say the Crouch briefing, in some form, is likely to be part of a public argument for military force. Until then, the Pentagon is using the briefing to make sure key decision-makers are aware of Baghdad´s commitment to building nuclear weapons. Officials said the Pentagon briefing makes it clear that Iraq has the ability to use chemical weapons in battle. Sources declined to disclose the latest intelligence estimate on how close Saddam is to owning nuclear weapons. Outside analysts have said Saddam may be two years away. Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi Republican, declined to discuss the briefing´s specifics. "It dealt with all threats," said Mr. Cochran, adding that the briefing was attended mostly by Republican senators and lasted about one hour. Mr. Cochran said he is not convinced that Iraq´s weapons programs justify a U.S. invasion. "People wring their hands over an invasion of Iraq," he said. "I don´t think we´re going to invade Iraq. That´s a personal opinion. There´s no clear and present danger to the United States we know of right now. If there were, we would take action to prevent an attack against our country." Mr. Cochran said the best approach is to confirm through intelligence sources the location of weapons sites that pose a threat to the United States, and then surgically destroy them. "The most appropriate and safest thing from our country´s standpoint is to attack that one weapon system. We can do that," Mr. Cochran said. "I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it would be morally unacceptable for us not to take this action." The Bush administration is weighing options to topple Saddam, including an all-out war. Two administration officials said in interviews last month that if the president decides to forcibly oust Saddam, the war plan would include three major components: a large ground force, precision air strikes and special-operations forces. Those forces would help organize anti-Saddam rebels and mount an extensive psychological warfare operation to convince Iraq´s armed forces to lay down their arms or to turn against Saddam. Washington-based Iraq Watch, a private research group, estimates that Iraq has scores of aerial bombs, munitions and missile warheads capable of delivering chemical weapons. Evidence suggests the country has 157 bombs and 25 missile warheads suitable for germ agents anthrax, aflatoxin and botulinum. Vice President Dick Cheney has referred to Iraq´s pursuit of nuclear weapons as "this gathering danger [that] requires the most careful, deliberate and decisive response by America and our allies." Mr. Rumsfeld told soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, last week that Mr. Bush "has made no such decisions that we should go into a war with Iraq. He´s thinking about it." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63809-2002Aug26.html * CHENEY SPEECH ON IRAQ (TEXT) Washington Post, 26th August Following is the partial text of Vice President Cheney's speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention. Cheney remarked on the administration's policy toward Iraq. CHENEY: To this day, historians continue to analyze the war, speculating on how we might have prevented Pearl Harbor and asking what actions might have averted the tragedies that rate among the worst in human history. America in the year 2002 must ask careful questions, not merely about our past, but also about our future. The elected leaders of this country have a responsibility to consider all of the available options, and we are doing so. What we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or willful blindness. We will not simply look away, hope for the best and leave the matter for some future administration to resolve. As President Bush has said, time is not on our side. Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a terror network, or a murderous dictator, or the two working together, constitutes as grave a threat as can be imagined. The risk (sic) of inaction are far greater than the risk of action. Now and in the future, the United States will work closely with a global coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction. We will develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from sudden attack. And the entire world must know that we will take whatever action is necessary to defend our freedom and our security. As former Secretary of State Kissinger recently stated, the imminence of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the huge dangers it involves, the rejection of a viable inspection system and the demonstrated hostility of Saddam Hussein combine to produce an imperative for preemptive action. If the United States could have preempted 9/11, we would have; no question. Should we be able to prevent another, much more devastating attack, we will; no question. This nation will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes. (APPLAUSE) I am familiar with the arguments against taking action in the case of Saddam Hussein. Some concede that Saddam is evil, power hungry and a menace, but that until he crosses the threshold of actually possessing nuclear weapons we should rule out any preemptive action. That logic seems to me to be deeply flawed. The argument comes down to this: Yes, Saddam is as dangerous as we say he is, we just need to let him get stronger before we do anything about it. Yet if we did wait until that moment, Saddam would simply be emboldened and it would become even harder for us to gather friends and allies to oppose him. As one of those who worked to assemble the Gulf War coalition, I can tell you that our job then would have been infinitely more difficult in the face of a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein. And many of those who now argue that we should act only if he gets a nuclear weapon would then turn around and say that, "We cannot because he has a nuclear weapon. At bottom, that argument counsels a course of inaction that itself could have devastating consequences for many countries, including our own. Another argument holds that opposing Saddam Hussein would cause even greater troubles in that part of the world and interfere with the larger war against terror. I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. When the gravest of threats are eliminated, the freedom-loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace. As for the reaction of the Arab street, the Middle East expert, Professor Fouad Ajami, predicts that after liberation the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy in the same way throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans. Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad, moderates throughout the region would take heart and our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. The reality is that these times bring not only dangers, but also opportunities. In the Middle East, where so many have known only poverty and oppression, terror and tyranny, we look to the day when people can live in freedom and dignity, and the young can grow up free of the conditions that breed despair, hatred and violence. In other times the world saw how the United States defeated fierce enemies, then helped rebuild their countries, forming strong bonds between our peoples and our governments. CHENEY: Today in Afghanistan, the world has seen that America acts not to conquer, but to liberate. It remains in friendship to help the people build a future of stability, self-determination and peace. We would act in that same spirit after a regime change in Iraq. With our help, a liberated Iraq can be a great nation once again. Iraq is rich in natural resources and human talent and has unlimited potential for a peaceful, prosperous future. Our goal would be an Iraq that has territorial integrity, a government that is democratic and pluralistic, a nation where the human rights of every ethnic and religious group are recognized and protected. In that troubled land, all who seek justice and dignity and the chance to live their own lives to know they have a friend and ally in the United States of America. Great decisions and challenges lie ahead of us, yet we can and we will build a safer and better world beyond the war on terror. Over the past year, millions here and abroad have been inspired once again by the bravery and the selflessness of America's armed forces. For my part, I have been reminded on a daily basis, as I was during my years at the Pentagon, of what a privilege it is to work with the people of our military. In whatever branch, at whatever rank, these are men and women who live by a code, who give America the best years of their lives and they show the world the finest qualities in this country. As veterans, each of you has a place in the long, unbroken line of Americans who came to the defense of freedom. Having served in foreign wars, you bore that duty in some of our nation's most difficult hours. And I know that when you come together, your thoughts inevitably turn to those who never had the opportunity to live to be called veterans. In a book about his army years, Andy Rooney tells the story of his childhood friend, O.B. Slingerland (ph), a decent, good-hearted, promising boy who was captain of the high school football team. O.B. (ph) later went on to be quarterback at Amherst before entering the Navy and becoming a pilot. Still a young man in his early 20s, he was killed while flying a combat mission off the carrier Saratoga. Andy Rooney writes: "I have wakened in the middle of the night a thousand times and thought about the life I had that O.B. (ph) never got to have." Many of you have known that experience. The entire nation joins you in honoring the memories of your friends, and all of who have died for our freedom. And the American people will always respect each one of you for your standing ready to make that same sacrifice. On the nation's behalf and for myself, and President Bush, I thank you for the service you gave to your fellow citizens, for the loyalty you have shown to each other, and for the great honor you've brought to your uniform, to our flag and to our country. Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE) http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=8/26/02&Cat=4&Num=005 * KEY BUSH ALLY URGES COOPERATION WITH ALLIES ON IRAQ Tehran Times, 26th August WASHINGTON -- A key political ally of George W. Bush urged the U.S. president Sunday to refrain from acting alone in trying to bring about a regime change in Iraq, saying this course of action is fraught with peril. "Although the United States could certainly succeed, we should try our best not to have to go it alone, and the president should reject the advice of those who counsel doing so," former secretary of state James Baker wrote in an opinion piece published by the New York Times. "The costs in all areas will be much greater, as will the political risks, both domestic and international, if we end up going it alone or with only one or two other countries," added Baker, a lawyer, who represented Bush in his legal dispute with Democrat Al Gore over the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. Baker, who served in the 1989-93 administration of the president's father, George Bush, argued that the only realistic way to effect regime change in Iraq was through massive use of military force, including the occupation of Baghdad and installation of a successor government. "Iraqi opposition groups are not strong enough to get the job done," he argued. The former secretary of state warned such an operation would probably result in more casualties that the allies had during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and the United States would face the daunting task of occupying and administering a big and fractious country. "The costs of doing so, politically, economically and in terms of casualties, could be great," Baker stressed. "They will be lessened if the president brings together an international coalition behind the effort." According to the former secretary of state, the United States should seek a new UN Security Council resolution requiring Iraq to submit to intrusive inspections anytime, anywhere, with no exceptions and authorizing all necessary means to enforce it. Baker rejected arguments by some current Bush administration officials, who insist that Iraq's refusal to allow UN weapons inspectors to return in violation of UN ceasefire resolutions was grounds enough for military action against Baghdad. "Seeking new authorization now is necessary, politically and practically, and will help build international support," Baker pointed out. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2002-08/27/content_538937.htm * FORMER US ATTORNEY GENERAL BACKS IRAQ'S RESISTANCE AGAINST WAR THREATS BAGHDAD, Aug. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark on Monday voiced his support for Iraq's resistance against US threats to launch military actions on the country, the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported. Clark, who is visiting Baghdad, asserted his stance to support the Iraqi people and their steadfastness to confront US war threats during his meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz. The former senior US official told Aziz that public opinion in the United States and other parts of the world has started to move against the US administration's possible plans to attack Iraq. For his part, Aziz told Clark that the US administration will face "fighting people led by a striving leadership" and the "steadfastness and resistance of Iraqi people will thwart the imperialist plans." "Any aggression by the US administration will vehemently fail," the Iraqi deputy prime minister added. US President George W. Bush, who accused Iraq of pursuing weapons of mass destruction and supporting terrorism, has repeatedly vowed to achieve a "regime change" in Iraq with all the tools at his disposal. However, Iraq has remained adamant in the face of growing US saber-rattling. http://www.salon.com/politics/conason/2002/08/26/bush/index.html * JOE CONASON'S JOURNAL: CHENEY DOES A BAD CHURCHILL IMITATION. PLUS: HITCHENS' KISSINGER ISN'T ANY BETTER. Salon.com, 27th August In his speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Dick Cheney pretended to address critics of the administration's "pre-emption" policy. He spoke as if this were World War II and he (or Bush) were facing down the forces of appeasement (who were mainly right-wing Republican politicians from the West back then). The analogy doesn't hold anyway, among other reasons that by the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, the (real) Axis of evil was swarming across Europe and Asia. Saddam is holed up in Baghdad these days, and none of his neighbors appear to consider him threatening. What the vice president neglected to do in Nashville was effectively rebut the salient arguments for a broad alliance, sanctioned by the U.N., and for a serious effort to resume weapons inspections before any invasion commences. That he chose instead to knock down straw "appeasers" suggests that the war faction has no adequate responses -- and that they plan to invade as soon as possible anyway. Despite his passion for right-wing causes over here, Christopher Hitchens still plays the "leftist" in the pages of various publications in his native land. And so he does again in the Sunday pages of the Observer, where he begins the challenging task of fabricating a "radical" argument in support of White House policy on Iraq. Such is the function of the leftish jester in any conservative royal court. It's rude of the jester to presume that his audience is composed of idiots, but that too is normal for Hitchens. Here he strives to line up all his "enemies" on the "pacifist" side of his murky argument, possibly annoying his fans on the American right by revising Henry Kissinger's position for the sake of his own self-image. Even more bizarrely, Hitchens claims that "the Israeli hard-liners are skeptical also," as if the Likudnik hawks in Washington and Jerusalem weren't the loudest advocates of unilateral invasion. Anyone as confused about this aspect as Christopher might consult the revealing story in the Nation by Jason Vest. A more coherent position was delineated on Sunday by James Baker. Let's take a head count: Powell, Scowcroft, Schwarzkopf, Baker ... when will the parade of Poppy's surrogates end? The public scolding of Dubya by his Dad's men is looking more and more like an episode of "Father Knows Best." It could get even worse, should ol' Bar decide to wade in and grab Junior by the ear. But Bush's legal advisors are telling him he can plunge into full-scale war without allies, without the United Nations -- and without so much as a nod from Congress. That's one more page of the Constitution in the shredder. [.....] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-395696,00.html * BUSH FINDS LEGAL LOOPHOLE FOR ATTACK ON IRAQ by Tim Reid in Washington The Times, 27th August WHITE HOUSE lawyers have told President Bush that he can invade Iraq without the approval of Congress, a legal opinion that could lead to a showdown on Capitol Hill next month. The advice, given to the President by Alberto Gonzales, the White House counsel, this month, was leaked yesterday to The Washington Post. It is a clear ploy by the Bush Administration to give itself the option of bypassing Congress if it appears likely that it would refuse to sanction an invasion of Iraq. Mr Gonzales has told Mr Bush that permission for an attack on President Saddam Hussein remains in force from the 1991 congressional resolution that gave his father authority for the Gulf War, an opinion hotly contested in Washington yesterday. Mr Bush has said repeatedly that he will consult Congress before deciding how to proceed, but has pointedly stopped short of saying he will seek its approval. However, there are many within the Administration who argue that seeking congressional approval is a political necessity, to build public support and to avoid souring relations with Congress. Whatever the President decides, many House and Senate members are determined to force a full debate and subsequent vote authorising an attack on Iraq because they consider the issue too important for Congress to be ignored. But the legal hawks in the White House are keen that a strong case be made now for Mr Bush to act unilaterally. "We don't want to be in the legal position of asking Congress to authorise the use of force when the President already has that full authority," a senior administration official told The Washington Post. "We don't want, in getting a resolution, to have conceded that one was constitutionally necessary." In Baghdad, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday that any US-led attack was "completely doomed to failure". The sanction-hit country's embattled population, was "immune to such aggressions", he said. Tariq Aziz, in talks with Ramsey Clark, the former US Attorney-General, who is a frequent visitor and who supports the lifting of sanctions against Iraq, gave warning that Americans would come up against "a warrior people headed by a fighting commander". Considering that America has perhaps the most specific and thorough constitutional framework, the debate has exposed just how murky the authority for a US president to declare war remains. Disputes over the power to wage war have occurred frequently since 1800, when the Supreme Court upheld President John Adams's undeclared war with France. The Constitution grants the President the duties and powers of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. But because of the Founding Fathers' concern that an unfettered executive might wage war for immoral reasons, they gave Congress the power to declare war. The result has been a legal and constitutional twilight zone that has led to a tug-of-war between the White House and Capitol Hill ever since. The 1973 War Powers Resolution was intended to bridge the roles by allowing the President to act unilaterally with military force for 60 to 90 days, with congressional approval required for troops to remain engaged in hostilities after that. Every president since has objected to the legislation, beginning with Richard Nixon, who vetoed its creation but was overridden by a Congress appalled at the escalation of US deployments in Vietnam ‹ an undeclared war. White House lawyers are now arguing that the 1973 law is effectively irrelevant, because the congressional resolution authorising the use of force against Iraq in 1991 is still extant. George Bush Sr, although persuaded that he was not legally required to seek approval from Congress, decided to obtain it so as to unify Capitol Hill behind the Gulf War. In January 1991, after vigorous lobbying, it passed the Senate by 52 to 47 and the House by 250 to 183. Michael J. Glennon, an international law professor at Tufts University, said that the 1991 authority was "narrowly circumscribed" at the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, and ended on April 6, 1991 when Iraq formalised a ceasefire with the UN Security Council. He said the White House cannot rely on the resolution, which was tied to a UN resolution demanding that Iraq eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to justify a new war on Iraq. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101020902-344059,00.html * THE TERRIBLE LOGIC OF NUKES by Charles Krauthammer Time, 2nd September The growing debate on invading Iraq hinges on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Opponents of invasion discount the existing threat by arguing that A) he is not crazy enough to use them against us, and B) if he doesn't use them, what threat are they? The response to A is we do not know that Saddam is sane enough never to use them against us, and it is not a proposition that we should wish to test by giving him yet more time to acquire them. Saddam has acted with supreme irrationality in the past, from launching a catastrophic war against Iran in 1980 to forfeiting half a dozen opportunities offered to him in 1990 to extricate himself with advantage from Kuwait. In the annals of tyranny and on the scale of capricious savagery, he ranks somewhere between Caligula and Mao. There's not much percentage in counting on the rationality of such gentlemen. Which brings us to objection B: What use are weapons of mass destruction anyway? Well, we had a quite extraordinary demonstration of their efficacy this summer. Just a few weeks ago, India and Pakistan appeared on the verge of war. It never happened. Not only did the feared war not go nuclear, but it did not even go conventional. Why? Many reasons, but perhaps the most important was, paradoxically, the nukes themselves. India made clear that it would not be the first to use nuclear weapons. Pakistan, however, did not follow suit. "We ... do not subscribe to a no-first-use doctrine," declared Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. Why? Simply put, because Pakistan is the weaker party. And the weaker party, if nuclear capable, invariably holds out the threat of nuclear war as a way to deter conventional attack. Pakistan was saying to India, You have a much stronger army. You could probably launch a war and overrun not just Kashmir but much of Pakistan as well. That is why we built our nuclear arsenal. Of course, we do not want to use it. But if you overrun us, we just might strike first. Think about it. India did. The iron law of the nuclear age is this: nuclear weapons are instruments of madness; their actual use would be a descent into madness, but the threat to use them is not madness. On the contrary, it is exceedingly logical. During the cold war, the U.S. also threatened first use of nuclear weapons. The Soviets fielded a huge conventional army that could have overrun Western Europe. The U.S. response was not to match the Soviets with countless tank divisions but to threaten nuclear retaliation against a conventional attack. This is known as the doctrine of extended deterrence. It is "extended" because it was not American nukes deterring Soviet nukes in protection of the American homeland; it was American nukes extended in their deterrence to provide an umbrella for Europe against nonnuclear attack. At home, first use provoked protest from the pacifist left, most dramatically against President Reagan, who was portrayed as a nuclear cowboy. This was silly. The doctrine of first use made perfect sense. It kept the peace. It also demonstrated the peculiar utility of otherwise unusable nuclear weapons: to deter a conventional attack. That is precisely why today we cannot allow bad guys like Saddam to get their hands on nukes: not merely because a crazed Saddam might actually use them on us but also because a rational Saddam, one not interested in committing suicide by attacking us out of the blue with nukes, could nonetheless use them as accessories to aggression. How? Imagine that Israel had not destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. What would have happened when Iraq invaded Kuwait? With a nuclear arsenal at Saddam's disposal, would the U.S. have attacked? As it was, war against a nonnuclear Iraq was authorized by the U.S. Senate by a mere five votes. Had Saddam had nukes in 1991, he would probably today be king of all Arabia. We are in a race against time. Were Iraq to acquire a deliverable nuclear weapon, it would gain a measure of invulnerability. This is not because its nuclear arsenal could ever match America's but because the threat of just a few nuclear weapons, delivered by missile or terrorist to, say, New York City or San Francisco, would allow an aggressor to commit whatever depredations he fancied, calculating that America would be deterred from intervening with its otherwise overwhelming conventional power. Nukes are not weapons of insanity. They have a logic. The U.S. showed it during the cold war. Pakistan showed it this year. Saddam would like to show it tomorrow. Which is why time is short. Nukes do not have to explode to be useful. Their value lies in mere possession. Possession creates an umbrella of inviolability. And there is nothing more dangerous than an inviolable aggressor. http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/08/27/column.shields/index.html * MARK SHIELDS: BUSH'S 'OUCHLESS' WAR AGAINST SADDAM HUSSEIN by Mark Shields CNN, 27th August WASHINGTON (Creators Syndicate, Inc.) -- Northwestern University military sociologist -- and ex-Army draftee during the Cold War -- Charlie Moskos points out how the contemporary press in its 25th anniversary stories about the death of Elvis Presley overlooks "one of the most significant features of his life," which would be that "the leading pop music star of all time served in the U.S. Army." "Not only did The King accept his obligations as a draftee," Moskos reminds us, "but he also served as an enlisted man in Germany 1958 to '59," just like Moskos did. What makes this important today, as well as interesting, adds Moskos, is that "in all this talk about the war against terrorism, no one is asking privileged youth to serve in our military as ordinary soldiers. Welcome to George W. Bush's ouchless, painless war against Saddam Hussein. Not since the Mexican-American War nearly a century and a half ago has the United States entered a war without either a military draft to provide manpower or a tax increase to pay the costs, or both. This president asks us at home to pay no price, to bear no burden, to accept no hardship other than -- in the noble spirit of high national purpose -- to accept tax cuts. "War," writes the conservative scholar Michael Barone, "demands equality of sacrifice." Sadly, that was not true in the U.S. war in Vietnam, when this nation's unjust policy imposed, as Paul Starr wrote, "an enormous, disproportionate sacrifice" in which "a few have been asked to die," while "virtually nothing had been asked of anybody else." Armies, the people of this country so painfully learned from the tragedy that was Vietnam, don't fight wars. Countries fight wars. If the country is not willing to shoulder the sacrifice, then we should never send an army. That is not the message from those now so loudly beating the drums of war, who ask of us what Moskos calls, "patriotism-lite." You know: Put flags on your SUV. Feature a flag prominently on your lapel. Obey the commander in chief's directive to support and accept more and deeper tax cuts. In the front ranks of the war drum-beaters are to be seen, says Charlie Moskos, "the latest appearance of the 'chicken hawks.'" Chicken hawks were the young, educated males during the Vietnam era whose testosterone gland began pumping after age 26, when their own personal exposure to the nation's military draft ended. Most billed themselves as dedicated anti-communists and viewed the U.S. military commitment in Vietnam as critical to stopping the Red Tide. But almost without exception, those cold warriors endorsed a U.S. policy of military escalation absent their own personal participation. In George W. Bush's America, those civilian leaders who advocate, plan and ultimately vote for war are personally insulated from the pain and loss that war may bring. Of the 1,155,315 enlisted men and women in the U.S. military today, only one -- Sergeant Brooks Johnson, the son of Sen. Tim and Barbara Johnson, D-South Dakota -- is the child or brother or sister of any United States senator. Sen. Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska Republican, himself an ex-Army sergeant and dedicated combat veteran of Vietnam, cautions against the rush to U.S. war against Iraq before a full, frank and free debate about the cost, the mission and the public commitment involved in such an effort. No hawk has been more noisy in calling for immediate military action against Saddam Hussein than non-veteran Richard Perle, who was Ronald Reagan's assistant secretary of defense. "Maybe," observed Hagel, "Richard Perle would like to be in the first wave of those going to Baghdad. Bush has to understand that war is and cannot be a spectator sport, where the nation's privileged elites and their families, at a safe remove, look on while fellow citizens they do not know -- and will never meet -- do the fighting and the dying. Barone is right: War truly does demand equality of sacrifice. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/14099p-13391c.html * GEN. RAPS PLANS by Richard Sisk New York Daily News, 27th August WASHINGTON - The Bush administration distanced itself yesterday from a White House envoy's bitter critique of U.S. policy on Iraq that questioned the experience of those advocating war. In little-noted remarks to the Economic Club of Florida on Friday, retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni listed retired generals such as Norman Schwarzkopf and Bush family adviser Brent Scowcroft as among those who were urging caution on Iraq. "All the generals see this the same way, and all those that never fired a shot in anger are really hell-bent to go to war," Zinni said. He did not identify the war advocates who never served in the military, but Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) has singled out Pentagon adviser Richard Perle and suggested that he be in "the first wave into Baghdad" to back up his convictions. Zinni, a Purple Heart veteran of Vietnam and former head of the U.S. Central Command, was appointed this year as a special envoy to mediate the Israeli-Palestinian crisis. "It's not surprising" that Zinni would issue the broadside, said a U.S. official who spoke on grounds of anonymity. He has been critical of U.S. policy on Iraq in the past, the official asserted. Zinni also "was not brought in as an adviser on Iraq," the official said. The retired general said that attacking Iraq would derail the war on terrorism, jeopardize the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and terminate prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement. He also said that U.S. forces already are "stretched too tight all over the world" to focus on Iraq. Zinni dismissed U.S. plans to back Iraqi opposition groups in overthrowing dictator Saddam Hussein. The plan risked a "Bay of Goats" in Iraq, Zinni said in a reference to the failed Bay of Pigs mission to overthrow Cuba's Fidel Castro. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/lv-gov/2002/aug/27/513905717.html * ACTIVISTS WORRIED ABOUT IRAQ ATTACK PLAN LAS VEGAS PROTEST by Jeffrey Libby Las Vegas Sun, 28th August A small group of activists plans to gather Wednesday outside the Las Vegas offices of Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign to ask for full, public congressional debate of the Bush administration's public talk of a potential war with Iraq. Similar activist gatherings are planned at senators' offices around the country. MoveOn.org, a Washington-based organization that has pushed for campaign finance reform, gun control legislation and preservation of estate taxes, is coordinating the effort. As war rhetoric in Washington has heated up in recent days, the activists' concerns have increased, they said. On Monday Vice President Dick Cheney warned that any delay in attacking Iraq could lead to serious consequences for the United States. Cheney called the arguments of his opponents on the issue "deeply flawed." But some local activists say an open debate should precede any decision on military action. "This can't be another Vietnam where decisions are being made behind closed doors and then we have troops committed," said Sondra Cosgrove, a UNLV graduate history student who plans to attend the Wednesday gathering. "We want open debate. We're going to be adamant that Congress not roll over on us on this one." Cosgrove says these days when she reads in the newspaper about U.S. troop and equipment movements in Europe, she is also reminded of the beginnings of the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-1848. Former President James Polk massed U.S. troops at the Texas border, provoking a response from the Mexican military. That, in turn, forced the hand of the U.S. Congress, Cosgrove said. Linda Schrick, a Boulder City resident serving as the Southern Nevada coordinator for MoveOn.org, said propaganda leaked by the Bush administration on a near-daily basis also seems to be an attempt to create an appetite for war. The recent news report of al-Qaida training camps gassing dogs was one example, she said. "What is going to get the American heart behind the war more than gassing dogs?" Schrick said. "But if you say something about it, most people look at you like you're a nut. And in Washington, the first thing the administration will do is go after their (politician's) character." But by questioning a potential war, Schrick said, she is being just as patriotic as "any flag-waver." During Wednesday's gathering, Reid will be in South Africa and Ensign will be "out of the country," office staffers said. http://www.iht.com/articles/68933.html * BUSH SHOULD SEEK SECURITY COUNCIL APPROVAL by Richard C. Holbrooke International Herald Tribune, 28th August 28, 2002 The road to Baghdad runs through the United Nations Security Council. This simple truth must be recognized by the Bush administration if it wants the international support that is essential for success in Iraq. To build such support, a new Security Council resolution is necessary, one that authorizes the use of force if Saddam Hussein refuses to allow an airtight weapons inspection regime - no-notice inspections anywhere, anytime. Such a resolution would provide those nations (Turkey, Britain) that want to support an effort to remove Saddam with a legitimizing cover for action, and put pressure on those (Germany, France, Saudi Arabia) that are wavering or opposed. Although the Security Council was in large part a creation of U.S. efforts at the end of World War II, few Americans today understand the enormous force, both moral and political, that a Security Council resolution authorizing military intervention carries in the rest of the world. Such a resolution mobilizes international opinion, forces concerted action and can mute much criticism. It can be sought without any weakening of the president's ability to act directly if vital national security interests are at stake; if achieved, it greatly strengthens America's hand. The first Bush administration understood this perfectly in 1991, perhaps partly because George Herbert Walker Bush had once served as the American ambassador to the United Nations. Secretary of State James Baker and the American ambassador to the United Nations, Thomas Pickering, skillfully built international support through votes in the Security Council before Operation Desert Storm. Today, unfortunately, Washington has a different attitude toward the United Nations. Bypassing the Security Council is obviously tempting for an administration that, with the exception of Secretary of State Colin Powell, shows little respect for the United Nations and has weakened it by unnecessary fights over secondary issues and periodic gratuitous insults. But a campaign against Saddam Hussein cannot be waged without allies, and from Britain to Turkey the governments the United States needs most are facing growing domestic opposition over Iraq. Last month a senior adviser to Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain told me bitterly that Washington "was giving Blair nothing" in return for Blair's unstinting support, even as British domestic opposition to Blair's pro-American position was growing. Some will argue that because existing Security Council resolutions dating back to 1991 have been clearly violated by Saddam, there is already, in Baker's phrase, "sufficient legal authority" to sanction the use of force against the Iraqi regime. This argument may have some merit in legal circles, but it has none in political or practical terms. As Baker himself recently noted, predicating action against Saddam solely on existing Security Council resolutions will not be enough. Washington policymakers have three core concerns when they discuss the Security Council route: first, that Iraq will agree to inspections and then cheat (again); second, that Russia or France will water down any resolution to the point of meaninglessness; third, that the resolution will not authorize regime change but only some lesser goal such as the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. On the first point, Russia, France and China are the key countries; any one of them could block Security Council action by using its veto power. But if Bush's new relationship with President Vladimir Putin of Russia is worth anything, Moscow should support a tough resolution; it has already indicated readiness to do so in private. As for France, it will undoubtedly play its normal role as a difficult and contentious ally, but in the end, it will not stop the concerted will of America and Britain. If London aggressively supports Washington, a resolution strong enough to lay the basis for action will be achievable. China will have its qualms, but it will not use the veto against the rest of the international community. So the betting here is that effective American diplomacy - including the direct involvement of the president, as was famously illustrated by the personal coalition-building efforts of the senior President Bush - would result in a Security Council resolution strong enough to lay the basis for immediate military action if Iraq violated it. If, however, such a resolution cannot be achieved, the administration, having made a best-faith effort in the Security Council, will be in a much stronger position to garner international and domestic support for action than if it had never tried at all. On the issue of American objectives, this administration has (rightly) called for regime change. Unfortunately, few other nations in the world, and especially in the region, will openly subscribe to such a goal. Other nations will probably seek to limit any resolution to the issue of weapons of mass destruction. This is, however, less of a problem than it initially may appear. If military action against Baghdad begins, it will soon become evident that it is impossible to eliminate weapons of mass destruction without a change in regime. Given that the Iraqi military is only one-third the size it was before the last war, and American forces far stronger, the odds favor an American success. But no one can foresee clearly what will occur once a war starts. Will there be an assassination, a rebellion, a crumbling of the Iraqi military, a quick victory that preempts Iraqi missile attacks on Israel, a protracted struggle, or something worse? Whatever happens, once launched, the effort against Saddam Hussein cannot be stopped until its goal is achieved and the overwhelming power of the United States has prevailed. The president will have American support for the difficult decisions he will soon have to make, but it would strengthen his position greatly if he remembered the importance of using every nonmilitary tool at his disposal to build international support - starting with the UN Security Council. The writer, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill Clinton, contributed this comment to The Washington Post. http://www.newhavenregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=5176218&BRD=1281&PAG=46 1&dept_id =7581&rfi=6 * COST OF MAKING WAR ON IRAQ NEEDS A CLOSE LOOK by Stanley Heller New Haven Register, 28th August 28, 2002 A U.S. Senate committee recently held a two-day hearing on going to war with Iraq. One day on the problem, one day on the cost. All done. U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., now says we're on a path for war. Perhaps we should take a little more time to think about this before we put U.S. soldiers in harm's way. The Gulf War was not nearly as casualty free as we are led to believe. True, only about 140 soldiers died, but the number who got sick from the war is little short of astounding. Last December, the New York Times reported about South Windsor native Michael Donnelly, who has won a six-year fight to get the Veterans Administration to declare that his ALS was a result of his Gulf War service. ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a devastating ailment. Donnelly is forced to use a ventilator and feeding tube to stay alive. A study has found Gulf War veterans had nearly twice the risk for ALS as those who were not in the war. The increased numbers of ALS victims is just the tip of the iceberg. Since the war, more than 100,000 veterans have complained of an array of symptoms - from joint pain to muscle aches, rashes, chronic fatigue, and gastrointestinal ailments - that have collectively come to be called Gulf War illness. Seymour Hersh, who exposed the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, wrote about the illnesses in his book, "Against All Enemies" in 1998. His judgment is that the suffering vets were "friendly-fire" casualties, victims of military incompetence and military overkill. The main problem was the military blew up "dozens of Iraqi weapons depots without taking any precautions against fallout." One of them was Khamsiyah weapons depot, which stored shells filled with sarin nerve gas. A Senate report revealed that 100,000 U.S. soldiers were in the path of the "chemical plume." Besides exposure to nerve gas, another suspect in Gulf War illness are pyridostigmine bromide (PB) pills, a experimental drug that was supposed to ward off some effects of nerve gas. Every soldier in the Gulf was forced to take them and some GI's immediately got sick. Finally there's the matter of DU, depleted uranium, which was used to coat anti-tank shells. Six hundred thousand pounds of radioactive DU munitions were fired during the war. Donald Fahey, a naval officer during the war, estimates that as many as 400,000 soldiers may have been exposed to "low level" radioactivity. This is not all ancient history. NATO soldiers on the ground in Kosovo have been coming up with serious illnesses and are blaming it on DU shells used there. Who knows what risks soldiers will face from side effects of our own weapons in a new Gulf attack. Besides the costs to soldiers of a new Gulf War, there are the straight financial costs. In today's money, the last Gulf War cost about $80 billion, but it was mostly paid for by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. There's no prospect of any such help in this war. With the U.S. economy teetering on another recession, an $80 billion to $100 billion hit could help push it over the brink. Finally, there are the costs to the Iraqi civilians. Relying on United Nations sources, a recent article in the Detroit Free Press states "the ongoing collateral damage of the ('91) war and sanctions on Iraqi civilians has totaled more than 1 million deaths, half of which are children under age 5." Most of this was due to the bombing campaign that destroyed the Iraqi electrical grid and water purification system. Because of economic sanctions, the purification system has never been adequately repaired and large numbers still die monthly. A new war would certainly doom tens of thousands more. Our government has no right to risk U.S. soldiers' lives without some vital necessity. It has no right to launch an invasion in a region that is at peace without evidence of some new Iraqi aggression. The mere fact that the tenth rate Iraqi army "may" possess chemical weapons is not nearly reason enough. Our politicians should start honesty talking about the true costs of an attack before unleashing the dogs of war. Stanley Heller is chairman of the Middle East Crisis Committee, a 20-year-old human rights organization based in New Haven. He can be reached at MECC, Box 3626, Woodbridge 06525 or e-mail@TheStruggle.org . http://www.iht.com/articles/69129.html * THE WAR WITH SADDAM NEVER ENDED by Alexander M. Haig Jr. International Herald Tribune, from The Washington Post, 30th August WASHINGTON: Whatever the merits of announcing a preemptive military strategy or an objective of regime change, neither of these is needed to justify action against Iraq. Iraq's agreement that international inspectors would confirm the destruction of its weapons of mass terror was essential to ending the Gulf War. Saddam has grossly violated these provisions since 1998. The UN Security Council is united on the demand that inspectors must return, and even those Arab governments publicly opposed to an attack on Iraq will, in almost the same breath, urge the Iraqis to cooperate on inspections. Thus, should the administration choose to go to Baghdad, it would simply be saying to Saddam: We are enforcing the international mandate on your weapons of mass destruction reached in 1991 and reaffirmed ever since. Stand in the way and you will be destroyed. The alternative is to destroy your weapons. Period. Some of those urging war on Iraq have suggested that Washington seek a fresh mandate from the United Nations. Of course it should consult with coalition partners. But to seek new Security Council resolutions after Saddam's blatant violations would also suggest that the previous clearly stated UN demands were irrelevant and unenforceable. This is a sure way to discredit the United Nations. Ultimately, an American foreign policy or an international order that allows a country such as Iraq to acquire weapons of mass destruction while violating solemn agreements is a guarantee of a world on the edge of greater terrors to come. The writer is a former secretary of state, NATO commander and White House chief of staff. He is chairman of Worldwide Associates Inc., a Washington-based international advisory firm. He contributed this comment to The Washington Post. http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-clinton-iraq0831a ug30.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dnation%2Dheadlines * CLINTON QUESTIONS ATTACKING IRAQ by William Kates, Associated Press Writer Newsday, 30th August SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A U.S. attack on Iraq could give Saddam Hussein an excuse to use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and its allies, former President Bill Clinton said Friday. Clinton said the current administration should move cautiously on Iraq and urged President Bush to listen to Congress and the American public. "Looking at it from the outside, it seems to me we have maximum incentive now for him not to use these weapons and not to give them to anybody. Because he knows all of America is ready to go after him, and would if he did that," Clinton said at the New York State Fair after speaking at a luncheon hosted by his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. "If he knew for sure we were coming, he might have maximum incentive to use them and to give them to other people," Clinton said. The Bush administration, saying Saddam is developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, has discussed an invasion or bombing campaign to remove him from power. President Bush has said Saddam must go, but that he has not yet decided how best to achieve that. But U.S. threats of war toward Iraq have grown louder in the last month, with Vice President Dick Cheney and other officials laying out the administration's case in recent speeches. As he waited to tour the fairgrounds Friday, Clinton said there is no question Saddam is violating United Nations arms inspection resolutions, and that he likely is stockpiling chemical and biological weapons. "The real question is whether an attack now, especially if we would have to go it alone, would be a net increase in the security of the United States and our friends and allies," Clinton said. "That's a hard question to answer. And one that I think there needs to be a lot of public debate on," he said. Clinton also said he is confident the United States would quickly win any war with Iraq because of the overwhelming mismatch of military power. _______________________________________________ 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