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News titles, 13-20/9/02 It must be difficult for the US and UK leaderships to keep up the perpetual expression of moral indignation which the present situation requires. Especially difficult for the United States who have real and intelligent reasons for wanting to go to war with Iraq but are obliged to continue pretending to be afraid of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. I tend to assume that the UK does not have real and intelligent reasons in mind but the thoughts of Robert Cooper on the new imperialism may suggest that I am wrong (though surely its impossible to imagine that the mind of Tony Blair could allow itself to be seized by such a large view of the world). The real intelligent reason has been openly proclaimed on many occasions. It is that the United States must make use of its present overwhelming military advantage to prevent the emergence of any alternative centre of power. This is necessary if the proliferation of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and therefore of any major project of war outside US control is to be prevented. Iraq of itself does not pose a particularly grave threat in this respect, but if the US take it they will be well situated to control Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia (where there is a strong possibility of an anti-American coup d'etat). And there is of course an existing, well-established pretext for war on Iraq which, of itself, cannot really be of much interest to these ruthless minds but something of the sort is necessary so long as other elements of world opinion need to be brought along. This will become less necessary as the strategy advances. For, as George Bush has also made clear from the beginning of the 'war against terror': if Iraq is the second stage, it is not the last stage. This is a process that still has a long way to go. As it advances, support from the rest of 'the world' can be expected to fall away. 'The world' was almost unanimous in its support for the war on Afghanistan, which established a US military presence in a part of the world where, previously, they were weak. 'The world' is obviously much less happy about Iraq. And it will be even less happy about whatever the next stage will be (given the US presence west and east of Iran, in Iraq and Afghanistan, they may decide that they can leave Iran to its own devices and go straight on to the Big One the Far East, the beginnings of the necessary eventual campaign to prevent China from emerging as a rival power. That is what is suggested in the article by Dan Plesch in the New World Order section (News 4, below), the most important article, I would suggest, in this collection. It would be possible intellectually to support this United States adventure as the only possible strategy for controlling the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and thereby ensuring Peace In Our Time. It is impossible to support it humanly. The human spirit rises up in protest. The calm, godlike self righteousness of its architects is something that cannot be endured. And indeed the sheer enormity of their project may well contain the seeds of its fall since, even if 'the world' proves to be as worthless as they obviously think it is, how can the domestic economy of the United States sustain it? Control of Iraq may well break OPEC and bring the price of oil tumbling down but it is difficult to see what other economic benefits it will bring to the ordinary American citizen who has to pay for it. Captive markets for genetically modified wheat? Dumped on the world in the name of feeding the hungry? Is the Iraqi food basket - a whole nation fed on subsidised imports - the way of the future? The Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz strategy requires that a huge proportion of public expenditure go to projecting military might into places that are even less menacing to the general US public than Iraq. And perhaps the US public will begin to get restless. Yet this is a strategy that requires endless renewal, endless energy, eternal vigilance. If it suddenly stops or pulls back the results could be catastrophic (witness the consequences of the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon. The logic of the Israeli/Palestinian dispute is the logic the present United States elite wishes to apply to the whole world). Yet how can any democratic system guarantee such endless renewal, endless energy? We may or may not be impressed by the United States' credentials as a democratic state but, such as they are, they have to be under serious threat as the country follows its present course towards world domination. The Roman Republic must become the Roman Empire. And then the world of genetic fingerprinting and universal CCTV surveillance will really come into its own. News, 13-20/9/02 (1) UN (still) MATTERS (a little bit) * UN agrees: Saddam's a threat [but apparently doesn't agree that he's a threat that would justify war. And Congress is still posing problems ...] * A Letter From Iraq to the Chief of the U.N. * Text of Annan's statement on Iraq [after receipt of letter accepting the return of the inspectors.] * Text of White House Response to Iraq * Going Into Iraq With an Army of Inspectors [Rolf Ekeus argues against Donald Rumsfeld that inspectors have proved to be an effective way of disarming Iraq and therefore render an invasion unnecessary. In particular he says, again contrary to D.Rumsfeld, that inspectors had discovered most of what needed to be known about Iraq's biological weapons programme prior to the defection, in August 1995, of Husayn Kamil] * A semantic game [Interview by CASI list contributor, Nermin Al-Mufti with Scott Ritter] * U.S. and Russia Differ Over Iraq [The article indicates that the Lone Ranger and Tonto suffered a definite but rather under-reported defeat inside the Security Council. They wanted to put off the actual entry of the inspectors until a new resolution had been agreed but were outvoted and the SC has now dispersed without a definite date for meeting again.] * U.S.-Iraq Timeline [The story of the weapons inspectors as seen from the White House.] * Date for next Security Council meeting on Iraq not settled * Iraq, UN inspectors to meet in 10 days in Vienna * How Iraq cheated in the past: an inspector's tale [Account by ex-weapons inspectors - apparently from the Ekeus period - Tim Trevan.] * Tubes sent to Jordan put focus on Iraq [This is quite a detailed account of the possible uses of aluminium tubes.] OIL MATTERS * OPEC at a glance [Useful basic facts about OPEC members and their volumes of production.] * Iraq up to half capacity * Opec unanimously decides not to raise output AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/9/02 (2) US OPINION * Bush and clergy at odds on Iraq * Group at Hoover helping to steer administration's drive toward Iraq [Influence of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University on the Richard Perle-chaired Defence Policy Board.] * Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President [Account of the Sept 2000 document, Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century (which can be consulted at http://www.comw.org/qdr/stratdebates.html)] * Bishops Question Bush's Iraq Plans ['America's Roman Catholic bishops ...'] * Has Colin Powell Saved Saddam? [Predictable polemic against Powell for getting his boss into yet another fine mess. Mr Gaffney thinks that the people he and his friends murdered on the 'so-called "Highway to Death"' to Basra were Republican Guards and the fact that his friends stopped killing them is what permitted them to then save Saddam Hussein from the Kurd/Shi'i rising which followed. In fact the Republican Guards had already been withdrawn and ALL the miserable largely Southern Shi'i conscripts on the 'so-called "Highway to Death"' were murdered. But it was explained at the time that they had been looting in Kuwait City. So clearly they deserved it.] * Vermont Gov. [Howard Dean] Won't Support Iraq Attack * Rumsfeld: Vote Quickly on Iraq [Account of a powerful and well argued speech delivered to the Senate Armed Services Committee. The whole text was sent to the list by Nathaniel Hurd (19 September) and can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2002/s20020918-secdef.html. It gives the case we have to answer. Note that he is slipping a new term into our political vocabulary: 'terrorist state', substantially modifying the usual rather mindless definition of the word 'terrorism'. The old leftist term 'state terrorism' had the same effect but it seems to have disappeared from view. The difference between the two terms is that 'terrorist state' is them; 'state terrorism' is, or could be, us.] * Saddam's foreign exile may help avoid war: Rumsfeld [This may be of no significance whatsoever, but its the first time I've ever seen the US offer an exit strategy for Saddam Hussein personally. Previously the only option he has been offered if he wants to save his country from its suffering has been suicide. And waiting in the wings there's always been the idiots of the war crimes tribunal lobby.] * America plans PR blitz on Saddam [We're on notice ...] * Bush still holds grudge against Saddam [Were Saddam Hussein a literary man he might quote Oscar Wilde: 'I did him a favour once and he's never forgiven me.'] * Powell: UN Resolution 'Essential' Before Sending Inspectors to Iraq [Evidence before the House International Relations Committee from Powell (pro-war), 'Former Clinton administration official Jessica Matthews, now head of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace' (weakly anti), James Woolsey (guess) and Texas Republican, Ron Paul (strongly anti: '"We're willing to go to war over phantom weapons," he said. "And I think we're falling into a serious trap. And the trap is that we are going to look like we support the Christian west against the Muslim east')] * A text of the joint resolution that President Bush asked Congress to approve [Among the sins officially ascribed to Iraq are the following: 'firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council' (remember that there is no SC resolution authorising the No Fly Zones which have done nothing to protect the Shia in the South and are therefore probably not very relevant to the protection of the Kurds in the North. So its not clear what they are doing to enforce UNSC resolutions.); 'members of al-Qaida .... are known to be in Iraq' (in the part of it that is not under Saddam Hussein's control); and 'other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens' (for the moment I don't know what's being referred to here. The main 'terrorist' organisation operating in Iraq is the Iranian Mujaheedin al-Khalq who, under other circumstances, the US would - and probably soon will - be supporting.] URL ONLY: http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_67600,00300006.htm * Don't go after Saddam now by Madeleine K Albright Hindustani Times, from The New York Times, 18th September [Madeleine Albright thinks the policy of slow starvation is still working fine and that although everything George Bush says is right there's still quite a lot left to do in Afghanistan.] NO FLY ZONES * US and British warplanes violate Iraq's airspace [Friday, 13th September] * Saddam in sneaky bid to down U.S. Plane [An article that conveys the pleasant impression that the confrontations in the No Fly Zones are not all one way affairs.] * US, UK planes attack Iraqi sites [Sunday, 15th September] * U.S. Takes New Approach To Enforcing 'No-Fly' Zones [by striking at the command and communications links in Iraq's air defense system rather than its guns and radar.] SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES OF WAR * Reid says Iraq war would crush airlines * 'CNN effect' would hurt Vegas casinos in war [Las Vegas video games fear competition from the real thing. Though they comfort themselves by saying that sooner or later people will tire of watching television and want to get out into the real world - of Las Vegas video games.] AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/9/02 (3) UK OPINION * CND Plans Opposition Campaign over Iraq * Saddam and me [Account of George Galloway which, when it isn't telling us about the 'suggestive' way he wears his tie, is quite interesting on his general political outlook ('I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life'), and leaves us regretting bitterly what Labour lost with the untimely death of John Smith.] * More Britons Support Iraq Attack * The case for war [Sir Adam Roberts, Montague Burton professor of international relations at Oxford University, argues that 'in legal terms, there is a stronger basis for military action against Iraq than there was over Kosovo in 1999.'] * President Bush wants war, not justice - and he'll soon find another excuse for it [Robert Fisk reckons that a war crimes tribunal for Saddam Hussein may be the next US ploy, but it would surely require a new UNSC resolution unless Saddam is judged to have broken US domestic law (he may, for example have kidnapped Scott Speicher)? Well, they got away with it in Panama, so why not?] IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * Philippines backtracks on offering US airspace in attack on Iraq * Greece won't take part in war against Iraq ['even if it had the backing of the UN Security Council'] * Afghans Fret Over Iraq Distraction * Havel endorses U.S. line on Iraq [Disappointment from V.Havel. And what does he mean when he says of NATO enlargement that "It will finally show there are no more spheres of influence." Perhaps that it will show there is only one sphere of influence.] * Mandela slams US scepticism ['"That is why I criticise most ... leaders all over the world of keeping quiet when one country wants to bully the whole world," the revered African statesman said.'] * Germany offers UN inspectors to Iraq [Schroeder praises Kofi Annan for securing the return of inspectors and says 'it is always the goal of the German government to have UN inspectors return to Iraq "without resort to war"'. But he must know that it was uniquely the threat of war that got the inspectors back. A thoroughgoing refusal of war and sanctions implies a recognition of the right of the Iraqi government to arm itself.] * Mandela slams bush the world bully [Daily Mirror roundup of single sentence soundbites from around the world.] * German Official Compares Bush on Iraq to Hitler [The Justice Minister, Herta Daeubler Gmelin. It was, under the circumstances, very mild as possible comparisons with Hitler go. We look forward to the day when German ministers can feel as free with their Hitler comparisons as all the rest of the world, but to judge from all the fuss it hasn't happened yet.] * Stoiber vows to back U.S. on Iraq [The right wing Stoiber argues that in foreign policy matters Germany should be content to remain under French/US tutleage and should not try to strike out a position of its own. Maybe no-one explained to him what the Balkans conflict was all about. He attempts to put on the mantle of Adenauer. But Adenauer did what he could to secure German intellectual and political independence under difficult circumstances. Now the circumstances are rather easier.] AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/9/02 (4) NEW WORLD ORDER * Iraq first, Iran and China next [Dan Plesch, one of the best commentators we have at the present time, suggests that the crisis over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction artificially got up by Washington should be turned into a debate on the real problem - the need to control weapons of mass destruction throughout the world, not just in Iraq.] * Bush abused HR reports on Iraq, says Amnesty NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Turkmens Worried About Consequences Of Operation Against Iraq * Turkey Welcomes Invitation Of Turkmens To The Meeting Of Iraqi Opposition In The United States [The struggle for Kirkuk gains in intensity.] * Turk Kurdish rebels declare defense zones in Iraq [Another twist in the preparations for mutual Turkish/Kurd slaughter that are taking place in the Kurdish Autonomous Zone.] IRAQI/MIDDLE EASTERN-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Egypt Says It Would Reluctantly Support UN-Backed Strike on Iraq * Saudis put heat on Saddam [As Kofi Annan put it so well: 'Member states ... have shown ... that they were willing to take actions under the authority of the Security Council, which they would not be willing to take without it.'] * Where Jordan stands on the impending blitz on Iraq [Passionate affirmation by a Jordanian economist of Jordanian/Iraqi solidarity.] * Al-Seyash: An Iraqi document admits Kuwaiti prisoners * Arab regimes are up to same old tricks again [Comment on the extent to which Arab politics have degenerated since the 1990/91 war.] * Jordan's Secret Deal Would allow U.S. forces to use country to defend Israel [But its all anonymous 'Western diplomats and Jordanian officials'] ATTEMPTS AT A NORMAL LIFE * UK firms to visit Iraqi trade fair despite warnings _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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