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[casi] News titles, 13-20/9/02



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


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