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[casi] News titles, 20-27/9/02

News titles, 20-27/9/02

A rather out of date news mailing for the sake of the archive (the response
to my request for articles to be sent to the newsclippings address
(<>) during my absence was disappointing, mainly
consisting of an offer from President Mbotu's widow to collaborate with her
in an advantageous business deal and an advertisement for Crest toothpaste).
During this week the world in general seems to have merited the contempt in
which it is held by Mr Rumsfeld. All sorts of protests and complaints but no
substantial opposition. The ludicrous thesis that Iraq poses a military
threat to the world in general and the US in particular, and that this is a
major problem that has to be addressed as a matter of urgency, has been
swallowed almost universally, at least at government level. The arguments
against war turn into arguments in favour of 'containment' and compliance
with 'United Nations' (meaning United Nations Security Council) resolutions,
ie the continuation of the economic blockade that goes under the name of
sanctions and is responsible for the deaths of at least tens of thousands of
Regarding this blockade as the fundamental evil we are surely obliged to
recognise that there are only two ways of ending it: through simply ending
it, or through supporting the war, as is advocated by some of the
contributors to our list (who have, it should be said straightaway, hit upon
what is about the only reasonable argument for war which, however, has not
yet, to my knowledge, been voiced in the wider public debate).
Most people on the list, I imagine, favour simply ending sanctions. But
since the US will not consent to this it cannot be done through the Security
Council. It can only be done by a substantial and open disregard of the
existing Security Council resolutions, a revolt, especially on the part of
the Arab countries, against the Security Council. So the argument that
'United Nations' resolutions must be respected is not one that we can use.
What is required at the moment (and has been required for a very long time)
is rebellion. The world needs to find a Charles De Gaulle (is Gerhard
Schroder capable of filling the bill?). If we don't find it then we must all
reconcile ourselves to living under the logic of Vichy and hope (though the
prospects are not very bright)  that some of our leaders will be able to
summon up at least as much independence of spirit as was shown by the likes
of Pierre Laval and Maurice Deat.

NEWS, 20-27/9/02 (1)


*  Plaid votes against war on Iraq [Is the opposition to war of Plaid Cymry
and the SNP an argument that Wales and Scotland should detach themselves
from the Anglo Saxon Evil; or is it an argument that they should remain
within the UK in the hopes of tempering it?]
*  'Isolated' Cook is slammed over Iraq [Account of some mindless chatter
that has occurred between 'sources' and journalists and that indicates a
very nasty atmosphere in the highest reaches of the Labour Party.]
*  Don't wage war, says Desert Rat [Major General Patrick Cordingley]
 *  Short warns against Iraq invasion [Clare Short is quoted as saying: "We
should be ready to impose the will of the United Nations on them if they
don't co-operate, but not by hurting the people of Iraq." One wonders what
is going through her mind as she says it. Is she in favour of the continuing
murderous blockade on Iraq, or isn't she? We also have Northern Ireland
Secretary John Reid coming out with one of the stupidest remarks of a week
in which the competition has been tough: "As far as the people of Iraq are
concerned, our forces have been risking their lives for 11 years to protect
the people of Iraq from their biggest threat - who is Saddam Hussein." We
refer readers to the articles concerning the 'Marsh Arabs' to get some idea
of the quality of protection we have been offering them.]
*  Cabinet backs Blair on Iraq [The mountain isn't even able to give birth
to a mouse.]
*  Kennedy: US guilty of imperialism over Iraq [Charles Kennedy misses the
chance given to him on a plate to provide clear resounding leadership.]
*  Labour MPs split over Iraq dossier [The Labour Party as a whole declares
that it is quite happy with a policy of the mass murder so long as it has
the benediction of the five biggest arms producing nations of the world in
their guise of permanent members of the UN Security Council.]
*  Film gives Iraqis a voice ['Land of my fathers', made by an Iraqi woman
living in Wales.]
*  Campbell rebukes senior colleagues for 'crude anti-Americanism' in Iraq
debate [Distressing to learn that Menzies Campbell was once a Bob Dylan fan.
Makes one wonder whether growing up is worth the effort.]
*  Alex Salmond used his speech to the SNP conference to deliver a
hard-hitting criticism of government foreign policy on Iraq ['This party's
article of faith is to back the United Nations in all circumstances.' So, if
the UN Security Council backs a war against Iraq, the SNP will support it.]


*  Gore blasts Bush's 'cowboy' Iraq policy ['"The very logic of the concept
suggests a string of military engagements against a succession of sovereign
states: Syria, Libya, North Korea, Iran, none of them very popular in the
United States, of course," Gore said.' This may (or may not) prove to have
been a very important speech, the beginnings of a distinct foreign policy
for the Democratic Party.]

URL ONLY:,6903,796064,00.html
*  Hawks won't stop with Baghdad
by Rosemary Hollis
The Observer, 22nd September
[Dry summary by Dr Rosemary Hollis, Head of the Middle East Programme at
Chatham House, of likely problems of Iraq war (despite the promising title
the article doesn't go beyond this). The article is disappointing but does
include the following amusing thought: 'It remains to be seen whether the
British will expect some prize for supporting the US war effort. Rumour has
it that a new Iraqi regime will need to exact recompense for the twelve
years' suffering of its people under sanctions, and may satisfy this by
discriminating against the British in awarding future contracts. According
to this theory, Iraq will not be able to boycott US companies, so Britain
will serve as the scapegoat.']

AND, IN NEWS, 20-27/9/02 (2)


*  Romanian Minister Backs U.S. on Iraq
*  NATO Ministers Back U.S. Plan for Rapid Reaction Force [The nightmare
continues ...]
*  Bush gets his way at the United Nations [Joseph Samaha, editor in chief
of the Beirut daily As-Safir, on the total ineffectiveness of the sum total
of European and Arab politics in the face of a purposeful US President.]
*  Canada now supports U.S. on Iraq [As the 'United Nations' weaves its evil

*  Belarus Leader Defiantly Lonely at the Top
by Elizabeth Piper, 21st September
[This article is only very tangentially to do with Iraq but I found it
interesting as an account of one of the few countries that has so far
resisted pressures towards westernisation.]


*  Schroeder defends Iraq as election looms [Extract on the row over 'the
remarks reportedly made by Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin.' Here it
appears that Germans aren't even allowed to pronounce Hitler's name, never
mind engage in an extremely mild version of the analogy that ought to be in
everyone's minds at the present time. Not that I think Bush resembles
Hitler. He just resembles what everyone imagines Hitler to have been.]
*  Schroeder writes off the Iraqi people [Here is an example of the sort of
thing that gets into print in the US press these days: 'I don't like
dragging Hitler into conversations where he does not belong. But since
Daeubler-Gmelin mentions him, it's worth pondering this fact: If Saddam ever
does make good on his threat to "burn up half of Israel," the poisons he
will use for this second Jewish holocaust will come from many of the same
companies that supplied the gas for the last one.' David Frum, writing in
the National Post (if there is any journal that could reasonably be called
'fascist', in the usual derogatory sense of the word, it is surely the
National Post) goes on to sing the praises of the mild monarchy that used to
rule Iraq, and whose present day representative is Ahmad Chalabi. He says
that it was after the fall of this monarchy in 1958 that the Jews were
expelled from Iraq. There is much controversy surrounding the destruction of
the Jewish community in Iraq. But not much controversy that it occurred ten
years earlier at the time of the aforesaid much admired Iraqi monarchy ...]


*  Al-Nahar: Hospitals on the Syrian- Iraqi borders
*  Tehran's relations with Riyadh continue to improve [Useful summary of
Saudi/Iranian relations since 1979.]
*  US need UN to use Kuwait [The lack of a land border through which Iraq
can be attacked still seems to me to be a huge problem and is probably the
reason why the Americans are, in a manner of speaking, following the UN
*  Bahrain firm set to start Iraq flights


*  Report: French Firm Buying Iraqi Oil [Includes details on the main
purchasers of Iraqi crude oil. The Russian Orthodox Church isn't mentioned.]

*  What the White House really wants
by Paul McGeough, in Ryadh
Sydney Morning Herald, 28th September
[Interesting, but long and rather rambling article about international
(espcially Saudi) ramifications of US oil policy.]


*  Activist to Document Actions in Iraq [Account of Nathan Mauger, of Voices
in the Wilderness.]

AND, IN NEWS, 20-27/9/02 (3)


*  Diplomacy? [John Pilger excels himself with this article on the means by
which consent to the Gulf Massacre (which he rightly calls 'one of the most
shameful chapters in the history of the United Nations') was obtained.]
*  Bush Unveils Global Doctrine of First Strikes [Account of formal policy
statement on the National Security Strategy of the United States. The full
text can be obtained at The present
article tells us that 'Mr. Bush had edited the document heavily "because he
thought there were sections where we sounded overbearing or arrogant."']
*  A little U.S.-Iraqi history [D.Rumsfeld claims not to know if the US
exported the materials for biological warfare to Iraq in the 1980s; and he
claims that his own relations with Saddam Hussein at that time were to do
with his anxieties over terrorism in the Lebanon (not, one assumes, Israeli
terrorism in the Lebanon ...)]


*  Saddam Hussein's son reported to Norwegian police [by Indict, with a view
to bringing charges of torture.]
*  Campaign to indict Baghdad leadership stalls [Indict, it seems, have had
the bright idea of indicting Tariq Aziz for ... taking hostages (presumably
at the beginning of the 1991 massacre). As war crimes committed at that
particular moment in history go it seems a little pathetic but presumably
the intention was to put an end to his ability to act as an international
representative for the Iraqi government. Not often do we have the
opportunity to praise the British government but it is entirely to their
credit that successive Attorney Generals have treated this with the lethargy
it deserves.]
*  Al Qaeda linked to Saddam [by D.Rumsfeld]
*  Doubts On Al-Qaida, Iraq Link [by 'some in the U.S. intelligence

URL ONLY:,,3-422042,00.html
*  America will try Saddam for war crimes
by Richard Beeston
The Times, 21st September
[According to 'Pierre-Richard Prosper, the US official responsible for
dealing with war crimes' who of course has his job to look after. But it
contradicts Rumsfeld's much more sensible proposal that Saddam Hussein and
his family would be left alone if they were willing to go into exile.]


*  Fatwa Reportedly Issued in Iraq [Against helping the US, by Shiite Muslim
leader, Sayyid Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani. Its authenticity is questioned.]
*  Marshes turned into desert in an act of genocide [Here, much more than in
Mr Blair's dossier, is a case against the Iraqi government. And against the
'international community' which, by isolating the Iraqi regime and thereby
insulating it from the rest of the world, has given it the freedom to do
what it likes within its own borders. One thing needs to be said in
parenthesis. There is a parallel to be drawn between Saddam Hussein's policy
towards the Marsh Arabs and Turkey's policy towards the Kurds - especially
given the Ilisu dam project - and also the US destruction  of the Tora Bora
mountains, for very similar reasons, not to mention the British government's
own earlier policy towards ... the 'Marsh Arabs' of Iraq.]
*  The Iraqi Marshlands: genocide, ecocide and a scandalous catalogue of
injustices [Review of The Iraqi Marshlands: a human and environmental study,
Edited by Emma Nicholson & Peter Clark.]
*  Be ready to oversee cruel mayhem [Rather good summary of the difficulties
of imposing democracy (I use those words advisedly) in Iraq, and the reasons
why on the whole the State Department would prefer not to attempt it.]


*  US-British airstrike hits Iraq military facility [Wednesday 25th
*  Iraqi airport radar destroyed [Wednesday 25th September. Iraqi version.]
*  Al Qaeda linked to Saddam [Extract giving some further details on the US
view of the 25th September terrorist attack.]

AND, IN NEWS, 20-27/9/02 (4)


*  U.N. nuclear sleuth Baute set for Iraq mission [With some details of new
methods used by the IAEA which seem to guarantee a near impossibility of
escaping detection.]
*  Defector warns of 'human germ carriers' [Khidr Hamza maintains that
relatives of dissidents are being contaminated with AIDS, then sent to join
their families abroad. Funny he doesn't seem to have thought of mentioning
this earlier.]
*  Scientists question Bush case against Iraq [Ex-IAEA inspector, David
Albright, questioning the use of aluminium tubes for enriching uranium.
Though the questions still remain: were they destined for Iraq? if so, what
other use would they have? and if they had a legitimate use, why were they
not ordered through the Oil for Food arrangement? (I know the last question
is a little naive but it still needs to be asked)]
*  'African uranium not in Iraq' ['IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky ... added
that there is very little enriched uranium, the highly reformed type used in
making atomic bombs, in Africa and that what there is, is "under safeguards.
If it goes missing we know of it in a short amount of time."' So much for
one of the most important 'revelations' of the Blair dossier and presumably
also of the revelations in The Times that some thirteen countries were
*  India objects to Iraq missile charge ['that an Indian firm helped Iraq
develop its missile programme'. Though they don't seem to be denying the
charge. Only complaining that only an Indian firm, out of all the possible
candidates, was mentioned.]
*  IAEA Denies US Claim It Knows Iraq Rebuilt Nuclear Program, According to
Platts [IAEA launches a strong attack on the ways in which it has been used
and abused in US government propaganda. Doubtless we can expect to see
shortly a strong US backed move to reform it.]
*  Agency disavows report on Iraq arms
*  Iraqi palaces are stumbling block for inspectors [The issue is not, as
widely reported, that the Iraqis refuse access, but that the perfectly
reasonable agreement made with Kofi Annan that inspectors should be
accompanied by international diplomats to endsure reasonable behaviour still
*  Saddam is only part of the problem [Very reasonable suggestion that money
would be better spent on better policing of possible sources of uranium than
on a war against Iraq.]

URL ONLY:,3605,798369,00.html
*  Blair: Why Saddam and his weapons have to be stopped
The Guardian, 25th September
[Summary of the government's dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.]


*  Exiles lay groundwork for an Iraq transition
*  Blow to campaign for war on Saddam [General Nizar al-Khazraji, in
Denmark, has come out against an invasion. But this is not new. He has
always favoured "moral and diplomatic support" to what would effectively be
a military coup that would leave the existing political structure more or
less in place.]
*  History of betrayal costs Washington a powerful ally [Ayatollah Sayed
Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Resistance
in Iraq. Some interesting below the-surface remarks, such as that
'Throughout the (Iran-Iraq) war, Mr Hakim's organisation acted as an Iranian
fifth column' (which may mean that they're not in fact very representative
of the Iraqi Shi'I, who didn't, generally, support Iran). It may also mean
that Mr Hakim's organisation bears a large part of the responsibility for
starting this dreadful war in the first place, since one of the reasons for
Saddam's invasion of Iran was that the Iranians were provoking street
demonstrations and other incidents among the Shi-ites of Iraq. Note that
'Bahram Veletbegi, a journalist who heads the Kurdish Institute in Tehran',
after praising Kurdish/Shi'ite relations cannot refrain from adding 'that Mr
Hakim's group would never rise to a position higher than a small opposition
party in an Iraq run on democratic, parliamentary lines.']

*  Unveiled: the thugs Bush wants in place of Saddam
by David Pratt
Sunday Herald, 22nd September
[Long and unflattering account of the Iraqi opposition. A fuller, and less
abusive, account can be found at]


*  What's Happening In Northern Iraq? [Summary of the 'Kurdish problem' as
seen from Turkey.]
*  Northern Iraq Kurds Agree on Draft Constitution
*  Iraq Kurds Say Qaeda-Linked Group Near Collapse [Ansar al-Islam]
*  FBI questions Iraqi Kurd militant [The head of Ansar el-Islam, Mullah
Krekar. It looks as if he's a quite substantial character and will give them
a good run for their money.]

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