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News titles, 20-27/9/02 A rather out of date news mailing for the sake of the archive (the response to my request for articles to be sent to the newsclippings address (<firstname.lastname@example.org>) 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 people). 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) UK OPINION * 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.] US OPINION * 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: http://observer.co.uk/comment/story/0,6903,796064,00.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) INTERNATIONAL PROSTITUTION RING * 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 magic.] URL ONLY: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020921/lf_nm/belarus_luk ashenko_dc_1 * Belarus Leader Defiantly Lonely at the Top by Elizabeth Piper Yahoo.com, 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.] THE GERMAN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE * 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 ...] IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * 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 route.] * Bahrain firm set to start Iraq flights OIL MATTERS * Report: French Firm Buying Iraqi Oil [Includes details on the main purchasers of Iraqi crude oil. The Russian Orthodox Church isn't mentioned.] URL ONLY: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/09/27/1032734325243.html * 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.] REMNANTS OF DECENCY * Activist to Document Actions in Iraq [Account of Nathan Mauger, of Voices in the Wilderness.] AND, IN NEWS, 20-27/9/02 (3) CRIMES OF THE US GOVERNMENT * 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 http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html. 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 ...)] FINGERS POINTING AT IRAQ * 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 community'] URL ONLY: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,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.] INSIDE IRAQ * 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.] ACTS OF WAR * US-British airstrike hits Iraq military facility [Wednesday 25th September] * 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) WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION * 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 involved.] * 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 stands.] * 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: http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,798369,00.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.] IRAQI OPPOSITION * 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.'] URL ONLY: http://www.sundayherald.com/27877 * 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 http://middleeast.reference.users.btopenworld.com/iraqiopposition.html] NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * 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.] _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk