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News, 28/9-4/10/02 (1) US OPINION * Celebrities take sides over war on Saddam * Spielberg Did Not Support A War With Iraq * Monthly cost to fight Iraq: $9 billion * Records Show U.S. Sent Germs to Iraq * 'Just war' and preemption: the case for attacking Iraq * It only takes a joystick to get rid of Saddam * Visits to Iraq not offending voters * Bush, House reach Iraq deal * House draft resolution on US force in Iraq * Gore calls on Bush to heal economy * Peace visit to Iraq had outside extricate FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ * U.S.: Top al-Qaida Aide Visited Iraq * Arafat Lashes Out at U.S. over Jerusalem Law * U.S. Steps Up Ukraine-Iraq Probe INSIDE IRAQ * Hussein has many body doubles, scientist says * The bull's-eye in American bombsights * Iraqi Group Say Gov. Executed 15 * Al-Muharrir news: Saddam is ready to resign * Iraq: British Dossier Full of Lies * Destroying Hope US OPINION http://news.scotsman.com/celebrities.cfm?id=1076682002 * CELEBRITIES TAKE SIDES OVER WAR ON SADDAM by Mark Coleman in New York The Scotsman, 28th September THE Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg have joined a growing celebrity debate over the impending war on Iraq, praising Tony Blair and George Bush¹s pro-military policies. Talking at the première of the blockbuster film Minority Report in Rome, the two bucked a recent celebrity trend opposing military intervention, asserting it was high time to depose of Saddam Hussein forcibly. "If Bush, as I believe, has reliable information on the fact that Saddam Hussein is making weapons of mass destruction, I cannot not support the policies of his government," said Spielberg, 55. The director of films such as Saving Private Ryan and Schindler¹s List added that those policies were "solid and rooted in reality". Cruise, 40, also spoke out in support of the US president. "Personally, I don¹t have all the information President Bush has," the actor said. "But I believe Saddam has committed many crimes against humanity and his own people." In contrast, the singer and actress Barbra Streisand has taken an anti-war stance. Streisand - such a fervent supporter of the former president Bill Clinton that there were rumours of an affair - recently urged the Democrat congressional leader, Richard Gephardt, and other Democrats to "get off the defensive and go on the offensive". In a message posted on a political website, Streisand, 60, added: "Don¹t ignore the obvious influence of the Bush administration of such special interests as the oil industry, the chemical companies and the logging industry ... just to name a few." Last week, the actresses Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon were among 4,000 people who protested against Bush¹s policies in a newspaper and internet manifesto headlined "Not In Our Name". Fonda first dabbled in anti-war politics in the Sixties and Seventies when she protested against the Vietnam War. A group of UK stars, including the playwright Harold Pinter, the film director Ken Loach and the musician Brian Eno recently set out their opposition to the war, delivering an open letter to Downing Street. http://188.8.131.52/contWriter/endprnewswire/2002/09/27/XXb6e/0912-0506-CA Steven-Spielberg...html * SPIELBERG DID NOT SUPPORT A WAR WITH IRAQ LOS ANGELES, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Upon learning that his statement about Iraq at a Rome press conference for his film "Minority Report" had been taken out of context in news reports, Steven Spielberg issued the following statement: "I did not say I support a war with Iraq. I was asked a question about the film 'Minority Report' and its subject matter which deals with stopping murders before they can be committed. It led to a question as to whether or not there was a parallel with Iraq. I replied that the film is science fiction and Iraq is a reality. I do not have access to information that only the President has which might cause me to take a different position. In any case, it was never my intention to give an endorsement of any kind." http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/134546005_congress01.html * MONTHLY COST TO FIGHT IRAQ: $9 BILLION by Jim Abrams Seattle Times, from The Associated Press, 1st October WASHINGTON ‹ Congress' top budget analyst estimated it could cost the United States up to $9 billion a month to fight Iraq, as the Senate prepared for debate as early as tomorrow on a resolution authorizing President Bush to use force against Saddam Hussein. Yesterday's report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said uncertainty about the length and intensity of a U.S. effort to remove the Iraqi leader made the total price tag of such a conflict unpredictable. But the analysis made clear that the overall cost of a confrontation would amount to many billions of dollars beyond the $6 billion to $9 billion monthly estimated cost for combat by either heavy ground or air forces. Besides combat expenses, the budget office said the war could also cost: ‹ From $9 billion to $13 billion to deploy U.S. forces to the Persian Gulf; ‹ From $5 billion to $7 billion to get them home after a war; and ‹ From $1 billion to $4 billion monthly to occupy Iraq with U.S. peacekeeping troops, excluding other costs such as humanitarian aid, rebuilding the country and dismantling Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. The figures excluded expenditures that would be made if no conflict were under way, such as soldiers' salaries. Democrats used the estimate to argue that if the U.S. commits to a long-term occupation that includes humanitarian aid and rebuilding, the price tag would be pushed into the $100 billion to $200 billion range that White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey estimated two weeks ago. "This CBO estimate is a warning that the costs of the war means we may need to reconsider other budget priorities," said Rep. John Spratt of South Carolina, top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Republicans, on the other hand, said the figures showed the costs of the fighting alone could well be less than the $61 billion price tag of the 1991 war against Iraq, which lasted about six weeks. "Relative to the Gulf War, it seems surprisingly affordable," said G. William Hoagland, the GOP staff director of the Senate Budget Committee. [.....] http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=15960864&template=baghdad/indexsea rch.txt&index=recent * RECORDS SHOW U.S. SENT GERMS TO IRAQ Associated Press, 1st October WASHINGTON (AP) ‹ Iraq's bioweapons program that President Bush wants to eradicate got its start with help from Uncle Sam two decades ago, according to government records getting new scrutiny in light of the discussion of war against Iraq. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent samples directly to several Iraqi sites that U.N. weapons inspectors determined were part of Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program, CDC and congressional records from the early 1990s show. Iraq had ordered the samples, claiming it needed them for legitimate medical research. The CDC and a biological sample company, the American Type Culture Collection, sent strains of all the germs Iraq used to make weapons, including anthrax, the bacteria that make botulinum toxin and the germs that cause gas gangrene, the records show. Iraq also got samples of other deadly pathogens, including the West Nile virus. The transfers came in the 1980s, when the United States supported Iraq in its war against Iran. They were detailed in a 1994 Senate Banking Committee report and a 1995 follow-up letter from the CDC to the Senate. The exports were legal at the time and approved under a program administered by the Commerce Department. "I don't think it would be accurate to say the United States government deliberately provided seed stocks to the Iraqis' biological weapons programs," said Jonathan Tucker, a former U.N. biological weapons inspector. "But they did deliver samples that Iraq said had a legitimate public health purpose, which I think was naive to believe, even at the time." The disclosures put the United States in the uncomfortable position of possibly having provided the key ingredients of the weapons America is considering waging war to destroy, said Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va. Byrd entered the documents into the Congressional Record this month. Byrd asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld about the germ transfers at a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Byrd noted that Rumsfeld met Saddam in 1983, when Rumsfeld was President Reagan's Middle East envoy. "Are we, in fact, now facing the possibility of reaping what we have sown?" Byrd asked Rumsfeld after reading parts of a Newsweek article on the transfers. "I have never heard anything like what you've read, I have no knowledge of it whatsoever, and I doubt it," Rumsfeld said. He later said he would ask the Defense Department and other government agencies to search their records for evidence of the transfers. Invoices included in the documents read like shopping lists for biological weapons programs. One 1986 shipment from the Virginia-based American Type Culture Collection included three strains of anthrax, six strains of the bacteria that make botulinum toxin and three strains of the bacteria that cause gas gangrene. Iraq later admitted to the United Nations that it had made weapons out of all three. The company sent the bacteria to the University of Baghdad, which U.N. inspectors concluded had been used as a front to acquire samples for Iraq's biological weapons program. The CDC, meanwhile, sent shipments of germs to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission and other agencies involved in Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. It sent samples in 1986 of botulinum toxin and botulinum toxoid ‹ used to make vaccines against botulinum toxin ‹ directly to the Iraqi chemical and biological weapons complex at al-Muthanna, the records show. Botulinum toxin is the paralyzing poison that causes botulism. Having a vaccine to the toxin would be useful for anyone working with it, such as biological weapons researchers or soldiers who might be exposed to the deadly poison, Tucker said. The CDC also sent samples of a strain of West Nile virus to an Iraqi microbiologist at a university in the southern city of Basra in 1985, the records show. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/134545511_weigel01.h tml * 'JUST WAR' AND PREEMPTION: THE CASE FOR ATTACKING IRAQ by George Weigel Seattle Times, 1st October Three basic ethical questions about preemptive military action and the "just war" tradition have emerged in recent weeks, as the debate over U.S. foreign policy, the war against terrorism and the case of Iraq have intensified. The questions are not easy. The international political situation is fraught with difficulties. And reasonable people can disagree on the prudential options for addressing the threat of an outlaw state with weapons of mass destruction that harbors terrorists and seeks a nuclear weapons capability. Here are my answers to the key questions of moral principle, based on a quarter century of thinking and writing about the just-war tradition. Is preemption ever morally justifiable? Classic just-war thinking identified three kinds of "just cause": defense against an aggression under way, recovery of something wrongfully taken, or punishment for evil. Modern just-war thinking, reflected in the U.N. Charter, has tended to limit "just cause" to "defense against an aggression under way." When a vicious regime that has used chemical weapons against its own people and against a neighboring country ‹ a regime that has no concept of the rule of law and that flagrantly violates its international obligations ‹ works feverishly to obtain and deploy further weapons of mass destruction, a compelling moral case can be made that this is a matter of an "aggression under way." The nature of the regime, which is the crucial factor in the moral analysis, makes that plain. It makes no moral sense to say that the U.S. or the international community can only respond with armed force when an Iraqi missile carrying a weapon of mass destruction has been launched, or is being readied for launch. There are serious questions of prudence here, of course. At the level of moral principle, however, there may be instances when it is not only right to "go first," but "going first" may be morally obligatory. Iraq may well pose one of those instances. How can the use of armed force contribute to international order? President Bush's address at West Point this past June linked the war against terrorism, and possible military action against aggressor states with weapons of mass destruction, to the pursuit of a world order based on justice and freedom. This speech has not been taken seriously enough by the president's critics, who have not grasped the fact that regime change in Iraq would have, as its larger strategic purpose, the creation of the conditions necessary for genuine world order. There is a great deal of concern in Europe and elsewhere about overriding the presumption of "sovereign immunity" that nation-states traditionally enjoy. This presumption assumes, however, that the state in question displays a minimum of agreement to minimal international norms of order. A regime like Saddam Hussein's cannot be granted that assumption. Its behavior demonstrates that it holds the principles of international order in contempt. Some states, because of the regime's clearly aggressive intent and because there are no effective internal controls on the regime's behavior, simply cannot be permitted to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Just-war thinking begins with a basic moral judgment ‹ that legitimate authorities have a moral obligation to defend the peace of order. History has shown that that kind of peace can be advanced, in certain circumstances, by the proportionate, discriminate and strategically wise use of armed force. Does the moral authority to wage a just war rest with the United Nations alone? The U.N. Charter itself recognizes a right to national self-defense, which implies that defense against aggression does not require authorization by the Security Council; it is an inalienable right of nations. If the use of military force can help advance the cause of world order, it certainly helps at the prudential political level if the use of force is approved by the Security Council. But a correct reading of the just-war tradition does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that prior Security Council approval is morally imperative. Some responsible analysts have raised questions of precedent here, too: Would a failure to obtain prior Security Council approval for a U.S. or coalition assault to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction mean that the "law of the strongest" was replacing international law? I don't think so. It would mean that the United States and allied countries, having made clear that they intend their action to advance the cause of world order to which the U.N. is dedicated, have decided that they have a moral obligation to take measures that the U.N., as presently configured, finds it impossible to take ‹ even though those measures arguably advance the charter's goals. And that, I suggest, promotes the cause of the peace of world order over the long haul. (George Weigel is an adjunct fellow of the Discovery Institute in Seattle and senior fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He is the author of "Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II" and "The Courage to Be Catholic.") http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-iraq02.html * IT ONLY TAKES A JOYSTICK TO GET RID OF SADDAM by Misha Davenport Chicago Sun-Times, 2nd October President Bush doesn't need congressional approval, international coalitions or United Nations' resolutions to take out Saddam Hussein. He just needs to pick up "Conflict: Desert Storm" from Gotham Games. With a tagline of "No diplomats. No negotiation. No surrender," "Conflict: Desert Storm" showed up on store shelves this week with a retail price of $39.99 for the PC and $49.99 for video game consoles. Nothing sets this game apart from any of the other third-person, tactical combat games currently on the market--except for the fact that it allows a replay of the first Gulf War on what may very well be the eve of a second one. Using a combination of covert movement and an overt rainfall of Rambo-styled gunfire, one to four players make their way through the desert terrain to achieve a host of military objectives including taking out military installations and rescuing prisoners of war. Of course, "Conflict: Desert Storm" takes things a step further than the real special forces were allowed. The final mission in the game involves assassinating a despot the game identifies as "General Aziz," but there's no mistaking Saddam's black beret or mustache. While many might think that Gotham Games is capitalizing on the current state of foreign affairs, a media representative for the software publisher said the game has been in the works for more than two years. Programmers enlisted the aid and analysis of Cameron Spence, who was an elite member of the British Army that fought along side U.S. troops during the Gulf War. Players get the sense that every rock, gun, and grain of desert sand is exactly as Spence remembers it. Bush may have had a hard time selling Europeans on his latest proposal for military action against Iraq, but that hasn't stopped them from enjoying this game. Released two weeks ago in Europe, it debuted in the No. 1 position for all its platforms--GameCube, PCs, Playstation 2 and Xbox--and ranked third this week. Gotham Games expects U.S. sales to meet or exceed those in Europe. "Conflict: Desert Storm" is rated T for teens because of violence and blood. http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-iraq02.html * VISITS TO IRAQ NOT OFFENDING VOTERS by Melanthia Mitchell Chicago Sun-Times, 2nd October SEATTLE (AP): They have been called dupes of Saddam Hussein, at best. Their harsher critics have called them traitors. But in their home districts, four Democratic members of the House appear to be suffering little political fallout from their visits to Iraq. Reps. Jim McDermott of Seattle, David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California returned Tuesday night. Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia was in Iraq earlier. Two weeks ago, McDermott won 77 percent of the vote in the state's open primary from his liberal Seattle constituency. After the visit to Baghdad, columnist George Will called him a "useful idiot" for Saddam. George Dignan, 58, of Seattle, said he applauded McDermott's willingness to take an unpopular stand: "I appreciate a politician who will act on his convictions rather than what the opinion polls tell him to do." McDermott, who opposes U.S. military intervention in Iraq, said he wanted to see for himself the likely consequences of a U.S. military campaign to oust Saddam and to urge Iraq to comply with UN weapons inspectors. McDermott was sharply criticized by Republicans after he suggested the president might be misleading the American people about the need for action. In Macomb County, north of Detroit, some Bonior constituents said they did not oppose the visit but questioned its effectiveness. "I don't really agree with him," said Debra Skrinner, 40. "I think we should go ahead and bomb Iraq because we've had nothing but problems with Hussein." Of Bonior, she said, "I think he's trying to do his job." http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-iraq02.html * BUSH, HOUSE REACH IRAQ DEAL by Jim Abrams Chicago Sun-Times, 2nd October WASHINGTON (AP): Unswayed by a new U.N. plan for arms inspections, President Bush and House leaders agreed Wednesday on a resolution that a top Democrat said would deal with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein "diplomatically if we can, militarily if we must." As part of the deal, Bush bent to Democratic wishes and pledged to certify to Congress-- before any military strike, if feasible, or within 48 hours of a U.S. attack-- that diplomatic and other peaceful means alone are inadequate to protect Americans from Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt announced the agreement as he emerged from an hour-long White House breakfast with Bush and headed back to Capitol Hill to brief Democrats on the wording of the resolution expected to be debated in the House International Relations Committee this week. "Members are trying to deal with this in the right way," Gephardt told reporters after he met with his colleagues. "We've got to keep this out of politics," he added. "This is about life and death." The House resolution is similar to the one proposed last week by Bush and gives him broad powers to use military force against Baghdad if he deems it necessary. Democrats in the Senate and moderate Republicans hope to put some checks on his authority. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden, D-Del., vowed to press ahead with a proposed alternative by him and Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the senior Republican on his committee. It would place more emphasis on diplomatic efforts and coordination with the United Nations. But Biden's efforts to take up the measure in his panel Wednesday morning were frustrated by a procedural objection lodged by the panel's former chairman, Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C. The House resolution expected to be debated in the International Relations Committee beginning this week authorizes Bush to "use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to 1) defend the national security interests of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and 2) to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." The resolution also requires Bush to report to Congress every 60 days on "matters relevant" to the confrontation with Iraq. And, it reaffirms the policy embedded in U.S. law that Saddam should be overthrown. As Gephardt, D-Mo., explained the final deal: "Iraq is a problem. It presents a problem after 9/11 that it did not before and we should deal with it diplomatically if we can, militarily if we must. And I think this resolution does that." White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Bush "believes it will make available the tools he needs to deal seriously with the threat that Saddam Hussein" poses. The White House made plans for Bush to discuss the resolution in a public event later Wednesday. While the president and Gephardt conferred over breakfast with Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., a dozen women crowded around the White House's northwest gate in protest. "No war in Iraq," read a banner they hung on the executive mansion's wrought-iron gate while one woman mounted the fence and shouted from the top of its post before being talked down by Secret Service officers. Accord in the Democratic-controlled Senate was still up in the air, although Daschle told reporters he expected that "at the end of the day we're going to have a broad level of support on both sides of the aisle for a resolution that indicates our support for the United Nations effort and our support for the administration's effort in dealing with Iraq." Agreement on an Iraq resolution could set the stage for a strong vote for the president's policies before Congress recesses for the election campaign. The administration was also pressing the U.N. Security Council to accept a proposed U.S. British resolution to disarm Iraq, a campaign complicated by an agreement announced in Austria Tuesday between Baghdad and U.N. arms inspectors. "The president sees what Iraq is discussing yesterday in Vienna as an Iraqi ploy to string out the world as they build up their arms," Fleischer said. "The president believes that any inspection regime that was done the way it was done under previous resolutions is doomed to fail. ... Obviously, the cat and mouse games have begun." Secretary of State Colin Powell insisted Tuesday that there be no resumption of inspections until the Security Council comes up with new ground rules for those inspections and spells out the consequences if Iraq does not abide by them. Bush challenged the Security Council to "show its backbone" by passing a tough resolution. The other permanent members of the Security Council-- France, Russia and China-- have resisted U.S.-British demands that the resolution include provisions for a military response to Iraqi failure to disarm. While there's near-unanimous agreement that Saddam presents a threat to U.S. security interests, lawmakers from both parties have been leery of giving the president open-ended authority to wage war or to act unilaterally without the backing of the United Nations or an international coalition. http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1031119846696 * HOUSE DRAFT RESOLUTION ON US FORCE IN IRAQ Financial Times, 2nd October The following resolution, unveiled on Wednesday morning, outlines the House of Representatives' arguments for allowing the US to attack Iraq, with or without the support of other nations. In order to pass both houses of Congress, the House will have to reconcile its resolution with that of the Senate, which is expected to contain different language. Joint Resolution to Authorise the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq; Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism; Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated; Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31 1998; Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in "material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235); Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harbouring terrorist organisations; Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait; Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people; Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council; Whereas members of al Qaida, an organisation bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11 2001, are known to be in Iraq; Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbour other international terrorist organisations, including organisations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens; Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organisations; Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself; Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorises the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbours or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949; Whereas Congress in the Authorisation for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorised the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677"; Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorisation of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1)," that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and "constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region," and that Congress, "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688"; Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime; Whereas on September 12 2002, President Bush committed the United States to "work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge" posed by Iraq and to "work for the necessary resolutions," while also making clear that "the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable"; Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary; Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigourously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organisations, including those nations, organisations or persons who planned, authorised, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11 2001 or harboured such persons or organisations; Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organisations, including those nations, organisations or persons who planned, authorised, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11 2001, or harboured such persons or organisations; Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognised in the joint resolution on Authorisation for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region; Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE. This joint resolution may be cited as the "Authorisation for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq". SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to-- (a) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and (b) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions. SEC. 3. AUTHORISATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES. (a) AUTHORISATION. The President is authorised to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq. (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION. In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and (2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organisations, including those nations, organisations or persons who planned, authorised, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11 2001. (c)WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS. (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORISATION. -- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorisation within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution. (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS. -- Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution. SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 2 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998). To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of Public Law 93-148 (the War Powers Resolution), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress. To the extent that the information required by section 3 of Public Law 102-1 is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of Public Law 102-1. http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/02/gore.speech.reut/index.html * GORE CALLS ON BUSH TO HEAL ECONOMY CNN, 2nd October WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Vice President Al Gore called on President Bush Wednesday to put the same priority on healing the economy as he has on foreign affairs and a possible war with Iraq. "President Bush believes it is urgent that the Congress act on the issue of war against (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein prior to the election on Nov. 5," Bush's Democratic opponent in the 2000 election said in a speech to the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "For my part it is even more urgent that both the president and the Congress take action prior to the election to strengthen our economy," he said. "How can it be essential that we go to war prior to the election but absolutely fine to wait until after the election before we take any action to deal with the economy?" Gore's speech on economic policy -- his second major policy speech in two weeks -- came as Democrats were desperately trying to switch attention away from Iraq and back to domestic issues like jobs, health care and prescription drugs in advance of the congressional elections. Some Democrats fear a focus on Iraq and foreign policy puts them at a disadvantage ahead of next month's balloting, deflecting attention from domestic issues where Democrats traditionally win more support. "Today I want to urge the president to focus on our stalled economy just as he has on foreign policy," Gore said. "If we turn a blind eye to our weak economy it will eventually undermine everything else that we are trying to accomplish -- whether it's winning the war against terrorism or giving all families the economic opportunities they deserve." Gore's remarks followed by a little more than one week his broad attack on Bush's Iraq policy during a speech in San Francisco. That speech galvanized Democratic concerns over Bush's plans for a military move against Baghdad, encouraging other Democrats to step forward and criticize Bush. Gore's back-to-back major speeches represented a dramatic increase in the profile of the former vice president, who lost the White House to Bush in 2000 after a five-week recount battle in Florida. They will surely increase speculation that he is preparing another presidential run. Gore has promised to make a decision by the end of the year on whether he will run again for the presidency. http://www.washtimes.com/national/20021003-7659706.htm * PEACE VISIT TO IRAQ HAD OUTSIDE HELP by Joyce Howard Price Washington Times, 3rd October The trip that three Democratic congressmen made to Baghdad last week was jointly funded by two private organizations ‹ a religious group and a charity, both of which oppose a war with Iraq. The costs were shared by the Interfaith Network of Concern for the People of Iraq, a project of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, and a charity in Southfield, Mich., called Life for Relief and Development (LIFE), which provides humanitarian aid to Iraq. "We definitely want a peaceful solution," LIFE spokesman Mohammed Alomari said in an interview. He added: "We're working together on the humanitarian aspects [of Iraq´s problems] with the Church Council of Greater Seattle. They, too, have concerns and are trying to avoid a war. They want to see what kind of political settlement can be made." Seattle is the home of Rep. Jim McDermott, Washington Democrat, while Michigan is the home state of Democratic Rep. David E. Bonior, two of the three lawmakers who visited Iraq on a peace mission. The congressmen caused a stir by urging an end to economic sanctions, a return of United Nations weapons inspectors into Iraq and by questioning President Bush's honesty about the need for war. In appearances on Sunday news talk shows, Mr. McDermott and Mr. Bonior spoke of Iraqi officials' cooperation and said top Iraqi leaders had promised arms inspectors would have unconditional access to suspected weapons sites. The third Democratic congressman who went to Baghdad ‹ Rep. Mike Thompson of California ‹ noted the suffering of the Iraqi people brought on by their leader, Saddam Hussein. The lawmakers returned to Washington late Tuesday night. The congressmen were criticized by Republican lawmakers. Senate Minority Whip Don Nickles of Oklahoma derided them, saying on ABC's "This Week" that they sounded like "spokespersons for the Iraqi government." Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, said the congressmen "should come home," after Mr. McDermott challenged the administration's attempts to link Iraq to the al Qaeda terrorist network and suggested Mr. Bush would lie to bring about military conflict. "What happened to separation of church and state, which Democrats usually insist on?" asked a Bethesda woman, who called Mr. McDermott's Capitol Hill office Tuesday and was shocked to find out that a "private religious group" helped pay for the congressmen's trip. Mark Tooley, director of the United Methodist action committee for the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which he describes as a "watchdog of [protestant] mainline churches," said it's "interesting but not surprising" that the Church Council of Greater Seattle sent the lawmakers to Iraq to speak out against military action. "Leaders of almost all the mainline churches have spoken out against a war with Iraq and mainline churches in Seattle, Wash., which are among the most liberal, have been among the most outspoken," Mr. Tooley said in an interview. Alice Woldt, acting executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, said in an interview yesterday: "Yes, we sponsored the trip. If we designated money, it was designated for travel expenses. But none of this came out of our general fund." An aide to Mr. McDermott, speaking on the condition of anonymity, insisted it's "terribly common" for members of Congress to go on trips financed by religious organizations. Mr. Alomari said yesterday that LIFE is not a political advocacy group, but a "charitable organization that's strictly concerned with humanitarian issues." Mr. Alomari said the delegation that went to Baghdad consisted of about 10 people. It included the three congressmen, some representatives of the Church Council of Greater Seattle and Muthanna Al-Hancoli, president of Michigan-based Focus on American and Arab Interests and Relations. FINGER POINTING AT IRAQ http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-exec/2002/oct/02/100208040.html * U.S.: TOP AL-QAIDA AIDE VISITED IRAQ by John J. Lumpkin Las Vegas Sun, 2nd October WASHINGTON (AP): A top al-Qaida operative was in Baghdad about two months ago, and U.S. officials suspect his presence was known to the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a defense official said Wednesday. Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian, is believed to have left Iraq, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. U.S. counterterrorism officials have called Zarqawi - also known as Ahmad Fadeel al-Khalaylah - one of al-Qaida's top two dozen leaders. His activities and contacts in Iraq are not known, but his presence in Baghdad apparently was a factor in the Bush administration's recent volley of allegations of al-Qaida contacts with the Iraqi government. As the United States threatens war against Iraq, the administration has sought to play up reports of those contacts to further vilify Saddam. However, some U.S. officials say the al-Qaida presence is far greater in countries like Yemen and Pakistan, and contend the United States has no solid evidence of Iraq and al-Qaida working together to conduct terrorist operations. Because Baghdad is tightly controlled by Saddam's internal security forces, some officials said it is unlikely Zarqawi could have been in the city without the government's knowledge. Officials believe Zarqawi and bin Laden operations chief Abu Zubaydah were chief organizers of a foiled plot to bomb the Radisson SAS Hotel, in Amman, Jordan, which is popular with American and Israeli tourists. The attack was to take place during millennium celebrations, but Jordanian authorities stopped it in late 1999. Abu Zubaydah was captured in March in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in a raid by the CIA, FBI and Pakistani authorities. He's now being interrogated by U.S. officials. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Zarqawi has been mobile, unlike some al-Qaida leaders who are believed to have remained in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He was in Afghanistan when the U.S. began bombing Taliban and al-Qaida targets last October. He fled to Iran, and U.S. officials suspect the government there also knew of his presence. But the Iranians did not detain him, and he left Iran, officials have said. This led to U.S. accusations earlier this year that Iran was obstructing the U.S. war on terrorism. Iran denied sheltering any al-Qaida figures. Officials declined to discuss what they know of Zarqawi's current whereabouts, but he's the second al-Qaida operative who has been reported in Baghdad this year. The other, Ahmad Hikmat Shakir, is a native Iraqi, and may have simply gone home, officials said. It is unknown if he has had any contacts with the Iraqi government. Shakir, 37, was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in January 2000, the same time two eventual Sept. 11 hijackers met with another senior al-Qaida leader. But officials don't know for certain if Shakir attended the meeting. He was an associate of Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who is in a U.S. prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Shakir left his home in Qatar in October 2001, for Amman, where he was detained by Jordanian authorities for several months. But the Jordanians released him and he is thought to have gone to Iraq. Last week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice accused Iraq of ties to al-Qaida, citing intelligence suggesting the presence of al-Qaida leaders in Baghdad. "Since we began after September 11th, we do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al-Qaida members, including some that have been in Baghdad," Rumsfeld said. They also said al-Qaida sought chemical and biological weapons assistance from Iraq. Rumsfeld said that information al-Qaida and Iraq cooperated on such weapons came from "one report," suggesting the information hasn't been corroborated. Contacts between the government and the terrorist organization date back several years. In 1998, the Iraqi ambassador to Turkey traveled to Afghanistan to meet with al-Qaida leaders, U.S. officials have said. However, U.S. counterterrorism officials say they have obtained no credible evidence that would tie Iraq to the Sept. 11 attacks. They doubt a reported meeting in the Czech Republic between chief hijacker Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi intelligence agent ever took place, although some Czech officials have stood by the report. Some Islamic extremists with ties to al-Qaida have turned up in northern Iraq, in Kurdish territory that is beyond Saddam's control. And other al-Qaida operatives are believed to have passed through Iraq on their way from Afghanistan to their home countries on the Arabian peninsula. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20021002/wl_nm/mideast_dc_ 3892 * ARAFAT LASHES OUT AT U.S. OVER JERUSALEM LAW by Jeffrey Heller Yahoo.com, 2nd October [.....] In a move against a pro-Iraqi faction in the West Bank, Israeli undercover forces in Ramallah detained Rakad Salem, a local leader of the Baghdad-based Arab Liberation Front. Israeli security sources said Salem was responsible for distributing money sent from Iraq for Palestinians wounded or killed in the uprising. The group's support includes allocations of up to $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, payments which Israel says helps encourage more youths to join the ranks of the bombers who have killed scores of Israelis. At least 1,575 Palestinians and 602 Israelis have been killed since the Palestinian revolt erupted in September 2000 after peace talks froze. http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=15991780&template=baghdad/indexsea rch.txt&index=recent * U.S. STEPS UP UKRAINE-IRAQ PROBE The Associated Press, 2nd October KIEV, Ukraine (AP) ‹ The United States plans to send a team of experts to Ukraine to investigate whether the former Soviet republic sold a radar system to Iraq and will consider punitive measures beyond the halt of $54 million in aid, the U.S. ambassador said Wednesday. The agreement on the arrival of a U.S. team with military and technical expertise came during a two-day visit by Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones, who pressed President Leonid Kuchma on evidence that he personally approved the sale of a Kolchuha radar system to Iraq. Jones gave Ukrainian officials a list of questions that they promised to answer quickly, Ambassador Carlos Pascual said. He said no specific date was set for the visit by U.S. experts, but the Interfax news agency quoted Kuchma's chief of staff as saying they would arrive Oct. 13. Pascual said Ukraine promised to cooperate with the U.S. probe. "We appreciate the statement on the part of the Ukrainian side to complete openness and transparency to try to reach a clear understanding of whether a transfer of the Kolchuha system has taken place," Pascual said. "The key now is obviously to ensure there is effective follow-up." The State Department said last week that it had determined the authenticity of an audio recording in which Kuchma, in a July 2000 conversation with Ukraine's arms export chief at the time, approved the sale of a Kolchuha system to Iraq in violation of U.N. sanctions. Ukrainian officials have denied any transfer ever took place. Pascual said the United States is beginning a policy review that will include an examination of all types of assistance to Ukraine, which he said receives about $230 million a year in U.S. aid. The $54 million that has been halted is aid that would go directly to the government. The Kolchuha radar system can detect approaching aircraft without tipping off their pilots. That would give a boost to Iraqi air defenses, which are facing U.S. and British warplanes patrolling "no-fly" zones over Iraq. Pascual said the answers to the questions Jones listed will "would give us greater capacity to provide for the protection of American and British pilots" flying in the zones. INSIDE IRAQ http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1076722002 * HUSSEIN HAS MANY BODY DOUBLES, SCIENTIST SAYS by Jeanette Oldham The Scotsman, 28th September A GERMAN forensic pathologist says he can prove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has used at least three men as doubles for public appearances over the past four years. Dr Dieter Buhmann said that, using new technology, he examined some 450 images of people purporting to be Saddam from videos of public appearances and was able to determine "without a doubt" that the dictator has doubles. "The anatomical specificity of the faces is different," Buhmann said. "One, for example, has a very large middle face. The distance from one ear to the other is very much different to Saddam Hussein. And in another case the region under the mouth is too small and not high enough." Saddam¹s elaborate security precautions have been widely reported in the Arab press, which has said he makes frequent use of doubles and also will never spend two nights in a row in the same building. And he is known to live in perpetual fear of assassination by his own officers. Buhmann, a pathologist at the University of the Saarland in Homburg since 1979, said he presented his technique of comparing facial features using overlays at an FBI forum in 2000, but did not know if US authorities had adopted the method . He took on the Saddam project for a German public television station. Earlier this month, a former mistress of Saddam, Parisoula Lampsos, who claimed she had been his lover for 30 years, said Saddam has a double whose face has been altered by plastic surgery to make them identical. She said the dictator laughed about UN weapons inspectors, saying they would never find anything because he moved and hid his chemical and other secret weapons before their visits. CIA officials have said that Saddam never sleeps in the same location on successive nights, and he immediately executes anyone whom he suspects of betraying him. Such measures have made it very difficult for the CIA to obtain reliable intelligence on his whereabouts. One official said: "We might know that he was in one of several buildings in Baghdad - but then to be certain of killing him, we would have to blow them all up, which would also kill a lot of innocent people. We¹re reluctant to do that." http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,800575,00.html * THE BULL'S-EYE IN AMERICAN BOMBSIGHTS by Ewen MacAskill in Tikrit The Guardian, 28th September Twenty minutes from Tikrit it becomes obvious that you are approaching no ordinary Iraqi town. The road, congested, dusty and potholed, suddenly becomes a two-lane highway with smooth tarmac, freshly painted markings and little traffic. The reason is that Tikrit, 100 miles north of Baghdad, is the birthplace of Saddam Hussein, and many of his most trusted ministers, officers and bodyguards. Tikrit features prominently in the latest US military plan leaked to the press: the strategy is to avoid attacking civilians and concentrate on hurting the leadership. The Washington Post called it "the bull's-eye". Rick Raftery, a retired marine corps intelligence officer who served in northern Iraq during the Gulf war in 1991, told the Post: "Tikrit is the political centre of gravity. It must be immediately eliminated." A sleepy town of 250,000 which Western journalists can visit only with permission and accompanied by a government minder, it has had money lavished on it. Among the many new buildings is a mosque for Saddam Hussein's father, Hussein al-Majid Abdul Gafur, completed last month. Tombstones commemorate members of the clan. It also has one of Iraq's eight presidential palaces, reputed to be the most lavish, and, like the others, used to entertain guests. A closer look is not permitted: much of Tikrit is off limits to Westerners. It has the biggest collection of portraits, mosaics and statues of President Saddam anywhere in Iraq. Residents, interviewed in the souk, one of the few busy parts, admitted that they benefited from the association with the president. Salah al-Kader, shopping in a chemists, said: "He's been very generous." But there is also a downside: Tikrit was a key target for bombing in 1991 and 1998. The owner of the chemist shop, Jalil Ibrahim Abdullah, said he was mystified by George Bush's threatened assault. "It is a puzzle. We do not know what the Americans are thinking. We do not know what they have against us but we fear the worst." Iraqi officials say that schools, grain silos and other buildings were destroyed in the previous raids. Four families were among the dead in 1991 and in 1998. They add that the attacks were because of the symbolic importance of Tikrit to President Saddam. The US argued that it is the political powerbase of the country, with an abundance of key facilities. Bamer al-Ameri, director of information for Tikrit, said the attacks were aimed at undermining the Iraqi spirit. "Why did the US attack Nagasaki? Because it was the birthplace of the emperor. Tikrit is the symbol of the people. This is why Tikrit will be hit." He was sitting in the provincial headquarters, in a room reserved for guests, complete with a framed box attached to a wall containing an automatic pistol and four portraits of President Saddam. Such is Tikrit's small-town feel that everyone interviewed claimed to have known President Saddam's family. Mr Kader said: "The family of Saddam was very poor. There is nothing very unusual about them. I did not know them well but my family did." Details about his early life in Tikrit proved difficult to pin down. Government officials were unable to locate his birthplace. He was born in humble circumstances in a village outside the town which officials insisted has been swallowed by its expansion. They said his original house had been knocked down. The home of the town's other famous son, Saladin, the Kurdish conqueror of the Crusaders, suffered the same fate. While there is confusion about exactly where the president was born, residents were unanimous that he had left Tikrit when he was six and was brought up in Baghdad. The provincial headquarters in Tikrit could be one of the targets of a US attack, along with the compound of the president's Ba'ath party, military facilities, and the presidential palace. The deputy governor of Tikrit, Mohammed Yasin Mahmoud, sitting in the provincial headquarters, insisted that he was relaxed about the prospect. "We will deal with it and the Iraqis will show how they cope with such things." http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/sep/30/093001589.html * IRAQI GROUP SAY GOV. EXECUTED 15 Las Vegas Sun, 30th September CAIRO, Egypt (AP): An Iraqi opposition group said Monday that 15 political dissidents had been executed in a prison west of Baghdad. The claim by the Center for Human Rights, which is linked to the Iraqi Communist Party, could not be independently confirmed. The Iraqi government does not comment on such allegations. The center, citing unnamed sources inside Iraq, said that the executions took place in the Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, on July 21 and the bodies were buried at night in a mass grave at al-Karkh cemetery in Baghdad. A statement faxed to The Associated Press in Cairo said the men had been executed for opposing President Saddam Hussein's regime. So far, the center has reported 33 executions of political prisoners during July. It said the executions are going on "while the hypocrite rulers claim ... they endeavor to protect the Iraqi people from the dangers of an American aggression and similar other allegations." President Bush has called for Saddam to be toppled, accusing him of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and harboring terrorists. In his speech to the U.N. General Assembly last month making his case against Iraq, Bush added concerns about Saddam's human rights, saying: "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population ...." The Iraqi regime had "probably the worst human rights situation anywhere in the world ... uses the death penalty, rape and torture as a political tool," said the British government report on human rights abuses around the world released on Thursday. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been Bush's main ally on Iraq. The Iraqi opposition group urged the international community to send human rights observers to Iraq along with weapons inspectors. The center is based in the Kurdish autonomous zone of northern Iraq. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/020930/2002093003.html * AL-MUHARRIR NEWS: SADDAM IS READY TO RESIGN Arabic News, 30th September The Paris based al-Muharrir news weekly said in its recent issue that the Iraqi foreign minister Naji Sabri informed the secretary general of the Arab League (AL) Amr Moussa that the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is ready to put his resignation at the disposal of an Arab summit to be held in Baghdad, being plenary or mini, but he stressed that Saudi Arabia participation in this summit is necessary. The paper quoted Sabri as saying to the AL chief, Amr Moussa, that Saddam Hussein welcomes the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz which he considers as "a friend and: a dear brother." The magazine said also that, according to well-informed sources, the Iraqi president enthusiastically showed readiness to attend a mini Arab summit if such a summit is held in Saudi Arabia. http://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=15991727&template=baghdad/indexsea rch.txt&index=recent * IRAQ: BRITISH DOSSIER FULL OF LIES The Associated Press, 3rd October BAGHDAD, Iraq: Iraq says war and U.N. inspections have ensured it is no longer capable of producing nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, and Baghdad released a detailed report Wednesday rebutting a British dossier on its arms programs. Washington says toppling Saddam Hussein may be the only way to ensure Iraq is not rearming. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been a strong backer of the United States on Iraq, issued a 50-page dossier last week detailing what British intelligence said was Iraq's growing arsenal of chemical and biological weapons and Saddam's plans to use them. Blair also said Iraq was trying to develop nuclear weapons. The dossier, Iraq's Foreign Ministry said in its 29-page, English-language rebuttal, was "full of lies, fabrications and fallacies." "Iraq's capabilities to produce biological, chemical agents were destroyed during the 1991 aggression," the Foreign Ministry said, referring to the Gulf War that forced Iraq to reverse its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Iraq said its chemical program never advanced beyond a "crude" level and that U.N. inspectors after the Gulf War destroyed stocks of chemical weapons, munitions and production equipment. Iraq said it cooperated with inspectors and described their destruction during seven years of work of such items as entire buildings at nuclear sites, missiles, 400 rockets filled with Sarin, and even "the furniture, desks, cooling systems, refrigerators, science books and journals" at a biological weapons laboratory. Just as Blair's dossier seemed to offer little new evidence, Iraq's rebuttal reiterated its long standing position that by 1998 it had complied with U.N. resolutions barring it from stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. U.N. inspectors, accusing Iraq of blocking their work, withdrew from Iraq in December 1998 ahead of U.S.-British airstrikes. In its rebuttal, Iraq said that since then, any biological agents would have lost their effectiveness, its nuclear program remained under International Atomic Energy Agency scrutiny and monitoring of its imports was tight. "It seems that those who prepared Blair's report seek to mislead the world, simply because the production process requirements and complicated services are not available," Iraq said of British allegations it has mobile laboratories for developing biological warfare agents. [.....] NO URL * DESTROYING HOPE by Felicity Arbuthnot Morning Star, 3rd October On Thursday, Basra airport in Iraq's second city was bombed by the UK abd US pilots patrolling the illegal 'no fly zones' for which there is no U.N. Mandate, writes Felicity Arbuthnot. Within the last month, Mosul airport too, in the north was bombed by the two rogue states on the UN Security Council. The lift in morale of the Iraqi people, when flights began two years ago was tangible and visible. This writer was on one which the British and Americans moved heaven and earth to prevent (as they did all of them in November 2000. MP George Galloway had also evaded them and had arrived the previous morning. As Britain and America in 'Wag the Dog' rationale, roller coaster toward war with unbelieved, weazel words, I revisited what I wrote just under two years ago. Perhaps I should rename this piece: 'Destroying Hope' : For ten years the people of Iraq have been deprived of the most basic essentials to sustain life and policies of a United Nations - established to 'protect succeeding generations ....' - have culled an average of 6,000 children a month. Yet the Iraq I have just returned from is an Iraq I did not recognise - an Iraq with hope. The opening of Baghdad International Airport in August and incoming flights, are effectively eroding the embargo from within. 'There are tears in our eyes every time a flight lands' remarked a friend. Isolation has been as grinding as deprivation. There were tears in the eyes of the passengers on Olympic Airways flight 3598 from Athens to Baghdad too as the Captain touched down, welcoming us to Baghdad. It had been organised by Greek NGO's, the former first lady of Greece, Margarita Papandreou, with the backing of the Greek Government. M.P. George Galloway's spectacular flight to Baghdad, which arrived two days earlier, had anything but the backing of the British government. Two previous flights in which he was involved having been blocked, Galloway borrowed the personal jet of the President of Bulgaria and flew from London Manston airport with a group including Lord Rea and Father Michael Barry, informing the Foreign Office that they were going on a pilgrimage to Sophia. In the event, they touched down in Bulgaria only to refuel and headed on. One can only speculate on Peter Hain's reaction when Galloway rang him in the early hours and said: 'Good Morning from Baghdad, Minister of State...' Baghdad's airport is vast, marbled, efficient and very much open for business. The fortuitous hijacking of a Saudi flight (during Iraq Tourism Week) was a public relations coup for Iraq and disaster for Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook who declined to thank Iraq for its hospitality, a diplomatic gaffe which reverberated around the world. 'What is your most memorable moment of your ordeal in Iraq?' asked a journalist of one of passengers. 'The tears in our eyes when we left' was the reply. Rumours are rife in Baghdad that the hijackers responsible for this favourable limelight - who applied for political asylum - are living in considerable comfort. The increasingly isolationist rhetoric of Britain and America no longer count on the Baghdad street. Shop windows gleam, shutters are repainted, merchants rise at dawn to wash and sweep. Travel agents are reopened after ten years and Royal Jordanian and Aeroflot airlines are importing computers, polishing, and preparing for regular flights. As always it is a looking glass world. Few can either afford purchases or travel, but hope is back and in the Iraqi Airways office in the Palestine Hotel is a triumphant timetable for flights to Mosul and Basra - defying British and American planes routinely bombing the 'safe havens' in which the two cities lie. Beneath the surface tragedy is unabated. 'We shall visit another sadderly place' said the Director of Baghdad's Childrens Hospital, excellent english suddenly ambushed by emotion. Chronic shortage of diagnostic equipment, anaesthetics, blood, drips, pain relief, antibiotics meant that five day old Omar, with an internal obstruction was set to become another fledgling victim of embargo. Another 'sadderly' place is Basra Maternity Hospital, where birth abnormalities are recorded, exhibiting further horrors in a new generation of new born, linked it is thought to depleted uranium weapons used in the Gulf war. A tiny body with neither arms, legs, or head. A part formed face with one cyclopian eye and a nose at the hairline. 'I want the world to hear my voice, to know what has happenedd here' says paediatrician, Dr Jenan Hussein. The great ziggurat at Ur, believed birthplace of Abraham is damaged from the missiles which fell nearby in 1991, 1998 and 1999 when US or UK planes bombed, in a policy upheld by their Christian leaders. In Basra, children in a school next to a barracks did not even look up or break from their playground games as the sirens warned of a further attack. I joined the soldiers who pointed up to the returning planes, pinpricks in the stratosphere. They did not even cast a glance at their 1950's anti aircraft guns, there was no contest. Another soldier who had earlier offered to show us the road to Ur pointed out damage from both the Gulf war and subsequent bombings. The vast power station which had supplied the region had remained off line since being damaged in 1991 he said as we passed it. What was clearly bomb damage was visible over vast tracts, mile after mile. A member of the Sheffield delegation handed him a statement in Arabic, explaining the reason for their visit - solidarity with the people of Iraq. He read it slowly and carefully. Then he said: 'It is traditional in the south to offer travellers hospitalty. My home is very simple, but I have five chickens, you will eat well...' It was just days before Ramadan, which when ended, the chickens would have undoubtedly been part of the traditional celbratory feast. He was prepared though, to offer them to strangers from a land who had wrought such devastation on his country. We pleaded pressure of time and declined, moved beyond words. In Mosul, we visited Deir Matti - St Matthew's Monastry - perched high on Mount Maqloub, the Lourdes of the Middle East, where the sick are bought to what is reputed to be the Saint's burial place, to benefit from his powers of healing. On the event of the 1999 eclipse scientists and astonomers from throughout the Middle East gathered on Mount Maqloub, the highest point in the region, to watch. They were rewarded with the Monastry being shaken to its foundations as the village below was bombed by patrolling UK or US flights. The area is also a favourite for bombings of flocks of sheep and their child shepherds. The priests are witness to the ongoing grief. 'Please tell Tony Blair that he is a very, very bad man', said the aged priest in charge solemnly. Half an hour after we left, there were reports of another bombing. The help Iraq's people deserve is incalculable, but the airport is a beacon of hope and a there is a new phrase on the street: 'for us the embargo is over'. There is though an outstanding question. Satellite surveillance of Iraq is such that the State Department boasted that 'a coca cola can in a trash bin' could be picked up. How come the building of a vast international airport was such a surprise? _______________________________________________ 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