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News titles, 5-11/10/02 QUOTE OF THE WEEK: 'Neither the United States of America nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small.' President Bush in Cincinatti, 7th October, quoting President Kennedy, 1962. This week saw the US Congress give the United States President power to launch an attack on Iraq at will (power he claims he possesses already on the basis of existing resolutions). The UN Security Council is also discussing the need to give him similar powers (which he also claims he possesses already on the basis of existing resolutions). There are some people who think he is only being held back, only going through the hoops of seeking the UN resolution, through the influence of his friend, Prime Minister Blair. A more likely explanation is that the invasion will be much easier if he can cross the Saudi, Kuwaiti or Turkish land frontier; and at present the Saudis, Kuwaitis and Turks will only allow him to do this if he has a resolution. The opposition to war in the two main aggressor countries is massive and very large numbers of people regard the arguments used to justify it with the contempt they deserve. But much of this opposition rests on the need for conformity with 'international law' - ie United Nations Security Council resolutions; and this will probably prove to be a broken reed. Bush will probably get his resolution; and in any case most of the evil that has been inflicted on Iraq over the past ten years has been supported by Security Council resolutions. Many of those who are now unhappy about the war acquiesced in this; they are using the appeal to the UN as an excuse for not developing their own clear thoughts about the issues involved. Some of the articles below ('War on Iraq is now inevitable' and 'U.S. Has a Plan to Occupy Iraq', both in News (2) and perhaps 'On the Outside, Planning a New Nation' in News (5) suggest that the US government envisages taking over the government of Iraq itself (certainly we don't expect to see the Russians take up Ahmed Chalabi's suggestion that it is him they should be courting if they want to pursue their oil interests after the war). This will be a completely new departure for US policy in general (at least since the occupation of Japan) and Republican Party policy in particular. If it happens it will be interesting to see if they handle the problems (for example discontent among the Kurds and Shi'I) better than did the British or the Sunni Muslims of Iraq. NEWS, 5-11/10/02 (1) US MATTERS (1) * Kucinich Heads Anti-War Coalition in Congress [Account of Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio] * U.S. Groups Protest Iraq War Plans * Bush Offers New Rationale on Iraq [President Bush maintains that 'the Iraqi president has a "horrible history" of attacking his enemies first', but isn't that what is meant by the doictrine of pre-emptive defence? Also the Democratic Senate leader, Tom Daschle, makes the obvious criticism of pre-emptive defence - that its not really a doctrine we want to be held by anyone else. Or as Henry Kissinger put it, more elegantly: "It is not in the American national interest to establish pre-emption as a universal principle available to every nation."] * A decade transforms Democrats from doves to hawks [The great majority of the Democratic Party opposed the 1991 massacre and is supporting the one that is programmed for 2002/3. What has changed? The article doesn't mention what seems to me one of the most important factors: the perception that this sort of thing can be done with a minimum of US casualties.] * McDermott accuses Bush of plotting to be emperor [Courageous campaign by Democratic Party Rep Jim McDermott (Seattle)] * Help us to stop the war [Powerful argument by Scott Ritter that the proposed war, as an assault on international law, is also an assault on the US constitution.] * Stars attack war plans * Text of President Bush's address to the nation Monday [In Cincinnati. The whole text, which includes the pledge: 'the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors'. Which presumably means the US will privatise the oil industry and keep the Kurds and Shi'i under control.] AND, IN NEWS, 5-11/10/02 (2) US MATTERS (2) * Pearl Harbor vs. Baghdad [The Boston Herald goes hysterical over Sen Edward Kennedy's very reasonable, indeed blatantly obvious, comparison between Bush's pre-emptive defense doctrine and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Indeed, the Japanese act was vastly more defensible, given that the US was already enforcing a massive blockade which, among much else, was depriving Japan of access to oil. The Boston Herald portrays Iraq's shooting at USUK planes enforcing the illegal No Fly Zones as an act of aggression that would justify war. Sometimes one wonders if we're not living in parallel universes.] * Sen. Byrd Plans Iraq Vote Delay [Not necessarily through disagreement with the policy of war on Iraq but with the way Congress is being asked to renounce its powers and responsibilities. He 'sees Iraq as yet another example of Congress ceding its constitutional authority to the executive branch.'] * Religious Lobby Congress on Iraq War [A variety of Christian groups lobbying against the war] * Bush aimed speech at Americans skeptical of war with Iraq * All the President's men: Interview with Eliot Cohen [Account of his book, Supreme Command, apparently much appreciated by G.Bush. It concerns Great Leaders who liked to go their own way disregarding words of caution from the military. He deals with Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill and David Ben-Gurion; but the description also seems to fit Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and, perhaps, Saddam Hussein.] * Congress Must Resist the Rush to War [Senator Byrd, an authority on the constitutional history of the United States) calls this a 'low point in the history of Congress'.] * Conservative Christians Biggest Backers of Iraq War [The article also concerns the increasing alliance between Zionists and the 'fundamentalist' Christians in the Republican camp - who are interpreting the prophecies concerning 'Israel' in a profoundly anti-Christian way. In the Christian understanding it is the Christians who constitute 'Israel' (sorry, Rachel, I'm sticking to my guns).] * War on Iraq is now inevitable [Powerful, and probably prophetic, article from Lebanon Daily Star on the Wolfowitz/Perle vision for the new Middle East. Depressingly claims that, in exchange for a two tier UN resolution, 'the French and the Russians have agreed to accept most, if not all, of the very stringent terms for the inspection regime which the US has insisted upon ... Whichever way you look at it, Iraq is the loser. If it rejects the tough terms of the new UN resolution, it will be hit. If it accepts the terms, they will spell such complete surrender that Saddam's regime might not survive anyway. As a Washington source put it to me this week: "The only way the Iraqis can save themselves is if Saddam gives up everything - everything!" By which he meant power itself.'] * Congress Authorizes Bush to Use Force Against Iraq, Creating a Broad Mandate [Full account of debates from NY Times. nb that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York voted with the majority: 'Mrs. Clinton said she had concluded that bipartisan support would make the president's success at the United Nations "more likely and, therefore, war less likely.". Those who think Clinton would have been an improvement on Bush take note.] * U.S. Has a Plan to Occupy Iraq, Officials Report [Monstrous as it may be, the spectacle of the US operating a real, direct Japan style occupation and remodelling of Iraqi society has this to be said for it. It will be fascinating to watch. Interesting times ahead.] URL ONLY: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v24/n19/liev01_.html * The Push for War by Anatol Lieven London Review of Books, 6th October [Good analysis of the present state of US politics and of the forces that are behind the current drive towards war with Iraq. It is written from a rather pro-Democratic Party viewpoint which emphasises the Christian fundamentalist element in the Republican ideology, and the real possibility that they will capture the Jewish vote; it perhaps doesn't convey fully enough the intellectual and academic strength of the new ideologues or the very interesting influence - notably on Paul Wolfowitz and John Ashcroft - of the German Jewish Platonist philosopher, Leo Strauss; or - notably on Condoleeza Rice - of Madeleine Albright's father, Josef Korbel. The article isn't included here because it is very long.] AND, IN NEWS, 5-11/10/02 (3) UN [only] MATTERS [for a little while] * Annan leans toward new resolution on Iraq [The title is a slight exaggeration. Annan and Blix agree there isn't much point in going to Iraq if the UNSC is about to change the rules of the game. They haven't said they approve of the proposed changes in the rules.] * CIA men inspected Iraq sites: ex-arms inspector [Scott Ritter confirms what was already pretty obvious that the inspections were used to gather information that would be useful for the assassination of S.Hussein.] * Inspection as invasion [George Monbiot outlines the process by which the US has undermined and obstructed the inspection system, and draws attention to the powers the proposed USUK resolution would give representatives of the permanent members of the UNSC. He quotes a passage I had missed: 'Teams shall be accompanied at their bases by sufficient US security forces to protect them' In my innocence I had automatically read this as 'UN forces', but he's right. Its in the text as given in last week's mailing.] * U.N. [Security Council] Urged to Hold Open Iraq Meeting [and have agreed, providing an opportunity for the third class nations of the world to express their views] * Ground rules for Iraq inspections [Summary of points agreed between the Iraqi government and inspectors at Vienna.] * Lawyers challenge legality of preventive war against Iraq [Well, it gives them something to do with their time ...] UK [only] MATTERS [for a little while] * Blair warned war to oust Saddam 'illegal' [Though war to enforce Security Council resolutions, ie to disarm him, might not be.] * English bishops oppose any unjust war on Iraq: Report WORLD [only] MATTERS [for a little while] * Germany still at odds with America * Thousands march in Italy against Iraq war * Malaysia Raps U.S. on Iraq, Lashes West at Asia Forum ['Malaysian Deputy PM 'Abdullah labeled as "totally undemocratic" the United Nation's veto system, which allows any of the five permanent members of the Security Council to block a resolutions.'] URL ONLY: http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=10/10/02&Cat=4&Num=003 * British PM Off to Russia Today for Iraq Talks Tehran Times, 10th October ["Of course there are concerns of a commercial and financial nature, but I think that the main preoccupation of Russia has been different," he said. "It has been to make sure that whatever takes place, takes place with the fullest support of the international community," he added. "That's our concern as well." Ah, what is is to have mastered the art of diplomacy.] NORTH IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Rebel Kurd lawmakers show unity ahead of Iraq attack [Formation of Kurd parliament] * Turkey Considers Positive Messages Of Iraqi Kurdish Leaders [They also warn the US that a specific UN resolution is required before they can co-operate in a war on Iraq.] * In Iraq, Kurds fear another betrayal ["Many people come to us," says Mala Nazif, who lost 35 relatives in Halabja and continues to suffer from skin problems. "Nobody addresses our problems. Our people are dying. We still don't get any medicine. We are all treated like we're already dead people."] LIFE AS USUAL * Former East German [football] coach set to join Iraq * Indonesia's Pertamina to develop Iraq's western desert oil field * Baghdad fair to go ahead despite war threat AND, IN NEWS, 5-11/10/02 (4) MIDDLE EAST [only] MATTERS [for a little while] * US asks Turkey to provide bases for attack on Iraq * US has not asked to use Turkish bases for war on Iraq: Ecevit * Majlis [Iranian parliament] debates formation of special committee on Iraq * Sabah: Turkey and border gates with Syria, Iraq * Iran Denies Airspace for Iraq Attack * Iraq supporters flay US at Syrian congress [Account of rally organised by the Syrian committee for the lifting of the international embargo on Iraq. The speakers included G.Galloway.] * Kuwaiti Gunmen Attack U.S. Forces [The article goes on to give a general account of 'Operation Eager Mace' (where do they get them from?) and Kuwaiti/US relations.] * Egypt rebuffs Straw over Iraq * Iraq gave $15 mn to suicide bombers' families: Israel * Straw arrives in Iran for talks * Jordan's Prince Hassan: future king of Iraq? [He speaks very well. And though he thinks war may be inevitable, he doesn't support it: '"My abiding fear is that, as critical as I am of the state system [in Iraq], the alternative of ethnic and sectarian bloodshed, Balkan-style, from Israel to India, is too horrifying to contemplate.'] * Kuwaitis hate Saddam, but fear America [Extract giving an impression of life in modern Kuwait. At least of life for Kuwaiti citizens. The gastarbeiter underclass who do the work and constitute the majority of the people living there remains invisible.] * Saudis Won't Help in Iraq Attack [But they indicate that if 'the United Nations' decides on war under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter it will make its territory available. Which is all the US wants.] * Khatami gives Straw a grilling over Iraq's chemical weapons [Britain didn't believe in them when Saddam Hussein was using them against Iran but makes a great issue of them now that he is effectively disarmed.] INSIDE IRAQ * I won't abandon Iraq: Saddam [This is probably in reaction to the report in the Arab press, mentioned in last week's mailing, that he is considering resignation. We're sure the people of Iraq will be relieved to learn that that was only a malicious rumour.] * Keeping the faith [Interview with the Chaldaean Christian Archbishop Djibrael Kassab in Basra] * Punching holes in 'madman' myth [At last. A simple, sane account of Saddam Hussein's reasons for going to war with Iran and Kuwait and for conducting these wars in the way that he did. Though I think Steve Chapman is wrong to say, in relation to the occupation of Kuwait: 'The Iraqi dictator refused to budge because it wasn't clear until very late in the game that the United States was truly willing to fight a full-scale war.' Hussein gave several indications that he would have budged but USUK wouldn't allow him to do so without a humiliating loss of face which would have put an end to his regime ...] URL ONLY: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/282/nation/In_dictator_s_shadow_a_loyal_so n+.shtml * In dictator's shadow, a loyal son by Bob Drogin Boston Globe, from Los Angeles Times, 9th October [Account of Qusay. I didn't think there was much new in it.] AND, IN NEWS, 5-11/10/02 (5) MILITARY MATTERS * U.S. Bombs Iraq Missile Launchers [Wednesday 9th October. 11th strike this year in the Northern zone.] * US/UK kill civilians in Iraq [Wednesday 9th October, North Iraq] * US warplanes bomb Basra airport [Thursday 10th October] WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION * CIA Says Iraq Stockpiling Bioweapons * Clues suggest Iraq has smallpox, experts say [It seems someone once saw in an Iraqi lab a bottle marked 'smallpox'. The Iraqis told him this was smallpox vaccine (ho ho, a likely story). But how could they have got hold of the virus when the only known stocks are in (you guessed it) the US and Russia? Well, either from the Russian stock or, well, 'Iraq's last reported outbreak of smallpox came in 1972, the same year Iraq started biological weapons research ...'] * Iraq allegedly sought SA nuclear material [Allegations from 'a former Iraqi intelligence officer ... associated with a broad-based group opposed to Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi National Congress.'] * Saddam acquiring technology for 'long-range supergun' * CIA Reports Dispute Bush: Pattern of exaggeration on Iraq seen by sources [Perhaps unfortunately, the article renews the Robert Pelletiere thesis that Iraq was not responsible for the Halabja chemical attack.] * Bush's televised address attacked by US intelligence [Quite detailed account of weaknesses in President Bush's 'evidence' for al-Qaida links and wmd development.] URLs ONLY: http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.hts/nation/1607676 Oct. 8, 2002, 10:47AM * Some administration officials expressing misgivings on Iraq by WARREN P. STROBEL and JONATHAN S. LANDAY Houston Chronicle (from Knight-Ridder Tribune News), 10th October [Feebleness and dishonesty of Rumsfeld's claims for a 'bullet proof' Iraq/al-Qaida link. I haven't given it because it doesn't name sources and the Guardian's 'Bush's televised address attacked by US intelligence' seems to me to have been better. But this article has the interest that it was published in the US.] http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2002/10/10/intelligence/print.html * President Bush's distorted case for war by Gary Kamiya Salon.com, 10th October [Same comments as for previous URL Only] IRAQI OPPOSITION * Al-Jalabi [Chalabi to you and me] calls on Moscow to talk to Iraqi opposition to ensure oil interests * Chalabi vows to form govt after Saddam * Rivals Want to Try Saddam for Crimes * On the Outside, Planning a New Nation [Account of US funded 'Future of Iraq project'.] OIL MATTERS * A Saddam-free Iraq could undercut Turkish pipeline [The Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey pipeline from the Caspian, built to reduce western dependence on the Middle East but likely to become redundant if the US gets control of Iraqi oil.] * U.S., Britain Move Goalposts Again on Iraq Oil: MEES [The US and Britain maintain the retroactive pricing mechanism introduced to counter the Iraqi surcharge even though the Iraqi government have removed the surcharge (which they always denied imposing in the first place ...)] * Scramble to carve up Iraqi oil reserves lies behind US diplomacy [Outline of French, US and, especially, Russian interests.] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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