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News, 5-11/10/02 (3) UN [only] MATTERS [for a little while] * Annan leans toward new resolution on Iraq * CIA men inspected Iraq sites: ex-arms inspector * Inspection as invasion * U.N. [Security Council] Urged to Hold Open Iraq Meeting * Ground rules for Iraq inspections * Lawyers challenge legality of preventive war against Iraq UK [only] MATTERS [for a little while] * Blair warned war to oust Saddam 'illegal' * 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 NORTH IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Rebel Kurd lawmakers show unity ahead of Iraq attack * Turkey Considers Positive Messages Of Iraqi Kurdish Leaders * In Iraq, Kurds fear another betrayal 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 UN [only] MATTERS [for a little while] http://www.dailystar.com.lb/05_10_02/art5.asp * ANNAN LEANS TOWARD NEW RESOLUTION ON IRAQ Daily Star, Lebanon, 5th October UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday that international arms inspectors should not resume their search for Iraq's clandestine arsenals and programs until the Security Council decides whether to adopt a new resolution that could give them broad new powers. The UN chief's remarks signaled support for Washington, which has been trying to stall the inspectors' mission. Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, who wants to send an advance team to Baghdad in mid-October, said Thursday he hoped council members would make up their minds quickly. But the council is deeply divided over a US draft resolution, backed by Britain, to toughen inspections and authorize military force if Iraq doesn't comply. Russia, France and China, all veto-wielding council members, oppose any authorization of force. Indicating that inspectors would wait, Blix said if the council changed the rules while inspectors were in Iraq, "it would be awkward." Annan said Blix had "the right attitude." "He has had his discussions, he has got his men ready, but as the council is discussing further guidance, it would be appropriate for him to know that further guidance before he resumes, and I hope that will be forthcoming shortly," he said. Mohammed al-Baradei, whose International Atomic Energy Agency is in charge of nuclear inspections, also indicated inspectors would wait for a decision. "We need to align our date with the deliberation of the council," Baradei said. Blix told reporters after briefing the council Thursday that he is moving ahead with plans to resume inspections after nearly four years, following an agreement he reached with Iraq earlier this week on logistics. "We have not purchased the air tickets yet, but we have plans," he said. Blix said many issues had been solved, "but there are some minor matters and some loose ends." The United States leapt on Blix's reference to "loose ends," saying it reinforced the need for a new resolution. And Washington continued to scramble for evidence incriminating Saddam Hussein's regime. On Friday, the Pentagon said the United States has detected Iraqi efforts to conceal weapons of mass destruction in anticipation of UN inspections. Spokeswoman Victoria Clarke declined to provide details, saying the US information had to remain secret. "In terms of what is actually going on now you start getting into classified information," she said. "It's for people with far higher pay grades to decide if and when they put that sort of information out." The Pentagon will brief reporters Monday on Iraq's "deception and denial" tactics, she said - a briefing that will probably set the tone for what is being touted as an important statement by US President George W. Bush on Iraq late Monday night. The United States says a new mandate for weapons inspectors is critical, but Russia says it is not needed and would cause unnecessary delay to a resumption of inspections. France has proposed middle ground which would strengthen inspections but give Iraq a chance to cooperate before any military action was authorized. Blix and Baradei traveled to Washington on Friday for meetings with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Blix said the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission which he heads has the legal authority to return to Iraq under a series of resolutions adopted since the end of the Gulf War in 1991. Those loose ends, he said, included the key issue of whether Saddam's network of presidential palaces would remain off-limits to surprise inspections. Also unresolved were security arrangements for inspectors and flights within Iraq to reach suspected weapons sites. Asked if he would delay his arrival in Baghdad beyond Oct. 19, Blix said: "If the council puts some new suggestions or directives to us, of course we are in their hands." http://www.dawn.com/2002/10/07/int2.htm * CIA MEN INSPECTED IRAQ SITES: EX-ARMS INSPECTOR Dawn, 7th October, 29 Rajab 1423 WASHINGTON, Oct 6: Outspoken former weapons' inspector Scott Ritter said US and British intelligence agents took part in inspections of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's palaces during the 1990s, Newsweekreported in its latest issue. Ritter, 40, a former intelligence officer in the US Marines, said CIA agents, and members of Britain's intelligence service MI6, were employed among the weapons inspectors for intelligence-gathering purposes the last time Saddam's palaces were searched. Several of the agents were gathering intelligence on where Saddam lived and worked, and where probably he took shelter during air raids - aimed at eliminating the Iraqi leader rather than his weapons, Ritter told Newsweekin its editions due on newsstands on Monday. "Embedded in the team was a British MI6 case officer, whose job was to recruit a senior Iraqi official," Ritter told the newsweekly. "We were trying to use the inspection team's access to achieve this recruitment. "Also embedded in the team were CIA officers, whose job was to do a structural-intelligence analysis of Saddam Hussein's bunkers, and to pinpoint the residences and officers of every senior Iraqi government official." Ritter, whose credibility was damaged after he accepted 400,000 dollars from an Iraqi American businessman to fund a documentary critical of US policy, was once dubbed a "cowboy" by UN staff and diplomats in Baghdad for his intrusive inspection procedures. He said the attempt at recruiting Iraqi officials failed. Ritter resigned from the United Nations in August 1998, citing a lack of UN and US support for his tough disarmament methods which rattled the Iraqis. More recently, however, he has become increasingly critical of US policies towards Iraq. Ritter claims that UN inspectors - who left the country four years ago - had found no evidence that Iraq was seeking to re-acquire capabilities in weapons of mass destruction. AFP http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,806585,00.html * INSPECTION AS INVASION by George Monbiot The Guardian, 8th October There is little that those of us who oppose the coming war with Iraq can now do to prevent it. George Bush has staked his credibility on the project; he has mid-term elections to consider, oil supplies to secure and a flagging war on terror to revive. Our voices are as little heeded in the White House as the singing of the birds. Our role is now, perhaps, confined to the modest but necessary task of demonstrating the withdrawal of our consent, while seeking to undermine the moral confidence which could turn the attack on Iraq into a war against all those states perceived to offend US strategic interests. No task is more urgent than to expose the two astonishing lies contained in George Bush's radio address on Saturday, namely that "the United States does not desire military conflict, because we know the awful nature of war" and "we hope that Iraq complies with the world's demands". Mr Bush appears to have done everything in his power to prevent Iraq from complying with the world's demands, while ensuring that military conflict becomes inevitable. On July 4 this year, Kofi Annan, the secretary-general of the United Nations, began negotiating with Iraq over the return of UN weapons inspectors. Iraq had resisted UN inspections for three and a half years, but now it felt the screw turning, and appeared to be on the point of capitulation. On July 5, the Pentagon leaked its war plan to the New York Times. The US, a Pentagon official revealed, was preparing "a major air campaign and land invasion" to "topple President Saddam Hussein". The talks immediately collapsed. Ten days ago, they were about to resume. Hans Blix, the head of the UN inspections body, was due to meet Iraqi officials in Vienna, to discuss the practicalities of re-entering the country. The US airforce launched bombing raids on Basra, in southern Iraq, destroying a radar system. As the Russian government pointed out, the attack could scarcely have been better designed to scupper the talks. But this time the Iraqis, mindful of the consequences of excluding the inspectors, kept talking. Last Tuesday, they agreed to let the UN back in. The State Department immediately announced, with more candour than elegance, that it would "go into thwart mode". It wasn't bluffing. The following day, it leaked the draft resolution on inspections it was placing before the UN Security Council. This resembles nothing so much as a plan for unopposed invasion. The decisions about which sites should be "inspected" would no longer be made by the UN alone, but also by "any permanent member of the security council", such as the United States. The people inspecting these sites could also be chosen by the US, and they would enjoy "unrestricted rights of entry into and out of Iraq" and "the right to free, unrestricted and immediate movement" within Iraq, "including unrestricted access to presidential sites". They would be permitted to establish "regional bases and operating bases throughout Iraq", where they would be "accompanied... by sufficient US security forces to protect them". They would have the right to declare exclusion zones, no-fly zones and "ground and air transit corridors". They would be allowed to fly and land as many planes, helicopters and surveillance drones in Iraq as they want, to set up "encrypted communication" networks and to seize "any equipment" they choose to lay hands on. The resolution, in other words, could not have failed to remind Iraq of the alleged infiltration of the UN team in 1996. Both the Iraqi government and the former inspector Scott Ritter maintain that the weapons inspectors were joined that year by CIA covert operations specialists, who used the UN's special access to collect information and encourage the republican guard to launch a coup. On Thursday, Britain and the United States instructed the weapons inspectors not to enter Iraq until the new resolution has been adopted. As Milan Rai's new book War Plan Iraq documents, the US has been undermining disarmament for years. The UN's principal means of persuasion was paragraph 22 of the security council's resolution 687, which promised that economic sanctions would be lifted once Iraq ceased to possess weapons of mass destruction. But in April 1994, Warren Christopher, the US secretary of state, unilaterally withdrew this promise, removing Iraq's main incentive to comply. Three years later his successor, Madeleine Albright, insisted that sanctions would not be lifted while Saddam remained in power. The US government maintains that Saddam Hussein expelled the UN inspectors from Iraq in 1998, but this is not true. On October 30 1998, the US rejected a new UN proposal by again refusing to lift the oil embargo if Iraq disarmed. On the following day, the Iraqi government announced that it would cease to cooperate with the inspectors. In fact it permitted them to continue working, and over the next six weeks they completed around 300 operations. On December 14, Richard Butler, the head of the inspection team, published a curiously contradictory report. The body of the report recorded that over the past month "the majority of the inspections of facilities and sites under the ongoing monitoring system were carried out with Iraq's cooperation", but his well-publicised conclusion was that "no progress" had been made. Russia and China accused Butler of bias. On December 15, the US ambassador to the UN warned him that his team should leave Iraq for its own safety. Butler pulled out, and on the following day the US started bombing Iraq. >From that point on, Saddam Hussein refused to allow UN inspectors to return. At the end of last year, Jose Bustani, the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, proposed a means of resolving the crisis. His organisation had not been involved in the messy business of 1998, so he offered to send in his own inspectors, and complete the job the UN had almost finished. The US responded by demanding Bustani's dismissal. The other member states agreed to depose him only after the United States threatened to destroy the organisation if he stayed. Now Hans Blix, the head of the new UN inspectorate, may also be feeling the heat. On Tuesday he insisted that he would take his orders only from the security council. On Thursday, after an hour-long meeting with US officials, he agreed with the Americans that there should be no inspections until a new resolution had been approved. For the past eight years the US, with Britain's help, appears to have been seeking to prevent a resolution of the crisis in Iraq. It is almost as if Iraq has been kept on ice, as a necessary enemy to be warmed up whenever the occasion demands. Today, as the economy slides and Bin Laden's latest mocking message suggests that the war on terrorism has so far failed, an enemy which can be located and bombed is more necessary than ever. A just war can be pursued only when all peaceful means have been exhausted. In this case, the peaceful means have been averted. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/oct/10/101005103.html * U.N. URGED TO HOLD OPEN IRAQ MEETING by Edith M. Lederer Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 10th October UNITED NATIONS- Some 130 nations pressing for a peaceful solution in Iraq asked the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to hold an emergency open meeting before it votes on a new resolution that could authorize military action against Saddam Hussein's government. The move by the Nonaligned Movement, whose members are mainly from developing countries, would put the U.S. and British demands for military authorization under a microscope by shifting what have been closed-door talks into a public format. Council members supported the request for an open meeting and council president Martin Belinga-Eboutou told members he would set a date after consultations. Diplomats said the open meeting will not be held Friday, as France wanted, but will likely take place sometime next week. It will definitely be held before the council votes on a new resolution, diplomats said, but it wasn't clear whether it would take place before or after a new resolution is formally introduced to the council. The five veto-holding members remain divided on key issues and have been meeting privately to thrash out concepts, but diplomats report little progress and no new meeting has been scheduled. The United States and Britain have circulated a draft that would toughen inspections and authorize the use of force if Iraq doesn't comply with inspectors. France, Russia and China oppose a green light to attack before Iraq has a chance to cooperate, and are supporting a rival French proposal. "We think it's a good idea to have an open meeting at the right time," U.S. deputy ambassador James Cunningham said after Thursday's council meeting. He refused to say when that might be. U.S. spokesman Richard Grenell said the United States always assumed there would be an open debate at the appropriate time. "I think it will take place next week, open for all members," said Russia's deputy U.N. Ambassador Gennady Gatilov. "It's a very good thing, because the Security Council, while taking the decisions, should represent the opinions and positions of all members of this organization," he said. South Africa, the current Nonaligned Movement chairman, sent a letter to the Security Council president saying an emergency meeting is "imperative" so council members can hear the views of the wider United Nations membership before it adopts a resolution. The resolution, South Africa's U.N. Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo wrote, includes issues "that are of importance to ... the future role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security." At an open Security Council meeting, any of the 191 members of the United Nations can speak. Many are likely to use the opportunity to address the issues surrounding Iraq's acceptance of the return of U.N. inspectors after nearly four years - and the majority are expected to back the French and Russian position. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin reiterated Thursday that the council should first send a message to Saddam to let inspectors do their job "without conditions or restrictions." "We do not think that it is necessary to resort to the use of force at this first resolution," he said. http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/10/09/un.iraq.groundrules/index.html * GROUND RULES FOR IRAQ INSPECTIONS by Liz Neisloss CNN, 9th October UNITED NATIONS: U.N. weapons inspectors have sent a letter to Iraq spelling out the agreements reached with Iraq in their recent meetings in Vienna, including "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access" to sites. The letter, addressed to Gen. Amir Al-Saadi who represented Iraq in Vienna, notes that the eight presidential sites are still covered by a special agreement -- a "memorandum of understanding," or MOU. The MOU -- which the United States wants to see negated -- sets out the special handling for presidential sites, including advance notice. According to the U.N. letter, the agreements reached in Vienna include: The U.N. Monitoring, Inspections and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have the right to determine the number of inspectors required for any site. Iraq will be informed of the designation of sites not previously declared by Iraq or previously inspected, only when inspectors arrive at the sites. Iraq will ensure that no prohibited material, equipment, records or other relevant items be destroyed except in the presence of inspectors. Iraq will "guarantee the safety of air operations in its air space outside the no-fly zones." Iraq will "take all steps within its control to ensure the safety" of any operations inside the no-fly zones. UNMOVIC may wish to resume the use of U-2 or Mirage overflights, using past arrangements. UNMOVIC and IAEA may conduct interviews with any person in Iraq whom they believe may have relevant information. Iraq will "facilitate" the interviews, but the weapons inspectors will chose the "mode and location" for the interviews. The United Nations will use its former offices in Baghdad -- the former "Baghdad Monitoring and Verification Center" -- but can also set up regional inspection offices in places such as Basra and Mosul. Iraq will provide security for all inspectors. Iraq will provide "secure and suitable accommodations" from a list designated by the Iraqis. Iraq will provide free escorts to facilitate access to sites to be inspected and a 24- hour hotline to be staffed by an English-speaking person seven days a week. This is for help with personnel and transportation needed and any assistance in moving construction material and excavation equipment. Weapons inspectors can use any means for voice or data transmission including satellite and/or inland networks with or without encryption capability. This would be facilitated by Iraq and "there will be no interference by Iraq" with communications. Iraq will provide cost-free protection of all surveillance equipment, construct antennae for remote transmission of data and, if requested, Iraq will allocate frequencies for communications equipment. Weapons inspectors where possible will split any samples taken so that Iraq may receive a portion. "Where appropriate," inspectors will send samples to more than one laboratory for analysis. The letter also requests a response from Iraq to confirm if the letter is a "correct reflection" of the Vienna talks held on September 30 and October 1. "Mr. [UNMOVIC chief Hans] Blix intended to put in writing the understandings reach in Vienna and provide them to the council," said U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard. He said some countries had also requested the letter. In a recent briefing of the U.N. Security Council, Blix and IAEA head Mohamed El-Baradei identified various "loose ends" in their discussions with the Iraqis. These "loose ends" include the presidential sites agreement; whether Iraqi "minders" need to be present for interviews of Iraqi scientists, experts and others; and security in the no-fly zones. Blix and El-Baradei recently agreed not to begin inspections until the Security Council has decided on any new resolution on Iraq. http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_82695,0005.htm * LAWYERS CHALLENGE LEGALITY OF PREVENTIVE WAR AGAINST IRAQ Hindustani Times, from Press Trust of India, 11th October International law specialists, in a letter to the UN Security Council, challenged the legality of the kind of preventive war which US President George W Bush has urged against Iraq. "There is no precedent in international law for use of force as a preventive measure in response to a potential threat of violence," the lawyers said in a letter, to all 15 council members, released on Thursday. Dated Tuesday, the letter was signed by Peter Weiss, president of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy in New York, and by Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of Western States Legal Foundation in Oakland, California, an affiliate of the Lawyers' Alliance Against Nuclear Arms. It was released as the US House of Representatives voted 296-133 to give Bush power to use force to disarm Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The US Senate is expected to do likewise today. Bush said the House had sent a message to the United Nations that "the gathering threat of Iraq must be confronted, fully and finally." He had previously made clear that he was willing to act pre-emptively and without UN approval if necessary. But in their letter, Weiss and Cabasso said preventive war "appears contrary to the (UN) Charter, given the Charter's emphasis on the peaceful resolution of disputes and the non-use of force. UK [only] MATTERS [for a little while] http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1033848737242&p=1012571727085 * BLAIR WARNED WAR TO OUST SADDAM 'ILLEGAL' by Jean Eaglesham Financial Times, 7th October Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, has been warned by his attorney-general that military action against Iraq to force a regime change would breach international law. The clear advice from Lord Goldsmith and Harriet Harman, the solicitor general, places the prime minister in a potentially "impossible position", according to legal experts. The warning explains why the government has been careful to avoid any suggestion its military threats are designed to force Saddam Hussein out. Mr Blair is sympathetic to President George W. Bush's threats to act unilaterally against Iraq if United Nations disarmament moves fail. But President Bush's repeated emphasis on regime change - reiterated last week when the White House appeared to endorse the assassination of Mr Hussein - would make any concrete UK military support for such US action very difficult. Mr Blair last month said Britain "will always act in accordance with international law". The law officers' confidential advice to Mr Blair sets out limited circumstances in which international law could allow military action in support of existing UN Security Council resolutions, and gives legal backing for action to enforce the fresh resolution under negotiation at the UN. But it rules out war to achieve regime change. Were the government to breach international law, it could find itself before the International Court of Justice facing charges for breaching the UN charter. The US is unlikely to be deterred from unilateral action by such constraints. However, such action would strain relations with the UK, America's closest ally. Mr Blair would find it difficult to support the US without splitting his party. Many of his cabinet members are opposed in private to military action that does not have at least nominal UN backing. The law officers' advice has strengthened their resolve. Meanwhile, Jack Straw, UK foreign minister, on Sunday told the BBC he "did not accept [Mr Blair] has received a rebuff" from President Bush over the UK's plans for a Middle East peace conference by the end of the year. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/articleshow?artid=24749192 * ENGLISH BISHOPS OPPOSE ANY UNJUST WAR ON IRAQ: REPORT Times of India (from AFP), 10th October LONDON: War against Iraq without further backing from the United Nations is unacceptable, 52 bishops of the Church of England have said in an unprecedented document, Britain's The Times daily reported on Thursday. The bishops said that a "preventive" war 'action to stop Iraqi President Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction would cause immense suffering. They recognised that military action can sometimes be justified "as a last resort" to enforce compliance with UN Security Council resolutions. "We nonetheless hold that to undertake a preventive war at this juncture would be to lower the threshold for war unacceptably," The Times quoted the churchmen as saying. The bishops added that military action would fall outside the Christian criteria for a "just war". The Bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler, told The Times: "We do recognise that in the last resort it might be necessary for the United Nations to use force to enforce its resolutions. "But that is a long way down the line... I don't think we are in conflict with the government, I think we are wanting to stiffen the government's arm." However, the bishops' stance raised the prospect of one of the most serious clashes between the British state and the church in decades, should Prime Minister Tony Blair go ahead in support of US action against Iraq without UN backing, the Times said. The 52 bishops, who make up the Church of England's General Synod's House of Bishops, issued their document on Wednesday evening as a submission to parliament's Foreign Affairs Select Committee. WORLD [only] MATTERS [for a little while] http://www.dawn.com/2002/10/05/int2.htm * GERMANY STILL AT ODDS WITH AMERICA Dawn, 5th October RETHYMNO, Oct 4: Germany said on Friday it remained at odds with the United States on how to deal with Iraq and warned there would be far-reaching political and economic consequences if a strike was launched on Baghdad. Defence Minister Peter Struck, whose country's outspoken opposition to a possible US-led campaign against Iraq has frayed relations between Berlin and Washington, said he hoped to meet US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld within two months. "We have talks at a lower level and I believe I will meet my colleague Donald Rumsfeld in the next weeks or perhaps in the next two months," he told reporters as he arrived for a European Union defence ministers' meeting on the Greek island of Crete. French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder this week united in opposition to a US draft resolution that would effectively empower Washington to launch a war if Iraq impeded UN weapons inspections. "There are, as before, differing opinions between my country and the United States," Struck said. "We are of the opinion that the next step should be for inspectors to go in to assess (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's ability to build weapons of mass destruction, but others are already set on military action." Rumsfeld had refused to hold a bilateral meeting with Struck at a NATO meeting in Warsaw last week, citing the "poisoned" relations between the two countries. There were signs this week that tensions between Washington and Berlin were easing. US President George W. Bush congratulated Germany on the 12th anniversary of its reunification on Thursday, and US officials said Secretary of State Colin Powell had talked to Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and that they planned to meet.-Reuters http://www.dawn.com/2002/10/06/top18.htm * THOUSANDS MARCH IN ITALY AGAINST IRAQ WAR Dawn, 6th October, 28 Rajab 1423 ROME, Oct 5: Thousands of anti-war demonstrators took to the streets of Rome and several other major Italian cities including Milan, Bologna, Venice and Florence on Saturday to protest US plans for war on Iraq. Organizers said between 10,000 and 15,000 demonstrators turned out in the capital waving anti-war banners and slogans in support of the Palestinians, and singing songs of Italian World War II anti-Fascist partisan fighters. About 100 activists besieged the British consulate in Venice, chanting: "We say no to the logic of war. Let's disobey and desert!" British Honorary Consul, Ivor Neil Coward, received a delegation who asked him to make their views known to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President George W. Bush's most enthusiastic European supporter of a hard line on Iraq. The right-wing Italian government of Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has also come out strongly in favour of tough action against Iraq. Other major European states including France and Germany have been much more reserved. Saturday's demonstrations followed a mass turnout of an estimated 100,000 a week ago in Rome in protest against the prospect of war against Iraq. In Florence, demonstrators estimated at between 5,000 and 10,000 chanted anti-Bush slogans during a march organized by the anti-globalization umbrella group Social Forum. The US authorities on Friday advised their nationals to stay away from anti-war protests in Italy, saying there could be violence. Crowds also demonstrated in Milan, saying they were against war under any conditions. Some 3,000 also demonstrated in Cagliari on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. A group of Italian non-governmental organisations representing 14,000 volunteers in 80 countries said some 80 per cent of Italians were opposed to war against Iraq. Demonstrations also occurred in Switzerland with some 2,000 marching through Geneva. AFP http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=10/7/02&Cat=2&Num=005 * MALAYSIA RAPS U.S. ON IRAQ, LASHES WEST AT ASIA FORUM Tehran Times, 7th October KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia rebuked the United States over Iraq on Sunday and rapped the West in general for pushing a globalization agenda damaging to developing nations. Opening the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum East Asia, Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lambasted Washington's goal of a change of regime in Baghdad. "One nation cannot demand that another change its government -- or else," said Abdullah, whose government's views reflect wider Muslim anger with U.S. policy toward Iraq and Israel, he told Reuters. "No nation has the right to wage war on another without the authorization of the United Nations' Security Council," he said in a paper delivered at the outset of the three-day meeting. 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. "It places the fate of world peace and global justice sometimes in the hand of one solitary nation, acting in defiance of the wishes of the vast majority," he said. In February Malaysia takes over chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement, grouping 114 developing nations, and hopes to rekindle some fire in an organization which lost its spark after the Cold War ended more than a decade ago. Abdullah, who will succeed Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in late 2003, branded the West's domination of the world's financial and trading systems "the dark side of globalization". NORTH IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/oct/06/06102002ap.htm * REBEL KURD LAWMAKERS SHOW UNITY AHEAD OF IRAQ ATTACK Bangladeshi Independent, 6th October Irbil, Oct 5 (AP): Lawmakers from rival Iraqi Kurdish factions met for the first time in eight years Friday, in a rare show of political unity ahead of a possible U.S. attack on Iraq. The Kurdistan National Assembly session brought together legislators from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, as well as representatives of northern Iraq's Christian minority. The assembly was elected in 1992, but this was the first time the full 105-seat chamber has met since 1994, when political tension between the two parties' leaders exploded into a four-year civil war. Relations between the two camps have gradually improved since a 1998 U.S.-brokered truce, and the northern area of Iraq that is home to Kurds became relatively safe and prosperous. The two leaders, Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, sat next to each other Friday in the assembly's cramped chamber. The local and foreign guests included Danielle Mitterrand, widow of French President Francois Mitterrand and a longtime advocate of Kurdish rights. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell sent a message commending the Kurdish lawmakers for their show of unity but warning "the road ahead is difficult." "Now that you share the same assembly room, I am sure that you will also share a commitment to the security, prosperity and freedom of all Iraqis both in the home areas you represent and in Iraq as a whole." The show of harmony between Barzani and Talabani, both foes of President Saddam Hussein, comes as the United States prepares for a possible attack on Iraq and the removal of the Iraqi leader. Washington accuses Saddam of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and of harboring terrorists. "Our goal now is not just to make Kurdistan free, but to make Iraq free," said Barzani. Rising Kurdish nationalism has worried neighboring Turkey, a close U.S. ally which has a 12 million strong Kurdish community of its own, as well as Iran and Syria. All three oppose any partitioning of Iraq. "This meeting should not exceed its limits, it should not be presented to others as a sign of a move toward the declaration of independence," Turkish Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel told CNN-Turk television. Kurds insist they don't want a new nation, just a semiautonomous enclave within a federal Iraqi government in Baghdad. In the 1980s, Saddam's forces allegedly abducted more than 100,000 men from Kurdish villages and gassed Kurds in the town of Halabja in 1988. "Our people have been striving for a long time," said Rosh Noori Shawais, the assembly's speaker. "They have been subjected to chemical bombardment and oppression. They deserve legal rights within the framework of international law." Northern Iraq has been under U.S.-British aerial protection since shortly after 1991 Gulf War, when the Iraqi army suppressed revolts by the Kurds and Shiites in the south. http://www.turkishpress.com/turkishpress/news.asp?ID=7241 * TURKEY CONSIDERS POSITIVE MESSAGES OF IRAQI KURDISH LEADERS Turkish Press (Anadolu Agency), 6th October ANKARA - While the Kurdish parliament in Northern Iraq convened for the first time since 1996, Turkey found positive the statements of Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Massaud Barzani and Patriotic Union for Kurdistan (PUK) leader Jalal Talabani as positive. Turkish officials discussed the same day the re-opening of the Kurdish parliament in Iraq after a long time. Turkey considered positive Talabani's and Barzani's positive approach to the territorial integrity of Iraq and the respresentation of Turkmens, while it will closely monitor the representation of Turkmens in proportion to their population. Ankara wants Turkmens to be represented in the parliament by 10-15 percent and it concluded that there was no extraordinary situation in convention of the parliament. A high ranking official said that the message the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powel sent to the opening of the parliament stressing the territorial integrity of Iraq was also in line with Ankara's approach. Turkey believes that a U.N. Security Council Resolution has to be adopted in case of a possible U.S. operation against Iraq and the U.S. has to continue its efforts to this end. Turkey conveyed once again the warning to the U.S. officials that if no legal basis can be formed for a possible operation against Iraq, the legitimacy of the operation would be questioned. Presidential Foreign Affairs Chief Adviser Tacan Ildem also said the same day that there was no need to convene the Turkish parliament due to developments about Iraq. http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1122232002 * IN IRAQ, KURDS FEAR ANOTHER BETRAYAL by Borzou Daragahi In Barzan, Iraq The Scotsman, 10th October LIKE many of the women in this mountainous village of Iraqi Kurdistan, Qazal Bashir works the fields. The women herd the animals, build the homes and feed the children. They have no choice. Their men are gone, disappeared. Each night, Ms Bashir continues the long vigil for her husband, Omar Hassan, who was taken by Saddam Hussein's soldiers 19 years ago and never seen again. "Until I'm at the edge of my grave I'll wait for him to come home," says Ms Bashir. Her husband was rounded up from the camp where the family had been forcibly resettled, taken away just a year after the couple married, one night after they had their first and only child. Her tragedy was caused in part by the United States, whose 1974 decision to pull the plug on an anti-Baghdad Kurdish insurrection cleared the way for the Iraqi government to exact revenge on the Kurds. The Kurds have been brutalised by Saddam for 30 years, and abused and manipulated by their powerful Arab, Persian and Turkish neighbours for centuries. As the US demands "regime change" in Iraq, the Kurds and their suffering are again in the spotlight. But the families here wonder if their history of sorrow is coming to an end, or whether they are once again the pawns of the big powers. "Am I worried about being used and being left high and dry? Yes," says Barham Salih, prime minister of the section of northern Iraq controlled by Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "But I'm hoping that we're talking about a new reality. We have an overt commitment from the United States to bring about a democratic, pluralistic, regional government in Iraq." Kurds have suffered the full brunt of the Baghdad regime's violence. According to a Human Rights Watch report, at least 50,000 men died in just one of Saddam's numerous campaigns against the Kurds throughout the 1980s. Kurdish officials in this autonomous section of Iraq, protected by the US no-fly zone, count 180,000 missing men in the 1980s. Those numbers are palpable in towns like Barzan, where women outnumber men by as many as four to one. Those numbers don't include the victims of Iraq's chemical bombardments at Halabja, the dusty former resort town where 5,000 people were gassed to death in 1988. Lack of resources to help people recover from - and prepare for - chemical warfare adds to the cynicism about Western intentions in Iraq. "Really, there is no preparation for any foreseeable chemical or biological incident," says Fouad Baban, a doctor who treats Halabja victims. "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." Foreign powers played a role in each of Saddam's assaults against the Kurds. In 1991, his forces shelled Kurdish cities and drove tens of thousands of people into the mountains to crush an uprising the US initially encouraged. His fears of Kurdish collaboration with Iran in the eight-year Iran-Iraq war fed his fury against them in the 1980s. In the 1970s, he exacted revenge on the home town of the guerrilla leader Massoud Barzani by rounding up residents and placing them in detention camps after the US and Iran cut the flow of arms. Today, the women of Barzan wear black, shunning the bright purples and yellows of traditional Kurdish costume, and as they tell their stories, children gather around the shaded courtyard and begin to weep. Ms Bashir, 36, vividly remembers the last time she saw her husband, early on a midsummer morning in 1983. Walkie-talkies crackling, soldiers surrounded the homes and ordered the men out. "They said it was just for a meeting, a meeting in Baghdad, and that they would be back by sundown," she said. " The men were gone in an hour." The years that followed the loss of sons, husbands, and fathers were a nightmare. The women remained stuck in a camp, surrounded day and night by Saddam's soldiers. They had to find work, but dared not leave their remaining children alone. Since 1991, when US fighter jets put northern Iraq off-limits to Iraqi forces, life has improved. The women moved back to their ancestral villages. The Kurdistan Democratic Party, which governs this section of northern Iraq, provides 300 dinars (about £20) a month for each missing head of family. Ms Bashir was only 14 when she married. Her husband, 22, worked at a rug factory. He awoke at 4am to get ready for work, and her mother would ask him to pick up groceries on the way home. Still groggy, he would take out a notebook and diligently jot down a list. "If the whole world became heaven and jewels, it will still be a sad world for us," she said. LIFE AS USUAL http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2002/10/6/sports/ira&sec=sports * FORMER EAST GERMAN [FOOTBALL] COACH SET TO JOIN IRAQ The Star (Malaysia), 6th October BERLIN: A one-time national coach of the former East Germany is currently in Baghdad to sign a four-year contract to guide the Iraqi national football team. Bernd Stange, who has been accused of cooperating with the Stasi, the infamous Communist-era secret police, said he was not concerned about the possibility of a United States-led war against President Saddam Hussein's regime. "I am a football coach, not a politician. I believe in the Olympic ideal and I see my mission over there as an ambassador for peace," Stange told German sports agency SID and Kicker magazine. "I had the choice between a fourth division German club like Carl Zeiss Jena or this adventure in Iraq. "There are risks in every job. Winfried Schafer (the German coach of Cameroon) could be attacked by a lion in Cameroon." Stange, who was in charge of the East German national team from 1983 to 1988, has made the trip to Iraq in defiance of advice from the German foreign ministry to avoid travelling to the country. A ministry spokesman said: "A work contract of this kind is a strictly private affair and is the decision of Mr Stange." Stange said his aim was to lead Iraq to qualification for the 2006 World Cup Finals. "The opportunity of helping Iraq to qualify for the 2006 World Cup is my main aim," he said. He faces an uphill task Iraq are currently ranked 51st in the world standings by world football's governing body FIFA and have only qualified for the World Cup Finals once, in 1986, when they lost all three of their matches. Stange, 54, said he was optimistic. "The Iraqis are mad about football and I would currently rank them fifth on the Asian continent, which has four places for the 2006 World Cup. So the chances are good." He was last employed as coach of Oman but he was sacked in September last year after just 10 weeks in charge. Stange's other career highlights include coaching VfB Leipzig, then in the German first division, until 1994 before working for Ukrainian club Dniepr Dnepropetrovsk and he then led Perth Glory to the league runners-up spot in Australia. AFP http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20021008670.2 _311a0002d94183d9 * INDONESIA'S PERTAMINA TO DEVELOP IRAQ'S WESTERN DESERT OIL FIELD Hoover's (Financial Times), 8th October ndonesia's state-owned Pertamina Gas Company has allocated $64.2 million of its budget to develop oil exploration projects abroad. The company plans to sign an agreement with the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company to develop a 17,700 square kilometer oil field in the state's western desert. Iraq and Indonesia's signed an agreement last March to enhance bilateral cooperation in oil and gas exploration. The agreement called for Pertamina to drill for oil and gas at a 10,000 square kilometer block in the western desert. In addition, Iraq's Oil Mminister and his Indonesian counterpart signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for technical cooperation between the two ministries. Indonesia has made previous efforts to boost cooperation with Iraq under the United Nations' (UN) oil-for-food program. Iraq has been under a strict UN embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The oil-for-food program, which has been in place since 1996 and allows embargo-hit Iraq to sell oil and buy food, medicine and other essentials for its 22 million people. - (menareport.com) http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1033848836152&p=1012571727172 * BAGHDAD FAIR TO GO AHEAD DESPITE WAR THREAT by Gareth Smyth in Beirut Financial Times, 9th October Lebanese exporters are gearing up for the 35th annual Baghdad International Trade Fair, which starts on November 1, even if many are hesitating over new contracts given US threats of war against Iraq. "We expect to have more companies than any other country, and to be second after Turkey in the amount of space we take in the pavilion," said Fares Saad of the Lebanese Industrialists Association (LIA). Despite the cumbersome and time-consuming paperwork involved in trading with Iraq through the United Nations 'oil for food' scheme introduced in 1997, Lebanon has built up exports to Iraq of at least $250m this year, about a third of all its exports. "Many people are worried that we will lose our main business," said Ahmad Kabbara, who heads the LIA export committee and whose company exports wooden doors and school desks to Iraq. "We are being put under pressure by all the uncertainty," said Jacques Sarraf, president of Malia Holding, whose subsidiaries export pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to Iraq. "First there was talk of war in October, then November, now March - and I have contracts before me to supply medicines in April 2003. Should I sign them, or not?" The LIA expects about 100 Lebanese companies to send representatives to the Baghdad Fair, slightly down from last year, when the event attracted companies from Denmark, Sweden and Russia, as well as from the Arab and Muslim worlds. Lebanon's millennia-old trading links with Iraq were based originally on the 'fertile crescent' arching round from the Mediterranean, north of the Syrian desert, and down the Euphrates and Tigris to the Baghdad and the Gulf. "Beirut and Tripoli became the natural ports of Iraq," said Basil Fuleihan, the minister of trade and economy, who will lead Lebanon's delegation to the Trade Fair next month. But the Lebanese civil war of 1975-90, the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88 and the US-Iraq war of 1991 and consequent UN sanctions all disrupted this trade - until the 1997 'oil for food' programme re-opened the opportunity for Lebanon's exporters. But now the Lebanese fear that, once again, politics will slam the door in their face. "People fear that the US wants to control Iraq rather than allow Arabs deal with other Arabs," said Mr Sarraf. "Who can say it will be a short war, and even if it is, who says the American soldiers can create peace? The Americans came to Lebanon in 1983 to 'make peace' and once 240 of their soldiers were killed they left almost immediately. "Who can guarantee that US soldiers can make peace in Iraq? This is not Texas." _______________________________________________ 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