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News, 5-11/10/02 (2) US MATTERS (2) * Pearl Harbor vs. Baghdad * Sen. Byrd Plans Iraq Vote Delay * Religious Lobby Congress on Iraq War * Bush aimed speech at Americans skeptical of war with Iraq * All the President's men: Interview with Eliot Cohen * Congress Must Resist the Rush to War * Conservative Christians Biggest Backers of Iraq War * War on Iraq is now inevitable * Congress Authorizes Bush to Use Force Against Iraq, Creating a Broad Mandate * U.S. Has a Plan to Occupy Iraq, Officials Report US MATTERS (2) http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/edtc10082002.htm * PEARL HARBOR VS. BAGHDAD Boston Herald (Editorial), 8th October Sen. Edward Kennedy followed his Sunday TV talk show blather on Iraq with what can only be described as a nearly hysterical exercise in hyperbole yesterday on the floor of the Senate. The state's senior senator suggested a pre-emptive U.S. attack on Iraq would be "Pearl Harbor in reverse" and "impossible to justify." "Might does not make right," Kennedy added. "It is unilateralism run amok." The fact that far from being the innocent victim the United States was on that earlier date which will live in infamy, Iraq has been a combatant for more than a decade. U.S. and British planes assigned to enforce two no-fly zones over Iraq have been repeatedly fired upon during that time. Last week retaliatory action by U.S. jets brought to 46 the number of "strike days" launched to protect our own planes enforcing prohibitions set up to carry out a U.N. resolution. This fact seems to have eluded Kennedy. And has Kennedy forgotten why those no-fly zones are patrolled by U.S. airpower? It's to protect the Kurds in the north and the Shiite Muslims in the south from the madman who still rules from Baghdad. Or is he saying Saddam Hussein is the moral equivalent of FDR? http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-cong/2002/oct/09/100903470.html * SEN. BYRD PLANS IRAQ VOTE DELAY by CURT ANDERSON Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 9th October WASHINGTON- A jealous guardian of congressional powers, Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia is making sure the Senate takes time - too much, detractors say - to debate war with Iraq and creation of a Homeland Security Department. Byrd is fighting an uphill battle to delay consideration of an Iraq use-of-force resolution until after the Nov. 5 election. He argues that the campaign season is causing lawmakers to rush ahead rather than carefully consider President Bush's proposals. Beyond that, the silver-haired, 84-year-old Senate president pro tempore, and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, sees Iraq as yet another example of Congress ceding its constitutional authority to the executive branch. "Congress might as well just close the doors, put a sign over the doors and say, 'going fishing,'" Byrd said on the Senate floor. "Congress is being stampeded, pressured, adjured, importuned into acting on this blank check." Byrd had planned to force a series of votes on the individual clauses of the Iraq resolution, which would have taken days. But he was thwarted when Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., made a small change in the language that eliminated the need for multiple votes. Byrd was still defiant in speech Wednesday before the Senate, arguing for a delay in Thursday's vote to limit debate to 30 hours on Iraq. "This is a fateful decision. It involves the blood of our fighting men and women," Byrd said. "It is too momentous a decision." Byrd also spoke fiercely against the proposed Homeland Security Department, now stalemated in the Senate. He was able to force the Senate to put off that measure in August. Byrd spent the better part of three weeks in September arguing against quick action. That gave labor unions and Democrats time to mobilize opposition to the president's insistent on greater management authority over department employees. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said in a recent letter urging the Senate to break its labor rights impasse on homeland security that "the most senior Democrat senator" - Byrd, that is - recently spent hours on the Senate floor talking about his dog, favorite movies, television shows, Charles I of England and the invention of the telegraph. Few are willing to take on Byrd directly, partly because of his seniority, partly because his committee controls the government's purse strings and partly because of his vast knowledge of Senate rules. Byrd is the author of a four-volume history of the Senate and acknowledged as its great protector. "Nobody has ever used the rules of the Senate more than I have," Byrd said Wednesday. Asked Wednesday if Bush believes Byrd is being an obstructionist on Iraq, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer gave a measured, respectful response. "Congress serves our democracy well when they ask tough questions, when they hold a debate, when there's an informed debate," Fleischer said. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-cong/2002/oct/09/100902999.html * RELIGIOUS LOBBY CONGRESS ON IRAQ WAR by Siobhan McDonough Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 9th October WASHINGTON- Religious leaders began another phase of an anti-war lobbying effort on Capitol Hill Wednesday, urging Congress to explore peaceful alternatives in its dealings with Iraq. "I'm appalled by it all," said Frances Kane, 64, of Washington. "I can't believe our country is seriously considering a pre-emptive strike without international support." Congress is preparing to vote on a resolution giving the president broad authority to use military force to dismantle Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. On Capital Hill, about 100 nuns, lay people and other Catholics dropped off packets and held meetings with congressional staff, outlining their anti-war stance. Others held silent vigils outside Senate and House buildings. "Violence isn't the answer to anything," said Sister Mary Ann Smith, of Ossining, N.Y, on her way to the office of Rep. Sue Kelly, R-N.Y. "War is morally and ethically wrong." While Wednesday's events were sponsored by various Catholic groups, including the lobbying group, NETWORK, Leadership Conference of Women Religious and Pax Christi, the National Council of Churches - made up of 36-member denominations - also planned events for this week. The groups oppose resolutions to authorize the use of U.S. armed forces against Iraq. Instead, they're urging the United States to cooperate with the United Nations Security Council in returning weapons inspectors to Iraq. "What kind of a democracy do we have when people are saying 'no war,' but representatives are about to vote for a war resolution?" said Andrea Buffa, community organizer for Global Exchange, a human rights group in San Francisco. "Congress isn't listening so people are coming to Washington to make sure they're heard." Global Exchange, along with Peace Action in Washington, D.C. and American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia, held a protest Wednesday evening. Chanting, "War on Iraq, we say no!" about 200 protesters held banners with anti-war slogans and sounded off bells, drums and whistles outside Senate office buildings. "We don't need a war, we need the U.N. to take the lead, not the U.S.," said Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies. "We are not better than the rest of the world. We don't have the right to say we're above international law." "I'm horrified our president would consider a pre-emptive strike as a way to peace," said Sister Anne Marie Gardiner, 59, of Silver Spring, Md. "That's outrageous. It's a corruption of what the U.S. has tried to stand for." http://www.iht.com/articles/73135.html * BUSH AIMED SPEECH AT AMERICANS SKEPTICAL OF WAR WITH IRAQ by Dana Milbank International Herald Tribune, from The Washington Post, 9th October WASHINGTON: The White House billed the latest Iraq speech by President George W. Bush as a chance for him to explain to average Americans why it is necessary to disarm and replace President Saddam Hussein. The speech did not come a moment too soon. Even as Bush in recent days has become assured of lopsided votes in Congress that would authorize military action, a series of opinion polls have indicated that the public's enthusiasm for such action is tepid and declining. Americans remain unsure of the threat Saddam poses and unconvinced about the best method to deal with that threat. On Monday night, Bush acknowledged the many doubts Americans have about a confrontation with Iraq, and he offered a lawyerly refutation of those doubts. "Many Americans have raised legitimate questions," Bush said. "About the nature of the threat. About the urgency of action - and why be concerned now?" As expected, Bush offered little new information Monday night, other than to disclose that Iraq has a growing number of aircraft that could deliver chemical and biological weapons, possibly even to target the United States. Rather, his address had elements that ranged from frightening ("it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year") to reassuring ("we will act with allies at our side") to belligerent ("Saddam Hussein is a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction") to sobering ("military conflict could be difficult"). Its effect was to amass evidence - much of it inconclusive in the eyes of security experts - that painted Iraq as a clear and present danger to the United States and a firm ally of Al Qaeda. Just as Bush did at the United Nations a month ago, when he presented himself as the champion of multilateral action and not its foe, he sought Monday night to turn arguments against him upside down. To those suggesting that Bush might be leading the nation on a dangerous and ill-conceived military adventure, he argued that he was the one pursuing the safest approach. "There is no easy or risk-free course of action," he said. "Some have argued that we should wait, and that is an option. In my view, it is the riskiest of all options." White House officials had grown concerned that public support for using force against Saddam has softened despite Bush's growing support in Congress. A Gallup poll released Monday found that a bare majority of Americans - 53 percent - favored a ground invasion of Iraq, down from 61 percent in June and 74 percent last November. An ABC News poll, also released Monday, found that 50 percent of Americans agreed with the proposition that diplomacy does not work with Iraq and the time for military action is near; 44 percent favored holding off on military action and pursuing diplomacy. The divergence in views between ordinary Americans and their elected representatives indicates that the administration has done an uneven sales job - and one that Bush aides said Monday night's address was meant to remedy. "They really haven't made an attempt yet to explain to the American people in real terms the necessity of the action," said John Weaver, an adviser to several Democratic congressional candidates. Bush aides interpret the soft poll numbers to mean that Americans are giving Bush the benefit of the doubt but are not convinced about the merits of his argument. In the short term, such ambivalence is not a problem. History has shown that as soon as the United States launches a military action, a surge in public support is a virtual certainty. But the soft support presents a potential problem for the long term. If Americans have doubts about the rationale for the action in the first place, their support could fade if the conflict in Iraq becomes bloody and extended. With such concerns in mind, the administration set out Monday night to convey more comprehensively and methodically its rationales for war. The arguments were not new, but the packaging was. Bush eschewed most of the Iraq applause lines he shouts from the campaign stump. Instead, he spoke soberly in front of a world map in the Cincinnati Museum Center, the United States behind his right shoulder and the Gulf behind his left. The White House selected the location for the speech - Ohio - because there were no competitive races in the area that would make Bush appear to be playing politics with the war. And, to make the threat more vivid, Bush aides decided to declassify for the speech a series of before-and-after photos of Saddam's weapons facilities. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7-441256,00.html *ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN: INTERVIEW WITH ELIOT COHEN by Giles Whittell The Times, 10th October WHEN THE HISTORY of the Second Gulf War comes to be written, its authors will have to look hard at a slim, scholarly volume about four dead white men, none of whom ever heard of Scud missiles or Saddam Hussein. The book is called Supreme Command, and the most obvious reason why it is relevant to the storm gathering over Baghdad is that President Bush says he has been reading it. "Here's what I know," says Dr Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University, who wrote it. "When it first came out in the US in June, the White House asked for three copies, one autographed to the President, one to Karl Rove, his political adviser, and one blank. And then in August, while I was on vacation up in the mountains of New Hampshire, (Bush) told the journalists that he was reading it. That's all." It was enough. The book has since been falling out of briefcases all over Washington, even though, on the face of it, it has little to do with Iraq. It's about Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill and David Ben-Gurion ‹ one long chapter each ‹ and it sets out to show how they prevailed as civilian leaders of democratic nations caught up in wars of national survival. The answer has a lot to do with their individual greatnesses (there is a passage on Churchill's mastery of rhetoric in which you can practically hear Cohen's throat tightening in admiration). But at its core there is one simple assertion: these men triumphed not by leaving wars to their generals but by making them their own. They set the goals, moulded the strategy, meddled constantly with tactics and hounded their men in uniform to distraction and, in many cases, to early retirement. The argument has powerful detractors. An entire cadre of Churchill biographers believes, for example, that he was a winner despite his meddling, not because of it. But these are not the biographies by Bush's bedside. He will have devoured the Cohen view because it is America's uniformed military that has come closest over the past year to derailing his plan to reinvade Iraq. Ever since the focus of the War on Terror shifted from Kabul to Baghdad, serving and retired generals have warned against a new Desert Storm on the grounds that the US Armed Forces are already overstretched, that they see no clear exit strategy once in Iraq, and that they are ill-suited to the delicate task of nation-building in the heart of the Middle East should they be asked to stay there. What Cohen's book tells Bush about these voices is: you should listen to them but you can ignore them if you like. You are the boss. Less flatteringly, Supreme Command also tells Bush that his father erred disastrously by leaving the ending of the first Gulf War to Generals Powell and Schwarzkopf. Left to handle the timing, Powell ended it too soon. Left to negotiate the terms of the armistice, Schwarzkopf let Saddam's Republican Guard escape to fight another day. The implicit conclusion is that, yes, Saddam represents unfinished American business that a new US President with energy and backbone should not be scared of taking on, whatever his risk-averse commanders say. "I think it was Lord Salisbury," Cohen muses, "who said: 'If you ask the generals, nothing is safe'." For those inclined to see the book as a goad to war, however, there is a problem. "Bush is not Churchill. No. Of course not." Cohen cuts in to get this out of the way before it has a chance to dominate the interview, because his book has a way of highlighting Bush's shortcomings simply by itemising its subjects' strengths. It rhapsodises about the "probing searchlight" of Churchill's incessant memoranda to subordinates; about his "massive common sense", wide reading, masterful oratory and deep experience of war. If Bush lacks most of these, as even his strongest supporters concede, is he the right man to second-guess his generals? Or is he heading for a berth in later editions of Cohen's book in the cautionary chapter entitled: "Leadership without genius" ‹ a chapter largely about Lyndon Johnson and the humiliations of Vietnam? Cohen's answer is long, careful and fascinating. It gives a glimpse of an extraordinary, vaunting optimism that is driving White House policy on Iraq as much as fear of weapons of mass destruction, yet dare not speak its name. Bush may not have a Churchillian grasp of the "big picture", he begins, but "bear in mind he's surrounded by an awful lot of others who are big-picture people ‹ Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfovitz (deputy defence secretary) ‹ and I think there is an overall picture these folks have that if you overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein, in addition to averting some potentially disastrous things ‹ an Iraqi nuclear weapon, Iraqi biologicals ‹ there are a load of second and third-order consequences which will be beneficial." Such as? "First, it allows us to get out of Saudi Arabia, and it's not good to have a military presence there because if you look at some of bin Laden's writings, the first thing that drives him nuts is the presence of the infidels in Saudi Arabia. The second thing that drives him crazy is the suffering of the Iraqi people. Saddam imposed it but frankly we were part of that too. You then take a step back and say that Jordan is much better off if it has a friendly, relatively modern, relatively pro-American state to its east, rather than (Saddam's) Iraq. Syria becomes a lot more manageable, life may get easier for the Turks and finally the hope would be for some helpful effect on what goes on in Iran." Cohen pauses. "No one has said it but I think that is the view in the White House. To the extent that there is a larger picture, that's the larger picture." Why has no one said it? "I think it would be viewed by our allies as utopian or megalomaniacal or imperialistic." Cohen is intensely wary of being seen as a warmonger. When a BBC interviewer introduced him as such in almost as many words, he told her: "Ma'am, I don't think you've read the dust jacket, let alone the book." And yet Cohen is more parti pris than his geniality ‹ and fondness for bow ties and circumlocution ‹ might suggest. He is wary of the American military's dabbling in geopolitics without sufficient expertise, one result of which, he says, is its possibly naive assumption that the "Arab street" would erupt in protest if America ousted Saddam. He is angry with Clinton for having ceded to the military so much control over their own affairs in the 1990s. And he is very close to the current administration: on first-name terms with Rice, the President's national security adviser; friends with her deputy, Stephen Hadley; and a not-infrequent sounding-board for Wolfovitz, Washington's chief hawk. No wonder he will be giving a speech at the White House next month. The speech will be about the book, he says, not policy, yet the difference between the two may well be academic. Supreme Command, by Dr Eliot Cohen, is published by Simon and Schuster at £17.99. Available from Times Books Direct (0870 1608080) for £14.39 plus £1.95 p&p http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/10/opinion/10BYRD.html?ex=1035295103&ei=1&en= a28ba713d34efe28 * CONGRESS MUST RESIST THE RUSH TO WAR by Robert C. Byrd New York Times, 10th October WASHINGTON - A sudden appetite for war with Iraq seems to have consumed the Bush administration and Congress. The debate that began in the Senate last week is centered not on the fundamental and monumental questions of whether and why the United States should go to war with Iraq, but rather on the mechanics of how best to wordsmith the president's use-of-force resolution in order to give him virtually unchecked authority to commit the nation's military to an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation. How have we gotten to this low point in the history of Congress? Are we too feeble to resist the demands of a president who is determined to bend the collective will of Congress to his will - a president who is changing the conventional understanding of the term "self-defense"? And why are we allowing the executive to rush our decision-making right before an election? Congress, under pressure from the executive branch, should not hand away its Constitutional powers. We should not hamstring future Congresses by casting such a shortsighted vote. We owe our country a due deliberation. I have listened closely to the president. I have questioned the members of his war cabinet. I have searched for that single piece of evidence that would convince me that the president must have in his hands, before the month is out, open-ended Congressional authorization to deliver an unprovoked attack on Iraq. I remain unconvinced. The president's case for an unprovoked attack is circumstantial at best. Saddam Hussein is a threat, but the threat is not so great that we must be stampeded to provide such authority to this president just weeks before an election. Why are we being hounded into action on a resolution that turns over to President Bush the Congress's Constitutional power to declare war? This resolution would authorize the president to use the military forces of this nation wherever, whenever and however he determines, and for as long as he determines, if he can somehow make a connection to Iraq. It is a blank check for the president to take whatever action he feels "is necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq." This broad resolution underwrites, promotes and endorses the unprecedented Bush doctrine of preventive war and pre-emptive strikes - detailed in a recent publication, "National Security Strategy of the United States" - against any nation that the president, and the president alone, determines to be a threat. We are at the gravest of moments. Members of Congress must not simply walk away from their Constitutional responsibilities. We are the directly elected representatives of the American people, and the American people expect us to carry out our duty, not simply hand it off to this or any other president. To do so would be to fail the people we represent and to fall woefully short of our sworn oath to support and defend the Constitution. We may not always be able to avoid war, particularly if it is thrust upon us, but Congress must not attempt to give away the authority to determine when war is to be declared. We must not allow any president to unleash the dogs of war at his own discretion and for an unlimited period of time. Yet that is what we are being asked to do. The judgment of history will not be kind to us if we take this step. Members of Congress should take time out and go home to listen to their constituents. We must not yield to this absurd pressure to act now, 27 days before an election that will determine the entire membership of the House of Representatives and that of a third of the Senate. Congress should take the time to hear from the American people, to answer their remaining questions and to put the frenzy of ballot-box politics behind us before we vote. We should hear them well, because while it is Congress that casts the vote, it is the American people who will pay for a war with the lives of their sons and daughters. Robert C. Byrd is a Democratic senator for West Virginia. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/oneworld/20021010/wl_oneworld /1032_1034248146 * CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS BIGGEST BACKERS OF IRAQ WAR by Jim Lobe Yahoo, 10th October WASHINGTON, Oct 9 (IPS) - Of the major religious groups in the United States, evangelical Christians are the biggest backers of Israel and Washington's planned war against Iraq, says a new survey released here Wednesday by a politically potent group of fundamentalist Christians and Jews. Some 69 percent of conservative Christians favour military action against Baghdad; 10 percentage points more than the U.S. adult population as a whole. And almost two-thirds of evangelical Christians say they support Israeli actions towards "Palestinian terrorism", compared with 54 percent of the general population, according to the survey, which was released by Stand For Israel, a six-month-old spin-off of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ). "The single strongest group for Israel in the United States, apart from Jews, is conservative Christians," declared Ralph Reed, co-chairman of Stand for Israel and former executive director of the Christian Coalition. He also noted that 80 percent of self-identified Republicans also favour military action against Baghdad. Reed, who was widely regarded as the wunderkind of the Christian Right during the 1990s, said the poll results might have important political implications in upcoming U.S. elections, particularly for the Jewish vote, which has traditionally gone overwhelmingly to Democrats. In 2000, for example, only 18 percent of Jewish voters cast ballots for President George W. Bush. "There is a new openness among Jewish voters to support this president and other Republicans who strongly support Israel," Reed said, adding that he believes Bush in 2004 may reap close to the 38 percent of the Jewish vote harvested by Ronald Reagan in 1984, the highest percentage ever received by a Republican presidential candidate. Some 81 percent of Jewish respondents said they see Bush as a strong supporter of Israel, and 46 percent said they were more likely to vote for him based on his handling of the "war on terrorism". The poll also found that two-thirds of Republicans said they supported Israel in the current conflict, compared to 46 percent of Democrats. "The bottom line is that Bush appears to be making some significant inroads with this heavily Democratic group, something that could have an impact on the next two election cycles," said Ed Goeas, head of the Tarrance Group, which carried out the poll. The survey, which included 1,200 respondents contacted last week, tends to confirm the findings of similar polls over the last several years that have shown strong support for Israel on the part of evangelical Christians, who together make up about one third of the U.S. adult population. Historically apolitical, the group first came to the attention of the political elite in 1976 when large numbers of them helped elect Jimmy Carter, a "born-again" Christian. Disillusioned by Carter's liberal politics and social attitudes, they became a major recruiting ground for the "New Right" that in turn paved the way for the election in 1980 of former president Ronald Reagan. At the same time, Christian fundamentalists were also avidly courted by the right-wing Likud government in Israel, which saw in them a promising new constituency that, for theological reasons, could be persuaded to oppose the return of Jerusalem and the West Bank to Arab rule. In 1979, the government of Israel reportedly gave Jerry Falwell, head of the "Moral Majority" and the leading Christian Right figure of the time, his first private jet. The Israeli government has also arranged special tours for evangelical Christian groups that have contributed tens of millions of dollars to Jewish and Israeli agencies involved in resettling Jews to Israel and in building Israeli settlements on the occupied territories. With offices in Chicago and Jerusalem, the IFCJ has acted as a key forum for promoting the relationship between conservative U.S. Jews and evangelical Christians since 1983. As violence between Israelis and Palestinians intensified last spring, the group created "Stand for Israel", which it called "an effort to strategically mobilise leadership and grassroots support in the Christian community for the State of Israel". "Jews are only now beginning to understand the depth of support they have among conservative Christians," said IFCJ's founder-director and Stand for Israel co-chairman, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, at the time. "Once the potential of this immense reservoir of good will is fully comprehended by the Jewish people and strategically tapped by the Stand for Israel campaign, you will see support for Israel in the United States swell dramatically." The new survey's results appear to bear out that prediction, at least in part. Two thirds of conservative Christians queried in the poll said that they believed they shared the same or similar perspective as Jews when it comes to the issue of "Israel and its current struggle against Palestine". Reed and Eckstein also claimed that the survey effectively debunked the notion that evangelical Christian support for Israel was based on New Testament prophecy that the reconstruction of the ancient Jewish kingdom of David would usher in the "end times" and the second coming of Christ. Asked which was the most important of four possible reasons why they supported Israel, 56 percent of fundamentalist Christian respondents chose political reasons, particularly Israel's democratic values, its alliance with the United States in the war against terrorism, and its role as a safe haven for persecuted Jews elsewhere. Thirty-five percent opted for the "end-times" option. But when given a choice of four religious alternatives, only 28 percent cited the end-times alternative. Almost two thirds said that God had given the Jews the land of Israel as the main theological reason for backing the Jewish state. "This survey bears out my view that Christians are trustworthy and vital allies," said Eckstein. "I've seen more positive changes (in Jewish and conservative Christian relations) in the past six months than I have for the past 25 years," he added. Along with announcing the survey results, Eckstein, who co-chairs Stand for Israel with Reed, unveiled a one-minute video which will be run in "tens of thousands" of churches with combined memberships of 3.2 million people on Sunday, Oct. 20, exhorting Christians to pray for Israel whose enemies, it says, "are on the attack again". "God has promised that those who bless Israel will themselves be blessed," says the video, which is filled with recent images of violence in Israel and the West Bank. Reed conceded that not all conservative Christians were as supportive of Israel as those involved in the "Stand for Israel" campaign. Indeed, some 50 evangelical ministers recently issued a statement opposing unilateral military action against Iraq, and at least one national evangelical group has urged a more balanced policy toward Israel and the Palestinians. But Reed insisted that his views represented those of a "very, very large majority" of evangelical Christians. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/11_10_02_d.htm * WAR ON IRAQ IS NOW INEVITABLE by Patrick Seale Daily Star, Lebanon, 11th October The Bush administration has decided to overthrow the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein by force. Reliable sources in Washington and London confirm that a decision to go to war was taken months ago, and has now been confirmed in confidential exchanges between allied governments. Only the timing and tactics remain fluid and are the subject of intense debate inside the Pentagon, and between the US and its allies. Some Americans are said to be pressing for an attack as early as November-December, whereas British troops and armor - perhaps 10 percent of the attacking force - are unlikely to be ready until early 2003. The United States has already lined up a coalition comprising Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy and Turkey. It also includes a number of US client states in the Arab world, such as Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Jordan, who have agreed, in some cases reluctantly, to let US forces use their bases and pre-positioned equipment. Only an incurable optimist, or someone blind to the present realities of the international scene, can still believe the US is not going to attack. In recent days, hopes of a reprieve have been placed on the negotiations in New York between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. But the truth is that these talks are only intended to give an appearance of international legality to an American assault which all parties now recognize is in an advanced stage of preparation. President George W. Bush's speech this week, in which he called Saddam Hussein a "murderous tyrant," a "homicidal dictator" and a "student of Stalin," leaves no doubt about his aggressive intentions. The US is determined to wage a "pre-emptive war" against Iraq, claiming as its main reason Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction. "Facing clear evidence of peril," Bush said, "we cannot wait for the final proof - the smoking gun - that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud." In the Security Council, the main argument has been between the US and Britain on one side and France and Russia on the other. China, the fifth permanent member, has kept a low profile. The US and Britain wanted a single UN resolution that set very tough conditions for weapons inspections but also authorized the automatic use of force if Iraq failed, in any manner whatsoever, to throw itself wide open to inspection and disarm completely - thus setting aside its sovereign status. The French argued that two resolutions were needed, since the resort to war could not be automatic but would need Security Council authorization. The US and Britain have now conceded this point but, as part of the compromise, 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. Russia has been bought off by a US pledge that, once Saddam is overthrown, it will be given a share of Iraqi oil concessions and will recover the $8 billion which Iraq owes it. France, in turn, does not want to be excluded from any future share-out of Iraqi oil. Any hope of a French veto to restrain the US has now faded away. The American message was: Join us or get left out! Once the United States made clear it was going to war anyway, France and Russia had no choice but to climb on board. 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. As is now clear to most observers, US foreign policy is today driven by a group of right-wing neo-imperialists and hard-line Zionists - often the same people. They are to be found in key posts in and around the administration and draw support from a wide and influential network of officials, think tanks, journalists and lobbyists. The widespread alarm caused in the US by the Sept. 11 attacks have given these men a unique chance to impose their views on mainstream American opinion, a chance they have been seeking for 20 years. They now drive the dominant discourse on the world's affairs. The neo-imperialists want to destroy all threats to the United States, whether imagined, real or potential, and affirm America's worldwide supremacy. The hard-line Zionists - many of them close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud - have a slightly more limited agenda. They are concerned to protect Israel by destroying its enemies and guaranteeing its regional supremacy over the Arabs. There is reason to believe these pro-Israeli activists - like Richard Perle, chairman of the Defense Policy Board, and Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary - have been instrumental in "selling' a vainglorious vision of a "post-Saddam Arab world" to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and to Bush himself, none of whom know much about the Middle East apart from oil, or what Israel and its friends tell them. According to this "vision," once Saddam is overthrown, Iraq under American control would become a Western-oriented, secular, modern, democratic model for the whole Arab region. It would be made into the "natural" focus of the area, relegating other troublesome centers such as Cairo, Damascus and Riyadh, now seen only as seedbeds of terrorism, to relative insignificance. As a powerful client state of the United States, Iraq could soon become the most advanced Arab country, reshaping the culture of the entire region, leading it away from Islamic militancy and from the more extreme forms of anti-Western and anti-Israeli Arab nationalism. And once Iraq's oil production had been boosted by American technology, Iraq could become the "swing producer," displacing Saudi Arabia from that key position. With its fabulous untapped oil reserves, Iraq would become the central strongpoint of an American "protectorate" stretching from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan to Kuwait and the lower Gulf. On the flank of this new concentration of US power, Iran would have to adjust to such an imposed regional reality, either with or without the compulsion of US military force. It was no accident that, in his speech this week, Bush emphasized America's commitment to rebuilding Iraq (at Iraq's expense, of course) and to safeguarding its territorial integrity, prerequisites for its future role under America's aegis. Needless to say, hard-line American Zionists, in collusion with Sharon, see America's war against Iraq as a great opportunity to reshape Israel's immediate environment. Sharon will no doubt try to defeat the Palestinians comprehensively before imposing terms. Even forced population "transfer" out of the Occupied Territories cannot be excluded. His temptation will be to destroy Hizbullah, marginalize Syria, and bring Lebanon under Israel's umbrella, as once before he sought to do in his disastrous 1982 invasion. Syria, thus stripped of any regional role, will be fortunate if it too escapes being hit. Such is the vision of the men now ruling Washington. No one should underestimate their lunatic determination. But is their vision a geopolitical fantasy or might it succeed? What price will America have to pay for this ambitious neo-colonial adventure? Will American citizens, soldiers and interests be at risk from attack throughout the region, or will the Arabs eventually accept to live quietly under American rule? Will American rule be direct or indirect? Who can administer such an empire? Little thought appears to have been given in Washington to the post-Saddam era, or the likely opposition to these American-Israeli plans. The American tendency (now being mouthed by an alarming variety of Arab intellectuals in this very paper) is to dismiss the "Arab street" as all noise and no action and to conclude that Arab opponents, whether states or individuals, can either be bought off or intimidated. Meanwhile, America's worldwide "war on terror" - a euphemism for war against militant Islam and perhaps Islam as a whole - continues without respite. Networks will be disrupted, activists arrested and sanctuaries denied. Thousands of innocent Muslims will become victims. America's real fear is mass-casualty terrorism like Sept. 11, which it feels must be prevented at all cost. The sort of low-level, hit-and-run attacks, such as the killing of an American Marine in Kuwait this week, will not be enough to deter the hawks in Washington from their total war mentality. But what future is there in all this for Islamic values, Arab pride, Arab identity, and Arab nationalism itself? Are the Arabs and Muslims to fall once more under foreign control as happened after World War I? Indeed, one must ask, given the supine position of most Arab leaders, is the new imperialism already in place? (Patrick Seale, a veteran Middle East analyst, wrote this commentary for The Daily Star) http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/11/national/11IRAQ.html * CONGRESS AUTHORIZES BUSH TO USE FORCE AGAINST IRAQ, CREATING A BROAD MANDATE by Alison Mitchell and Carl Hulse New York Times, 11th October WASHINGTON, Friday, Oct. 11 - The Senate voted overwhelmingly early this morning to authorize President Bush to use force against Iraq, joining with the House in giving him a broad mandate to act against Saddam Hussein. The hard-won victory for Mr. Bush came little more than a month after many lawmakers of both parties returned to Washington from summer recess expressing grave doubts about a rush to war. It reflected weeks of lobbying and briefings by the administration that culminated with a speech by the president on Monday night. Advertisement The Republican-controlled House voted 296 to 133 Thursday afternoon to allow the president to use the military "against the continuing threat" posed by the Iraqi regime. The Democratic-run Senate followed at 1:15 a.m. today with a vote of 77 to 23 for the measure. After the House voted, President Bush said the support showed that "the gathering threat of Iraq must be confronted fully and finally." He added, "The days of Iraq acting as an outlaw state are coming to an end." While the votes in favor of the resolutions were large and bipartisan, they highlighted a sharp split in the Democratic party over how and when to use force. This was particularly true in the House. Even though Representative Richard A. Gephardt, the House minority leader, put his weight behind the force authorization, more House Democrats voted against the resolution sought by the president than for it, splitting 126 to 81. Only 6 Republicans opposed it. The opponents cited a host of reasons for their vote, including doubts that Iraq would imminently develop nuclear potential, fears that military action would take away from the war on terrorism, and sentiment against war among constituents. In the Senate, as the debate stretched on, some prominent Democrats announced they would support the president, including Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, who had proposed a more restrictive resolution and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, who called the vote "probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make." 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." Other Democrats, like Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, were determined to vote against the measure, saying there were still many questions about how a war would be waged, what its costs would be and how long it would last. "We have very little understanding about the full implications in terms of an exit strategy," Mr. Kennedy told reporters. In the end, the Senate Democrats split, with 29 for and 21 against the measure. One Republican and one independent opposed it. Most Republicans stood behind the president, including Representative Dick Armey of Texas, the majority leader, who had been one of the Republicans skeptical about the president's Iraq policy. Despite his differences with Mr. Bush on the issue, Mr. Armey closed the House debate with a plea for authorizing force. Mr. Armey, 62, who is retiring at the end of this session, cried as he spoke of the troops who might be sent to war. "Mr. President," he said, "we trust to you the best we have to give. Use them well so they can come home and say to our grandchildren, `Sleep soundly, my baby."' He choked up and walked out of the House chamber. The Senate was also on track to approve the use of force. It voted 75 to 25 to cut off the delaying tactics of Democratic dissidents who had been trying to force the chamber to hold a far lengthier and more deliberative debate. With that vote, final passage was assured. It was just a matter of when, as the Senate defeated a handful of Democratic amendments. Senator Tom Daschle, the majority leader, gave Mr. Bush his backing, saying, "I believe it is important for America to speak with one voice at this critical moment." He alone among the four senior Congressional leaders had not signed off on the final wording when a compromise on using force was struck at the White House a week ago. The actions came after long days of debate in the House and Senate over Mr. Bush's decision to confront Iraq. The president argued that in the post-Sept. 11 world, Mr. Hussein could provide terrorist groups with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons or use them himself. The resolution authorizes Mr. Bush to use the armed forces "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" to defend the nation against "the continuing threat posed by Iraq," and to enforce "all relevant" United Nations Security Council resolutions on Iraq. It requires him to report to Congress within 48 hours of any military action. The resolution was far less broad than the initial resolution put forward by the White House, which members of both parties said was too open-ended and could conceivably allow military action throughout the Middle East. In a concession to Democrats, the resolution encourages the president to try to work through the United Nations before acting alone. Still, it leaves him with broad latitude. Mr. Bush has said his powers as commander in chief already permit him to act in defense of the nation. Without seeking a formal declaration of war, however, he wanted Congress to be involved in the issue, he said, so he could argue to the United Nations that he was expressing not only his own view but that of the American electorate. Most Republicans stood solidly with the president and many echoed the call to oust Mr. Hussein. "The question we face today is not whether to go to war, for war was thrust upon us," said Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the majority whip. "Our only choice is between victory and defeat. Let's be clear: In the war on terror, victory cannot be secured at the bargaining table." Still, the fight fractured the Democratic Party. In the Senate, an array of Democratic presidential hopefuls stood behind the president. Mr. Gephardt, who is a likely presidential contender in 2004, joined Republican leaders in making the case for the president instead of standing in opposition to Mr. Bush. As one of the last speakers in the House, Mr. Gephardt, who opposed the last gulf war, argued that Sept. 11 had "made all the difference" and that Mr. Hussein had to be stopped from developing weapons of mass destruction. "The events of that tragic day jolted us to the enduring reality that terrorists not only seek to attack our interests abroad, but to strike us here at home," he said. But only a minority in his caucus followed his lead and his second-in-command, Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority whip, took the other side. Ms. Pelosi, a senior member of the intelligence committee, pointed to a C.I.A. letter declassified this week that judged that Mr. Hussein was not likely to use his weapons against the United States but could lose his restraint if faced with an American-led force. She said attacking Mr. Hussein would turn the country away from what should be its true national security focus - the terrorist threat. "There are many costs involved in this war, and one of them is the cost of the war on terrorism," she said. Many Democrats said they agreed that Mr. Hussein was a dangerous tyrant. But they expressed fear of giving Mr. Bush so much power, or argued that by striking a nation that has not struck first, America could lose its moral standing. They also said Mr. Bush had not presented a definitive case that Iraq was an imminent threat. In the end the vote was not all that different from the House vote on the gulf war. At that time, 86 Democrats voted to grant Mr. Bush's father, President George Bush, the right to use force, and 179 opposed him. On Thursday, the opposition was particularly strong among House Democrats from the urban Northeast, the West Coast and among minority members. House Democrats rallied around an alternative by Representative John M. Spratt Jr., Democrat of South Carolina, that would have authorized force in conjunction with the United Nations. The president would have had to return to Congress for a second approval to act unilaterally. If Americans do not act in concert with allies, Mr. Spratt said, "This will be the United States versus Iraq, and in some quarters the U.S. versus the Arab and the Muslim world." The measure was defeated by a vote of 270-155, but attracted 147 Democratic votes. Senate opponents were thwarted in several attempts to alter the resolution. One alternative was written by Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who proposed a two-step process similar to what was defeated in the House. Mr. Levin said pushing the president to build an international coalition would mean that Mr. Hussein "will be looking down the barrel of a gun, with the world at the other end rather than just the United States." http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/11/international/11PREX.html\ * U.S. HAS A PLAN TO OCCUPY IRAQ, OFFICIALS REPORT by David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt New York Times, 11th October WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 ‹ The White House is developing a detailed plan, modeled on the postwar occupation of Japan, to install an American-led military government in Iraq if the United States topples Saddam Hussein, senior administration officials said today. The plan also calls for war-crime trials of Iraqi leaders and a transition to an elected civilian government that could take months or years. In the initial phase, Iraq would be governed by an American military commander ‹ perhaps Gen. Tommy R. Franks, commander of United States forces in the Persian Gulf, or one of his subordinates ‹ who would assume the role that Gen. Douglas MacArthur served in Japan after its surrender in 1945. One senior official said the administration was "coalescing around" the concept after discussions of options with President Bush and his top aides. But this official and others cautioned that there had not yet been any formal approval of the plan and that it was not clear whether allies had been consulted on it. The detailed thinking about an American occupation emerges as the administration negotiates a compromise at the United Nations that officials say may fall short of an explicit authorization to use force but still allow the United States to claim it has all the authority it needs to force Iraq to disarm. In contemplating an occupation, the administration is scaling back the initial role for Iraqi opposition forces in a post-Hussein government. Until now it had been assumed that Iraqi dissidents both inside and outside the country would form a government, but it was never clear when they would take full control. Today marked the first time the administration has discussed what could be a lengthy occupation by coalition forces, led by the United States. Officials say they want to avoid the chaos and in-fighting that have plagued Afghanistan since the defeat of the Taliban. Mr. Bush's aides say they also want full control over Iraq while American-led forces carry out their principal mission: finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction. The description of the emerging American plan and the possibility of war-crime trials of Iraqi leaders could be part of an administration effort to warn Iraq's generals of an unpleasant future if they continue to support Mr. Hussein. Asked what would happen if American pressure prompted a coup against Mr. Hussein, a senior official said, "That would be nice." But the official suggested that the American military might enter and secure the country anyway, not only to eliminate weapons of mass destruction but also to ensure against anarchy. Under the compromise now under discussion with France, Russia and China, according to officials familiar with the talks, the United Nations Security Council would approve a resolution requiring the disarmament of Iraq and specifying "consequences" that Iraq would suffer for defiance. It would stop well short of the explicit authorization to enforce the resolution that Mr. Bush has sought. But the diplomatic strategy, now being discussed in Washington, Paris and Moscow, would allow Mr. Bush to claim that the resolution gives the United States all the authority he believes he needs to force Baghdad to disarm. Other Security Council members could offer their own, less muscular interpretations, and they would be free to draft a second resolution, authorizing the use of force, if Iraq frustrated the inspection process. The United States would regard that second resolution as unnecessary, senior officials say. "Everyone would read this resolution their own way," one senior official said. The revelation of the occupation plan marks the first time the administration has described in detail how it would administer Iraq in the days and weeks after an invasion, and how it would keep the country unified while searching for weapons. It would put an American officer in charge of Iraq for a year or more while the United States and its allies searched for weapons and maintained Iraq's oil fields. For as long as the coalition partners administered Iraq, they would essentially control the second largest proven reserves of oil in the world, nearly 11 percent of the total. A senior administration official said the United Nations oil-for-food program would be expanded to help finance stabilization and reconstruction. Administration officials said they were moving away from the model used in Afghanistan: establishing a provisional government right away that would be run by Iraqis. Some top Pentagon officials support this approach, but the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and, ultimately, the White House, were cool to it. "We're just not sure what influence groups on the outside would have on the inside," an administration official said. "There would also be differences among Iraqis, and we don't want chaos and anarchy in the early process." Instead, officials said, the administration is studying the military occupations of Japan and Germany. But they stressed a commitment to keeping Iraq unified, as Japan was, and avoiding the kind partition that Germany underwent when Soviet troops stayed in the eastern sector, which set the stage for the cold war. The military government in Germany stayed in power for four years; in Japan it lasted six and a half years. In a speech on Saturday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the special assistant to the president for Near East, Southwest Asian and North African affairs, said, "The coalition will assume ‹ and the preferred option ‹ responsibility for the territorial defense and security of Iraq after liberation." "Our intent is not conquest and occupation of Iraq," Mr. Khalilzad said. "But we do what needs to be done to achieve the disarmament mission and to get Iraq ready for a democratic transition and then through democracy over time." Iraqis, perhaps through a consultative council, would assist an American-led military and, later, a civilian administration, a senior official said today. Only after this transition would the American-led government hand power to Iraqis. He said that the Iraqi armed forces would be "downsized," and that senior Baath Party officials who control government ministries would be removed. "Much of the bureaucracy would carry on under new management," he added. Some experts warned during Senate hearings last month that a prolonged American military occupation of Iraq could inflame tensions in the Mideast and the Muslim world. "I am viscerally opposed to a prolonged occupation of a Muslim country at the heart of the Muslim world by Western nations who proclaim the right to re-educate that country," said the former secetary of state, Henry A. Kissinger, who as a young man served as a district administrator in the military government of occupied Germany. While the White House considers its long-term plans for Iraq, Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, arrived in Moscow this evening for a day and a half of talks with President Vladimir V. Putin. Aides said talks were focused on resolving the dispute at the United Nations. Mr. Blair and Mr. Putin are to hold formal discussions on Friday, followed by a news conference. Mr. Blair has been a steadfast supporter of the administration's tough line on a new resolution. But he has also indicated that Britain would consider France's proposal to have a two-tiered approach, with the Security Council first adopting a resolution to compel Iraq to cooperate with international weapons inspectors, and then, if Iraq failed to comply, adopting a second resolution on military force. Earlier this week, Russia indicated that it, too, was prepared to consider the French position. But the administration is now saying that if there is a two-resolution approach, it will insist that the first resolution provide Mr. Bush all the authority he needs. "The timing of all this is impossible to anticipate," one administration official involved in the talks said. "The president doesn't want to have to wait around for a second resolution if it is clear that the Iraqis are not cooperating." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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