The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] News, 5-11/10/02 (5)

News, 5-11/10/02 (5)


*  U.S. Bombs Iraq Missile Launchers
*  US/UK kill civilians in Iraq
*  US warplanes bomb Basra airport


*  CIA Says Iraq Stockpiling Bioweapons
*  Clues suggest Iraq has smallpox, experts say
*  Iraq allegedly sought SA nuclear material
*  Saddam acquiring technology for 'long-range supergun'
*  CIA Reports Dispute Bush: Pattern of exaggeration on Iraq seen by sources
*  Bush's televised address attacked by US intelligence


*  Al-Jalabi calls on Moscow to talk to Iraqi opposition to ensure oil
*  Chalabi vows to form govt after Saddam
*  Rivals Want to Try Saddam for Crimes
*  On the Outside, Planning a New Nation


*  A Saddam-free Iraq could undercut Turkish pipeline
*  U.S., Britain Move Goalposts Again on Iraq Oil: MEES
*  Scramble to carve up Iraqi oil reserves lies behind US diplomacy


The Associated Press, 9th October

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) ‹ U.S. warplanes bombed missile launchers in Iraq's
northern no fly zone on Wednesday, with American military officials calling
them a threat to air patrols over the restricted zone.

The strike brought to 47 the number of days this year that such bombings
were reported by the United States and the United Kingdom coalition, whose
mission is to patrol two zones set up to protect Iraqi minorities following
the 1991 Gulf War.

Coalition planes targeted precision-guided weapons at an "imminently hostile
surface-to-air missiles system" Iraqis had set up northwest of Mosul in the
northern zone, said a statement from the U.S. European Command.

The system included two missile launchers, an official at the Pentagon said
on condition of anonymity. He said Iraqis did not fire on coalition planes
but their presence in the zone was a threat to the pilots who patrol.

Iraq considers the patrols a violation of its sovereignty and frequently
shoots at the planes. In response, coalition pilots try to bomb Iraqi air

According to figures released by the command, the strike Wednesday made it
the 11th day this year that there has been a strike in the northern zone,
set up to protect the Kurdish population. There have been a reported 36 such
days in the much larger southern zone set up to protect Shiite Muslims and
patrolled by the U.S. Central Command. On some days there is more than one

The hostilities have been going on for years but have taken on new
importance since the Bush administration has vowed to oust Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein's regime.

The planes based enforcing the northern no-fly zone are based in southern

News 24 (South Africa), 10th October

Baghdad (Sapa-AFP): Four Iraqis were killed and 10 injured Wednesday as US
and British warplanes bombed Nineveh province, 400km north of Baghdad, an
Iraqi military spokesperson said.

"Enemy (US and British) warplanes bombed civilian and service installations
in Nineveh province, killing four people and wounding 10," the spokesperson
said, quoted by the official INA news agency.

The US military earlier said that American warplanes attacked an Iraqi
surface-to-air missile system in northern Iraq with precision-guided

It said the missile system was northwest of the town of Mosul in a "no-fly"
zone which is enforced by US and British aircraft flying out of Incirlik air
base in Turkey.


BAGHDAD, Oct. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- US warplanes on Thursday attacked the
international airport in Basra, southern Iraq, for the third time in two
weeks, causing damage to its radar system and the service building, a
spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Communications said.

At 11:10 a.m. local time (0810 GMT), US planes bombed the civil airport in
Basra, about 600 km south of Baghdad, destroying its civilian radar system
and damaging the terminal hall, the official Iraqi News Agency quoted the
spokesman as saying.

US and British warplanes have attacked the same international airport on
Sept. 26 and 29, causing damage to the radar system and the service building
as well.

Basra is within the so-called southern no-fly zone, parallel to another one
in northern Iraq.

US and British planes have been patrolling the two no-fly zones since the
1991 Gulf War with the claimed aim of protecting the Kurds in the north and
Shiite Muslims in the south from the persecution of the Iraqi government.

On Aug. 27, US and British planes fired two missiles on the civil airport in
the northern city of Mosul, damaging the traveller's building and the radar
system that controlled the take offs and landings of civil airliners, a
source from the transportation and communication ministry said.


The Associated Press, 5th October

WASHINGTON (AP) ‹ Iraq could have a nuclear weapon by 2010 and meanwhile is
bolstering its stockpile of chemical and biological weapons, U.S.
intelligence agencies report.

The report, issued Friday by CIA officials, said the most pressing threat
appears to be from Iraq's expanding biological weapons program, which relies
on hard-to-find mobile production facilities. Iraq's arsenal includes
anthrax, it said.

In addition, "if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon
during this decade," said the report, "Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction
Programs." The United States groups nuclear, chemical, biological and
radiological weapons under the heading "weapons of mass destruction."

The unclassified report contains some of the U.S. government's most specific
claims about Iraq's weapons programs since 1998, when U.N. inspectors were
forced out of Iraq.

Those programs are Bush administration's chief complaint as it threatens war
against Iraq. The report comes at the height of an international debate on
the danger posed by the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and what
should be done about it.

Iraq maintains it destroyed all of its weapons, saying it has complied with
all U.N. resolutions since the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War.

In particular, the report says Saddam's nuclear program remains stymied by
his inability to obtain enriched uranium or plutonium that could be used in

If Baghdad is able to covertly acquire pre-made weapons material from
overseas, Iraq could have a nuclear weapon within a year, the report said.
Otherwise, Iraq will have to make its own.

The report cites Saddam's efforts to secretly acquire high-strength aluminum
tubes that could be used in centrifuges for a uranium-enrichment program.
Intelligence officials have said several shipments of tubes have been
stopped before reaching Iraq.

The report does note a minority of intelligence analysts believes the tubes
are for conventional weapons, not a nuclear program.

However, it said, Iraq "may have acquired enrichment capabilities that could
shorten substantially the amount of time necessary to make a nuclear
weapon," suggesting that some shipments of tubes may have reached Iraq.

The report, which officials described as an amalgam of information and
analysis from various U.S. intelligence agencies, contains many of the same
conclusions as a classified National Intelligence Estimate provided to
lawmakers earlier this week.

On Friday, CIA Director George J. Tenet and other agency officials held
closed-door discussions with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on
Iraqi weapons programs. Earlier in the week, some Democratic senators had
criticized the agency for holding back information on Iraq.

Intelligence officials said the report was released to inform the public and
give government officials guidelines on what U.S. intelligence on Iraq is
safe to discuss in open forums.

But after meeting with Tenet, one senator said the report doesn't tell the
whole story. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said some information that could
weaken the administration's case against Iraq remains classified.

"It is troubling to have classified information which contradicts statements
made by the administration," he said. "It is maddening to have classified
information which contradicts classified information leaked by the

But Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., said he believed intelligence officials were
"giving us the vast majority of what they know."

"They're giving us their best judgment, the facts that they have," he said.
"But one of the difficulties in addressing this whole issue is that there is
just a lot that is unknown and unknowable."

Some senators said they would push for the release of more information. CIA
spokesman Mark Mansfield said, "We are going to do our very best to
accommodate their request."

The report's authors addressed Saddam's capabilities but made no allegations
that he intends to use these weapons against U.S. interests. As an
intelligence document, it did not recommend any particular U.S. course of

The greatest current threat appears to be from Saddam's biological weapons
programs, including anthrax and ricin toxin, the report suggested.

Iraq's ability to produce the agents has grown in the last decade, despite
sanctions, U.S. bombing and U.N. inspections. These weapons can be delivered
by bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers and covert operatives, "potentially
against the U.S. homeland," the report said.

Saddam's missiles can reach his neighbors, but not the United States or
Western Europe, it said.

Baghdad has also renewed production of several chemical agents, probably
including mustard, sarin, cyclosarin and VX, the report said. While mustard
is a World War I-era blister agent, sarin, cyclosarin and VX are extremely
deadly nerve agents.

Saddam probably has stockpiled between 110 and 550 tons of chemical weapons,
the report says. However, Iraq's ability to produce and store chemical
weapons is probably less than it was before the Gulf War, thanks to
inspections, the report said.

Iraq has been able to pay for these programs with money diverted from
humanitarian aid programs and from oil smuggling, it said.

Houston Chronicle, 8th October

WASHINGTON (Associated Press): Several clues, including discovery in Iraq of
equipment labeled "smallpox," indicate the deadly virus could be part of
Saddam Hussein's biological weapons arsenal, although the Bush
administration has offered no public evidence to prove it.

Some biological weapons experts say the indications have convinced them that
Iraq has stocks of smallpox, which was declared eradicated from the planet
more than two decades ago. All samples of the virus, except those held by
special labs in Atlanta and Moscow, were supposed to have been destroyed,
but experts fear that some of the Russian smallpox may have been spirited

"I have no doubt in my mind that Iraq does have the smallpox virus," said
Dr. Ken Alibek, a top official in the former Soviet Union's biological
weapons program before defecting to the United States in 1992.

The official U.S. position, shared by other experts, is that it's unclear
whether Iraq has the smallpox virus or, if it does, has the delivery
technology to use it as a weapon. Still, worries about a possible terror
attack with the virus have prompted the Bush administration to order enough
smallpox vaccine to inoculate the entire U.S. population if necessary.

"We're very worried about Iraq," said Dr. D.A. Henderson, a smallpox expert
and bioterrorism adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Why is Saddam Hussein pushing ahead with weapons of mass destruction if at
some point he is not going to use them? It's certainly got to be a factor in
all of this."

Unlike anthrax, the bacteria used in last year's unsolved mail attacks, the
highly contagious smallpox virus can be passed from person to person. The
virus causes ugly pustules to form both on the skin and inside the mouth and
throat. About a third of unvaccinated people who get the disease would die.

"As bad as anthrax is, it's not as bad as smallpox, which could run into the
thousands to tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands (of deaths) in some
imaginable scenarios," said Robert Gallucci, former deputy director of the
U.N. weapons inspection program, now dean of Georgetown University's School
of Foreign Service.

The last U.S. case of smallpox occurred in Texas in 1949, and routine
vaccinations ended in America 30 years ago. That means at least two out of
five Americans have not been vaccinated, and studies suggest the vaccine's
protection probably fades over time.

An exercise in 2000 that simulated smallpox attacks on Philadelphia, Atlanta
and Oklahoma City projected that after two months, a million people could be
dead and an additional 2 million infected.

That simulation assumed that the United States had only about 12.5 million
doses of smallpox vaccine rather than enough to treat the entire population.
Other simulations indicated that vaccinations and other measures could
contain a smallpox attack to a few hundred or a few thousand victims.

U.N. weapons inspectors and U.S. intelligence agencies have found several
clues suggesting Iraq might have the smallpox virus.

In 1994, U.N. inspectors at an Iraqi medical complex found a freeze-dryer
labeled "smallpox" in Arabic, said former inspector Jonathan Tucker.

The Iraqis claimed the equipment was used to make smallpox vaccine, Tucker
said. A freeze-dryer could be used to make a weaponized form of the smallpox

"It's not conclusive proof but suggestive of Iraqi interest," said Tucker,
author of a recent book on smallpox.

Iraq also admitted to U.N. inspectors that its biological weapons scientists
worked with camelpox, a close relative of the smallpox virus that doesn't
usually infect people. Working with camelpox would give Iraq a way to
perfect techniques for making smallpox weapons without endangering the

"The only explanation is they used it to see how to grow smallpox, how to
concentrate it, how to deploy it. It's a perfectly good and safe model for
this," said Alibek, now director of the George Mason University Center for
Biodefense in Manassas, Va.

"It's hard to believe Saddam would do this work to protect his camels."

Tests on Iraqi soldiers captured during the 1991 Persian Gulf War found that
some had been vaccinated for smallpox, according to a declassified Defense
Intelligence Agency report. That could be evidence that Iraq was trying to
protect some of its soldiers in the event it used a smallpox weapon,
although the United States was vaccinating its soldiers for smallpox at the
time, as well.

Another DIA report says a source of undetermined reliability reported that
Soviet scientists gave Iraq smallpox samples in the 1980s. A third DIA
report says a captured Iraqi soldier described seeing smallpox victims
during the Iran-Iraq war that ended in 1988.

Those reports have not been publicly corroborated, however. Tucker said the
reports' credibility is doubtful.

Iraq's last reported outbreak of smallpox came in 1972, the same year Iraq
started biological weapons research. A World Health Organization report
estimated that about 800 people were infected in that outbreak, which had
spread from Iran and later spread to Syria and Yugoslavia.

"It's highly possible Iraq retained stocks of the smallpox virus (from that
outbreak) into the '80s and '90s and beyond," said Elisa Harris, a
biological weapons expert on the National Security Council under President

U.N. inspectors also found Iraq had a huge number of chicken eggs, which
could be used to grow smallpox or other viruses, said Harris, now with the
Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland.

"There's no clear-cut evidence available publicly that I'm aware of that
proves the Iraqis have the virus," Harris said. "We just simply don't know.
But there is a circumstantial case to be made.",3523,1194892-6094-0,00.html

Business Day (South Africa), 8th October

RENEWED suspicion has been cast over SA's possible involvement in the Iraqi
nuclear weapons programme, with allegations by a former Baghdad intelligence
officer surfacing in a US magazine.

The Democratic Alliance has written to three government ministers to ask
about the claim that SA had been supplying Iraq with special aluminum tubes
used to enrich uranium to a weapons grade in centrifuges.

The allegations came in a recent article published in Insight magazine an
insert in the Washington Times and were repeated by Mark Steyn, a columnist
writing in last week's Spectator a weekly magazine based in London.

Sales of such tubes to Iraq would violate United Nations security council
resolution 687 of 1991, which prohibits the transfer of technology that has
a civilian as well as military use.

Following a recent statement in a British government report on Iraqi weapons
of mass destruction, that Baghdad had attempted to acquire "significant
quantities of uranium in Africa", the SA government denied that it had tried
to do so in SA. Comment on the latest allegations was not available from
government last night.

The article in Insight by journalist Kenneth Timmerman quotes a former Iraqi
intelligence officer as saying that Baghdad had bought specialised magnets
from Germany and aluminum tubes from SA.

According to Insight, the Iraqi intelligence officer is associated with a
broad-based group opposed to Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi National Congress

Insight quoted the INC as saying that Iraq "is turning increasingly to SA to
procure nuclear materials and forbidden equipment needed for its weapons

The article said a top Iraqi intelligence official, Nadhim Jabouri, had been
sent to the Iraqi embassy in SA, which Insight said mistakenly was in

According to the Iraqi embassy in Pretoria, no one by that names works

Insight said that to arrange travel documents, Iraqi agents in Amman,
Jordan, went through a senior diplomat based at the SA embassy.

Most nuclear weapons programmes, including the one dismantled by SA in the
early 1990s, would use aluminum tubes in the process of uranium enrichment.

Manufactured to high tolerances, the tubes are used because of the highly
reactive and toxic nature of uranium hexafluoride gas, which is separated
into lighter and heavier isotopes by a centrifuge.

by Kim Sengupta and Rupert Cornwell
The Independent, 10th October

Saddam Hussein has been acquiring the technology to build a long-range
"supergun" capable of firing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons,
German prosecutors allege.

The claim follows the charging of two Germans who allegedly bought cannon
drilling equipment and shipped it to Iraq via Jordan four years ago.

The investigation into the Mannheim-based firm Alriwo began last year.
Hubert Jobski, from the prosecutor's office, said yesterday other arrests
were expected, and the two men under arrest could each be sentenced to 15
years if found guilty.

"We are convinced that from Mannheim the equipment went to Iraq," said Mr
Jobski. "Others will be accused in the case, and we hope to wrap it up very

The prosecution says that one of the accused men, Alriwo employee Bernd
Schompeter, bought equipment worth about £220,000 from another company
called Burgsmueller in north Germany.


by Knut Royce
Newsday, 10th October

Washington - The apparent gulf revealed Tuesday between President George W.
Bush's estimate of the threat from Iraq and that of the CIA is part of a
pattern of distortion or exaggeration of U.S. intelligence, according to
current and former intelligence officials and CIA reports.

Several assertions made by Bush in his speech to the nation Monday,
including claims that Iraq had trained al-Qaida how to make "poisons and
deadly gases" and that Saddam Hussein had ordered gas attacks on 40 Iraqi
villages, are based on uncorroborated and occasionally questionable
accounts, some from a single source, according to the documents and

Suggesting an ongoing buildup, Bush also said Monday that Iraq "has produced
thousands of tons of chemical agents." That was true before Desert Storm.
But most of the chemicals have since been destroyed.

A CIA report released last Friday on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
claims that Iraq currently has stocked "at least 100 metric tons and
possibly as much as 500 metric tons of [chemicals]," an amount military
experts said is of negligible value for battlefield purposes.

Kyle Olson, a government consultant on chemical and biological warfare, said
that during NATO war-gaming against Warsaw Pact forces in the 1980s the
planners "routinely talked about throwing 10,000-ton quantities" of nerve
agents against a single massed division.

The often-repeated allegations that Hussein gassed his own citizens -
Kurdish civilians - is based largely on oral accounts from Kurdish villagers
to human rights organizations and to Senate staffers who visited the area in
September 1988, shortly after the gassing was said to have occurred.

The CIA report lists 10 battles from March 1983 to March 1988, during the
Iran-Iraq war, where the agency had documented Iraq's use of gas. Dozens of
Kurdish civilians were killed by gas in one battle, at Halabjah, in 1988,
according to Robert Pelletiere, a co-author of a 1990 report for the U.S.
Army War College. He said the symptoms of the villagers indicated they had
been gassed by mistake by Iranian artillery.

As to the claimed gas attacks on Kurdish villagers, the CIA said "precise
information" on those events was "lacking." It said some of the accounts,
however, were "plausible."

Pelletiere and another former U.S. official said that an initial
communications intercept had suggested that gas had been used against
Kurdish civilians when Iraq began a sweep of pockets of Kurdish resistance
in several villages along the Iranian and Turkish borders.

Subsequent intercepts, however, cast doubt on the interpretation of the
first one, and the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that no gassing had
occurred, according to Pelletiere, who also had been a CIA political analyst
during Desert Storm, and Warren Nelson, at the time a House Armed Services
Committee staff aide who was briefed by the DIA.

The question of whether Bush is contorting intelligence on Iraq to advance
policy surfaced Tuesday, when a Senate committee released a letter from CIA
director George Tenet saying it was unlikely Hussein would order a chemical
or biological attack against the United States unless he believed a U.S.-led
attack was imminent. On Monday, Bush had claimed that Iraq "could decide on
any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist
group [which] could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving
any fingerprints."

Tenet, who serves at the pleasure of the president, insisted Tuesday night
that there was "no inconsistency between our view of Saddam's growing threat
and ... the president in his speech." A White House national security
spokesman did not return calls for comment late yesterday. Bush also has
claimed that Iraq concealed its biological weapons program from the world
until Iraq's chief of military industries defected in 1995 to the United
States and disclosed it. But Rolf Ekeus, who led United Nations inspectors
in Iraq during that period, said his inspectors disclosed its extent to the
Security Council four months before the defection.

An administration official with direct access to the CIA's reporting on
Bush's claimed links between al-Qaida and Iraq said in a recent interview
that there was only a "possibility that chemical and biological training" by
Iraq may have occurred. He said the information was based on the account
from a single al-Qaida member currently in custody. "We're trying to
substantiate that information," he said.,12271,807286,00.html White House
'exaggerating Iraqi threat'

by Julian Borger in Washington
The Guardian, 9th October

President Bush's case against Saddam Hussein, outlined in a televised
address to the nation on Monday night, relied on a slanted and sometimes
entirely false reading of the available US intelligence, government
officials and analysts claimed yesterday. Officials in the CIA, FBI and
energy department are being put under intense pressure to produce reports
which back the administration's line, the Guardian has learned. In response,
some are complying, some are resisting and some are choosing to remain

"Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level
pronouncements and there's a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence,
especially among analysts at the CIA," said Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's
former head of counter-intelligence.

In his address, the president reassured Americans that military action was
not "imminent or unavoidable", but he made the most detailed case to date
for the use of force, should it become necessary.

But some of the key allegations against the Iraqi regime were not supported
by intelligence currently available to the administration. Mr Bush repeated
a claim already made by senior members of his administration that Iraq has
attempted to import hardened aluminium tubes "for gas centrifuges, which are
used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons". The tubes were also mentioned
by Tony Blair in his dossier of evidence presented to parliament last month.

However, US government experts on nuclear weapons and centrifuges have
suggested that they were more likely to be used for making conventional

"I would just say there is not much support for that [nuclear] theory around
here," said a department of energy specialist.

David Albright, a physicist and former UN weapons inspector who was
consulted on the purpose of the aluminium tubes, said it was far from clear
that the tubes were intended for a uranium centrifuge.

Mr Albright, who heads the Institute for Science and International Security,
a Washington thinktank, said: "There's a catfight going on about this right
now. On one side you have most of the experts on gas centrifuges. On the
other you have one guy sitting in the CIA."

Mr Albright said sceptics at the energy department's Lawrence Livermore
national laboratory in California had been ordered to keep their doubts to
themselves. He quoted a colleague at the laboratory as saying: "The
administration can say what it wants and we are expected to remain silent."

There is already considerable scepticism among US intelligence officials
about Mr Bush's claims of links between Iraq and al-Qaida. In his speech on
Monday, Mr Bush referred to a "very senior al-Qaida leader who received
medical treatment in Baghdad this year".

An intelligence source said the man the president was referring to was Abu
Musab Zarqawi, who was arrested in Jordan in 2001 for his part in the
"millennium plot" to bomb tourist sites there. He was subsequently released
and eventually made his way to Iraq in search of treatment. However,
intercepted telephone calls did not mention any cooperation with the Iraqi

There is also profound scepticism among US intelligence experts about the
president's claim that "Iraq has trained al-Qaida members in bomb-making and
poisons and deadly gases".

Bob Baer, a former CIA agent who tracked al-Qaida's rise, said that there
were contacts between Osama bin Laden and the Iraqi government in Sudan in
the early 1990s and in 1998: "But there is no evidence that a strategic
partnership came out of it. I'm unaware of any evidence of Saddam pursuing
terrorism against the United States."

A source familiar with the September 11 investigation said: "The FBI has
been pounded on to make this link."

In making his case on Monday, Mr Bush made a startling claim that the Iraqi
regime was developing drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which
"could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad

"We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for
missions targeting the United States," he warned.

US military experts confirmed that Iraq had been converting eastern European
trainer jets, known as L-29s, into drones, but said that with a maximum
range of a few hundred miles they were no threat to targets in the US.

"It doesn't make any sense to me if he meant United States territory," said
Stephen Baker, a retired US navy rear admiral who assesses Iraqi military
capabilities at the Washington based Centre for Defence Information.

Mr Cannistraro said the flow of intelligence to the top levels of the
administration had been deliberately skewed by hawks at the Pentagon.

"CIA assessments are being put aside by the defence department in favour of
intelligence they are getting from various Iraqi exiles," he said.
"Machiavelli warned princes against listening to exiles. Well, that is what
is happening now."


Arabic News, 5th October

One of the Iraqi opposition leaders, Ahmad al-Jalabi, has called on Russia
to negotiate with the Iraqi National Congress, an opposition group, in order
to preserve its oil interests in Iraq.

Al-Jalabi's statements came commenting of statements saying that Moscow
seeks to get American assertions that its oil contracts and interests in
Iraq will not be damaged in case Iraq is attacked and the regime there is

Al-Jalabi said "In my personal view, Russia has legitimate interests in Iraq
including oil interests. To honor their interests, I recommend them to
maintain a dialogue now with the Iraqi National Congress."

Dawn, 6th October

WASHINGTON, Oct 5: A key Iraqi opposition leader has announced that his
organization would announce the formation of a provisional government the
moment his fighters arrived in Iraq.

Speaking to an audience at the American Enterprise Institute on Thursday,
Ahmad Chalabi, one of the founders of the Iraqi National Congress, said,
"the moment free Iraqis land in Iraq will be simultaneous with the
announcement of a transitional government for Iraq."

Chalabi added that this government would be receptive to defections from the
Iraqi military; prepared to distribute humanitarian aid to Iraqis; keep
order, prevent random violence and "increase the purchasing power of the
Iraqi dinar."

In July, Chalabi sent a list of approximately 1,000 names to the Pentagon as
candidates for military training specified in 1998 legislation. US officials
say the training will largely be for non-combat functions such as guarding
prisoners of war and performing liaison functions between US troops and
local Iraqis.

The Associated Press, 7th October

WASHINGTON (AP) ‹ Opponents of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein are laying the
groundwork for trying him on war crimes changes once a "free Iraq" is
established, administration officials said Monday.

The administration endorsed the plan and provided funding for a recent
seminar of anti Saddam Iraqi legal experts who last month in Italy to
discuss the issue.

The Iraqis weighed plans not only to try Saddam but dozens of other
colleagues, including Ali Hassan Majid, nicknamed "Chemical Ali" for his
role in a 1987-88 campaign in which chemical weapons were used to kill tens
of thousands of Kurds in northern Iraq.

The administration's support for the war crimes initiative was first
disclosed by the Los Angeles Times.

The Italy deliberations were part of a series of State Department meetings
on life in the post Saddam era. The goal is to make the transition as smooth
as possible.

U.S. officials, asking not to be identified, acknowledged there is doubt
that Saddam would ever be brought to trial because there are no assurances
he would captured alive or that President Bush will order military action
against his regime.

A month ago, David Scheffer, a former Clinton administration adviser on war
crimes issues, said he waged an often lonely campaign to compile the
criminal records against the Iraqi regime and to seek indictments of Saddam
and other Iraqi officials.

Scheffer, writing in The Washington Post, said that shortly before President
Clinton left office, a government investigative team had amassed millions of
pages of documents.

"Yet no Iraqi official has ever been indicted for some of the worst crimes
of the 20th century," Scheffer wrote.

He said his efforts to obtain U.N. Security Council approval for an ad hoc
international criminal tribunal encountered "one obstacle after another in
foreign capitals, in New York and even within the Clinton administration."

by Peter Slevin
Washington Post, 11th October

The participants fly in from Chicago and Kalamazoo and London, hauling
dreams for Iraq in their briefcases. Members of a diaspora scattered by
tumult in Baghdad, they come from day jobs as engineers and lawyers,
government workers and political activists to discuss what Iraq might become
without President Saddam Hussein.

Some specialize in public finance. Others focus on a new political
structure, still others on public health. Water is on the agenda, as are the
environment and the challenge of humanitarian relief. A group met recently
in Italy to debate legal codes and a mechanism to prosecute the worst crimes
of Hussein's government.

Together, the working groups form the Future of Iraq Project, an effort
directed largely by the State Department to prepare for the day when
Hussein's dictatorship dies. In the past few weeks, the $5 million program
has quietly gathered speed far from the public disputes in Congress and the
United Nations, where the Bush administration is pressing its goal of
toppling Hussein.

The project aims to create principles and practical solutions, and to
develop a network of exiled Iraqis that could prove useful if the Baghdad
government falls. Organizers and outside analysts point to huge challenges
likely to face any new government, from the prospect of revenge killings to
establishing order and delivering jobs.

Administration officials said the effort was not intended to create an
interim government or to settle the unresolved question of who would replace
Hussein. They are careful to open the door to participation by Iraqis living
in Iraq. As one Iraqi participant living in the United States noted, "The
Iraqi people have voted for none of us."

With the uncertainty about who will govern Iraq, there remains no certain
vehicle to implement the project's conclusions, whether a new constitution
or novel federal structure or a reform of the oil industry. Major opposition
groups have endorsed the project's intentions, yet disputes already have
arisen about how the working groups' efforts would be incorporated into
emerging discussions and plans.

"We have no idea what Iraq would be like after a war," acknowledged one U.S.
official, who emphasized that the working groups are meant to play advisory
roles. "Some will work and others might fizzle, but we felt we had to try.
People come out of these meetings kind of stoked."

The administration, as it warns of potential conflict with Iraq, is under
pressure to develop a post-Hussein strategy consistent with President Bush's
advocacy of a change of government and democratic reform. Skeptics at home
and abroad have questioned the administration leadership about defining U.S.
intentions, while several analysts have said post-Hussein Iraq will not
become democratic or prosperous without a significant U.S. commitment.

"Everybody's talking about the military campaign," said retired Air Force
Gen. Charles Horner, commander of the allied air campaign during the Persian
Gulf War in 1991. "They should be concentrating on the aftermath. That's the
part that concerns me."

The Future of Iraq Project now has six working groups and several dozen
participants, with some groups expanding in size and at least six more teams
due to be created in coming weeks. While members of organized anti-Hussein
organizations are prominent participants, the administration has reached out
to people who have steered clear of the opposition groups and their
perpetual intrigues.

"It sets up networks of individuals who become a cadre to work with the
future government," said David L. Mack, a former U.S. ambassador who
designed a forerunner to the project. Ideas and blueprints can become the
"building blocks" of Iraqi reform, he said, while personal networks could
expand rapidly to encompass relatives, university classmates and former
neighbors if Iraq opened up.

Decisions about the project are made by an inter-agency committee that
includes officials from the State Department, the Pentagon and the White
House. A session on public finance and accounting was joined by a Treasury
Department representative, while the Justice Department is participating in
the work of the transitional justice committee. The State Department has
notified Congress of its intention to spend the first $1.5 million allotment
of the $5 million appropriation.

Feisal Amin Istrabadi is an Indiana lawyer who serves in two working groups.
Born in the United States to Iraqi parents, he spent about six years as a
young child in Iraq before leaving 32 years ago. He said he does not
classify himself as a member of the opposition, and welcomes the diversity
of the working groups.

"It's not merely symbolic, although it's that, too," said Istrabadi. "I hope
it will demonstrate that there is a group of Iraqis and expatriate Iraqis
who are thinking about these problems, who are proposing real-life solutions
and not merely mouthing ideology, hopes and dreams."

Iraqi-born author Kanan Makiya is a central player in a working group that
is developing an outline for democratic reform. He hopes to present it to an
Iraqi opposition conference scheduled for this autumn in Europe. The early
post-Hussein days, he said, require a transitional government that
establishes a constituent assembly and sets a firm timetable for elections.

The first claimants to power should face "very tight time limits that are
outside the ability of the interim government to change," Makiya said. He
believes Iraq needs criminal prosecutions and a truth and reconciliation
process to address two decades of government abuses of power.

Makiya described himself as "really charged up." Yet as he works toward a
post-Hussein future often foretold but never accomplished, he acknowledges
that the list of potential calamities is long. His labors, he said, are
"fueled by the triumph of hope over experience."


by James C. Helicke
Atlanta Journal, from Associated Press, 6th October

Ceyhan, Turkey --- This small southern Turkish port would hardly seem to be
at the heart of America's strategic oil policy.

Except for two inactive oil loading docks extending deep into the
Mediterranean Sea, there's little beyond forest and rocky cliffs.

But Washington hopes that within three years, there will be a third
protruding dock, the tail end of a 1,091-mile pipeline bringing Caspian
crude to the West and reducing U.S. reliance on Middle Eastern oil.

Government officials and international oil companies recently broke ground
on the pipeline during ceremonies in Azerbaijan and Turkey and hope it will
be pumping oil by 2005. BP Amoco holds the largest stake in the project.

But experts caution the pipeline project could be undermined if Iraqi crude
comes back on the world market --- a distinct possibility if there's a
regime change in the neighboring country.

Washington has strongly supported the route through Azerbaijan, Georgia and
Turkey --- considered a roundabout and expensive way --- in large part
because of geopolitical concerns. Shorter and cheaper routes would pass
through Russia and Iran, giving those two countries more influence over the
$3 billion pipeline than is acceptable to the United States.

"The commercial case for the pipeline is yet to be proven," said Bulent
Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington. "It's a miracle this pipeline doesn't
collapse under the weight of all the political expectations placed on it."

Meanwhile, an existing pipeline from neighboring Iraq also reaches Western
markets through Ceyhan, but that oil has come to a trickle under U.N.

However, if the Bush administration makes good on threats to overthrow Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein, one consequence could be a return of cheap Iraqi oil
to the market, threatening the commercial viability of the new pipeline.

Aliriza said Azerbaijani crude through the pipeline likely will end up
costing three to six times the cost of Iraqi crude by the time it reaches
the West.

"If Iraq is free from Saddam Hussein . . . that will affect the global
energy picture," Aliriza said.

"If you have got the option of pumping Iraqi oil at $1 per barrel or
Azerbaijani for $6.75, which would you choose?"

President Bush has said the project will increase the world's energy
security and strengthen the sovereignty and independence of the nations

Officials say the new pipeline will be completed by 2004 and pump between
349 million and 421 million barrels of oil annually, from which Turkey hopes
to earn between $200 million and $300 million annually in transit revenue.

That represents a small sum compared with the $40 billion Turkey says it has
lost in trade with neighboring Iraq as a result of sanctions and the $31
billion it owes the International Monetary Fund.

However, NATO member Turkey sees other advantages to the pipeline, including
the opportunity to deepen its ties with the United States and to increase
its influence with resource-rich states in Central Asia.

Tehran Times, 6th October

NICOSIA -- The United States and Britain have refused to return to a simple
pricing system for Iraqi oil through the United Nations despite Baghdad
lifting a surcharge, the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) reports.

"The U.S. and UK have moved the goal posts once more," the weekly says in
its Monday edition.

"In essence Washington and London want to eliminate name-plate and small
trading firms from buying Iraqi oil and re-selling it to third parties and
oblige Baghdad to sell to U.S. and UK firms directly, something that Iraq
has refused to do," the Cyprus-based Newsletter says.

Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization in September stopped levying an
illegal surcharge it insisted on for about two years.

SOMO set the premium in July at 15 U.S. cents a barrel for exports to the
United States and 25 cents for Europe, AFP reported.

Last year, Britain and the United States forced a tougher retroactive
pricing policy on the Security Council's Sanctions Committee in response to
the surcharges.

The price, which was previously determined at the start of each month by the
oil overseers in consultation with the Iraqi Oil Ministry, is now set
retroactively by the committee.

London and Washington told the Sanctions Committee on October 2 "they insist
on the strict retroactive pricing system for Iraqi crude exports should
continue," MEES says.

As the dispute raged at the world body over the pricing system, Iraq's oil
exports plunged.

However, exports rose with the end of the surcharge, which allowed major
national European companies to resume lifting after a long absence, the
industry specialist notes.

The volume of oil exported by Iraq under UN supervision fell from a
four-month high of 13.3 million barrels to 7.9 barrels last week, the office
administering the UN oil-for-food program said.

The total, equivalent to 1.1 million barrels a day, was barely half Iraq's
estimated export potential of about 2.1 million barrels a day.

With Iraqi oil priced at an average of $26.55 a barrel, revenue last week
was estimated at $210 million, compared with 344 million the previous week.

Buyers of Iraqi crude have so far lifted only 119.3 million barrels of oil
in this phase, for revenue estimated at $2.93 billion.

The phase runs from May 30 to November 25.,6903,805530,00.html

by Ed Vulliamy in New York, Paul Webster in Paris, and Nick Paton Walsh in
The Observer, 6th October

Oil is emerging as the key factor in US attempts to secure the support of
Russia and France for military action against Iraq, according to an Observer

The Bush administration, intimately entwined with the global oil industry,
is keen to pounce on Iraq's massive untapped reserves, the second biggest in
the world after Saudi Arabia's. But France and Russia, who hold a power of
veto on the UN Security Council, have billion dollar contracts with Baghdad,
which they fear will disappear in 'an oil grab by Washington', if America
installs a successor to Saddam.

A Russian official at the United Nations in New York told the Observer last
week that the $7 billion in Soviet-era debt was not the main 'economic
interest' in Iraq about which the Kremlin is voicing its concerns. The main
fear was a post-Saddam government would not honour extraction contracts
Moscow has signed with Iraq.

Russian business has long-standing interests in Iraq. Lukoil, the biggest
oil company in Russia, signed a $20bn contract in 1997 to drill the West
Qurna oilfield. Such a deal could evaporate along with the Saddam regime,
together with a more recent contract with Russian giant Zarubezhneft, which
was granted a potential $90bn concession to develop the bin Umar oilfield.
The total value of Saddam's foreign contract awards could reach $1.1
trillion, according to the International Energy Agency's World Energy
Outlook 2001.

The Russian official said his government believed the US had brokered a deal
with the coalition of Iraqi opposition forces it backs whereby support
against Saddam is conditional on their declaring - on taking power - all oil
contracts conceded under his rule to be null and void.

'The concern of my government,' said the official, 'is that the concessions
agreed between Baghdad and numerous enterprises will be reneged upon, and
that US companies will enter to take the greatest share of those existing
contracts... Yes, if you could say it that way - an oil grab by Washington'.

A government insider in Paris told The Observer that France also feared
suffering economically from US oil ambitions at the end of a war. But the
dilemma for Paris is more complex. Despite President Jacques Chirac and
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany agreeing last week to oppose changing
the rules governing weapons inspectors, France may back military action.

Government sources say they fear - existing concessions aside - France could
be cut out of the spoils if it did not support the war and show a
significant military presence. If it comes to war, France is determined to
be allotted a more prestigious role in the fighting than in the 1991 Gulf
war, when its main role was to occupy lightly defended ground. Negotiations
have been going on between the state-owned TotalFinaElf company and the US
about redistribution of oil regions between the world's major companies.

Washington's predatory interest in Iraqi oil is clear, whatever its
political protestations about its motives for war. The US National Energy
Policy Report of 2001 - known as the 'Cheney Report' after its author Vice
President Dick Cheney, formerly one of America's richest and most powerful
oil industry magnates - demanded a priority on easing US access to Persian
Gulf supplies.

Doubts about Saudi Arabia - even before 11 September, and even more so in
its wake - led US strategists to seek a backup supply in the region. America
needs 20 million barrels of crude a day, and analysts have singled out the
country that could meet up to half that requirement: Iraq.

The current high price of oil is dragging the US economy further into
recession. US control of the Iraqi reserves, perhaps the biggest unmapped
reservoir in the world, would break Saudi Arabia's hold on the oil-pricing
cartel Opec, and dictate prices for the next century.

This could spell disaster for Russian oil giants, keen to expand their sales
to the West. Russia has sought to prolong negotiations, official statements
going between opposition to any new UN resolution and possible support for
military action against an Iraqi regime proven to be developing weapons of
mass destruction.

While France is thought likely to support US military action, and China will
probably fall in line because of its admission to the World Trade
Organisation, Putin is left holding the wild cards.

Russia recognises potential benefits of reaching a deal with the US:
Saddam's regime is difficult to work with. Lukoil's billion-dollar
concessions are frozen and profitless to Moscow and Baghdad under UN
sanctions, leading to fears that Saddam might have declared the agreement
null and void out of spite. Iraqi diplomats say Zarubezhneft won its $90bn
contract only after Baghdad took it away from TotalFinaElf because of French
support for sanctions.

Russia stands to profit if intervention in the Gulf triggers a hike in
Middle East oil prices, as its firms are lobbying to sell millions of
barrels a day to the US, at two-thirds of the current market price.

Moscow's trust of Washington may be slipping after what a Russian UN
official calls 'broken promises' that followed negotiations over Moscow's
support for the Afghan campaign.

Russia turned a blind eye to US troops in central Asia, on the tacit
condition that US Russian trade restrictions would be lifted. But they are
still there, and other benefits expected after 11 September have also not

'They've been making this point very strongly,' a senior Bush administration
official conceded to the Washington Post , 'that this can't be an
all-give-and-no-get relationship... They do have a point that the growing
relationship has got to be reciprocal.'

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]