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[casi] News titles, 19-25/10/02

News titles, 19-25/10/02

It is difficult to make sense of current Iraqi government behaviour - the
apparently absurd 100 per cent referendum followed by the opening of the
prisons (which could only be justified on the assumption that they were full
of people who shouldn't have been there in the first place). One possible,
and quite exciting, explanation is suggested in the article 'Al Rikabi might
preside over an Iraqi government' in the 'Iraqi Opposition' section below:
that there are in existence never mentioned non-Quisling opposition groups
which refuse to take the US shilling; and that the Baath Party is preparing
to make a deal with them.
Meanwhile, both in the US and the UN, the plot seems momentarily to be
slipping out of the hands of Messrs Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Opposition to
war is growing in the US, together with an awareness of the complexities of
the thing; and the UN Security Council isn't giving them what they want
either - though at the time of writing this issue is not yet resolved and
could fall either way. We've been here before, last August, when the Forces
of Darkness were away on their holidays, so there aren't many grounds for
optimism. And in these moments when the pendulum seems to be swinging away
from war we should keep in mind the important words of Milan Ray, quoted
from an article in the 'UK Opinion' section: "The mainstream debate is
focussed on two options, containment or regime change. This is a choice
between killing Iraqis through sanctions and killing them by bombs. It is a
framework I completely reject."

NEWS, 19-25/10/02 (1)


*  Israel, Iraq and the US [A very long article by Edward Said, mostly about
the process by which Palestinians have been dehumanised in USUK political
discourse. I have extracted those parts of it that deal with Iraq, and make
the important point that the psychological pressure being put on the people
of Iraq by the US threat of war is already a crime, even if the war doesn't
actually take place.]
*  War plans under fire as even Bush heartland talks peace [Variety of
opposition voices, from the United Methodist Church in 'Kansas, where they
teach the creation instead of evolution in schools' to the New York Review
of Books.]
*  Scott Ritter Says Iraq Is 'Not a Threat.' But His Critics See a Loose
Cannon [Long article giving a quite detailed account of Ritter's past and
about the film he has made with Iraqi American businessman Shakir
al-Khafaji, a film which still can't find a distributor.]
*  U.S. attack leans on shaky legal support
*  Black Caucus Fought Bush, Backed Clinton on Iraq Resolutions [Strange
world in which support for President Clinton is interpreted as a 'very left
wing agenda']
*  Gore wants stronger defense against bioterrorism [Al Gore contributes to
the general air of panic by suggesting that normal welfare needs should be
set aside in favour of a programme of innoculation against bilogical
weapons, a danger brought on, he suggests, by the government's policy on
*  Pentagon Sets Up Intelligence Unit [through dissatisfaction with what it
is being told by the CIA]


*  Bush gives go-ahead to train Iraqi exiles [Rather late in the day, one
would have thought. But what sort of insurrectionary movement is it that has
to wait Bush's go-ahead before giving its cadres military training?]
*  Al-Hakim welcomes the American support [The title is misleadingly
accurate. Al-Hakim, 'chairman of the higher council of the Islamic
revolution in Iraq', welcomes American support, not American leadership
(some hope).]
*  Al-Rikabi might preside over an Iraqi government; Baghdad negotiate with
oppositions abroad [Very pleasant to see the possible emergence of an
opposition independent both of Baghdad and of Washington.]

AND, IN NEWS, 19-25/10/02 (2)


*  U.S. Distributes New Iraq Resolution
*  We won't help spies: UN weapons inspector [The article acknowledges that
there were spies ...]
*  U.S. Circulates New Draft on Draft [Includes what appears to be a fairly
detailed account of this week's proposals]
*  U.N. [Compensation Committee] Pays $469 Million [of Iraqi money] for Gulf
War Damage


*  Spanish diplomat resigns over Iraq [in protest against his government's
support for US policy]
*  Muslim states urged to use oil weapon [By the excellent Malaysian Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Making a contrast to the rather less excellent
Hugo Chavez further on in this section]
*  LUKoil: No Guarantees on Iraq
*  Nobel Laureates Say "No" to War With Iraq
*  Venezuela Won't Support Arab Oil Blockade If US Invades Iraq [Hugo
Chavez's new found timidity (though he is quoted as calling the US
'aggressors') is contrasted with Malaysia's Mahathir Mohamad.]


*  Protest against attack on Iraq [in Glasgow] draws 15,000
*  An Interview with Milan Rai


*  Iraqis linked to Oklahoma atrocity [The article gives what appears to be
a very detailed account of the 'evidence', which is about as thin as one
could possibly imagine. Still, it must have been fun putting it all together
*  Sept. 11 chief didn't meet an Iraqi spy [Says Vaclav Havel. Discreetly.
Is this the end of the matter? And are the Krauthammers and the Kristols and
the Safires going to apologise for all the unrelieved gobbledegook they have
inflicted on us on this matter since September 11th?]


*  U.S., British Experts Leave Ukraine [They are described as
'nonproliferation experts'. But does the sale of clearly defensive radar
equipment really count as 'proliferation'?]
*  Serbs blame Iraqi arms deals on Milosevic legacy ['Please, sir, it wasn't
me, sir, honest it wasn't ...']
*  Missile igniter smuggled towards Iraq [Croatia continues to play its
traditional role of the classroom sneak.] 

AND, IN NEWS, 19-25/10/02 (3)


*  Iraqis suffer through war of nerves
*  Mass weddings mark Saddam's new term [This isn't the first time. See 'The
changing face of Iraqi marriage', by the same BBC correspondent, BBC, 6th
November, in News, 3 10/11/01 (2)]
*  Hussein and Mobs Virtually Empty Iraq's Prisons [Lengthy account from New
York Times]
*  Iraq Extends Amnesty to Exiles
*  No Amnesty for 2 Americans [Mahmad Samir Fakhri and Sam Jason aka Saad
Hamid Jassin, accused of spying. Somehow they don't seem to have got as much
attention as Scott Speicher. Could it be that, for some reason or other,
they are considered to be less American??]
*  Hussein divvies up gold to salve Shiites' anger [Though the process
decribed seems to have been going on for a long time prior to the present
*  Iraq orders CNN, foreign journalists out


*  Allies bomb command site in northern Iraq no-fly zone [Tuesday, 22nd
*  Allies bomb air defense sites in southern Iraq no-fly zone - third in a
week [Wednesday, 23rd October]
*  The Unfriendly Skies [US use of unmanned but armed Predator planes.]
*  Nuclear Technology Seen Spreading [Apparently fairly detailed account of
the importance of centrifuges]


*  Turkey denies army incursion into Iraq [See 'Some 10,000 Turkish soldiers
deployed in North Iraq' in last week's mailing]
*  Kurds would try to seize oil fields if U.S. strikes Iraq [Though its
difficult to know why, if they really intend to do this, they should be
telling us about it.]


*  Iraq begins Kuwait archive handover
*  Moussa: Arabs will not support a new war on Iraq [Most interestingly,
Moussa, Secretary General of the Arab League, doesn't think the war on Iraq
is about oil - which the US controls anyway. He effectively sees it as an
effort to do good in the world, though believes it to be horribly mistake]
*  Ninth Batch of Iranian Refugees Repatriate From Iraq
*  Libya withdraws from Arab League

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