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[casi] News, 9-15/11/02 (2)

News, 9-15/11/02 (2)



*  Iraqi deputies urge Saddam to stand firm
*  Iraq Agrees to Return of Inspectors
*  Saddam's merry dance cannot hide the sad inevitability of event
*  Text of Iraq's Letter to U.N. Secretary General
*  Iraq to allow in weapons inspectors


*  Contracts Worth $0.5bn Signed at Baghdad Trade Fair


*  US, British jets again bomb Iraqi defences
*  U.S., British jets bomb Iraq "no-fly" zone
*  Coalition fighters attack Iraqi missile sites
*  Latest American airstrikes pave way for an invasion


*  Woman who Voted Against War on Iraq Elected Democratic Leader of US House
of Representatives
*  Why Do Professors Routinely Oppose America?
*  Bush's new media strategy: pop-aganda



by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
International Herald Tribune, from The Washington Post, 12th November

CAIRO: Members of Iraq's Parliament, including the head of an influential
foreign-affairs committee, urged President Saddam Hussein on Monday to
reject a United Nations Security Council resolution requiring the country to
disarm and submit to intrusive weapons inspections.

Salim Kubaisi, chairman of the Arab and International Relations Committee,
told fellow members of Parliament at an emergency session that they should
not approve the resolution "in accordance with the opinion of our people who
put confidence in their representatives."

The speaker of Parliament, Saadoun Hammadi, called the UN resolution
"provocative, deceitful and a preamble for war."

The resolution "seeks to create crises rather than cooperation and paves the
way for aggression rather than for peace," Hammadi said, sitting on a dais
under a black-and-white portrait of Saddam. "It shows blatantly the ill
intentions of the U.S. administration."

He argued that the resolution violates international law and "does not have
the minimum of fairness, objectivity and balance."

Several other members delivered similarly caustic denunciations as the
session dragged into the night.

The tenor of the comments took some political observers in the Arab world by
surprise. Arab foreign ministers and diplomats expressed confidence Sunday
night that Saddam would accept the resolution as the best way to avert a
military confrontation with the United States.

"We were expecting some criticism but nothing like this," said one Arab
diplomat involved in discussions with the Iraqi foreign minister, Naji
Sabri. "It's difficult to say what Saddam's strategy is."

But the Parliament has been used as cover for difficult decisions in the
past, and the oratory Monday does not necessarily mean that the proposal
will be rejected.

It was not immediately clear when and if members would cast a formal vote on
whether to accept or reject the resolution, which calls for Iraq to provide
a list within 30 days of all of its programs to develop weapons of mass
destruction and to provide inspectors unfettered access to Saddam's
presidential compounds and other sensitive sites. If Saddam does not accept
the resolution by Friday, the Bush administration could choose to ask the
Security Council to authorize the use of force or the United States could
opt to take unilateral action.

Al Kubaisi recommended that the Parliament refer the final decision to the
Revolutionary Command Council, which is led by Saddam, "to take the
appropriate decision to defend the people of Iraq, their independence and

It is unusual for the council to overrule the Parliament. Its members all
are ardent Saddam supporters, and its decisions are almost always in
lock-step with the president's views. Saddam often refers issues to
Parliament so he and other top officials can claim their decisions are based
on the will of the Iraqi people.

Iraqi television reported earlier that the emergency session had been
ordered by Saddam.

Arab officials who had gathered for an Arab League meeting in Cairo said
they had received assurances from Iraq's foreign minister and other Iraqi
officials that the resolution would be endorsed by Saddam's government.

An official who participated in the Arab League meeting said the tone of the
Parliament session reflected "classic Saddam strategy."

"He's unpredictable," the official said. "You never know what he's going to
do until the very last minute - when he actually makes the decision."

The criticism, the official said, "may be more political theater than
anything else. They could just be saying this because they have to, but at
the end, they'll grudgingly vote to support it."

One member of the Iraqi Parliament did point out what he regarded as
positive changes as the resolution proceeded from an initial U.S. and
British draft to the final document that was approved unanimously Friday.
The member praised the fact the Arab League was lauded for its efforts to
resolve the crisis and that UN weapons inspectors would be allowed
considerable autonomy in deciding how and where to search.

But that member and several others also delivered rambling, invective-filled
speeches calling the resolution an infringement of Iraq's sovereignty and
saying it would put the country in the untenable position of trying to
prove, as it has long insisted, that it does not possess weapons of mass

"This resolution assumes we have weapons," one deputy said. "What is this
based on? Is it based on pictures from satellites? Is it based on what the
previous inspectors said? This is based on nothing. Yet it is the basis for
this resolution. So it seems we have to prove that we have no weapons of
mass destruction. It's like we're guilty until proven innocent."

Another member tartly asked: "Where are our human rights? Where is our

Iraq has accused previous inspection teams, which operated in the country
from 1991 to 1998, of acting as spies for the United States and of
deliberately prolonging their work to prevent the lifting of debilitating
economic sanctions that were imposed after Saddam ordered his military
forces to invade Kuwait in 1990.

The new resolution calls for inspectors to have unrestricted access to any
site they want to visit and the right to interview Iraqi scientists outside
of the country or without Iraqi officials present. In the past, the Iraqi
government has objected to unannounced visits of presidential palaces and
military bases.

by Edith M. Lederer
Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 13th November

UNITED NATIONS- Claiming Iraq was seeking the "path of peace," Saddam
Hussein's government agreed Wednesday to the return of international weapons
inspectors, accepting a stringent U.N. resolution two days ahead of a

Although Iraq accepted the tough terms, President Bush warned he had "zero
tolerance" for any Iraqi attempts to hide weapons of mass destruction and
said a coalition of nations is ready to force Saddam to disarm.

Iraq's nine-page letter of acceptance was laced with anti-American and
anti-Israeli statements as well as stern warnings for U.N. weapons

In contrast, Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohammed Al-Douri, said his government
had chosen "the path of peace" and its acceptance had "no conditions, no

Still, the harsh tone in Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri's letter to U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and its warnings about how Baghdad expects
inspectors to behave, raised questions about Iraq's plans to cooperate with
the resolution.

Annan, speaking to reporters in Washington after meeting with Bush, said he
would wait to determine Iraq's intentions.

"I think the issue is not their acceptance, but performance on the ground,"
Annan said. "Let the inspectors go in, and I urge the Iraqis to cooperate
with them and to perform."

Annan said the advance team of inspectors is scheduled to arrive in Baghdad
on Nov. 18. They have until Dec. 23 to begin their work and must report to
the Security Council 60 days later.

If Iraq fails to cooperate, the resolution orders inspectors to immediately
notify the council, which will discuss a response.

By Dec. 8, Iraq must declare all its chemical, biological and nuclear
programs, according to the terms of the resolution.

Al-Douri said his government has nothing to fear from inspections because
"Iraq is clean."

In the letter, Sabri accused Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair of
fabricating evidence that Iraq possessed or was on its way to producing
nuclear weapons - and had already stockpiled biological and chemical

"The lies and manipulations of the American administration and British
government will be exposed," Sabri said.

He also warned that Iraq plans to closely monitor the inspectors while they
are in the country. In 1998, Baghdad accused inspectors of spying for the
United States and Israel.

Under Security Council resolutions adopted after Iraq's 1990 invasion of
Kuwait, U.N. inspectors must certify that Iraq's nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons programs have been eliminated along with the long-range
missiles to deliver them. Only then can sanctions against Iraq be lifted.


by Robert Fisk
The Independent, 13th November

How seriously they took the Baghdad theatricals. "A resounding 'no' from the
Iraqi parliament,'' was the headline on NBC's local affiliate here in North
Carolina. "Assembly in Baghdad shows its outrage,'' was the headline in USA
Today. As if the Iraqi parliament was really a parliament, as if Saddam
Hussein's recent 100 per cent vote was not a fiction.

"US officials''  those all-purpose sources for lazy journalists  were
quickly on hand to suggest that this was "posturing''. I really needed a "US
official" to tell me that. But I began to wonder, given the po-faced
reporting and the presentation of Iraqi news here, if the naive world of
Saddam and the naive world of America don't sometimes connect. It's as if
Saddam knows this nonsense is taken seriously. Hitler was a tyrant and
Saddam is a tyrant. But Hitler wasn't a clown.

Of course, the Iraqi parliament's vote doesn't mean a thing. Two hundred and
fifty senators rejecting UN arms inspections and then allowing the "wise
leadership'' of Saddam to make the final decision is about as serious as an
Egyptian television serial (Egyptian serials are all about families in
crisis and Saddam is addicted to them). Mr Salim al-Kubaisi's remark  he is
the head of the "Iraqi parliament's Arab and International Relations
Committee" took the biscuit. Parliament, he announced, had full confidence
in Saddam's "great ability to assess the situation'' and commended the
Leader's "deep vision''. This was the vision, remember, that gave us the
Iran-Iraq war (one million dead) and the invasion of Kuwait.

Then we have the leader's beloved son Uday  still bearing the scars of his
assassination attempt  who intervened on the side of inspections. He
thought the UN inspectors should be accepted into Iraq (which means Saddam
agrees) but there should be some Arabs among the inspectorate.

This is not the first time we have heard that. Several Arab states have
suggested the same thing though I don't think Hans Blix, the chief weapons
inspector, is going to be adding Saudi scientists to his team. The real
Iraqi fear is that the CIA will use the UN inspectors  just as they did
before  and that the inspectors, far from searching for weapons of mass
destruction, will be fingering sites for bombardment if/when America decides
to invade.

But it's back to the old story. Saddam is going to run this one up to the
wire on Friday at which point his "wisdom" and "vision" will prevail and the
UN inspectors will be welcome and the American media will say  just a guess
 "Back from the brink''. Oh, yes Saddam understands how to play the clown.
And with each circus act, he makes the Americans look just that little bit
more silly. A dangerous trick to play right now.

A US Marines officer came up to me after I gave a lecture at the University
of North Carolina last night to tell me he was departing from his young wife
and child in three days' time to go to Central Command in Tampa for the
start of a longer journey. It's the same all over America. Just down from
here at Fort Bragg, elements of the 82nd Airborne are said to be on the

A vast American armada is slowly taking shape  huge quantities of armour
and ordnance are being moved around the world right now from the United
States  and most of America doesn't even know it. "See you there,'' I said
to the marine last night as we parted company. "Oh, are you coming to
Central Command?'' he asked innocently. "No," I told him, "You're going to

Associated Press, 13th November

The following is the text of a letter from Iraqi Foreign Affairs Minister
Naji Sabri to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

Your Excellency,

You may recall the huge clamor fabricated by the President of the United
States administration, in the biggest and most wicked slander against Iraq,
supported in malicious intent, and spearheaded in word and malevolence, by
his lackey Tony Blair, when they disseminated the claim that Iraq has
perhaps produced, or was on its way to produce, nuclear weapons, during the
time when the United Nations inspectors had been absent from Iraq since
1998. Then they returned to stress that Iraq had in fact produced chemical
and biological weapons. They both know, as well as we do, and so can other
countries, that such fabrications are baseless. But, does the knowledge of
the truth constitute elements for interaction in the politics of our day,
which has witnessed the unleashing of the American administration's evil to
its fullest extent, dashing away all hope in any good? Indeed, is there any
good to be hoped for, or expected, from the American administrations, now
that they have been transformed by their own greed, by Zionism as well as by
other known factors, into the tyrant of the age.

Let's go back to say that Iraq, having seen this fabrication work perhaps
with some countries and among public opinion, while others maintained
silence, confronted them with its agreement to the return of the U.N.
inspectors, having agreed on this first with you as U.N. chief, in New York
on 16 September, 2002, and later in a press statement issued jointly in
Vienna following a meeting on 30th September - 1st October between an Iraqi
technical delegation headed by Dr. Amer Al-Sa'di, Chief Inspector Hans Blix
and Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA). But after Iraq's acceptance of the return of the U.N.
inspectors had become an established fact, including the agreement of 19
October, 2002, on the date of their return, and only a few hours after this
agreement was reached, Collin Powell, the U.S. Secretary of State, declared
that he would refuse to accept the inspectors' return to Iraq. In the
meantime, the gang of evil returned to talking about adopting a new
resolution, or new resolutions, in order to create something for the world
to talk about, other than following the work of the inspectors and then
seeing the fact already stated by Iraq, which was that Iraq neither had
produced nor was in possession of any weapons of mass destruction, nuclear,
chemical or biological, throughout the time of the inspectors' absence from
Iraq. However, representatives at the United Nations and its agencies,
especially those from permanent member states, instead of fellowship upon
this and, hence, expose those responsible for the dissemination of lies and
fabrications, were busy discussing the type and wording of the fabrications,
were busy discussing the type and wording of the new resolution. They were
indulged in what word or letter to add here or omit there, until they
adopted a text under the pretext that it would be better to take kicks of a
raging bull in a small circle than to face its horns in an open space. The
text was adopted under the American Administration's pressure and threat
that it would leave the United Nations if it did not agree to what America
wanted, which is to say the least, extremely evil and shameful to every
honest member of the United Nations who recalls the provisions of its
Charter, and sees that some people feel ashamed on behalf of those who are

Mr. Secretary-General,

We have said to the members of the Security Council whom we have contacted,
or who have contacted us, when they told us about the pretexts of the
Americans and their threat to perpetrate aggression against our country,
whether unilaterally or with participation from others, if the Council were
not to allow them to have theirway, that we preferred, if it ever became
necessary to see America carry out its aggressions against us unilaterally,
when we would have to confront it relying on Allah, instead of seeing the
American government obtaining an international cover with which to
camouflage its falsehood, partially or completely, bringing it closer to the
truth, so that it may stab the truth with the dagger of evil and confronted
the United States before when it looked as it does now, and this was one of
the factors of its isolation in the human environment on the globe at large.

The aggression of the United States of America and its single-handed
infliction of injustice and destruction on those subjected to its inequity
in the forefront of whom are the Muslim and Arab believers, is the basic
reason why America has withdrawn its ambassadors and other staff, closed its
embassies, and restricted its interests in many parts of the world, while
reaping the hatred of the peoples of the world due to its policies and
aggressive objectives. This is a situation which no other country in the
world has experienced before, including the fathers of old colonialism. The
Security Council, however, or indeed those who can basically play an
influential role in it, have, instead of leaving the American administration
and its lackey reap the result of their evil, saved wrongdoing rather than
halted it. We shall see when remorse will not do any good for those who bite
on their fingers.

Mr. Secretary-General,

The strength of influence of any international organization rests on the
belief of the human environment in which the organization exists and which
places its trust in it, once the organization declares that it has been
founded to achieve goals important to mankind. We fear that the United
Nations organization may lose the trust and attachment of peoples, that is
if it has not fallen to that place already. This is due to the exploitation
of the organization by powerful interests, whenever their greedy ambitions
converge at the expense of the interests of other peoples. It may also be
due to the expediency and compromise among those interests in falsehood at
the expense of the truth. So the United Nations organization and its
agencies will collapse in the same way as did its predecessor, the League of
Nations. Then, the responsibility for this will not rest with the American
administrations alone, but will also be due to the weakness of the timid who
allow themselves to work for American interests under the threat, lure or
promises of the American administration.

He who remains silent in the defense of truth is a dumb devil. Nothing seems
more reprehensible than the silence maintained by those who represented
their nations in the Security Council, as they discussed the American draft
resolution, in the face of the question raised by the representative of
Mexico regarding the possibility of lifting the blockade imposed on Iraq at
the Security Council over SCR 1441 on 8 November, 2002, that he did not find
convincing the explanations presented by the American Permanent
Representative, regarding the absence of any reference to the lifting of
sanctions and the establishment in the Middle East region of a zone free of
weapons of mass destruction, and that he would convey this to his government
in order to receive instructions. The British representative responded by
saying that he has listened to the statements made by the delegations of
Syria and Mexico regarding the inclusion in the draft text of a paragraph on
the lifting of sanctions. He went on to say that Iraq has been provided with
the opportunity to dispose of its weapons of mass destruction, but Iraq has
ignored that opportunity and decided to keep possession of those WMDs.
Hence, he added, it would be inappropriate to include a reference to the
lifting of sanctions as long as Iraq remained in possession of those
weapons, even though an indirect reference to that effect was being

We ask here, why is it that none of the representatives of SC member states
asked their British counterpart when, where and how such an alleged decision
was taken by Iraq to keep possession of the weapons of mass destruction.
They treated the claim made by the British representative as if it were of
no significance to them; or rather, as if it were of no concern to them to
say the truth. Does not this instance, along with other things and the
decline of this type of international organization point to the possibility
of the collapse of this international organization, which was founded in
order to preserve world peace and security, but has now been transformed
into a kitchen-house for big power bargaining, providing cover for war,
destruction, blockades and starvation to be inflicted upon peoples.

The future will be determined in the light of the possibility for reform, or
the inability to achieve reform. The future of the United Nations is no
exception to this. Hence, all those who are truly concerned about the
well-being of this organization, in deeds not only in words, and about its
work on the basis of the U.N. Charter, so that stability, justice and
fairness will prevail in the world, providing a roadmap for peace, freedom
and cooperation to flourish among peoples, are called upon to be careful and
to adhere to the U.N. Charter and international law and not to the whims and
uncontrollable instincts of those who threaten the world with their evil
schemes, weaponry, and those who seek to achieve their interests
narrow-mindedly by resorting to bargaining at the expense of truth, justice
and fairness.

Mr. Secretary General,

We know that those who pressed the Security Council to adopt resolution No.
1441 have other objectives when making sure that Iraq had not developed mass
destruction weapons in the absence of the inspectors since 1998. You are
aware of how and who stood behind their absence. We also know that there are
no true, just or fair reasons behind the adoption of this resolution in the
name of the Security Council, after the well-known understanding agreement
between the representatives of Iraq and the U.N. Secretary-General and the
press statement issued jointly by Blix, ElBaradei, and the Iraqi
representatives. We hereby inform you that we will deal with resolution
1441, despite its bad contents, if it is to be implemented according to the
premeditated evil of the parties of ill-intent, the important thing in this
is trying to spare our people from harm. But we will not forget, nor should
others do, that safeguarding our people's dignity, security, independence,
and protecting our country, its sovereignty and sublime values, is as sacred
a duty in our leadership's and government's agenda. Therefore, and as we
said in the foresaid agreement and press statement, we are prepared to
receive the inspectors, so that they can carry out their duties, and make
sure that Iraq has not developed weapons of mass destruction during their
absence since 1998.

We hereby ask you to inform the Security Council that we are prepared to
receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable. The parties concerned
should bear in mind that we are in our holy month of Ramadan which means
that the people are fasting, and this holy month will be followed by the
Muslims' Eid. Nevertheless, we will cooperate with the concerned U.N. bodies
and officials on the background of all this, and of the tripartite,
French-Russia-China, statement. Dealing with the inspectors, the government
of Iraq will also take into consideration their way of conduct, the
intentions of those who are ill intentioned among them and their improper
approach in showing respect to the people's national dignity, their
independence and security, and their country's security, independence and
sovereignty. We are eager to see them perform their duties in accordance
with the international law as soon as possible. If they do so,
professionally, and lawfully, without any premeditated intentions, the
liar's lies will be exposed to public opinion and the declared objective of
the Security Council will be achieved. It will then become the lawful duty
of the Security Council to lift the blockade and all the other unjust
sanctions on Iraq. If it does not, all the peoples of good will in the
world, in addition to Iraq, will tell it to do so. The SC will be compelled
before the public opinion and the law to activate paragraph 14 of its
resolution No. 687, by applying it to the Zionist entity (Israel), and then,
to all the Middle East region, to make it a region void of mass destruction
weapons. The number of just people will then increase in the world, and
Iraq's possibility to drive away the cawing of the crows of evil that daily
raid its land, and kill Iraqis and destroy their property by their bombs.
This will help the stability of the region and the world if it is
accompanied by a resolution that will not be based on double standards, to
put an end to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, and other occupied Arab
territories, and if the warmongers strop their aggressions on the Muslims
and the world.

Therefore, through you, we reiterate the same words to the Security Council:
Send your inspectors to Iraq to make sure of this and everyone will be sure,
if their way of conduct is supervised so that it becomes legal and
professional, that Iraq has not developed weapons of mass destruction,
whether nuclear, chemical or biological, as claimed by evil people. The lies
and manipulations of the American administration and British government will
be exposed, while the world will see how truthful and adequate the Iraqis
are in what they say and do. But if the whims of the American
administration, the Zionist desires, their followers, intelligence services,
threats and foul temptation were given the chance to play and tamper with
the inspection teams or some of their members, the colors would be then
confused and the resulting commotion will distort the facts and push the
situation into dangerous directions, which is something fair-minded people
do not wish for, as well as the people who, including my government, want to
bring forward the facts as they are. The fieldwork and implementation will
be the decisive factors that will reveal whether the intentions were really
for the Security Council to make sure that Iraq is void of those alleged
weapons, or whether the whole thing was nothing but an evil cover by those
who were behind the resolution who have no scruples to utter debased slander
and to tell lies to the public opinion including their own peoples.

So let the inspectors come to Baghdad to carry out their duties in
accordance with the law, and then we will hear and see along with who wants
to hear, see and move according to each one's responsibility and rights. The
final word and reference will still be resolution No. 687 with its
obligations on both the secretary-general and Iraq, along with the code of
conduct agreed upon in the agreement signed by the secretary-general in New
York on 16th September, 2002, and the press statement of Hans Blix and
ElBaradei in Vienna in 30 September - 1 October 2002.

Mr. Secretary-General,

Please assume your responsibilities, by saying and advising the unfair
people that their unfairness to Muslims, faithful Arabs and to all, will be
of dire consequences and that God, the Almighty is capable of doing
everything. Tell them that the proud Iraqi people are faithful and Mujahid
and who had fought the old colonialism, imperialism and aggression,
including the tyrant's aggression for years and years. The price this
courageous people paid to safeguard their independence, dignity and sublime
principles was rivers of blood, with a lot of deprivation and loss of their
riches, along with their eternal achievements and record which they are
proud. Therefore, we hope that you will, Mr. Secretary-General, advise the
ignorants not to push things to the precipice, in the implementation,
because the people of Iraq will not choose to live at the price of their
dignity, country, freedom or sanctities, and they would rather make their
lives the price if that was the only way before them to safeguard what they
must safeguard.

I wish to inform your Excellency before I conclude this letter, that I
intend to forward another letter to you on a later date, in which I shall
state our observations, the measures and procedures, contained in SCR 1441
that are contrary to international law, U.N. Charter, the facts already
established and the measure contained in previous relevant resolutions of
the Security Council.

"Do ye secure He Who is in Heaven will not cause you to be swallowed up by
the earth when it shakes." (Allah's is the Word of Truth)

Allah is the Greatest
Naji Saberi Ahmed
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Iraq

by Carola Hoyos
Financial Times, 14th November

Iraq yesterday unconditionally agreed to allow United Nations inspectors
back into the country under their tough new mandate, while denying that it
had any weapons of mass destruction.

Diplomats said this denial could land Saddam Hussein's regime in serious
trouble if disproved by the UN's inspectors or foreign intelligence
services. It would be seen as further "material breach" of the 1991 Gulf war
ceasefire and could lead to war.

The Iraqi statement prompted a fall to eight-month lows in oil prices, with
the Brent benchmark at $22.70. Equity markets were also heartened. Germany's
Dax index, which had been down more than 3 per cent, was only just in
negative territory towards the end of the day while in the US the Dow Jones
Industrial Average was about 70 points higher by midday.

Iraq accepted the UN resolution but in a letter from Naji Sabri, the foreign
minister, to Kofi Annan, UN secretary-general, stated that it had no weapons
of mass destruction.

"Iraq will deal with Security Council resolution 1441 despite its bad
contents," said Mohammed Aldouri, Iraq's ambassador to the UN. "We are
prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable."

He said Iraq has not had, has not now, and will not have "any mass
destruction weapons . .. Iraq is clean".

Asked whether Baghdad would make the same assertion when it details its
alleged biological, chemical, nuclear and long-range missile programmes, he
said: "Absolutely, no question about that."


Tehran Times, 11th November

BAGHDAD -- Iraq signed contracts worth more than 500 million dollars with
foreign firms during the Baghdad International Trade Fair, Trade Minister
Mohammad Mahdi Saleh said Sunday.

"We have signed more than 20 contracts with (firms from) Saudi Arabia, the
United Arab Emirates, France, Iran and Germany totaling more than 500
million dollars," he told reporters at the end of the 10-day fair.

The contracts were mainly in the food, construction and automobile sectors,
he said.

Saleh said participation in Baghdad's 35th annual fair had nearly reached
pre-1990 levels, with 49 countries taking part this year compared with
"between 52 and 55" in the years that preceded the imposition of UN
sanctions on Iraq after it invaded Kuwait in August 1990, AFP reported.

This year's fair was also marked by the signing of a trade and economic
cooperation agreement with former war foe Iran and memorandums of
understanding with Yemen and Sri Lanka as a prelude to similar agreements,
he said.

In an address to officials and diplomats attending the closing ceremony,
Saleh thanked the countries and firms that "came to our country in these
circumstances, despite the U.S. administration's impudent threats" against

This year's fair was "a huge success, with 49 countries participating ... a
token of the mutual desire on the part of Iraq and participating countries
to boost economic and trade cooperation," he said.

In addition to deals sealed during the 10-day exhibition, negotiations were
kick-started for other contracts, and Baghdad would give firms that showed
up at the fair preferential treatment in awarding future contracts, the
Iraqi official said.

Another highlight of this year's fair was the reopening of the Arar border
crossing between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which had been closed since the
1990-1991 Persian Gulf crisis, "and the participation of brotherly Saudi
Arabia with a large delegation for the first time" since the two countries
fell apart over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the minister said.

The Iraqi official said it was in the interest of Saudi firms for Riyadh to
sign a free trade agreement with Baghdad as many other Arab countries have
done, as this would grant Saudi companies the same exemptions from which
other Arab firms were now benefiting.

Concluding a free trade accord with Saudi Arabia "is a goal we aspire to
(and the two sides are) continuing to study" the proposed deal, he said.

Saleh charged that the revised UN sanctions regime under which imports into
Iraq have over the past five months been checked against a "goods review
list" to ensure they do not include "dual (civilian and military) use" items
had hampered rather than eased the flow of goods into the country.

"Contracts worth two billion dollars were approved" by the UN Sanctions
Committee over the past five months compared to four billion dollars in the
previous corresponding phase of the "oil-for-food" program, which allows
Iraq to sell oil under UN supervision to meet the essential needs of its
people, according to the minister.

Iraq has consistently accused US and British representatives on the
sanctions committee of blocking imports into the country.

Saleh also blamed the United States and Britain for a recent shortage of
funds to pay for imports under "oil-for-food" because of the retroactive
pricing policy they imposed on Iraqi oil sales, but added that Baghdad's
average crude production was now back to over two million barrels per day.

Baghdad "hopes" to have been rid of the UN sanctions by the time next year's
fair is held, Saleh said, declining to answer reporters' questions on
whether Iraq was about to accept the latest UN security council disarmament
resolution that could eventually clear the way for the lifting of the
embargo. But he said the fact that so many countries had turned up in
Baghdad expressed "the will of the international community to support Iraq
against U.S. threats."


Daily Star, Bangladesh, 9th November

Reuters, Washington: American and British warplanes bombed air defences in
southern Iraq for the second straight day on Thursday in response to
attempts to shoot down the jets policing a "no-fly" zone, the US military

The Western aircraft attacked an air defence operations center near al Kut,
about 153 km southeast of the capital Baghdad and left the area safely, the
US military's Central Command said in a statement.

The strike, which occurred around 2:20 pm local time in Iraq, followed
attacks on Wednesday against two anti-aircraft missile sites near al Kut and
a military air defence command post in Tallil in southern Iraq, according to
the Central Command.

The number of incidents involving US and British air patrols over no-fly
zones in northern and southern Iraq has risen sharply in recent months as
speculation has grown that the United States could launch an invasion to
topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The warplanes have now attacked Iraqi air defences in the zones 55 times
this year. Forty two of those attacks have come in the southern zone.

An Iraqi military spokesman, quoted by the official Iraqi News Agency (INA),
had said earlier that Wednesday's attacks were against "civilian
installations" in the provinces of Wassit and Dhi qar. Al Kut is in Wassit


Houston Chronicle, from Reuters News Service, 10th November

WASHINGTON -- American and British warplanes bombed anti-aircraft missile
sites in the southern Iraqi "no-fly" zone today, the first such action since
the U.N. passed a resolution ordering Iraq to disarm, the U.S. military

The Western aircraft used precision-guided weapons to target two
surface-to-air SAM missile sites near Tallil, approximately 175 miles
southeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military's Central Command said in a

The strike occurred at about 10:15 p.m. Iraq time. Damage was still being

U.S. and British warplanes last struck in the southern no-fly zone Thursday,
attacking an air defense operations facility and integrated operations
center near Al Kut. On Wednesday, they targeted two anti-aircraft missile
sites near al Kut and a military air defense command post in Tallil.

On Friday, U.S. warplanes dropped 240,000 leaflets around the town of al
Amarah in the southern no-fly zone warning the Iraqi military not to target
American and British jets policing the zone.

Later Friday, during a press conference with visiting German Defense
Minister Peter Struck, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Iraq to quit
firing at allied warplanes.

He did not make clear whether that would be viewed as a violation of the
U.N. Security Council resolution passed Friday calling for the full
disarmament of Iraq's suspected weapons of mass destruction under threat of
military action.

Sunday's strike came after Iraq moved the SAM sites into the no-fly zone in
violation of UN resolutions, the U.S. military said. Presence of the sites
is deemed a threat to coalition aircraft.

The number of incidents involving U.S. and British air patrols over no-fly
zones in northern and southern Iraq has risen sharply in recent months as
speculation has grown that the United States could launch an invasion to
topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The warplanes have attacked Iraqi air defenses in the zones 56 times this
year. Forty-three of those attacks have come in the southern zone.

Iraq does not recognize the zones, set up after the 1991 Gulf War to protect
a Kurdish enclave in the north and Shi'ite Muslims in the south from attack
by Saddam's military.

Sydney Morning Herald, from AFP, 11th November

Warplanes of the US-British coalition struck two anti-aircraft missile sites
in southern Iraq today after they assumed what was deemed a threatening
position toward the allies, the US Central Command announced.

The allied planes used precision-guided weapons to target two surface-to-air
(SAM) missile sites near Tallil, approximately 280km south-east of Baghdad,
at about 1915 GMT (0615 AEDT) according to the command.

"Today's strike came after Iraq moved the SAM sites into the no-fly zone in
violation of UN resolutions," the command said in a statement. "Presence of
the sites is deemed a threat to coalition aircraft."

The command said its experts were still conducting damage assessment.

But it pointed out that "coalition aircraft never target civilian
populations or infrastructure and go to painstaking lengths to avoid injury
to civilians and damage to civilian facilities".

On Thursday, planes of the US-British coalition hit an Iraqi air defence
operations facility and an integrated operations centre near the city of Al
Kut in the southern no-fly zone.,,3-477537,00.html

by Michael Evans
The Times, 12th November

AIRSTRIKES on Iraqi air defence targets by American and British bombers are
beginning to show a pattern that fits neatly into the war plan devised by
the Americans for toppling President Saddam Hussein.

American jets launched air raids on Sunday on a key Iraqi base that forms
part of a ring of frontline military sites protecting Baghdad. More than 30
bombing raids have taken place in the past three months.

The latest attack by aircraft from the carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln in
the Gulf was the eighth time in two months that coalition aircraft enforcing
the southern no-fly zone have targeted the big Iraqi base of Tallil, 175
miles southeast of Baghdad.

Tallil and other key airbases targeted recently, such as al-Kut and
al-Amarah, form a network of Iraqi air defence facilities safeguarding the
approaches to Baghdad.

With President Bush giving warning to Saddam of inevitable military action
if he fails to comply with the new United Nations Security Council
resolution to allow weapons inspections, every no-fly zone airstrike,
particularly in the south and west, is helping to prepare the way for an

Based on the leaked plan for an invasion that has emerged in American
newspapers, the strategy of General Tommy Franks, commander of US Central
Command, will be to attack from three directions  north, south and west.

Tallil, the most heavily hit airbase in recent weeks, has two big runways,
as well as hardened bunkers to shelter aircraft and munitions. It is also
believed to have been a storage site for chemical weapons in the 1991 Gulf

The base at al-Kut, 100 miles southeast of Baghdad, has been targeted four
times in the past two months. The base is strategically located to protect
the southern approaches to Baghdad. In the 1991 Gulf War, the United States
flew at least 72 Stealth bombing missions against the base during the
opening stages of the air campaign.

None of the airstrikes, in response to Iraqi groundfire, has been aimed at
putting any of the bases out of action, but the clear objective of US
Central Command, in the lead-up to a real war, is to disrupt Saddam's
integrated air defence network and to undermine the command and-control
set-up between bases in the south and Baghdad.

US Central Command, in charge of Operation Southern Watch, covering the
no-fly zone south of the 33rd parallel, said yesterday that the latest raid,
the third this month, was solely in retaliation for a hostile act by the
Iraqis. Two surface-to-air missile sites had been moved closer to Tallil,
which Central Command said was in violation of UN resolutions. The presence
of the sites was deemed a threat to coalition aircraft and they were
attacked with precision-guided bombs. No RAF aircraft were involved.

The level of retaliatory strikes has increased significantly in the past
three months. At the beginning of the year, there were relatively few
responses from coalition aircraft, despite a high rate of attacks from Iraqi
surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery. There were only six
airstrikes in the first four months of the year in both southern and
northern no-fly zone areas.

In May, June and July there were 14. But since August 5 there have been 32
retaliatory airstrikes. This month, the three strikes so far were all
against targets at or near Tallil and al Kut.

The targets in recent weeks have included air defence operational
facilities, integrated operations centres, command and control sites and
mobile air defence radars. US bombers hit a ground-launched anti-ship
missile facility near Basrah on September 8 after the Iraqis had started to
target coalition warships in the Gulf.

On board the USS Abraham Lincoln, American bomber pilots admitted that the
daily patrols over the no-fly zones had become a dress rehearsal for war and
provided an opportunity to damage Iraq's military capability in the lead-up
to a conflict.

A senior officer in the carrier said: "To fly over the same territory you're
going to be fighting over is a real luxury. It makes it infinitely easier.
We have gained a significant amount of combat experience."

The pilots have been authorised to hit a wider range of targets. The officer
said: "The target set has changed a bit since we were last here two years


by Dan Robinson
Palestine Chronicle, 12th November

WASHINGTON - Democrats in the House of Representatives have chosen
California lawmaker Nancy Pelosi as their new leader. She becomes the first
woman to lead either of the two dominant political parties in Congress.

Mrs. Pelosi's election comes as the Democratic Party struggles to re-define
itself in the wake of disappointments in the recent mid-term elections.

Known for her spirited stands on traditionally Democratic causes, such as
the economy and health care, she succeeds Richard Gephardt, who served eight
years as party leader.

Mrs. Pelosi became the highest-ranking woman ever in Congress earlier this
year when she became House Democratic whip, the party's number two position.

After her selection Thursday, she said Democrats will continue to work with
President Bush and Republicans in the 'war on terrorism'. But she says that
under her leadership, Democrats will not hesitate to take a stand on
important domestic and other issues.

"Where we can find our common ground on the economy, and on other domestic
issues, we shall seek it," she said. "We have that responsibility to the
American people. Where we cannot find that common ground, we must stand our

Mrs. Pelosi represents the liberal wing of the party, a fact her main
opponents for the position emphasized before a closed-door vote was taken.

One of two challengers for the post of Democratic leader was Harold Ford, a
conservative 32-year-old African-American congressman from the southern
state of Tennessee.

"The opposition that Democrats will have to offer over the next two years,
is a constructive, forceful opposition, but one that also offers an
alternative course," Congressman Ford said.

Mrs. Pelosi dismisses criticism that her liberal background will cost her
party votes in 2004.

Speaking to reporters, she vowed to include all the party's ideological
factions in rebuilding a democratic message for voters in 2004.

"What the Democrats will do, working together, is to build consensus around
an economic growth message," she said. "And that will be right down the
center. So it is not about contrast right to left. It is about a message for
economic growth."

Mrs. Pelosi voted against the congressional resolution giving President Bush
authorization to launch possible military action against Iraq. Her
predecessor, Richard Gephardt, worked closely with the White House in
crafting a bill that eventually passed in the House and Senate.

She initially voted against a bill to create a new government department of
homeland security, criticizing its size and expense, but voted for a
compromise that passed the House Wednesday.

The Democrats election of Mrs. Pelosi stands in sharp contrast to House
Republicans who chose conservative Texas Congressman Tom DeLay as the new
majority leader in the House.

Mr. DeLay, and soon-to-be Republican majority leader in the Senate, Trent
Lott, have made it clear they intend to use the mid-term election result to
help President Bush push his legislative objectives in Congress.

by Daniel Pipes
Hartford Courant, 15th November

Americans agree on two facts about the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq: its
brutality and the danger it poses, especially the danger of nuclear attack.
Disagreement arises primarily over what to do: Take out the regime now? Give
Baghdad another chance? Follow the United Nations' lead?

Visit an American university, however, and you'll often enter a topsy-turvy
world in which professors consider the United States (not Iraq) the problem
and oil (not nukes) the issue.

Here's a sampling of opinion:

Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and far-left luminary, insists that President George W. Bush and
his advisers oppose Saddam not because of his many crimes or his reach for
nuclear weapons. "What they're aiming at, as we all know - let's not be
innocent - Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world," Chomsky
said in an interview earlier this year.

Jim Rego, visiting assistant professor of chemistry at Swarthmore College,
stated at a panel discussion that even after Sept. 11, the U.S. government
was merely manufacturing another enemy "to have an identity." Rego explained
his thinking with an elegance characteristic of the left: "I think we've run
out of people's butts to kick and that we essentially want to keep the
butt-kicking going."

Eric Foner, professor of 19th-century American history at Columbia
University, states that a pre-emptive war against Iraq "takes us back to the
notion of the rule of the jungle" and deems this "exactly the same argument"
the Japanese used to justify the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Glenda Gilmore, an assistant professor of history of the American South at
Yale University, tells her school paper that confrontation with Iraq
represents a plot to expand American power. It is nothing less, she asserts,
than "the first step in Bush's plan to transform our country into an
aggressor nation that cannot tolerate opposition." She concludes by quoting
the wisdom of a cartoon character: "We have met the enemy, and it is us."

Mazin Qumsiyeh, associate professor of genetics at Yale University and
co-founder of Al Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition, wrote in The
Day of New London that "if Saddam Hussein is a dictator, we [America]
created him." The only purpose of war would be to provide cover for Israel
to commit what he calls "even higher atrocities" against Palestinians by
removing them from the West Bank and Gaza.

These views are unfortunately routine for the U.S. academy, which for some
decades has been the major American institution most alienated from the rest
of the country.

Of course, professors have every right to express their opinions, however
cranky and mistaken. Yet the relentless opposition to their own government
raises some questions:

Why do American academics so often despise their own country while finding
excuses for repressive and dangerous regimes?

Why have university specialists proved so inept at understanding the great
contemporary issues of war and peace, starting with Vietnam, then the cold
war, the Kuwait war and now the war on terror?

Why do professors of linguistics, chemistry, American history, genetics and
business present themselves in public as authorities on the Middle East?

What is the long-term effect of an extremist, intolerant and anti-American
environment on university students?

The time has come for adult supervision of the faculty and administrators at
many American campuses. Especially as we are at war, the goal must be for
universities to resume their civic responsibilities.

This can be achieved if outsiders (alumni, state legislators, non-university
specialists, parents of students and others) take steps to create a
politically balanced atmosphere, critique failed scholarship, establish
standards for media statements by faculty and broaden the range of campus

Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum, a pro-Israel think tank
in Washington. He recently founded Campus Watch (,
which critiques how Middle Eastern studies are taught at U.S. colleges and

by Michael Theodolou
The Times, 15th November

SEDUCE THE EARS, and the hearts and minds will follow. Such is the thinking
behind Radio Sawa, a jaunty new US-funded Arabic language radio station that
is striving to counter deep anti-American sentiment in the Middle East.

At first the station sounds like any other pop music channel. In a typical
hour, 50 minutes might be taken up with Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears,
Lionel Richie and the occasional Arab superstar such as Amr Diab.

It's the other 10 minutes that show the difference. Dramatic jingles
separate punchy items of news, delivered in Arabic, from Washington studios.

Sawa, which means "together" in Arabic, is slick, professional,
commercial-free and broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The pop station represents a key change in tactics. The US Administration
has shut down the serious, occasionally stodgy Arabic service of the Voice
of America. Radio Sawa's energetic young news director, Mouafac Harb, says
of his station: "In Arabic, we call it 'non yawning programming'." Yawning
programming, by implication, was what was provided by the VOA, which had
less than 2 per cent penetration in the region.

"You have to make the news fast-paced, to the point, the kind that would
appeal to a young audience," adds Harb, a 35-year-old Lebanese American and
the former Washington bureau chief of Al Hayat, the respected pan-Arab

Inevitably, Radio Sawa is being called "pop-aganda". Certainly the lexicon
is different from that used on traditional Arab stations. Its listeners hear
terms such as "suicide bombings" instead of "martyrdom operations". But will
the station achieve its aim of helping to shift public opinion away from
fundamentalism and anti-Americanism? Critics suggest that young Arabs will
take the sound but discard the agenda.

Radio Sawa's music-driven format is heavily marketresearched and tailored
specifically to appeal to young people in the Arab world, where 60 per cent
of the population  some 300 million people  is under 30. Response from its
audience is solicited keenly.

"I wanna tell that your programs are sooo wonderful, cause you have a
balance between programs," gushes a typical e-mail sent to the station by a
listener in Iraq, where Radio Sawa is said to be providing stiff  and
unwelcome  competition to two popular channels run by Saddam Hussein's
eldest son, Uday.

Planning for Sawa was under way before the September 11 attacks, but these
made the project more urgent. It began broadcasting in March, and since then
it has worked hard to make itself available throughout the Arab world, using
FM where possible but also AM, short-wave, digital audio satellite and the

It is received on FM in Kuwait, Jordan, the West Bank, United Arab Emirates,
Bahrain and Qatar. A powerful new transmitter in Cyprus beams it on
medium-wave to Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, the Levant,
and parts of Saudi Arabia. Listeners in Baghdad tune in to transmissions
from Kuwait.

"There's a media war going on in the Middle East," says Norman Pattiz,
chairman of the Middle East committee of the US Broadcasting Board of
Governors, an agency of the US Government, and creator of Radio Sawa. "The
weapons of that war include hate, radio and television, incitement to
violence, government censorship, journalistic self-censorship and
disinformation. And up until now, the US has not had a horse in this race."

Anti-American sentiment has led to an unofficial boycott of US brands in
some Arab countries, and there are those who believe that Radio Sawa is
another US product which should be blacklisted. "It seeks to brainwash and
instil American ideas in the minds of the rising generation," complained
Al-Ra'i newspaper in Jordan.

Those at Sawa insist it is not a propaganda station, even though it is
US-funded. Congress allocated it $35 million (22.5 million) for the fiscal
year 2002, including $16.4 million for the one-off capital costs of
transmitters. The Bush Administration has requested $21.7 million for the
station for the next fiscal year, including $5.4 million for the operational
costs of transmitter stations.

But, as The Washington Post observed recently, Sawa is "non-ideological, not
even identifiably American" and is "designed as entertainment rather than
public posture".

The aim, says Pattiz, is "to have an American voice in the region so that
people can listen to an interpretation of our policies, of our culture, of
our people, from our own lips, and then they can decide". The Broadcasting
Board of Governors acts as "a firewall between the independence of our
journalists and the pressures that may be put upon us by the State
Department or the Administration".

Harb adds that "media consumers" in the Middle East are "highly
sophisticated, very much politicised and you cannot try to play with the
news. You just tell it the way it is".

Even critics concede that Sawa is popular and that its audience is growing
fast. Independent research showed that it was the favourite station of more
than 50 per cent of listeners in its target audience. The question is, do
listeners tune in merely for the music and switch off for the newscasts?

Contrasting styles: Radio Sawa and Radio Damascus

Some excerpts from news bulletins broadcast on the same day last month:

1. On the death of a Palestinian in Nablus.
Radio Sawa: "A Palestinian is killed by Israeli gunfire in Nablus."
Radio Damascus: "Despite the curfew imposed by the Israeli occupation army
on Nablus for more than 100 days, tension prevailed today over the area of
Nablus where a Palestinian youth, aged 15 years, was martyred and five
others were wounded in various confrontations between Palestinian civilians
and the occupation army."

2. On the Iraqi diplomatic offensive in the Gulf by Iraq's foreign minister,
Naji Sabri.
Radio Sawa: "Sources said Iraq was probably asking the Gulf states not to
allow the US to use their military installations as launching points for
attacks on Iraq."
Radio Damascus: "Diplomatic and political efforts continue against the US's
insistence to wage an aggression against Iraq. Iraqi foreign minister, Naji
Sabri, said the US stand is a dangerous threat to the future of the region."

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