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News, 9-15/11/02 (2) RESOLUTION 1441 b) IN IRAQ * 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 INSIDE IRAQ * Contracts Worth $0.5bn Signed at Baghdad Trade Fair NO FLY ZONES * 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 IRAQI/US RELATIONS * 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 RESOLUTION 1441 b) IN IRAQ http://www.iht.com/articles/76644.html * IRAQI DEPUTIES URGE SADDAM TO STAND FIRM 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 dignity." 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 destruction. "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 sovereignty?" 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. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/nov/13/111307889.html * IRAQ AGREES TO RETURN OF INSPECTORS 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 deadline. 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 inspectors. 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 reservations." 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 weapons. "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. [.....] http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=351602 * SADDAM'S MERRY DANCE CANNOT HIDE THE SAD INEVITABILITY OF EVENTS 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 move. 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 Iraq." http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/ny iraqrestext1113,0,5363848.story?coll=ny%2Dnationworld%2Dheadlines * TEXT OF IRAQ'S LETTER TO U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL 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 shameless. 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 accommodated. 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 http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1035873280723&p=1012571727172 * IRAQ TO ALLOW IN WEAPONS INSPECTORS 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." INSIDE IRAQ http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=11/11/02&Cat=9&Num=15 * CONTRACTS WORTH $0.5BN SIGNED AT BAGHDAD TRADE FAIR 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 Iraq. 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." NO FLY ZONES http://www.dailystarnews.com/200211/09/n2110913.htm * US, BRITISH JETS AGAIN BOMB IRAQI DEFENCES 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 said. 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 province. [.....] http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/world/1656225 * U.S., BRITISH JETS BOMB IRAQ "NO-FLY" ZONE 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 said. 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 statement. The strike occurred at about 10:15 p.m. Iraq time. Damage was still being assessed. 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. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/11/11/1036308618039.html * COALITION FIGHTERS ATTACK IRAQI MISSILE SITES 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. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-477537,00.html * LATEST AMERICAN AIRSTRIKES PAVE WAY FOR AN INVASION 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 invasion. 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 War. 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 ago." IRAQI/US RELATIONS http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20021114181701811 * WOMAN WHO VOTED AGAINST WAR ON IRAQ ELECTED DEMOCRATIC LEADER OF US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 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 ground." 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. http://www.ctnow.com/news/opinion/op_ed/hc pipes1115.artnov15,0,7208056.story?coll=hc%2Dheadlines%2Doped * WHY DO PROFESSORS ROUTINELY OPPOSE AMERICA? 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 discourse. Daniel Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum, a pro-Israel think tank in Washington. He recently founded Campus Watch (www.Campus-Watch.org), which critiques how Middle Eastern studies are taught at U.S. colleges and universities. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7-480293,00.html * BUSH'S NEW MEDIA STRATEGY: POP-AGANDA 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 newspaper. 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 internet. 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." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk