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News titles, 22-29/11/02 Its beginning to look as if the Iraqi government will stick to their insistence that they have no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The pro-war party is therefore getting jittery as it tries to a) discredit the inspectors, b) discredit the whole idea of inspections; c) devise all sorts of possibilities as to what Mr Hussein might be able to do with his weapons. They are, in other words, assuming that the inspectors won't find anything and they are searching for all possible means to resist the conclusion that that might be because there is nothing to be found. Never mind that a large part of the evidence in the British dossier can be checked. The new building at old weapons research and manufacture sites for example. Of course stuff can be removed and hidden (and the USUK insistence on a new resolution has given plenty of time for this to be done); but it must be difficult to conceal all traces from the ultra-technology the inspectors claim to have (at Iraqi expense if I'm not mistaken); and the Iraqis have no way of knowing what these 'toys' can or cannot do. It may then be assumed that the 8th December deadline will be followed by a pretty intense and disagreeable quarrel between the US advocates of war and the inspectors. Much of it will turn on the kidnapping of Iraqi scientists and their families who will then be offered glittering incentives to spill the beans. Whether they spill any beans or not they will probably be regarded with suspicion by the Iraqi government if they go back home; but the offer to remain in the US only applies if they deliver the goods. Then there will be a question as to whether any revelations they might make would need to be verified. And so it goes. And the latest word being put about is that the US do not feel pushed for time and are quite happy to wait until next Autumn if that is what it takes. Altogether it would be simpler if the inspectors just were to discover something ... Some articles to be recommended this week: Iraqis battered and bewildered ('Inside Iraq'); Western concepts of nation-building; Iraqi cancers, birth defects; War plan aims to balance old, new (all in 'Implications of War') and If Iraq operation takes place ('Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan'). NEWS, 22-29/11/02 (1) INSIDE IRAQ * Iraq Christians Pray for Peace * Taking on 'Uncle Saddam' with sarcasm, smugness [Somewhat less than admiring review of the Joel Soler film, 'Uncle Saddam'.] * Rights group [Indict] accuses Saddam's son of torturing sportsmen * Standing by Saddam from a distance [Report on feeling in the Iraqi community in Jordan and interview with Ibrahim Janabi of the collaborationist Iraqi National Accord.] * Iraqis battered and bewildered by front-line life [At last someone (Tim Llewellyn of The Scotsman) has taken the trouble to puncture the absurd, cruel, constantly repeated lie that the Southern No Fly Zone is in place to protect the Iraqi Shia. After visiting the Shia heartland at Kerbala he concludes: 'As I return to Baghdad, I wonder what this volatile mixture might be fostering at its resentful heart.' He doesn't seem to be thinking of volatile resentment against S.Hussein.] * Emigres discuss 'change' in Baghdad [Visit of Iraqi National Alliance] URL ONLY: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA021122UncleSaddam.h tml * Documentary Uncle Saddam Reveals Curious Needs of Iraqi President ABC News, 22nd November [Favourable account of French filmmaker Joel Soler's documentary Uncle Saddam] INSPECTIONS * Blix to Go Down in Iraq Art History, If Arms Report "Good News" ['"If the report is positive and brings good news to Iraq, then I will draw a portrait of Blix with our President Saddam Hussein," said Salam Abid, one of the main Saddam portrait artists in the country.'] * Iraqi Official Surprised by U.N. Visit [at Al-Amaritah graphite rod factory] * Iraq Seen As a Weapons Turning Point [Inspections techniques as model for future enforcement of nonproliferation treaties.] * UN arms experts inspect 4 suspected labs in Iraq * Weapons Inspectors' Experience Questioned [Discredited UNSCOM spies, jealous at being excluded from UNMOVIC, engage in sexual tittle tattle.] * Iraq admits plan to use chemical weapons [Glen Rangwala has already commented to the list on this deeply dishonest article from The Times. Which crops up in a number of other newspapers (eg Straits Times, The Australian). It is based on remarks from an unnamed official who is really only saying what anyone would expect him to say under the circumstances: 'Don't mess with us if you know what's good for you.' That sort of thing.] * Saddam hides arsenal in people's homes [A 'stream of intelligence' tells us that huge quantities of highly toxic material is being stored in the homes and farms of thousands of private people throughout Iraq. The same stream of intelligence tells us that morale and loyalty is cracking up everywhere. Which suggests that relying on huge numbers of ordinary people to conceal the mustard gas may be a risky strategy. And all the stream of intelligence has to do is find one concrete example and get the information to the inspectors and that will be that, will it not? The Times looks as if it is going to go in for the sort of thing.] AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/11/02 (2) IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * U.N.: Iraq Confused on Meeting Demands [Confusion as to what sort of information should be given in the report on its chemical industries] * U.S. Military Wants Certain Drugs Barred from Iraq [Disagreement over the possible need to revise the list of goods to be allowed into Iraq without review.] * UNICEF sees gain in the well-being of Iraqi children * Excerpts From Iraqi Foreign Minister's Letter [Complaining about Res 1441] * U.N. Extends Iraq Food Plan for 9 Days [The quarrel over US tampering with the goods review list has been put off to next week] * U.N. Council Predicts Showdown on Iraq [over the proposed alterations to the goods review list] * U.S. fears Iraq may try to jam GPS signals [This gives more details of the sort of equipment the US wants to block. Reading this in conjunction with the description of the sort of technology the US intends to use (in 'War plan aims to balance old, new') would cause one to smile, if one had a more robust sense of humour than I possess.] IRAQI/UK RELATIONS * Ministers Accused over Iraq Backbench Rebellion * Anti-war MPs rebel over Iraq [It seems that in the event it was the dissident Lib Dem amendment that was debated, not the supportive Conservative one. Michael Ancram insists that the Kurds are not under any circumstances to be given a right to self determination.] * Poll shows Britons equally split on Iraq war [New Guardian poll. The pro-war camp has increased at the expense of the don't knows. Which suggests that the poison of 'United Nations' credibility is having its effect.] * Rebels lay down barrage of criticism [Account of debate mainly turning on whether UN authorisation is necessary or merely desirable for going to war. J.Straw reasonably enough taunts the Liberal Democrats with P.Ashdown's enthusiasm for the non-UN authorised war on Yugoslavia.] * Loophole 'forces Kurds into destitution' [In Britain. They aren't refugees bcause their homeland is safe (!) but they can't go home because they have to pass through Baghdad airport which isn't.] * Experts doubt Brown's £1bn war chest is enough for attack on Iraq * Frigate intercepts Iraqi contraband [HMS Argyll returns from its tour of shame in The Gulf.] AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/11/02 (3) IRAQI/US RELATIONS * US-based body slams US tracking of Iraqi americans [The Arab Anti-Discrimination Council] * Ironworker broken by Iraqi captivity [Jack Frazier awarded $1.75 million of Iraqi money because he was deprived of his diabetes medication for over two months. The question arises - what efforts were made to look after his wellbeing at a time when the US were refusing any contact with the Iraqi authorities in Kuwait?] * Iraq, oil and security [Mahmood Elahi of the Bangladeshi Independent gives a pretty thoroughgoing exposition of the US world view, including a reference to 'a militarist Japan which attacked Pearl Harbor without any provocation'. No provocation? An embargo which reduced Japan's foreign trade by three quarters and cut off nine tenths of her oil supply at source (John Keegan: The Second World War, p.203) wasn't a provocation?] * US military chiefs visit troops in Gulf ['The chiefs of the United States Air Force and Army and the head of US Central Command, General Tommy Franks.] * [Baltimore] City Council to hold forum on resolution against Iraq war * Sen. Lugar Plans Hearings on Iraq [Richard Lugar takes over as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a role he fulfilled in 1985-6 - the time of the mining of the Nicaraguan ports if I'm not mistaken] * Thinking with a Manichaean bent [William Pfaff sees US self righteousness as the result of a theological error deeply rooted in the national tradition and reinforced by the experience of European Jews coming to the US as a refuge from fascism.] * Who minded Iraqi mustard gas in 1983? [At a time when Richard Perle's moral compass was pointing in the other direction.] * Lilliputians loosening ropes on Gulliver [Strobe Talbott argues that by treating the world with unilateral insolence George Bush has succeeded in keeping up an illusion of multilateralism which establishes a continuity with the era of W.Clinton (and with himself as W.Clinton's Deputy Secretary of State).] IRAQI COLLABORATION/OPPOSITION * Iraqi defector insists he was ordered to gas Kurds [Contrary to what is suggested in the headline he doesn't actually admit to having done it. The KDP and PUK also express doubts as to his responsibility in the matter.] * Iraqi opposition issues democracy plan for post-Saddam era [Brief account of "The Transition to Democracy in Iraq" apparently largely authored by Kanan Makiya.] * Why the ICP does not participate in the Opposition Conference? ['"Salvation from the dictatorial regime is our cause and the cause of the Iraqi people, and it does not make sense to ignore this and to pin hopes on American war, American invasion and American "liberation". No! This is what the Iraqi opposition should take care not to fall into," he said.'] AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/11/02 (4) IMPLICATIONS OF WAR * The shape of future warfare [The article, a review of Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict, by Michael T Klare, reminds those of us who had forgotten of the 'Carter doctrine' that 'any move by a hostile power to gain control of the Persian Gulf area would be regarded "as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America" and would be resisted "by any means necessary, including military force".'] * U.S. plan for post-Saddam Iraq reported [From military dictatorship to multi-ethnic democracy in three easy stages.] * Western conceit of nation-building ignores culture and history of Arabia ['No one seems to have noticed that toppling Saddam ‹ though it ranks a good deal lower on the agenda than toppling the Sauds ‹ is a necessary part of Osama's larger game plan. We're on the brink of an intervention that will rank in Arabian history beside the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration, and we are bringing to that intervention a terrifying mixture of ignorance and amnesia.' To be recommended as an exellent historical overview of the reasons for the present unsatisfactory state of Middle Eastern politics.] * If Saddam steps out of line we must go straight to war [Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist, argues with some passion for war on Iraq. Mainly on the grounds that Saddam Hussein is a bad man. His badness consists in the wars against Iran and Kuwait and the means by which they were fought. Mr Emmot does not deign to discuss the reasons for these wars and thus does not pose the question why, in the first of them, President Hussein enjoyed our support (and why we did what needed to be done to protect him from criticism for his use of unconventional weaponry). Nor does Mr Emmott explain why the invasion of Kuwait was worse than the invasion of Panama only a couple of years earlier. He is very shocked by previous Iraqi failure to comply with weapons inspoectors where someone else (myself for example) was very surprised by the degree of their co-operation. The abuse of the weapons inspection system for US military purposes and to prolong the sanctions regime passes beneath his notice. His strongest argument is that war is the only way to end the sanctions system which is a fertile breeding ground for grievance in the area. There is however an easier way to end it and that is just to end it, possibly with an apology for the suffering it has caused. He concludes that it is hypocritical to refuse force against Iraq and continue to advocate it to stop genocide in eg Rwanda or Bosnia. Here, at least as far as Bosnia and Kosovo are concerned, I agree with him. The case for war with S.Hussein is, I would suggest, stronger than the case for war with S.Milosevic.] * Iraqi Cancers, Birth Defects Blamed on U.S. Depleted Uranium [Lengthy article including an account of Doug Rokke] * Why it's now or never with Iraq [Fareed Zakaria lays out the nightmare scenario: 'Mr Saddam is planning to 'cooperate' for months, maybe years. If he does so, the momentum for genuine disarmament and war will slip away, and Russia and France will begin clamouring for economic sanctions against him to be lifted.'] * The First Military Resister in 2002 [We learn that 'during 1990-91's US military build-up in the Gulf, more than 13,000 US soldiers refused to serve or went AWOL' and that 'in times of war, the maximum punishment for desertion is death by lethal injection.'] * War plan aims to balance old, new [One of the motives for the war is undoubtedly to show off a new generation of weapons thus giving a huge boost to the US arms industry as all the stuff that a gullible world led by Saudi Arabia bought after Desert Storm is now looking pretty dated. Back in 1990 people were still using Amstrad computers for gawd's sake. The article is long but this stuff has a certain grisly fascination.] AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/11/02 (5) IRAQI/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS * U.S. Gets Positive Responses on Iraq [The article does not quite support the headline. Extracts on Saudi Arabia and France. See also URLs only] * Goff tells America where NZ stands on Iraq war [Probably 'humanitarian, medical or logistic support' but not troops] * India not yet prepared to ditch Iraq ['For the Iraqis, India's call for lifting of sanctions on Baghdad "in tandem" with its compliance with UN resolutions is refreshingly different from the standard Western position.'] * [German] Chancellor backpedals on Iraq stance ['"Now he has to decide whom to cheat ‹ his voters or our allies," said Edmund Stoiber, the defeated challenger from the Christian Democratic Union.' Stoiber of curse, as a man of principle, chose the 'allies' in rpeference to the voters right from the start.] * German Government in Disarray Over Iraq [Dispute over whether German devices to detect chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in Kuwait would be made available to the US in the event of an 'illegal' war.] * Belgrade anger at report of link to Baghdad [Belgrade anger at the suggestion that there may still be some shreds of defiance and national pride left in Serbia.] * Ukraine Probe's Focus Shifts to China [Surely the day must come when Ukraine, Serbia, China and Russia will summon up enough moral courage to tell these people to take a running jump.] * U.S. seeks to train interpreters in Hungary for possible war in Iraqi [language. This is because Hingary, billed together with other Eastern European countries as one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the New World Order, won't allow its territory to be used for training opposition fighters.] * Canadian official quits after calling Bush a 'moron' [Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien's director of communications, Francoise Ducros. Not clear from this account if her resignation was accepted but eventually she herself insisted on it.] * Russian plan to topple Saddam Hussein to prevent US occupation of Iraq [One can imagine some bright young thing working for the Rendon group coming up with this one as a way of giving a new twist to S.Hussein's already well established paranoia.] * 'SA Will Not Cower From Iraq Relations' [If he thinks it will do any good President Mbeki will visit Baghdad no matter what anyone says.] * Germany refuses US request over Iraq [Elsewhere this has been reported as Germany softening in its opposition to US policy but this seems to be a matter of allowing what it has to allow because of its treaty relations with the occupying power. The sooner it frees itself of these, surely, the better.] URLs ONLY: http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/international/ap_iraqi11222002.htm * Iraqi arrested in Kabul carrying explosives; Official says defense minister was target Boston Herald, from Associated Press, 22nd November [I retain the headline just to note the general rule that if a Kurd does something reprehensible he tends to become an 'Iraqi'] http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/nov/22/22112002ap.htm * Tepid response greets US call for troops in Iraq attack Bangladeshi Independent, 22nd November NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Turkish soldiers, Kurds [PKK] clash in north Iraq * Turks, Fearing Flow of Refugees, Plan Move Into Iraq [Memory plays funny tricks. According to this article, at the end of the Gulf Massacre, when President Hussein turned his attention to the Kurds, 'American troops .... rushed in to help deal with the crisis', which isn't exactly how I remember it. I do remember John Major outside Downing Street saying in effect that what the Iraqis did to the Kurds in the wake of his war was none of his business.] * If Iraq operation takes place (2) [Unfortunately I don't have part (1). This is an interesting statement of the Turkish view on its rights in relation to Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan (perhaps we should now add Southern Turkey?). To do with Iraq's 1932 Declaration to the League of Nations at the time of its 'independence' and with the 1926 Turkish/British agreement under which Turkey ceded its rights to Mosul. It seems Iraq was in material breach of this agreement and therefore according to one way of reading international law the ceasefire could be said to be annulled?] * Profile: Jalal Talabani [BBC account of Talabani's career. Some facts and dates, but little explanation.] * Iraqi Kurds fear for their future even after Saddam [The present position of the Kurds is terrifying with the US refusing to allow them any means of defending themselves either against the Iraqi or against the Turkish (or indeed Iranian) governments.] AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/11/02 (6) IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST RELATIONS * Iran, Iraq, Syria Urging Palestinians To Disrupt US 'Iraq Attack' Plans [Israel has to invade the West Bank in order to keep things calm for the US invasion of Iraq sez Sharon's spokesman Dr. Ra'anan Gissin.] * Iraq and Jordan sign oil deal [This seems to be just a renewal of the existing oil deal by which Iraq has kept the Jordanian economy going despite the Western and Saudi efforts to wreck it as punishment for not joining in the Gulf Massacre.] * Egypt, Yemen, and Jordan deny to have got US messages about Iraq * War against Iraq 'will not be the last one' [sez 'renowned Muslim scholar' Dr Ahmed Al Qubaisi. Any connection with the Abdul Jabbar el-Qubaysi or Rubaisi who appears as head of the loyal opposition Iraqi National Alliance?] * Al-Watan: A railway linking Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia * U.S. considers big aid package for Israel * U.S., Saudis in awkward diplomatic spat * Arab states 'could do more to avert war' [Von Sponeck hits the nail on the head. And they could also have done a lot more to end sanctions.] * Saddam tested his poisons in Iran war * Iraq war will hurt cooperation on terror - Yemen [Abdul-Karim Al Iryani, a former Yemeni prime minister and senior adviser to President Ali Abdullah Saleh. He also says: "Who in the world will have the genius ability to rule Iraq when the regime is removed by force? I can't imagine how it will be. I fear there will be many civil wars."] NO FLY ZONES * U.S. warplanes hit targets in Iraq for third day [Friday 22nd November, Basra province, near Al Amarah.] * US, UK planes bomb civilian Iraqi targets: Iraqi military [Saturday, 23rd November, Misan province in Southern Iraq.] * Coalition planes hit Iraqi mobile radar system [Sunday, 24th November, al-Amarah] * Iraq says it fires at Western jets in south [Tuesday 26th November] * Iraq Says Western Planes Fly Over Baghdad * Britain denies its planes flew over Baghdad * U.S.-British Planes Reportedly Kill One [Thursday 28th November, Nineveh province.] _______________________________________________ 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