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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/2512151.stm Monday, 25 November, 2002, 20:39 GMT Tony Blair answers your questions uye If the US goes to war in Iraq, will Britain be there too? You could put this question, or any other on international affairs - from the situation in the Middle East to European Union enlargement or famine in Southern Africa - to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a special edition of our phone-in programme Talking Point. This unique opportunity is part of the celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the BBC World Service. Use the form at the bottom of the page to send your questions. If you'd like to speak directly to the Prime Minister, leave your phone number (it won't appear on the website). The programme will be shown LIVE on this webpage at 1630GMT on Tuesday, 3 December 2002. You can also hear the interview on the BBC World Service at 1900GMT. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Glen Rangwala" <email@example.com> To: "CASI discuss list" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Thursday, November 28, 2002 4:53 PM Subject: [casi] "Iraq admits plan to use chemical weapons" > Dear List > > There is an issue raised in The Times today that many of you might be > interested in. Richard Beeston, the diplomatic editor, runs a story > entitled "Iraq admits plan to use chemical weapons", which claimed to quote > an "unnamed Iraqi official", making a statement to that effect. This > alleged admission is then used explicitly to back up the British > government's case for war. > > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-495141,00.html > > The problem is that the "unnamed Iraqi official" seems not to say this at > all - the allegation (and the quotation) comes straight from the Israeli > intelligence front organisation, the "Middle East Media Research Institute" > (MEMRI). > > The interview with the Iraqi official was in al-Quds al-Arabi on > Tuesday: http://www.alquds.co.uk:8080/2002/11Nov/26NovTue/Quds01.pdf. > MEMRI and Beeston base their allegations on this interview. > > In contrast to the title of the Times piece, the unnamed Iraqi official > doesn't indicate plans to use chemical weapons. He mentioned two situations > in which Iraq had in his conception defended itself (Faw, Halabja) using > CWs in the past, and then at the end of the article says: > > "don't expect us to stand idly by in the face of any threat that wants to > obliterate us and banish us not only from power, but from life as well." > > (my translation; MEMRI and Beeston use a slightly erroneous: "do not expect > us to stand idly by in the face of any aggression that seeks to destroy and > banish us not only from the regime but also from life.") > > The Iraqi official's statement seems to read to me as a statement about the > Iraqi regime's determination to repel invaders, with an ambiguity over the > means. MEMRI by contrast leap straight in with: "In the first statement of > its kind, a senior Iraqi official confirmed that his country is not ruling > out the possibility of using weapons of mass destruction to defend the > regime." > > http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SA402 > > Beeston follows suit, a labels this "a complete contradiction of the > official Iraqi position": > "Iraq has given its first warning to the West that it does possess weapons > of mass destruction and that President Saddam Hussein would be prepared to > use them if his regime was threatened." > > British official sources then back up the MEMRI/Beeston line. It's possible > that this will be used as "proof" of the regime's lies when the statement > on 8 December claims (as we all expect it will) that Iraq has no > non-conventional weapons. > > MEMRI have have frequently distorted texts by providing inaccurate > headlines, summaries of articles and statuses of contributors to the Arabic > press. > > Examples are at: > http://www.arabmediawatch.com/reports/memri.htm > http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,773258,00.html > > All the best > Glen. > > > _______________________________________________ > 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 > _______________________________________________ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk