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News, 22-29/11/02 (3) IRAQI/US RELATIONS * US-based body slams US tracking of Iraqi americans * Ironworker broken by Iraqi captivity * Iraq, oil and security * US military chiefs visit troops in Gulf * City Council to hold forum on resolution against Iraq war * Sen. Lugar Plans Hearings on Iraq * Thinking with a Manichaean bent * Who minded Iraqi mustard gas in 1983? * Lilliputians loosening ropes on Gulliver IRAQI COLLABORATION/OPPOSITION * Iraqi defector insists he was ordered to gas Kurds * Iraqi opposition issues democracy plan for post-Saddam era * Why the ICP does not participate in the Opposition Conference? IRAQI/US RELATIONS http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/021122/2002112224.html * US-BASED BODY SLAMS US TRACKING OF IRAQI AMERICANS Arabic News, 22nd November The Arab Anti-Discrimination Council (ADC) has slammed the tracking of Iraqi-American nationals for security reasons. "In the past few days, several media reports have discussed a possible plan by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to monitor and interview Iraqi-Americans in an effort to identify potential threats to national security," ADC said. According to media reports, this plan may involve tracking thousands of Iraqi citizens and Iraqi-Americans. These reports claim that the DOJ plans to begin voluntary interviews of Iraqi members of the Arab-American community asking them to report suspicious activity related to Iraq. The ADC said it has received multiple inquiries from Iraqi-American organizations and individuals concerned with the potential use of national origin and/or ethnicity as the sole reason for questioning individuals as potential suspects. If correct, this proposed plan would ethnically profile thousands of individuals, including American citizens, which smacks of guilt by association and the incrimination of an entire ethnic population, ADC added. ADC emphasized to members of the Iraqi-American community and the Iraqi-immigrant community that equal protection and due process rights are afforded to everyone, including non-citizens, in the United States. ADC would advise concerned persons contacted by law enforcement authorities of the right not to answer questions without the presence of an attorney, the absolute discretion whether to submit to any voluntary interview, the absolute discretion in selecting the date, time, and location of any voluntary interview as well as who may attend the interview and what questions to answer during such a voluntary interview. http://www.detnews.com/2002/nation/0211/24/a04-18630.htm * IRONWORKER BROKEN BY IRAQI CAPTIVITY by Richard Leiby Detroit News, from Washington Post, 24th November Lake Havasu City, Ariz. -- Jack Frazier was a legend. The rugged 6-foot-4 ironworker took on the toughest construction jobs in the world. In Saudi Arabia's 130-degree desert, he rigged 50,000 tons of steel for a $2 billion petrochemical plant. He nearly lost use of his hands while supervising a refinery job in Kazakhstan's 40 below winter, but finished months ahead of schedule. When Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait in 1990, Frazier was on a massive oil project in Iraq for Bechtel Corp., the U.S. construction conglomerate. Held hostage with other Americans in Baghdad and denied his diabetes medicine, he went blind in one eye. But Frazier returned to the war zone to help Bechtel put out the oil fires Saddam's army set in Kuwait. Today the legend is disappearing. "I've shrunk," Frazier mutters in disgust from his narrow bed in a nursing home here. His arms and legs are withered, raw and ulcered. More than two months in captivity without medication caused severe, irreversible health problems, doctors say. "The way my body is deteriorating, I may have a year or two at the most," says Frazier, 65. He sobs for several minutes. "It still gets to me." "Take a couple of deep breaths," says Deanna Frazier, an optimist who believes her husband and his fellow victims of Iraqi cruelty will see justice. After all, last year U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson awarded Frazier $1.75 million, to be paid from about $2 billion in frozen Iraqi accounts in U.S. banks. After all, the president himself declared that evildoers like Saddam must pay for their crimes. Just one problem. The Bush administration, for all its loathing of Saddam, has been reluctant to allow any former hostages -- including scores used as "human shields" -- to receive the Iraqi money. The State Department opposes legislation that would let 177 victims collect $93 million in court-awarded judgments. The agency's position is that using the blocked assets to pay judgments will not deter terrorism. This all started a dozen years ago. The call came to his Baghdad hotel room at 10:30 p.m. "Get ready. We're going into hiding," a Bechtel supervisor told Frazier. It was Aug. 18, 1990, 16 days after the invasion, and Saddam had barred Americans and other foreigners from leaving Iraq and Kuwait. Bechtel, which had 108 employees and dependents in Iraq, was working with the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization on an oil refinery and petrochemical plant about 60 miles from Baghdad. That night, a number of Bechtel employees gathered in their hotel lobby with overnight bags and small supplies of food and water. Around midnight, they headed for waiting taxis and embassy vehicles. "Where are you going?" one of the Iraqis asked, trying to detain them. Frazier felt someone snatch a bag from his hand. In that bag were his diabetes and blood pills. Bechtel people from other hotels and expatriates found diplomatic sanctuary several miles from the U.S. Embassy in the home of April Glaspie, U.S. ambassador to Iraq. The home had a pool and gardens, but just four bedrooms. Eventually 55 people crowded into the residence. Iraqi sentries were stationed at the exits. Some ex-hostages fault Bechtel for putting them in jeopardy, but anyone who takes such an assignment knows it can be dangerous. Though most of the hostages weren't physically abused, captivity instilled psychological terror. Many grew depressed and felt expendable -- especially since U.S. officials had made clear they would not negotiate with Iraq over hostages. Stress aggravated Frazier's diabetes. His optic nerve was damaged; he would never regain sight in that eye. As the weeks wore on he dropped 50 pounds, aggravating his diabetes -- which, untreated, can damage every organ of the body. A delegation of Iraqi-American businessmen flew to Baghdad on a peace mission, meeting with Frazier and other hostages. After their plea to Saddam, the dictator released 14 Americans on medical or humanitarian grounds Oct. 23. "I have been a lot of places and done many things in my life," Frazier told a Washington Post reporter after landing in New York. "But I have to tell you, the most traumatic thing I have ever done was get in that car yesterday and drive away from my friends. That is something I will never forget." He couldn't shake feelings of guilt. He felt he'd run out on the others. After being freed, Frazier spent 15 days in the hospital. That November, he went to Bechtel headquarters to videotape a message the company hoped would reach its 64 still-captive employees, in which he spoke of Bechtel's diligent efforts on their behalf: "They're trying, guys. And this is not a paid political statement. ... I don't know if they're doing it right or not, but I know the effort's genuine." But it all came down to what Saddam willed. In one of his periodic charm offensives, he allowed all remaining hostages to leave Iraq and Kuwait starting Dec. 9, 1990, about five weeks before the U.S. began bombing. Up to this point in Frazier's story, the primary villain has been clear. But in his quest for compensation, he sees two other antagonists: his own company and the U.S. government. In Bechtel's view, Frazier put himself in harm's way to make a buck. It has aggressively fought his workers' compensation claims. >From his wheelchair in the nursing home, Frazier responds: "They have shown me that loyalty, dedication and hard work mean nothing." After the Gulf War ended, Bechtel had a contract to suppress hundreds of oil and gas well infernos in Kuwait. In 1992 he filed a disability claim in California for lost eyesight and other health problems. Attorneys for Bechtel and its insurer disputed his medical evidence. He eventually settled for $50,000. In February 1999, Bechtel terminated him. He was 61. He got a letter from the company's human resources department: Sign a secrecy agreement and turn in your badge. Not even a thank-you. Around that time Frazier qualified as fully and permanently disabled under Social Security guidelines. (His federal check comes to $1,350 a month.) He also was one of the first to sign up with a Washington lawyer, Daniel Wolf, who was suing Saddam in federal court and hoped to unfreeze Iraqi assets for the ex-hostages. Frazier filed a claim in California for disability benefits and medical costs from 1995-98, when he worked for Bechtel. Over the years, several experts would reach the same conclusions: Frazier's health woes started in captivity in Iraq and worsened progressively. Last December, Judge Jackson awarded a dozen plaintiffs $300 million in punitive damages against "the defendant Saddam Hussein." Jackson also parceled out compensatory awards totaling $9 million. Frazier, who had suffered the greatest physical problems, got the biggest award: $1,749,000. The California disability ruling came down Oct. 25 -- 12 years and two days after Frazier was freed from Baghdad. That judge sided with Frazier, too, saying the combined effects of captivity in Iraq and "the stress and strain of his (later) employment with Bechtel" caused him total and permanent disability. The ruling means medical bills totaling $328,500 should be the responsibility of Bechtel or its insurer. The judge also awarded Frazier retroactive disability payments of $108,445, plus $490 a week for the rest of his life. Jeff Berger, Bechtel's public communications manager, says the company's insurer will appeal. http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/nov/25/25112002pd.htm * IRAQ, OIL AND SECURITY by Mahmood Elahi Bangladeshi Independent, 25th November The easiest way to get cheap oil would to arrive at some kind of agreement with Saddam Hussein which will let Iraq export its vast oil supplies and bring down the oil prices to the pre-invasion of Kuwait levels. In fact, this was the earlier strategic thinking in which the United States thought Saddam would become a protector of its Arab neighbours against any Iranian desire to dominate the region. Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was a rude awakening. Since then it was security of Kuwait and other militarily weak Middle Eastern states that was the main concern of the United States. After his defeat in 1991, Saddam Hussein is trying to build weapons of mass destruction, hoping it will give him the necessary leverage to dominate the region again. The widely held argument that a U.S. attack on Iraq stems primarily from a desire to gain access to Iraq's oil reflects ignorance of basic economic principles and the reality. As Canadian historian, Dr. Mark Proudman, recently pointed out: "If the real objective of U.S. policy was simply to get cheap oil, it would only need to lift the blockade of Iraq, thus letting the enormous Iraqi oil reserves onto the market, and probably driving the price of oil below $10 a barrel. The problem, of course, is that money would go into the coffers of Saddam Hussein, and would then get spent on nuclear weapons." It is obvious that it is not oil, but Saddam's brutal regime that is the crux of the problem. To understand what an aggressive regime means, one has only to look at Japan during the World War II. Here was a militarist Japan which attacked Pearl Harbor without any provocation and was carrying out a war of aggression against its neighbors. Defeating and disarming Japan was the top priority of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But once Japan was defeated and became an ally, President Ronald Reagan had been urging Japan to rebuild its military to share the responsibility to protect Asia from any Soviet expansionism. What a difference a regime change makes! Similarly, as long as Saddam Hussein is in power, he will use his oil wealth to build weapons of mass destruction which he might again use to threaten his neighbors as he has done before. The real danger is that once Saddam has nuclear weapons, he might assume this would free him to conduct conventional aggression with impunity. With nuclear deterrent, he might try to reconquer Kuwait wrongly thinking that the U.S. and its allies would shrink from taking any action for fear of nuclear retaliation. Saddam may not be suicidal, he is capable of serious miscalculation when he thinks he is strong. His refusal to withdraw from Kuwait in 1991 even when a formidable U.S.-led force was ready to go into action to oust him from Kuwait is a clear example of this. Another great danger Saddam poses is terrorism. As Dr. Khidir Hamza, a top Iraqi nuclear physicist and director of Iraq's nuclear weapons program before his defection in 1993, wrote after September 11 in The Los Angeles Times: "Then there is scariest possibility of all: Iraq has the capability to produce biological agents, including anthrax, in large quantities - not just raw anthrax in liquid form, which almost anybody can prepare, but in a powder that is effective as a terrorist tool. Whether Hussein was involved in providing spores and powder that hit Codgers, the U.S. postal service and other people and institutions is irrelevant; it is his capability to do it that should concern us." Clearly, it is about security and military threats that Saddam Hussein poses that is crux of the problem. It is about Saddam's using his oil wealth to acquire nuclear and bio-chemical weapons of mass destruction. Bio-chemical weapons are particularly threatening because they can be unleashed clandestinely and perpetrators are difficult to identify. A year after the anthrax attacks, the United States does not know who was behind these attacks. Such an unconventional attack, one that would combine Iraq's easy-to-hide bio-chemical weapons with the terrorists' skill, can be devastating. It's about these military and security threats. Oil is important for the world economy. But oil without security is like living in a house without any roof. http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_109472,00050001.htm * US MILITARY CHIEFS VISIT TROOPS IN GULF Hindustani Times, 27th November Reuters, Dubai, November 27: The chiefs of the United States Air Force and Army and the head of US Central Command, General Tommy Franks, are in the Gulf this week visiting US troops that could be part of a possible invasion of Iraq. Their tours coincide with the start of a new UN arms inspection regime in Iraq and the countdown to a December 8 deadline for Baghdad to declare all weapons of mass destruction or face the prospect of war with the US and allies. A spokesman for the US Fifth Fleet in Bahrain said on Tuesday the visits by Franks, Air Force chief General John Jumper and Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki were Thanksgiving Day morale-boosters for US troops in the Gulf. The holiday takes place on Thursday. "They're in the region in support of USO (United Services Organisation). It's a low-key visit. It's not for the media. It's to give the troops a pat on the back," the spokesman told Reuters. The US has been reinforcing troops in the Gulf for a possible attack on Iraq. US President George W Bush has threatened to use force to disarm Iraq if Baghdad failed to honour a new UN Security Council resolution providing for a tough inspection regime. Most of Washington's Gulf Arab allies publicly oppose a US attack on Iraq. Bahrain's BNA news agency said Franks, who might command any invasion of Iraq, visited Bahrain on Tuesday and held talks on Iraq and other issues with King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa. King Hamad stressed the need to safeguard regional security and stability and uphold UN resolutions and "reiterated the role of the United States in protecting peace and international security", the agency said. The Saudi Press Agency said Jumper visited Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and held talks with Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz. On Monday, Prince Khaled held talks on the Iraq crisis with General Franks, the agency said. Newspapers said Jumper and Shinseki were in Kuwait on Monday, where the United States now has about 10,000 troops. Saudi Arabia has not made it clear if it would allow its American ally to use the main US command-and-control centre for the Gulf, at Prince Sultan air base near Riyadh, in the event of war. http://www.sunspot.net/news/local/bal md.peace27nov27,0,6369602.story?coll=bal%2Dlocal%2Dheadlines * CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD FORUM ON RESOLUTION AGAINST IRAQ WAR by Tom Pelton Baltimore Sun, 27th November Peter D. Molan is no dreamy peacenik. He not only supported the bombing of Afghanistan last year and the Persian Gulf war of 1991, he helped the Pentagon execute these attacks as an intelligence analyst for the Department of Defense. But now Molan, who recently retired and lives in Baltimore, is strongly opposed to the war that President Bush is threatening against Iraq. Molan believes Bush is "delusional" about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and argues that invading Iraq will unleash worse violence in the Middle East and undermine the Pentagon's efforts to hunt down the real enemy - Osama bin Laden. This evening, Molan is scheduled to air his views in what many might consider an odd venue: Baltimore's City Hall. The City Council is holding a public forum on the possible war at 5 p.m. in a fourth-floor hearing room, as it considers a resolution opposing the war. While some deride the City Council - which was designed to debate such issues as local sewer and water rates - as a silly place to address U.S. foreign policy, Molan and other supporters of the resolution say that a growing number of local governments see themselves as a fitting podium from which voters should voice their opinions about the war. The City Council in Washington approved Nov. 7 a resolution opposing unilateral U.S. military action in Iraq, after similar votes in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, Calif.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Seattle; Kalamazoo, Mich.; and several other, mostly liberal cities around the country. Suburban and more conservative local governments, such as those in Howard, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, have not taken up such antiwar resolutions. Molan, 61, who holds a doctorate in Middle Eastern studies from the University of California, Berkeley, believes Baltimore City government should be worried about war with Iraq because it would drain federal resources needed for local education and crime fighting, among other issues. Molan said he will speak out tonight in City Hall because he has tried every other means of expressing his opposition to the war. He has written letters to the president and congressional representatives and newspapers. And he joined in a peaceful protest on the anniversary of Sept. 11. "What the U.S. is proposing to do in Iraq now is what Saddam did in 1990 - completely upsetting the political structure that has been in place in the Middle East since World War II," said Molan, an analyst and translator for the Department of Defense from 1984 until last year. "We could completely destabilize the whole Middle East," said Molan. "Does the administration, with its oil connections, really hope to take control of Middle Eastern oil? It does seem that that could be a motivation here." City Councilman Kwame Osayaba Abayomi, who proposed the resolution, said tonight's meeting will help collect public opinion before a possible vote on the antiwar resolution by the full council Dec. 9. The resolution opposes "the United States' continued and threatened violation ... of international law by the unilateral, preemptive military action against the nation of Iraq." This would not be the first time the council has waded into international affairs. The council in past years has passed resolutions demanding the right of self determination for the Lithuanian people, condemning slavery in Mauritania, criticizing the repression of the Ahmadiyya religious movement by the Pakistani government, and calling for the end of violence in Northern Ireland and apartheid in South Africa. Louis Cantori, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said it is remarkable that a former Department of Defense analyst with Molan's credentials would be among those testifying in a local government chambers about the possible war. "He's no lightweight," said Cantori. "He's spent his whole career as a senior intelligence analyst for the U.S. government." http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/bw-cong/2002/nov/27/112705281.html * SEN. LUGAR PLANS HEARINGS ON IRAQ by Ken Guggenheim Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 27th November WASHINGTON- The United States had the luxury of military and political support from more than 30 nations, including prominent Arab states, the last time it took on Saddam Hussein's Iraq. This time, if war comes, how large the force would be is uncertain. But even should it come from far fewer countries, the next chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says, "It will be just as effective in terms of the military result." Sen. Richard Lugar, who takes over the committee when Congress reconvenes in January, said in an interview Tuesday that the difficulty of proving chemical and biological materials in Iraq are intended for weapons could undermine chances of winning support from reluctant allies, such as France or Russia. He said he hopes that any attack would be backed by a broad coalition, as it was when President Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, marshaled a U.S.-dominated coalition to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in 1991. Lugar, considered a Senate expert on arms control and foreign affairs, recognizes that may be impossible. Iraq probably will insist that any chemical or biological materials it possesses are used for peaceful purposes, Lugar said, and it would be difficult for the United States to prove otherwise. "Some countries might argue that the United States is too eager to find problems here, and further proof is required for the world community," he said. Iraq is likely to be the dominant issue facing Lugar's committee, but he commented on a wide range of topics in an Associated Press interview looking ahead to Lugar's tenure. He said: -The United States should insist that Saudi Arabia do more to stop the financing of terrorists, "with the implied threat the United States will take charge of the situation, and we will attempt to impose some controls." With possible war with Iraq approaching, the United States should have high expectations of its allies, Lugar said. "This is a time that firmness ought to be on the part of the United States," he said. -His committee is likely to hold hearings on reports that Pakistan, a close ally in the war against terror, has helped North Korea's nuclear weapons program. -He wants to follow up a program he began 11 years ago with then-Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., to dismantle nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union. Lugar said a similar program is needed to address weapons of mass destruction in other nations. Iraq faces a Dec. 8 deadline for providing the United Nations with details of its nuclear, chemical and biological programs, and U.N. inspectors will determine whether it is meeting its obligation to disarm. Leaders in Iraq have insisted the nation has no weapons of mass destruction. Lugar said that is not true. Lugar, who also headed the Foreign Relations Committee in 1985-1986, said he plans hearings on what Iraq might be like in the aftermath of any U.S. invasion. Many lawmakers are concerned about questions such as the difficulty of finding qualified political leaders and the potential for ethnic and religious conflict. On Tuesday, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld complaining that he has been unable to get information from the Pentagon about how the conflict might affect oil prices and supplies. The Pentagon said the letter was being reviewed. Lugar also said he is planning hearings to explore overall political situations overseas. Like current chairman Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., Lugar has stressed the importance of bipartisan cooperation on the committee. One area of possible dispute is the nomination of Otto Reich for the top State Department position on Latin America. Lugar said he has told the Bush administration he hopes someone else will be nominated. Given the turmoil in the region, "I think we really need a very, very strong leader who has strong bipartisan confidence." Bush bypassed Congress in January and gave Reich a recess appointment as assistant secretary of state last year after Democrats refused to hold hearings on the nomination. Democrats said he was unqualified; Republicans said he was being punished for his support of the Cuban embargo. The recess appointment ended last week, and Reich was named special envoy for the region. The Bush administration has not said if he will be renominated for the assistant secretary's position. On the Net: Lugar: http://lugar.senate.gov/ http://www.iht.com/articles/78370.html * THINKING WITH A MANICHAEAN BENT by William Pfaff International Herald Tribune, 28th November PARIS: The attitude of the Bush administration, and of the neoconservative policy community that supplies its ideas, is condescending at best to those who question its actions. The members of the administration and their backers claim a moral realism that their critics, specifically their European critics, allegedly lack. The Washingtonians are "grown-ups," in one particularly unfortunate recent formulation. Their "realism" consists in believing that there are evil leaders and governments in the world. They are under the impression that their critics are moral relativists, who do not recognize this. They interpret a reluctance to go to war against Iraq, and potentially Iran and North Korea, and an unwillingness to follow the United States in making radical government reorganizations and restricting civil liberties, in an ill-defined and thus far conspicuously unsuccessful war against terrorism, as evidence of this moral relativism. One might think it evidence of good sense or an informed prudence, but the Bush people believe themselves more farsighted than others. This is a recurrent fallacy in Washington. It was Madeleine Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, who provided this belief's most complacent statement when she said that the United States "sees farther" because it "stands taller," being more virtuous than other countries. George Ball, an immensely respected U.S. diplomat of the postwar period, argued in the 1960s that the United States is "unique in world history" because its foreign policy is disinterested. Europeans, he added, "have little experience in the exercise of responsibility divorced from ... narrow and specific national interests." He said this in explaining why the United States would win the war in Vietnam. Naturally this attitude does not always go down very well in other countries and has become a particular irritant in American relations today with Europe. The serious formulation of the neoconservatives' argument says that while the United States acts on moral realism, the West Europeans have adopted an idealistic view of international affairs that may be appropriate in dealing with the concerns of the European community but is irresponsible as an approach to an international order threatened by rogue states and anarchic failed states. It contends as well that the European view reflects a lack of courage and a deplorably selfish willingness to allow the United States to defend the international order while Europeans appease rogue rulers and seize shady commercial advantages that the United States high-mindedly scorns. In the past year, France and Germany have also been accused of displaying anti-Semitic sentiments, expediently concealed since Nazi and Vichy times but now rampant and ignored by a European leadership which in this respect is no better than that of the 1930s. In part, all this reflects old cultural attitudes tied to the complicated relationship of Americans of European descent to the countries their ancestors left in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in the case of the neoconservatives, many of them Jewish, the attitudes of children and grandchildren of the Nazis' victims. Not a great deal can be done to change any of this. It also presents, in an intense form, the same disagreement that has separated American governments from their European allies on a number of previous occasions. This, by analogy at least, is a theological disagreement. Dualism has always been a powerful tendency in religion, the unmistakable good - light - confronting darkness and evil. Both Calvinism and the 17th century Catholic heresy of Jansenism were affected by theological dualism, preaching predestination and the corrupting force of material goods and pleasures. Both had great influence on the American consciousness, the first through the 17th century Puritanism that shaped Congregationalism in the 18th century and the evangelical Protestantism of the 19th and 20th centuries. They preached that the world was replete with Satan's snares, and they took an activist approach to doing something about this. (Remember not only Prohibition but Carrie Nation and her hatchet.) The Jansenist influence reached the United States via Irish Catholicism, deeply Puritan in outlook. Manichaeism has become a generalized term, usually of abuse, but the religion originated (not far from Baghdad) early in the second century of the Christian era and was a synthesis of Zoroastrianism and Christianity, with several other Asian religious influences. Its dualism was of eternal war between God and Satan, light and darkness. It held that evil was physical, not a moral thing. Believers fell into two classes: the elect, or perfect, bearers of light, and their followers, who could hope to merit rebirth as elect. All others were sinners, destined to hell. Manichaeism itself had largely disappeared in Europe by the 6th century, although it influenced the medieval heresies of the Cathars, Albigenses and Bogomils. Its dualism is an interpretation of existence that has proved persistent and seductive. In the United States its religious expression has weakened, but its larger influence on the American mind, as it addresses foreign affairs, is stronger than ever. http://www.iht.com/articles/78492.html * WHO MINDED IRAQI MUSTARD GAS IN 1983? by Joost R. Hiltermann International Herald Tribune, 29th November WASHINGTON: In warning against a possible Iraqi chemical or biological strike against U.S. troops, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld remarked last week that "there's a danger that Saddam Hussein would do things he's done previously - he has in the past used chemical weapons." Rumsfeld should know. Declassified State Department documents show that when he had an opportunity to raise the issue of chemical weapons with the Iraqi leadership in 1983, he failed to do so in any meaningful way. Worse, he may well have given a signal to the Iraqis that the United States would close its eyes to Iraq's use of chemical weapons during its war with Iran, providing an early boost to Iraq's plans to develop weapons of mass destruction. As President Ronald Reagan's special envoy for the Middle East, Rumsfeld in December 1983 made the first visit by a U.S. official of his seniority to Baghdad, where he met President Saddam Hussein and Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz. Iraq had broken off diplomatic relations with the United States in June 1967. Now both sides hoped that the talks in Baghdad would facilitate a resumption of formal ties. The visit came at a time when Iraq was facing Iranian "human wave" assaults that posed a serious threat to the regime. In response, Iraq had started to use chemical weapons on the battlefield - primarily mustard gas, a blister agent that can kill. This was known in Washington at least as early as October 1983. State Department officials had raised the alarm, suggesting ways of deterring further Iraqi use. But they faced resistance. Washington, while taking a formal position of neutrality in the Gulf conflict, had started a pronounced tilt toward Iraq, providing it with significant financial and political support. As talking points and minutes of the meetings show, the aim of Rumsfeld's mission was to inform the Iraqi leadership of America's shifting policy in the Middle East. It was also intended to explore a proposal to run an oil pipeline from Iraq to the Jordanian port of Aqaba (a U.S. business interest involving the Bechtel Corporation), and to caution the Iraqis not to escalate the war in the Gulf through air strikes against Iranian oil facilities and tankers (which Washington feared might draw the United States into the war). There is no indication that Rumsfeld raised U.S. concerns about Iraq's use of poison gas with Saddam Hussein. But in a private meeting with Tariq Aziz, he made a single brief reference to "certain things" that made it difficult for the United States to do more to help Iraq. These things included "chemical weapons, possible escalation in the Gulf, and human rights." There is no record of further discussion of chemical weapons or human rights at these meetings, which covered the length and breadth of the warming relationship. Rumsfeld did, however, place considerable emphasis on the need for Iraq to prevent an escalation in the Gulf conflict via attacks on Iranian oil installations and tankers. Certainly nothing suggests that he told the Iraqi leadership to take care of "certain things" before diplomatic relations could be restored. The senior U.S. diplomat in Baghdad reported a few days later with evident delight that "Ambassador Rumsfeld's visit has elevated U.S.-Iraqi relations to a new level." But, he noted, "during and following the Rumsfeld visit we have received no commitment from the Iraqis that they will refrain from military moves toward escalation in the Gulf." The record of the war suggests that, flush with their new confidence in U.S. backing, the Iraqis may have felt that they were now less restrained. They attacked Iranian oil facilities and ended up drawing the United States into the war, in 1987. In the first Iranian offensive after Rumsfeld's visit, in February 1984, Iraq used not only large amounts of mustard gas but also the highly lethal nerve agent tabun. It was the first recorded use of the nerve agent in history. In November 1984, shortly after Reagan's re election, diplomatic relations between the Washington and Baghdad were restored. Iraq made increasing use of chemical weapons on the battlefield and even against civilians. This culminated in the wholesale gassing of the Kurdish town of Halabja in March 1988, causing the deaths of several thousand innocent men, women, and children. Eventually Iraq was able to force a cease-fire with Iran after eight years of fighting. The American public should demand a full accounting for the support its leadership provided Iraq in the past, including its green light to chemical weapons use - weapons that Washington is belatedly claiming should be destroyed. The writer, Middle East project director for the International Crisis Group, is preparing a book on U.S. policy toward Iraq, with partial support from the Open Society Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. He contributed this comment to the International Herald Tribune. http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/commentary/story/0,4386,157699,00.html? * LILLIPUTIANS LOOSENING ROPES ON GULLIVER by Strobe Talbott Straits Times, 29th November WHEN Mr George W. Bush assumed office in January 2001, many in his administration believed that the United States was a Gulliver who had given the Lilliputians the ropes to tie him down. Theirs was a new, more assertive, less consensual brand of internationalism. American foreign and defence policies would be rooted in the pre-eminence of American power and the willingness of the President to use that power to advance US interests, unfettered by international agreements or institutions. Sept 11 provided an almost ideal opportunity for the US to demonstrate what it could do to its enemies with a combination of military prowess and political will. A combination of international sympathy, outrage and solidarity muted, for the time being, complaints that Mr Bush was a cowboy in charge of a rogue superpower. Instead, as editorials in Europe and Asia commented at the time, the President suddenly had the look of a brave and righteous sheriff, like the Gary Cooper figure in High Noon. In that movie, the townspeople cower behind closed curtains and locked doors while the sheriff squares off against the villains on a dusty street. The war in Afghanistan, however, departed from the Hollywood script. Largely at the instigation of Secretary of State Colin Powell, the US assembled a broad-based coalition, so that when the showdown with the Taleban and Al-Qaeda came, the scene had more the look of a sheriff and a posse driving the bad guys out of town. Then came the Iraq sequel. The administration hoped to apply the energy generated by US induced regime change in Kabul to accomplishing the same objective in Baghdad. But it had trouble transferring international support for its handling of Sept 11 to its campaign to oust Mr Saddam Hussein. In the late summer, there seemed to be a growing determination, personified and articulated by Vice-President Dick Cheney, to dispense with the United Nations and do whatever it took, with whoever would join an ad hoc coalition, to bring down Mr Saddam. President Bush kept that option open when he went to the UN on Sept 12. He warned the UN that it risked becoming irrelevant and going the way of the League of Nations. But, in a strategy designed largely by Mr Powell, Mr Bush said he would prefer working through the Security Council and using a tough new resolution as the instrument for forcing Mr Saddam to disarm or, if Mr Saddam refuses, as the basis for military action. The tactic worked. The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution with teeth. THAT'S the first of the ironies that critics of the administration's mindset and mode of operation must recognise: Mr Bush's ultimatum - his threat to act independently of the UN - may actually have saved the body from precisely the irrelevance that he warned against. But there's a second irony: having won something close to the resolution he wanted, Mr Bush may now be all but locked in to a UN framework for dealing with Iraq. He will no doubt reiterate that the US has all the authority it needs to pull the trigger on Mr Saddam. Indeed, he must keep reminding the UN of his determination, or the UN will slip back into playing a cat-and-mouse game with Mr Saddam in which the mouse wins. Still, having brought the Security Council this far, Mr Bush is likely to stay with that process. To break ranks with the UN would cost him international legitimacy, the participation of many states both in the conduct of the war and the keeping of the troubled peace that will follow. So on the issue of Iraq, at least, Mr Bush has become a multi-lateralist, even a traditionalist in his preference for working through international bodies in dealing with the villains of this world. That leads to the third and final irony: Mr Bush may well end up dealing with Iraq in a fashion that is quite consistent with the way his predecessor, Mr Bill Clinton, dealt with similar threats to international peace. The post-Cold War years reveal a pattern in the way that three American presidents have made their country's power the driving force behind interventions on behalf of the international community. The first president Bush did that in the 1991 Gulf War. He used his personal rapport with Mr Mikhail Gorbachev to keep the Soviet Union, then in its dying days, from casting a veto in the Security Council. During the Clinton administration, the US led the UN and other global or regional bodies in the military operations and in the nation-building that followed: in Haiti in 1994, air strikes against the Serbs in Bosnia in 1995; and the bombing of Serbia in 1999. THE current Bush administration, for all its initial determination to repudiate anything and everything Clintonian, is now poised to deal with Mr Saddam in a similar fashion, whether dealing with him means merely disarming him or - the unmistakable preference - decapitating him. Back in the administration's early months, it was often said that what distinguished the new President's approach to the world from his predecessor's (and, for that matter, from his father's) was that those earlier occupants of the White House operated on the slogan: together if possible, alone if necessary, while with Mr Bush, it's the other way around. Iraq may play out as a disproof of that conventional wisdom and as a reminder that there remains a high degree of continuity in American foreign policy. If so, that will come as a relief to much of the rest of the world, and it will increase the chances that others will follow the American lead in the future. The writer was US Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001. Copyright 2002 Yale Center for the Study of Globalisation. IRAQI OPPOSITION http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/326/nation/Iraqi_defector_insists_he_was_o rdered_to_gas_Kurds+.shtml * IRAQI DEFECTOR INSISTS HE WAS ORDERED TO GAS KURDS by Khaled Yacoub Oweis Boston Globe, 22nd November LONDON (Reuters): The most senior Iraqi defector alive, who is facing a possible war crimes case in Denmark over the gassing of Kurds, said yesterday that he was horrified by the chemical attacks but had been powerless to stop them. General Nizar al-Khazraji, who was chief of staff of the Iraqi Army when Kurds in northern Iraq were subjected to genocide in 1988, said he could not have resigned because that would have put his life in danger. "The concept of resignation does not exist in Saddam's Iraq," Khazraji said by telephone from Soro, west of Copenhagen. "My family would have been also killed if I tried to step down." Iraqi military operations to crush a Kurdish rebellion killed up to 200,000 Kurdish civilians in 1988. The genocide, which the Kurds call al-Anfal, included razing thousands of villages, depopulation, and bombing Kurdish areas, such as Halabja, with chemical weapons. "Ask British and US military intelligence, and they will tell you about Iraqi command structure: Saddam alone ordered Anfal, and Ali Chemical executed it," said Khazraji, referring to Ali Hasan al-Majid, who is President Saddam Hussein's son. Khazraji fled to Jordan and four years later applied for political asylum in Denmark. An independent group of Kurds has been trying to bring a war crimes case against Khazraji. Local news reports said Khazraji had been placed under house arrest, but an official said he had only been denied permission to travel and was required to inform the police of his movements. The two Iraqi Kurdish parties that have controlled an enclave in northern Iraq since the end of the 1991 Gulf War also supported the general. "We have not been given any proof that he took part in any gassing operation against the Kurds," said a spokesman for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. A Kurdistan Democratic Party official said in a telephone interview from northern Iraq: "We have not seen sufficient evidence to implicate him. We believe the real perpetrators of those crimes are still outside the law." http://www.iht.com/articles/78312.html * IRAQI OPPOSITION ISSUES DEMOCRACY PLAN FOR POST-SADDAM ERA by Judith Miller International Herald Tribune, from The New York Times, 27th November Iraqi opposition members are circulating a detailed plan for transforming Iraq from a dictatorship into an essentially secular democracy in two to three years if President Saddam Hussein is removed from office. The plan, "The Transition to Democracy in Iraq," was formed after fierce debate among representatives of a State Department-supported group that consists of Iraqi intellectuals in exile, representatives of human rights groups, other private organizations and representatives of leading Iraqi opposition groups. The document, 98 pages long, suggests that the groups have been able to compromise over divisive issues like the role of religion and ethnicity in a post-Saddam Iraq. It endorses a set of principles that its authors say enjoys broad support among opposition groups, like democracy, federalism, respect for the rule of law and human rights, and a "road map" for the transition to a government that would begin organizing in exile. On Monday, a State Department official welcomed what he characterized as the latest "draft" of the document and endorsed several of its major principles. But he said that the administration did not favor the "road map" the paper recommended and that it opposed any effort to establish a government in exile that might "disenfranchise" prospective opponents of Saddam's government in Iraq. The major authors discussed the paper Monday at a meeting with Condoleezza Rice, national security adviser to President George W. Bush, and other White House officials. People at the meeting said Rice had invited the group back to discuss their ideas further next week. She had previously expressed reservations about establishing a transition government that might rule out internal alternatives to the fractious opposition that has emerged in exile, officials said. The document being circulated is widely expected to be considered next month at a major conference of opposition groups. Deep ideological disputes and mistrust of one another had prompted opposition leaders to postpone such a meeting set for this month, which the Bush administration had intended to be a showcase for an emerging unity among the opponents of Saddam. It had originally been scheduled for Nov. 22 in Brussels, but opposition leaders said they now expected it to be Dec. 10 in London. The paper maps out a process - no more than three years - that would culminate with elections in which Iraqis would vote on a constitution and the structure of a new government, almost certainly without the participation of the current ruling party, the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party. The report says a "transitional" government would be responsible for guaranteeing basic human and political rights. Torture would be forbidden, as would arbitrary arrest, detention and exile. All citizens would be considered equal no matter their sex, race, religion or ethnicity. Some issues remain so divisive that the authors chose to offer competing alternative visions or to defer them. Although they recommended that Iraq undergo "de-Ba'athization" similar to the "de-Nazification" of Germany after World War II, the paper also noted that some opposition groups strongly oppose outlawing the Ba'ath Party. Similarly, although the authors clearly favor separation of religion and state, they defer the issue of what relationship should exist between the new state and religion, specifically between the government and Islam, to which the overwhelming majority of Iraqis subscribe, although in different branches. The major obstacle for the Bush administration is the two-stage process that the paper endorses. "We want an identifiable leadership to come out of this process, a leadership that can become the future leadership of Iraq," said Kanan Makiya, a prominent dissident who was a major author of the paper. Toward that end, the document assigns a pivotal role in establishing the "transitional authority" to the opposition groups in exile and to the Kurds of northern Iraq. The Kurds are under the protection of Gulf War allies within a no-flight zone. The core of the "transitional authority," the paper states, should be drawn from those 4 million Kurds and the 3 million Iraqis in exile. The assertion of a lead role for the exiles has been resisted not only by the State Department but also by some smaller Iraqi groups that fear being marginalized by Ahmed Chalabi, founder of the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella group in London. Chalabi has strong support in the Pentagon and from Vice President Dick Cheney's office. http://www.kurdmedia.com/news.asp?id=3174 * WHY THE ICP DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE OPPOSITION CONFERENCE? Kurdmedia.com, 25th November The Iraqi CP will not be taking part in the "Opposition Conference" which is to be held in London next month, due to "differences regarding how such a conference should be convened, and how to build an alliance", in addition to "differences in opinion regarding the way to deal with international forces". Mr. Hameed Majid Mousa, the Secretary of the party's Central Committee, has said in an extensive interview with the independent Kurdish weekly "Hawlati" which is published tomorrow (25/11/2002), "The proper way of convening such a conference is through direct consultations among Iraqi patriotic opposition forces, without interference or patronage from any foreign quarters." Mr. Mousa pointed out that keeping out foreign interference and patronage "does not, at all, negate our need and desire for international support and backing". "The priority, however, is to activate our Iraqi forces in the struggle against the dictatorial regime, and only then to approach the international community and its members, including the United States. In this way, we would be laying the basis for a normal relationship within a framework of international legitimacy, in congruence with the UN Charter". The Iraqi Communist party leader said that the relationship with the US should be built on the basis of equality and mutual respect which is in line with Iraqi people's interests, rather than on subservience to the "Iraq Liberation Act" and implementation of American schemes. "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. Mr. Mousa pointed out that the exclusion of the Iraqi Communist Party, in advance, from the preparatory work for the "Conference", is "a political stance; and not a technical administrative one". The party's disagreement with the "conference" and with this project is, therefore, of a political nature and has nothing to do with the level of representation reportedly allocated to the party. He stressed that the party's decision not to participate in the proposed conference "does not mean it would have a negative impact on our bilateral relationship" with many of the forces which will be taking part in it. "Each party is free to take the position which it considers to be proper, and believes to be the best, and more useful and beneficial for the people and their interest". He added: "We have always considered our principal objective to be getting rid of the dictatorship, and establishing a democratic alternative which embodies the people's will and interests: a unified democratic Iraq, in which the Kurdish national question would be resolved on a federal basis". BM Al-Tarik, London , WC1N 3XX, UK Fax: 0044(207) 419 2552 E-mail: email@example.com Internet: www.iraqcp.org _______________________________________________ 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