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News, 29/11-6/12/02 (2) HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAQ * An Iraqi doctor's tale * Ten years on, and the human shield victims still seek justice * Iraq dossier: Key claims at-a-glance * Dossier reveals Iraq's torture regime * Report lacks first-hand information * Saddam's useful idiots pollute the British Left * Human rights groups scorn dossier on Saddam brutality * Media and political salvo hits activists * Blair hits back in Iraq torture row * Rights group demands IOC action over alleged torture of Iraqi athletes REMNANTS OF DECENCY * Iranian Film Director Calls For Peaceful Change of Regime in Iraq * Religious leaders [in Chicago] urge Bush against Iraq war * Thousands across Australia rally for peace * Turks Protest Possible War in Iraq * American Mothers Oppose U.S. War On Iraq * Sierra Club Opposes Utah Branch on Iraq * CND wins cap on costs in case against Iraq war * War - what is it good for? HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAQ http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl? /base/news-2/1038741072164640.xml * AN IRAQI DOCTOR'S TALE by Tom Gantert Anne Arbor News, 1st December Maha Hussain tells the story while sitting in a Starbucks cafe in Ann Arbor. A mother in Iraq hears a knock on the door. She opens it to the country's secret police, who give her a bill for the bullet they used to kill her son. The reason: harboring a Kurd. The police demand payment from the mother, who is also told she may not cry or mourn her son's death or have a funeral. Then, more bad news. Her daughter is in the hospital. She is dead, too, her throat slashed and her breasts chopped off. The family hopes her throat was cut first. Hussain is not repeating a story she read in Time magazine or off a Web site. "This," said the woman who left Iraq in 1980 and now lives in Ann Arbor, "is my family story." The mother was Hussain's aunt; the dead brother and sister, her cousins. As the United States prepares for a possible war with Iraq, Hussain believes force is the only thing that will topple Saddam Hussein, the man she once met when she was a teen ager. Thirty years later, she says the memory still gives her shivers. Hussain, 46, is a doctor with the University of Michigan Health System. She attended medical school in Iraq. She said would like to see Iraq begin a path toward democracy. She says force is the only way to end the 30 years of terror under which her people have lived. She says Americans can never truly understand what it is like to live under those conditions. "No Western mind can imagine it," she said. Hussain said Iraqis live in fear of who may turn them in for criticizing a tyrant's regime. She said school teachers urge their students to turn in their parents for speaking against Saddam. She said she knew a well-known physician who made a joke in London about the regime; when he returned to Iraq, his tortured, dead body turned up. Those informers, sometimes turning on their own family, are well rewarded. "A man whose son dies in one of Saddam's wars will get a new car," she said. "The reward can be massive. The punishment can be massive. After 30 years, the people are trained to be fearful and obedient." For Hussain, the training began early. When she was 13 her school bus was driven through downtown Baghdad, where 10 people, accused of spying for Israel, were hanging from poles in the center of town. Her bus passed within 20 feet of the bodies. It is her most vivid memory of the brutality. "How could you forget it?" she said. She acknowledges that not everyone from her country feels force is the only solution. Mohammed Alomari, 38, who graduated from the U-M in 1987, left Iraq in 1970. He is now a spokesman for Focus on American and Arab Interests and Relations. The organization, based in Southfield, says its mission is to promote fair policies and a better understanding of issues pertaining to the Arab World. The latest press release on FAAIR's Web site says the United States has no legal justification for launching a war against Iraq and details suffering caused by the United Nations trade embargo on Iraq. Alomari said an invasion would devastate the Iraqi people. "The hospitals, the schools, the civilian infrastructure will be destroyed," he said. "People die of diarrhea in Iraq because their drinking water is contaminated. If the goal is to change the government, it can be done the same way Saddam came to power. In a coup. It can happen. I can't tell you how and when. It will happen if the people want it." Hussain argued that 99 percent of Iraq's 23 million people detest Saddam and that the only Iraqis who support him do so because they are afraid or are very well paid. "These people are not willing to die for him," she said. Hussain has distant relatives in Iraq and realizes they could be punished for her words if they ever got back to her homeland. "A lot of us who are not speaking out are not for fear of family in Iraq," she said. "Some of us have made the conscious decision that enough is enough and the truth as we know it should come out." Tom Gantert can be reached at email@example.com or (734) 994-6701. http://observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,851485,00.html * TEN YEARS ON, AND THE HUMAN SHIELD VICTIMS STILL SEEK JUSTICE by Gaby Hinsliff The Observer, 1st December The videotape made harrowing viewing. More than a decade after it was shot, Patrick Herbert sat down yesterday and watched film of the moment that would come to dominate his life. The short tape recorded his audience with Saddam Hussein: a gaunt and bewildered Patrick, who had spent three months held captive at gunpoint along with thousands of foreign nationals being used as a human shield during the Gulf war, was shown being solemnly lectured on why he was a 'guest' of the Iraqi dictator. The British banker had been summoned to the presidential palace in Baghdad for the bizarre televised meeting as a propaganda stunt - prompted by the arrival of his wife Gwenette and nine other British women in Baghdad to plead for their husbands' release over the heads of the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. 'It is very, very easy to see how people come under his spell,' Herbert, who now works for the NHS, said yesterday. 'That meeting was extraordinary. Although we were sitting all around a fairly large room, and he was sitting at the head of it, you felt drawn to him. 'He has a magnetism, a charisma which in normal circumstances you would say was almost great, but was probably an evil charisma.' At the end of the lecture, Saddam suddenly announced that as a reward for the wives' 'bravery in the face of the tyranny of Mrs Thatcher', their men could go. Clutching an official photograph album of colour snaps of himself, his wife and their six-year-old daughter with a beaming Saddam, Herbert was freed, his terrifying ordeal over. Copies of the video and those photographs have now been turned over to lawyers attempting to prepare a landmark legal case against the Iraqi dictator. Britain's Attorney General is due to announce shortly whether he will allow a groundbreaking attempt by Indict, the pressure group chaired by Labour MP Ann Clwyd, to charge Saddam in the British courts with war crimes over his taking of British hostages during the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. A legal opinion prepared by Clare Montgomerie QC, a leading human rights barrister from Cherie Blair's Matrix chambers, concludes the case against Saddam is 'overwhelming': the Prime Minister has requested a copy. For Herbert, 57, and many other ex-hostages whose traumas have been revived by the prospect of another war with Iraq, it is the best hope of justice. He would rather see Saddam in court than toppled in a war risking civilian lives. 'I don't have feelings of vengeance. I just believe that it is part of the process of justice that he should be held to account,' says Herbert. Like many other Britons working in Kuwait, he believed the British Embassy's reassurance that increasing Iraqi aggression was only 'sabre rattling' and stayed on through the long hot days of July 1990. When the shells began landing on Kuwait City on 2 August marking the Iraqi invasion, he initially mistook them for the noise of building work. Herbert and a colleague went into hiding when the Iraqis ordered all Western citizens to come forward. But a month after the invasion came the knock at the door. 'I looked through the spyhole and saw 10 Kalashnikovs pointing at the doorway,' he recalls. He was taken first on a gruelling 14-hour journey to Baghdad, then flown back to the airport at Basra to act as a human shield, living 200 yards from a fuel dump which would have exploded and killed his 10-strong group of hostages had it been bombed. First came the terror: that subsided eventually into a constant, dull shredding of the nerves. 'You suffer from immense boredom, you are constantly on edge because everybody has a gun except you,' he says. 'I have heard hostages say they were never in any doubt that they would get away. That's just sheer bravado.' The guards were sometimes kind, sometimes brutal. The Basra hostages were once treated to a bizarre party to celebrate the reunification of Germany, complete with barbecue and cake iced in the colours of the German flag. Yet a fellow hostage later told Herbert he had been driven into the desert, blindfolded, surrounded by soldiers priming their rifles and convinced he was to be shot dead. Both men and women have reported being raped by their captors: beatings by guards were not uncommon. Nor did release mark the end of their troubles. Reports of depression, unexplained flashes of aggression, wrecked careers, and broken marriages are not uncommon: there have been two suicides. The parents of Colin Blears, the little boy whose fear as Saddam ruffled his hair in yet another televised propaganda exercise became one of the lasting images of the war, have said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder - as did Patrick Herbert. Maureen Chappell, who was captured with her engineer husband John and their two teenage children when their flight to Madras stopped over in Kuwait on the day of the invasion, says the drama deeply affected her children, who saw a Kuwaiti shot dead at the airport. Her son John, now aged 26, is still finishing his degree after repeatedly dropping out of his studies: her daughter Jennifer, 12 at the time, has been divorced and is currently out of work. 'It has been difficult for them to settle,' says Chappell. She too would rather see Saddam indicted than the West rush into war too hastily: 'I think all the shouting from America is not particularly productive.' Clwyd has secured the support of more than 80 MPs - including Conservative backbencher Andrew Selous, whose brother was a hostage - for the campaign to indict Saddam and three other senior figures: his Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz; his cousin and governor of occupied Kuwait, Ali Hassan Al-Majid, better known as 'Chemical Ali' for orchestrating the gassing of the Kurds; and Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. Clwyd is undaunted by arguments that there is no real prospect of them standing trial, saying that former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic was indicted despite widespread scepticism, and faces an international tribunal. In the US, Pentagon lawyers are compiling evidence for war crimes charges against the Iraqi regime. 'Our QC says, short of getting Saddam to sign a confession in blood, there is nothing more the law could possibly require. When people are looking at alternatives to war in bringing about regime change then this is a very strong proposition,' she said. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2533897.stm * IRAQ DOSSIER: KEY CLAIMS AT-A-GLANCE BBC, 2nd December Here are some of the key extracts from the UK government's dossier of alleged human rights abuses in Iraq. The dossier's introduction: Iraq is a terrifying place to live. People are in constant fear of being denounced as opponents of the regime. They are encouraged to report on the activities of family and neighbours. The security services can strike at any time. Arbitrary arrests and killings are commonplace. Between three and four million Iraqis, about 15% of the population, have fled their homeland rather than live under Saddam Hussein's regime. These grave violations of human rights are not the work of a number of overzealous individuals but the deliberate policy of the regime. Fear is Saddam's chosen method for staying in power. This report, based on the testimony of Iraqi exiles, evidence gathered by UN rapporteurs and human rights organisations, and intelligence material, describes the human cost of Saddam Hussein's control of Iraq. It examines in turn Iraq's record on torture, the treatment of women, prison conditions, arbitrary and summary killings, the persecution of the Kurds and the Shia, the harassment of opposition figures outside Iraq and the occupation of Kuwait. The United Nations Security Council and the UN Commission on Human Rights have repeatedly, over many years, condemned Iraq's human rights record. But Iraq continues to flout UN resolutions and to ignore its international human rights commitments. On 19 April 2002, the UN Commission on Human Rights passed a resolution drawing attention to "the systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror." On torture: Torture is systematic in Iraq. The most senior figures in the regime are personally involved. Saddam Hussein runs Iraq with close members of his own family and a few associates, most of whom come from his hometown of Tikrit. These are the only people he feels he can trust. He directly controls the security services and, through them and a huge party network, his influence reaches deep into Iraqi society. All real authority rests with Saddam and his immediate circle. Saddam is head of state, head of government, leader of Iraq's only political party and head of the armed forces. Saddam presides over the all-powerful Revolutionary Command Council, which enacts laws and decrees and overrides all other state institutions. Several RCC decrees give the security agencies full powers to suppress dissent with impunity. An RCC decree of 21 December 1992 guarantees immunity for Ba'ath party members who cause damage to property, bodily harm and even death when pursuing enemies of the regime. Saddam has, through the RCC, issued a series of decrees establishing severe penalties (amputation, branding, cutting off of ears, or other forms of mutilation) for criminal offences. In mid-2000, the RCC approved amputation of the tongue as a new penalty for slander or abusive remarks about the President or his family. These punishments are practised mainly on political dissenters. Iraqi TV has broadcast pictures of these punishments as a warning to others. According to an Amnesty International report published in August 2001, "torture is used systematically against political detainees. The scale and severity of torture in Iraq can only result from the acceptance of its use at the highest level." Over the years, Amnesty and other human rights organisations have received thousands of reports of torture and interviewed numerous torture victims. Although Iraqi law forbids the practice of torture, the British Government is not aware of a single case of an Iraqi official suspected of carrying out torture being brought to justice. Treatment of women and children: Under Saddam Husein's regime women lack even the basic right to life. A 1990 decree allows male relatives to kill a female relative in the name of honour without punishment. Women have been tortured, ill-treated and in some cases summarily executed too, according to Amnesty International. The dossier says that BBC correspondent John Sweeney said he had met six witnesses with direct experience of child torture, including the crushing of a two-year-old girl's feet. Prison conditions: Conditions for political prisoners in Iraq are inhumane and degrading. At the "Mahjar" prison "prisoners are beaten twice a day and the women regularly raped by their guards. Arbitrary and summary killings: Executions are carried out without due process of law. relatives are often prevented from burying the victims in accordance with Islamic practice and have even been charged for the bullets used. Persecution of the Kurds: Under Saddam's rule Iraq's Kurdish communities have experienced terrible suffering. Documents captured by the Kurds during the Gulf War and handed over to the non governmental oprganisation Human Rights Watch provided much information about Saddam's persecution of the Kurds. They detail the arrest and execution in 1983 of 8,000 Kurdish males aged 13 and upwards. Persecution of the Shia community: The Shia community, who make up 60% of Iraq's population is Iraq's biggest religious group. Saddam has ensured that none of the Shia religious or tribal leaders is able to threaten his position. He kills any that become too prominent. Harassment of the Opposition outside Iraq: The UN Special Rapporteur has received numerous reports of harassment, intimidation and threats against the families of opposition members living abroad. Occupation of Kuwait: Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August 1990. Iraqi forces committed robbery, raped Kuwaities and expatriates and carried out summary executions. Amnesty International documented many other abuses during the occupation of Kuwait. Methods of torture: ‹ Eye gouging ‹ Piercing of hands with electric drill ‹ Suspended from ceiling by their wrists ‹ Electric shock ‹ Sexual abuse ‹ Mock executions ‹ Acid baths Conclusion: This dossier does not include every Iraqi's personal story of suffering, caused by Saddam's regime, known to the British Government. There are sadly far too many to mention them all. But the evidence in the dossier is a faithful representation of what ordinary Iraqis face in their daily lives. It is no wonder that, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2001, Iraqis have become the second largest group of refugees in the world. Iraqis also top the table of foreign nationals seeking asylum in the UK. Saddam Hussein has been ruthless in his treatment of any opposition to him since his rise to power in 1979. A cruel and callous disregard for human life and suffering remains the hallmark of his regime. http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1344302002 * DOSSIER REVEALS IRAQ'S TORTURE REGIME by Gethin Chamberlain The Scotsman, 3rd December SADDAM Hussein and his sons, Uday and Qusay, are personally responsible for operating a regime of systematic torture and murder designed to crush any hint of dissent among the Iraqi people. The dossier, released by the Foreign Office yesterday, claims killings are commonplace and arrests arbitrary; there are reports of eyes being gouged out, tongues cut off, hands pierced with electric drills, prisoners hung from ceilings and locked in mortuary-style drawers, sexual abuse including rape, electric shocks applied to the genitals, prisoners thrown into acid baths, mock executions and cigarettes extinguished on the body. Publication of the report was seen as an attempt by the government to justify its increasingly belligerent stance towards Iraq, but human rights groups expressed scepticism about the timing and the motives behind its release. Irene Khan, the secretary general of Amnesty International, said: "This selective attention to human rights is nothing but a cold and calculated manipulation of the work of human rights activists. "Let us not forget that the same governments turned a blind eye to Amnesty International's reports of widespread human rights violations in Iraq before the Gulf War." Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said the dossier - based on intelligence material, first-hand accounts of victims and reports by non-governmental organisations - justified the government's position on Iraq. "By disarming Iraq, we not only help those countries in the region which are subject to Iraqi threats and intimidation, we also deprive Saddam of his most powerful tools for keeping the Iraqi people living in fear and subjugation," he said. Among the abuses detailed in the report are the systematic rape of women while in custody, the summary beheading with swords of dozens of women accused of prostitution and the killing of 5,000 people in Halabja in a chemical weapons attack ordered by Ali Hasan al Majid - known as Chemical Ali - Saddam's commander in the northern region of Iraq. The dossier describes how, at the Mahjar prison in central Baghdad where 600-700 prisoners are split between underground cells and former dog kennels, two large oil tanks have been built nearby to flood the prison with petrol and burn it down in an emergency. At the Directorate of General Security building in Baghdad, prisoners in the Sijn al-Tarbut - known as the Casket Prison - are kept in rows of rectangular steel boxes until they confess or die. The boxes are opened once a day for half an hour and prisoners get no solid foods, the report said. Some prisoners survive for up to a year. In the separate Can Prison, detainees are locked in metal boxes the size of tea chests. Each box is said to have a tap for water and a meshed floor to allow them to defecate. At the launch of the dossier, Hussain Al-Shahristani, a former chief scientist with the Iraqi atomic energy organisation, described how he was incarcerated for over a decade for refusing to comply with Saddam's orders. The scientist, who is now the chairman of the Iraqi Refugee Aid Council, said: "I was arrested, tortured and kept in solitary confinement for over 11 years for refusing to work on the military nuclear programme. "However, I was more fortunate than many of my fellow political prisoners . I did not have holes drilled into my bones. I did not have my limbs cut off by an electric saw. I did not have my eyes gouged out. "My three children were brought into the torture chamber, but they were not tortured to death in front of me to force me to make confessions to things I had not done. "Women of my family were not brought in and raped in front of me, as happened to many of my colleagues. "They only tortured me for 22 days and nights continuously by hanging me from my hands tied at the back and using a high-voltage probe on the sensitive parts of my body, and beating me mercilessly." The 23-page dossier - Saddam Hussein: crimes and human rights abuses - claimed there was no doubt about who is responsible for the catalogue of human rights abuses. It said: "Torture is systematic in Iraq. The most senior figures in the regime are personally involved. Saddam Hussein runs Iraq with close members of his own family and a few associates, most of whom come from his home town of Tikrit. These are the only people he feels he can trust." Saddam's elder son, Uday, was said to have been frequently accused of serial rape and murder of young women. "He maintained a private torture chamber, known as 'al-Ghurfa al Hamra' [the Red Room], disguised as an electricity installation, in a building on the banks of the Tigris," it said. On Qusay, the younger son, the document said: "As head of the Iraqi internal security agencies, he has permitted and encouraged the endemic use of torture, including rape and the threat of rape, in Iraq." http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-500921,00.html * REPORT LACKS FIRST-HAND INFORMATION by Richard Beeston The Times, 3rd December THE Foreign Office's report into human rights abuses in Iraq fails to advance substantially what is already known about the tactics employed by the regime in Baghdad to stay in power. Saddam Hussein: crimes and human rights abuses was meant to strengthen the case against the Iraqi regime, which was accused of concealing weapons of mass destruction in another dossier released by the Government in September. It is clear from reading the latest report, however, that receiving accurate and timely information from inside Iraq is a serious problem for the Foreign Office, which closed its Embassy in Baghdad in 1990, before the Gulf War. Eyewitness accounts of abuses are drawn mainly from second-hand sources, published remarks by journalists and human rights activists, who have interviewed the victims in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq or after they have fled the country. Many of those concerned are connected with the opposition, or have recounted their stories to groups linked to it. In the past the British Government has questioned the credibility of the opposition. Its claims are impossible to verify, because Iraq denies that abuses take place and refuses access to prisons and secret police offices. A greater effort could have been made to interview victims at first hand and to check out their stories. For example, Paul Wolfowitz, the US Deputy Defence Secretary, recounted yesterday how Scott Ritter, a former American United Nations weapons inspector, had visited a prison for children of enemies of the regime, where the oldest inmate was 12 and the youngest a toddler. This chilling first-hand account, by a man known to be sympathetic to Baghdad, could have a made a valuable contribution to the other testimonies. Documentary evidence is also problematic. All the documents published in the report are more than a decade old and many appear to be the same well-circulated government papers that were captured in the aftermath of the Gulf War. The videos present shocking footage of prisoners being beaten and executed. But it is not clear when and where the footage was taken, nor the identity of the Iraqis involved. The report also ignores the changes taking place in Iraq today. In October this year the Iraqi authorities released 10,000 prisoners, most of them criminals, in a general amnesty. Saddam has also invited some opposition figures back into the country to discuss allowing groups other than the Baath Party to run Iraq. In making its public allegations against Iraq, the British Government should keep in mind its experiences in the Balkans. Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serb leader, was compared to Pol Pot and Hitler and accused of mass murder and genocide. But as he stands trial now in The Hague facing those charges, the case against him is proving hard to make. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,482-500997 * SADDAM'S USEFUL IDIOTS POLLUTE THE BRITISH LEFT by Michael Gove The Times, 3rd December You can vaccinate key military personnel against smallpox. But you can't inoculate the British Left against its own strain of wilful stupidity. The Government yesterday chose to highlight the grotesque campaign of torture and brutalisation which President Saddam Hussein has been inflicting on his own people. Drawing on the work of the United Nations and human rights organisations, the Foreign Office briefly sketched the scale of Saddam's depravity. His regime beats detainees on the soles of their feet with metal cables until they lose consciousness, suspends individuals from the ceilings of cells while their ligaments tear, bores holes in the hands of prisoners and then pours acid into the wound, gouges the eyes out of its citizens and licenses official rapists. Saddam'S ruling clique inflicts these punishments as a matter of deliberate policy, ruling by terror, presiding over what the distinguished Iraqi dissident Kinin Midday calls a "republic of fear". None is immune from Sadden's calculating use of torture as a means of social control. It is not just the method he uses to cow his citizens, it is also the mechanism by which he imposes collective responsibility on his Cabinet. Two of the brothers of Iraq's Foreign Minister, Naja Sabre, have been held by Saddam's torturers and one, Muhammad, died at their hands. Last year the son of Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, was sentenced to 22 years in prison, then released, then rearrested, then released again. The habitual use of arbitrary power, and random violence, characterises Saddam's method of government. The men whom he chooses to act as his mouthpieces are broken creatures whose lives, and families, exist at Saddam's pleasure. When Mr Sabri and Mr Aziz do the Iraqi dictator's bidding we know they speak with his gun at their back. But what is Irene Khan's excuse? Ms Khan is the Secretary-General of Amnesty International and, as of yesterday, number one pin-up girl in Baghdad's presidential palaces. For her reaction to the publication of the British Government's dossier on Saddam's human rights abuses was not satisfaction that one of the world's most evil men was facing the scrutiny he deserved, but anger that something might be done about him. "This selective attention to human rights," Ms Khan pronounced, "is nothing but a cold and calculated manipulation of the work of human rights activists." Why is Ms Khan's reaction to this dossier condemnation for the British Government rather than the Iraqi? You would have thought that if Amnesty International were objecting to anyone's cold and calculated manipulation, it would be the Iraqi regime's wrenching of innocent civilians' arms out of their sockets. Having taken part in a Channel 4 debate with Ms Khan, in which she appeared for those arguing against the War on Terror, I know where she is coming from ‹ that unhappy section of the British Left whose antipathy to Western policy makes them Saddam's useful idiots. Like the Labour MP George Galloway, the Labour NEC member Mark Seddon, the FBU leader Andy Gilchrist, the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone or any of those currently arguing against action to topple Saddam, Ms Khan stands in the way of liberating a tortured nation. Why is it that so many of those whose political creed should be driven by a desire to emancipate those who are suffering choose to object to a course of action which would deliver millions from misery? There are certainly objections which anyone with a properly progressive conscience could make towards Western policy in Iraq. But they are not those of Ms Khan or her cohorts. The most telling criticism which any genuine human rights activist could make of the West's current stance is its decision to go down "the UN route" and return weapons inspectors to Iraq. As matters stand, the British and American Governments have chosen to put a discredited means above a valuable end. Seeking the approval of the United Nations for any action to deal with Iraq is the equivalent of asking a Mafia conclave for permission to tackle the Corleone family. Many of those who speak at the UN are representative of no one save the kleptocratic or autocratic cliques who hold power by force in their respective states. Deferring to their judgment does not lend sanctity to a course of action, it may even tarnish it. Those on the Left who argue that action against Iraq is justified only with United Nations backing are subcontracting their moral judgment to the butchers of Tiananmen Square, the Baathist dictatorship of Syria and Africa's choicest murderers. The same moral failure, the abdication of judgment, is apparent in the reliance many place on the UN's weapons inspectors. As individuals, many of these men and women are no doubt worthy souls. But as a method for dealing with the evil which is Saddam's Iraq they are sadly inadequate. The chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, has a truly shaming record of failure. Right up until the Gulf War of 1990-91 Mr Blix claimed that Iraq's compliance with weapons inspections was exemplary, and only after Iraq's defeat in that war was the full and terrifying extent of Saddam's progress towards nuclear bomb-making revealed. The sorry record of past weapons inspections which have run into the sand and past UN resolutions which have left a tyrant at leisure to torture underlines the inescapable truth of dealing with Saddam. The only way to get rid of the arsenal with which he hopes to terrorise us is to get rid of the man who so enjoys terrorising his own people. The only thing left puzzling me is why those who claim to believe in human rights are not willing to see something worthwhile done to uphold them. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-500919,00.html * HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS SCORN DOSSIER ON SADDAM BRUTALITY by Richard Beeston The Times, 3rd December THE publication of a British dossier on abuses in Iraq appeared to backfire yesterday when human rights groups cited in the document accused the Government of cynically trying to justify war against Saddam Hussein. The 23-page report, Saddam Hussein: crimes and human rights abuses, was billed by the Foreign Office as the most comprehensive investigation ever undertaken by a government into Iraqi atrocities. The document set out how the Iraqi authorities used mass arrest, torture and killings to suppress the Iraqi people, in particular the Kurds of the north and the Shia Muslims in the south. While providing little new information, it named individuals responsible for torture and killings and cited the testimony of victims. An accompanying video film showed suspects being beaten and prisoners executed by firing squad. The Government claimed that at the Sijn al-Tarbut or "Casket Prison", under the secret police headquarters, more than 100 prisoners are kept in steel boxes, which are opened once a day for half an hour, until they confess or die. Torturers are accused of using a variety of methods on political prisoners, including eye-gouging, acid baths and piercing hands with an electric drill. "The dossier makes for harrowing reading, with accounts of torture, rape and other horrific human rights abuses," Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said at a speech to the Atlantic Alliance. "The aim is to remind the world that the abuses of the Iraqi regime extend far beyond its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction in violation of its international obligations." Amnesty International, which was cited repeatedly as a source for the report, charged the Government with using the allegations as propaganda to justify a future war to overthrow Saddam. "This . . . is nothing but a cold and calculated manipulation of the work of human rights activists," Irene Khan, Amnesty's secretary-general, said. "Let us not forget that these same governments turned a blind eye to reports of widespread violations in Iraq before the Gulf War." She was referring, in particular, to the use of chemical weapons on Kurdish civilians in the late-1980s, notably at Halabja, where 5,000 were killed by poison gas. At the time Britain played down the incident and continued high-level contacts with Iraq. Tam Dalyell, Labour MP for Linlithgow and a critic of the Government's policy on Iraq, described the document as "cranking up for war". British policy also came under attack from Hussain al-Shahristani, a former Iraqi political prisoner, who was presented by the Foreign Office to recount his ordeal. He said that abuses "should have been noticed and acted upon a long time ago", while conceding "later is better than never". The Foreign Office description of living conditions in Iraq also threatened to trigger a row with the Home Office. Only 150 Iraqis were granted refugee status in Britain in the third quarter of this year out of 3,065 cases. Future asylum-seekers may quote the report to back their claims. Ann Clwyd, a Labour MP who chairs Indict, a group also quoted in the report, said that the Government should follow up the publication by committing itself to apprehending and putting on trial Iraqis suspected of war crimes. http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,852644,00.html * MEDIA AND POLITICAL SALVO HITS ACTIVISTS by Nicholas Watt The Guardian, 3rd December The fingerprints of Alastair Campbell, the prime minister's director of communications, were all over yesterday's government report on human rights abuses in Iraq. Shorn of the government's normally cautious language, the report set out in blunt language how the Iraqi regime has maintained its powerbase by showing a "callous disregard for human life". With an eye on the Sun, Mr Campbell ensured each section of the report was short and punchy, with paragraphs in bold to underline the gravest charges. But the report was undermined when human rights organisations, whose own findings were quoted liberally, took issue. Amnesty International accused the government of double standards because Britain "turned a blind eye" to Iraqi human rights abuses in the 1980s. Amnesty said all the facts attributed to it were accurate, apart from a claim on page 14 that it had drawn attention to reports of hundreds of deaths in the northern Kurdish town of Sulaimanmiya. Neil Durkin, of Amnesty, said the group was checking this claim. But Mr Durkin said the government's efforts did not amount to a traditional human rights report, fuelling suspicions that it has been released for purely political purposes. Another group, Human Rights Watch, said three references to its work in the report were largely accurate. But the group took exception to the government's use of its extensive work on the atrocities against Kurds in the late 1980s. Investigators from Human Rights Watch interviewed 350 witnesses in northern Iraq in 1992 to gather evidence of the 1988 "genocidal campaign", known as operation Anfal. Mass graves were unearthed by the group which was praised in the report for providing "much information about Saddam's persecution of the Kurds". But the group said that Britain had pointedly refused to back a Human Rights Watch campaign to indict the Iraqi regime at the international court of justice in the Hague. Richard Dicker, head of its international justice programme, said the Foreign Office was "singularly non-receptive" when he lobbied it in 1994. "It is unfortunate," he said. "I can't blame this government... But there is an important lesson ... to have stigmatised the revolutionary command council in 1994 as a genocidal regime would have isolated it." Human Rights Watch also took issue with a key allegation in the report, which was used to show that women "lack even the basic right to life". In a section on the treatment of women, the report said: "A 1990 decree allows male relatives to kill a female relative in the name of honour without any punishment." But Hania Mufti, the group's London director, said the decree was repealed months after it was imposed. "The decree was introduced at a specific time after the end of the Iran-Iraq war when soldiers coming back from the front found their women had had sexual relations with other men, mainly Egyptian workers. Lots of the Egyptians were killed. The decree was an amnesty for these people and was repealed within months." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2544489.stm * BLAIR HITS BACK IN IRAQ TORTURE ROW BBC, 4th December Downing Street is standing by its claim that Iraq tortured its own football team for losing a World Cup match. Downing Street The allegation was included in a dossier of alleged human rights abuses in Iraq published by the Foreign Office on Monday. But veteran Labour backbencher Tam Dalyell has accused Tony Blair of being "cavalier with the truth" over the allegation. According to the government's dossier, Saddam Hussein's son Udayy ordered the national football team to be caned on the soles of their feet after losing a World Cup qualifying match. But Mr Dalyell said a probe by football's governing body Fifa found no evidence to back up the allegation. Mr Blair appeared to concede the point, made during angry exchanges at Prime Minister's Question Time, but insisted it was not important. "There may be a disagreement between Fifa and the government or the Iraqi authorities but I ask you to focus on the human rights abuses in Iraq that are beyond any doubt at all," he told MPs. "Frankly the Iraqi football team may be one matter, but these human rights abuses are self evident and when you talk to people who have lived through the regime of Saddam Hussein then I don't believe anyone can dispute it is an appalling, brutal and terrible regime." But Downing Street later said statements from players who had escaped Iraq after the Fifa probe backed up the allegations. Mr Blair's official spokesman added: "We would not have put this in a report if we did not think this was true." Mr Dalyell stood by his story, however, and said the government was in danger of undermining its own case. "Prime Ministers should not be cavalier with the truth. "Small inconsistencies can reveal larger inconsistencies. "Small lies are often part of larger lies," he said. Mr Dalyell said he was not saying Iraq was "not a cruel regime, like Saudi Arabia and many other places in the Middle East". But he added: "The timing of the document is so cynical as to suggest it is simply a device to soften up the British nation for going to war against a demon figure." The controversy came as Foreign Secretary Jack Straw issued a direct warning to Saddam Hussein to "come clean" over weapons of mass destruction, through Arab satellite TV station. Military action was the alternative, Mr Straw told Al Jazeera, which is known to be watched by the Baghdad regime. "Saddam has to come clean, own up, tell the truth for the first time in his life, and he has got to stop playing games," he said. "This is the last chance for himself and for the resolution of the Iraq crisis in a peaceful way. The choice is his. "He can resolve this peacefully but he has got to be straight, he has got to tell the truth, and the truth is that Iraq has had - and has - weapons of mass destruction." http://newsobserver.com/24hour/sports/story/660662p-4954906c.html * RIGHTS GROUP DEMANDS IOC ACTION OVER ALLEGED TORTURE OF IRAQI ATHLETES by Jonathan Fowler News&Obsever, 5th December GENEVA (AP) - A human rights group formally demanded that the IOC expel Iraq's national Olympic committee because its chief - Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday - tortured and jailed athletes who failed to please him. Indict, which is based in London, said Wednesday it lodged a complaint against the Iraqi body with the Ethics Commission of the International Olympic Committee. The group said it included witness statements from exiled former Iraqi athletes and United Nations reports to build its case. "Iraq has violated every single provision of the IOC Code of Ethics," said Charles Forrest, chief executive of Indict. "The IOC should have investigated this on its own. Now I hope it will be forced to." IOC officials said they were aware of the complaint but were unable to comment because they had yet to receive the document. Indict said the Iraqi leader's son once made a group of track athletes crawl on newly poured asphalt while they were beaten and ordered that some be thrown off a bridge. It also alleged he ran a special prison for athletes who offended him. "The Iraqi committee is the only Olympic committee in the world with its own prison and torture chamber," said Ann Clwyd, a British lawmaker who also is chairwoman of Indict. "To allow (it) to participate in the Olympic movement is to mock all of the Olympics' high principles." Iraq was investigated in 1997 by FIFA, the international soccer governing body, following allegations that members of the Iraqi national team were tortured because they lost a key match. FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said two officials were sent to Iraq, where they interviewed members of the Iraqi Football Association. Twelve players also were interviewed and physically examined. "They weren't able to find any evidence or any witness to confirm those allegations," Herren said. But, he added, "We were quite conscious of the fact that our investigative resources were very limited. We are a non-governmental organization and there are limits to what we could achieve." Indict was established in 1997 to get Saddam Hussein and leading members of his regime brought before an international tribunal on charges of crimes against humanity. REMNANTS OF DECENCY http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=11/30/02&Cat=10&Num=1 * IRANIAN FILM DIRECTOR CALLS FOR PEACEFUL CHANGE OF REGIME IN IRAQ Tehran Times, 30th November MADRID -- The Iranian film director Bahman Qobadi attending the Gijon International Film Festival in northern Spain, addressing a press conference, underlined the need for regime change in Iraq without necessarily resorting to war. According to the report released by the EFE Spanish news agency, the Iranian cinematographer of Kurdish origin, has accused the U.S. ruling politicians of contributing to further instability of the war-stricken region, IRNA reported. He added, "Given that the Middle East countries are looking forward to the prospect of peace, the change of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq through peaceful means is inevitable." Qobadi is attending the Gijon festival to present his latest film Lost in Iraq, which was hailed by the audience once it was screened at the Youth Cinema Hall of the festival on Tuesday night. Qobadi's film is predicted to grab one of the festival's top awards. http://newsobserver.com/24hour/nation/story/653200p-4912304c.html * RELIGIOUS LEADERS URGE BUSH AGAINST IRAQ WAR News & Observer, 30th November CHICAGO (AP) - In an unprecedented show of unity, Chicago's top Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have drafted a joint letter urging President Bush to avoid war with Iraq. It is the first public statement on any national issue by the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago since the group was founded in 1984. The letter was to be released Sunday at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James. An advance copy obtained by the Chicago Tribune read, in part: "In the present situation, conditions justifying war have not been met. We still lack compelling evidence that Iraq is planning to launch an attack ... We believe that there is ample time and latitude for pursuing alternatives that could avoid warfare, saving untold thousands of lives." Other religious groups also have voiced concerns about the possibility of war. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops acknowledged in September that Iraq posed a threat, but said it would be difficult to justify a pre-emptive attack under Catholic teachings on warfare. Signers of the Chicago letter include Cardinal Francis George of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, Bishop William Persell of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Rabbi Ira Youdovin of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, Metropolitan Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Chicago, Bishop C. Joseph Sprague of the United Methodist Church and Kareem Irfan, chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. Irfan acknowledged that many Muslims would have preferred stronger wording. http://www.abc.net.au/news/politics/2002/12/item20021201000543_1.htm * THOUSANDS ACROSS AUSTRALIA RALLY FOR PEACE ABC, 1st December Author and filmmaker John Pilger has told a huge rally in Sydney that the Australian Government is "extremist" in its pro-US stance on Iraq. The anti-war rally was one of several held across Australia yesterday. An estimated 15,000 people gathered in the Domain after marching through city streets to protest against Australia becoming involved in any US-led pre-emptive strike on Baghdad. The crowd heard from leaders of religious, union and community groups. Mr Pilger told the crowd their stance marked them as moderates. But he says the Government's enforcement of sanctions against Iraq and its willingness to join a war against Baghdad make them extremists. "They have to be extreme to attack, unprovoked, a country that offers no threat to Australia, with whom Australia trades," he said. "A whole people held hostage to a medieval embargo, as well as to their own dictator." The Auxillary Catholic Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Pat Power, was one of many speakers to denounce both the US and Australian governments for linking the war against terrorism to Iraq and possible weapons of mass destruction. "All it has done is widen the divide between 'them and us' and produced a climate of war," he said. Award-winning actor Judy Davis told the crowd the Howard Government could not be justified in getting involved. "Mr Howard, you haven't presented us with a single compelling reason for the further slaughter of innocent people and we will not ever support your war on Iraq," she said. Organisers Adelaide's peace protest say Australia will have to send troops into Iraq before greater sections of the community will oppose war. About 1,500 people marched through the city centre, calling for no war against Iraq. The protest was twice the size of a rally held earlier this month and included grandparents, children and families. But organiser Mike Khizam says opinions will not polarise until if and when war breaks out. "There's greater confusion about the issues and I do know the issue is no longer top of the agenda on news reports," Mr Khizam said. "Unless there is a sense of crisis or a war breaks out, it is unlikely we'll see very large numbers on the street." In Tasmania, more than 400 people demonstrated their opposition to a US-led attack on Iraq. They marched through the streets of central Hobart calling for peace, the fourth demonstration of its kind in the past three months. Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown addressed the crowd, calling on world leaders to remember the lessons learnt during World War II and strive for peace. "How much better if instead of war they remembered back that half century and brought in a Marshall Plan, not for reconstructing Europe but reconstructing our planet to bring fairness, education, opportunity, food, shelter to the dispossessed millions of people who are our brothers and sisters on this planet," he said. http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-turkey-iraq protest1202dec01,0,5449948.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dworld%2Dheadlines * TURKS PROTEST POSSIBLE WAR IN IRAQ by Esra Aygin Newsday, from Associated Press, 1st December ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Waving balloons emblazoned with peace signs, about 10,000 people took part in a protest Sunday against a U.S.-led war in neighboring Iraq. NATO-member Turkey is a close U.S. ally, but anti-war sentiment is running high. Officials here are reluctant to support military action against Iraq, and have not committed to allowing the use of Turkish territory or air bases -- crucial to any U.S. war effort. The rally came days before Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw were scheduled to arrive in Turkey to discuss the possibility of military action. "We will not be America's soldiers!" the demonstrators chanted. Others held up banners that said "We're on the side of the Iraqi people" and "No to war in Iraq." "This is America's war and it is going to be waged even though thousands, tens of thousands will be killed," said anti-war activist Ersan Salman. Turkish officials says the 1991 Gulf War has cost Turkey's troubled economy more than $40 billion from loss of trade with Iraq, once a main trading partner. It fears a new war in the region would further ravage its economy. The country is also preparing for an influx of refugees if war breaks out. "We're here to show how much we oppose war," said Zarife Havlu, a 46-year-old teacher. "War means poverty and hunger." http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20021202195355937 * AMERICAN MOTHERS OPPOSE U.S. WAR ON IRAQ Palestine Chronicle, 2nd December WASHINGTON - With anti-war campaigns going on in different spots around the world, a growing peace movement, called Mothers Against War has been gaining momentum and raises the possibility of much more dissent if U.S. bombs begin falling on Baghdad. The idea was hatched on a bright day in August, when Daphne Reed was celebrating her daughter's and granddaughter's birthdays, and the talk around the living room sofa turned to war, reported Washington Post on Monday, December 2. Reed began worrying that her 25-year-old grandson, who spent four years in the Coast Guard, might be called to serve if the United States were to invade Iraq. Her family also wondered why the United States was threatening to invade Iraq even before the United Nations weapons inspections began. Reed told the daily that "she fretted over the particular suffering that would befall Iraqi women; their sons and husbands would be killed and that the women would be left in the rubble to fend off contaminated water and starvation." "I said that all mothers should automatically be against war," Reed said. "It was against their nature to be violent instead of nurturing." Maybe, she said, it was time to start a movement -- Mothers Against War. The retired Hampshire College drama teacher e-mailed about 15 parents in her address book. Before long, Mothers Against War had 50 core members, and thousands of supporters around the country and the world, the Post said. Most members of Mothers Against War are grandmothers in their seventies whose lives are already full. Yet they spend hours a day on the Internet, reading and spreading information on Iraq and the United States and planning for marches, e-mail campaigns and teach-ins, the paper said. Having lived through the Vietnam antiwar movement, which took years to build, the Mothers Against War find themselves part of a fast-growing movement of people from every walk of life, from every political stripe. The paper said that those who still remember the horrors of the Vietnam War, like the members of Mothers Against War, find themselves connected to this new antiwar movement on a personal as well as ideological level. The other day, as half a dozen core members sat in Daphne Reed's living room, they remembered friends who had fled to Canada to shield their sons from the military draft, friends who died in the war, and lives forever changed by the war. Reed, recalling the four wars she has seen this country involved in during her lifetime, said she is often motivated by a single memory decades old. She was visiting the nation's capital, she said, when she saw a man without a face. "Yes," she said, "without a face. He had nothing but a plastic mask with two holes for eyes and one for mouth. It still swims before my inner vision, provoking an agony of grief that no one had been able to stop the war that took away that man's face." The extraordinary array of groups questioning the Bush administration's rationale for an invasion of Iraq includes longtime radical groups such as the Workers World Party, but also groups not known for taking stands against the government, it added. There is a labor movement against war, led by organizers of the largest unions in the country; a religious movement against the war, which includes leaders of virtually every mainstream denomination; a veterans movement against the war, led by those who fought Iraq in the Persian Gulf a decade ago; business leaders against the war, led by corporate leaders; an antiwar movement led by relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks; and immigrant groups against the war. There are also black and Latino organizations, hundreds of campus antiwar groups and scores of groups of ordinary citizens meeting in community centers and church basements from Baltimore to Seattle, the paper said. After large rallies in Washington and San Francisco on Oct. 26, the next big day to test the antiwar movement's might is Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day. Hundreds of groups plan events, rallies and civil disobedience to capture the nation's attention, including demonstrations in Lafayette Park across from the White House and at a military recruitment center in downtown Washington, the paper said. Otherwise, antiwar groups, which tend to rely on the Internet to receive and spread information, operate largely without the attention of the media or Capitol Hill. Yet many of those speaking out against an attack on Iraq represent large numbers of Americans. Among themselves, the groups are quietly organizing their ranks. The National Council of Churches, which includes Lutherans, Episcopalians and President Bush's denomination, Methodists, is facilitating antiwar events for traditionally liberal institutions and conservative churches, said the Rev. Robert Edgar, its general secretary. On that day, religious groups across the country plan to stage mass acts of civil disobedience. "I've never engaged in civil disobedience before," he said. "But if some country was going to do this to us -- have a little preemptive war with the U.S., bomb our people, kill or maim people because they thought that at some time we might bomb them, we'd say that's a war crime. I feel that getting arrested is the biggest statement that I could make to say that what the Bush administration is doing is wrong." That day, as well as the weekend of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Jan. 18-19, is important for the smaller groups across the country as well. -IslamOnline & News Agencies (islamonline.net). Redistributed via Press International News Agency (PINA). http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nat-gen/2002/dec/03/120306785.html * SIERRA CLUB OPPOSES UTAH BRANCH ON IRAQ by C.G. WALLACE Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 3rd December SALT LAKE CITY- The Sierra Club is threatening to disband its southern Utah chapter for speaking out against the Bush administration's push toward war with Iraq. The San Francisco-based 700,000-member environmental organization said its 175-member Glen Canyon chapter violated Sierra Club policy in publicly taking its own stand on the issue. In November, the national organization's board of directors approved a resolution in favor of stripping Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. It said: "The Sierra Club is concerned about the global dangers presented by possible Iraqi aggression and about the dire environmental consequences of war." At the same time, the national organization warned that Sierra Club policy "does not authorize individual members, leaders or club entities to take public positions on military conflicts as they arise." The Glen Canyon chapter's leaders decried that as a "gag order" and issued a news release Nov. 26 asserting their right to speak out. Glen Canyon vice chairman Patrick Diehl said in the news release: "The present administration has declared its intention to achieve total military dominance of the entire world. We believe that such ambitions will produce a state of perpetual war, undoing whatever protection of the environment that conservation groups may have so far achieved." In response, Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope threatened to dismiss the four Glen Canyon officers. In a recent e-mail, Pope said: "I would leave dissolving the group as a means of last resort if acting against individuals who won't adhere to club policy fails to resolve the situation." The Glen Canyon chapter was formed in 2000 and supports the draining of Lake Powell on the Utah-Arizona line and the banning of cattle grazing on public land. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,854699,00.html * CND WINS CAP ON COSTS IN CASE AGAINST IRAQ WAR by Clare Dyer, legal correspondent The Guardian, 6th December The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament made legal history yesterday when two judges agreed to cap its bill for legal costs if it loses a high court case to block the government waging war on Iraq without a fresh UN resolution. In the first ruling of its kind, two senior judges held that the exceptional nature of the case justified them making an order that, if CND loses, it will not have to pay more than £25,000 towards the government's costs. Lawyers said it was the first time a court had made an order in advance capping the size of a potential legal bill in the event of losing. The ruling was a blow to the government. It had opposed the move, and was ordered to pay yesterday's costs. CND is going to the high court in London on Monday to seek permission to apply for an urgent ruling that no hostile action can lawfully be taken against Iraq unless the UN security council first passes a fresh resolution clearly authorising the use of force. The application, to be made on CND's behalf by Rabinder Singh QC, a colleague of Cherie Booth at Matrix chambers, is against the prime minister; the foreign secretary, Jack Straw; and the defence secretary, Geoff Hoon. The case is the first to challenge a government in the courts over the possibility of a declaration of war. In the two-day hearing starting on Monday, Lord Justice Simon Brown, Mr Justice Maurice Kay and Mr Justice Richards will first have to decide whether the high court has any role to play in a decision on when to go to war. If they decide to agree a full hearing, the government will be given time to prepare its case. Agreeing to the cap on costs yesterday, Lord Justice Simon Brown said he found the arguments in favour of it "compelling" because the case was no doubt an exceptional one brought in the public interest, and CND had limited means. CND's solicitor, Phil Shiner, said: "This is the first time ever that a court in this country has made an order of this nature. CND is a relatively small organisation and, in a case of such public importance, it was crucial that it should proceed without having to put its individual staff or campaigning activities at risk through having to meet a huge costs order." http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=1355722002 * WAR - WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? by Craig McLean The Scotsman, 6th December [.....] Listening to the new single by Blur is like being down Baghdad way as the first barrack buster falls from on high. Don't Bomb When You're the Bomb is the "anonymous" little seven inch Damon Albarn announced they were going to release a few months ago. The label features what looks like Arabic writing, while the grooves contain a rhythm track with, again, Middle Eastern flavours. This is perhaps the result of their recent recording sessions in Morocco, where they went to begin work on their new album (due out next spring). It seems they were saving the melody writing bits of the recording process for the subsequent sessions with Fatboy Slim in Devon. Don't Bomb is big on check-our-dangerous-new-direction vibes and very short on a tune. Albarn and Del Naja [of Massive Attack] have joined forces in the Stop the War campaign; both are at a similar juncture in their day-jobs. There's no doubting their commitment to "Make A Change", politically and professionally. Astute men both, they seem to be under no illusions as to how few of their musical peers hear and comprehend their cause. Will they be so understanding if the public feels similarly disinclined to listen to their difficult new music? _______________________________________________ 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