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[casi] News, 29/11-6/12/02 (4)

News, 29/11-6/12/02 (4)


*  Al-Hayat: Al-Yasiri and the coup against Saddam Hussein
*  Bush Gives Afghan Envoy 'Free Iraqis' Portfolio
*  Iraqi dissident found murdered in South


*  India Supports Iraq, Says Saddam Shouldn't Feel Let Down
 *  Russian 'May Have Aided Iraq'
 *  Brajesh off to US for Iraq briefing
*  [Japanese government] Response to war in Iraq outlined
*  Serb secrets aid UN in Iraq
*  Germany's cast iron chancellor
*  NATO mulls U.S. options for possible military role in Iraq


*  U.S. Wants Two-Week Extension on Iraq Oil-Food Plan
*  U.N. Unanimously OKs Iraq Aid Extension


Asian Tribune, 2nd December

The spokesman for the Iraqi military opposition council Maj. Gen. Tawfiq
al-Yasiri has stated that the option of a coupe is the best outlet for the
Americans and for the Iraqis.

In a statement to the London-based al-Hayat daily issued yesterday,
al-Yasiri added that he had felt in the Administration of the US President
George Bush a will to support a "coup" in Baghdad, expecting it to be a
"Sunni coup," and he did not rule out an American invasion.

He expressed his conviction that confrontation is nearby, and might be
within 8 weeks or more. He added that the military council will dispatch
messages to Arab states including Syria, because of its importance, and is
aspiring to create centers for field movements at the borders of these
countries including the Syrian borders.

He said that the council tried to open channels with Russia and Kuwait but
the two countries have not responded yet. He indicated that the Iraqi regime
places itself in the "killing corner," and gives America and its allies the
justification to send forces to Iraq. He also ruled out that the Americans
are having now any presence in this country and doubted information speaking
of an Israeli invasion of the West Iraq desert.

Al-Yasiri said that he had informed the Americans during his visit for
Washington that the Iraqis will receive them happily, may be for a period of
one month, and then new problems will arise including acts of revenge and
liquidation and attacks against the American forces might follow.

He stressed that Washington did not give to the Iraqi council any promises.
He expressed his conviction that President Saddam Hussein will not resign
and will not leave the country if the US will invade Iraq, adding that the
President's son, Qusai is strongly in control of matters in Iraq.

Al-Yasiri spoke of liaison channels with the military establishment inside
Iraq in order to prepare the ground for the phase of the change. He said
that the number of split army officers who joined the military council is
318 officers, while the number of centers opened by the council tolled 11,
with many of them in the liberated areas and al-Ahwar area to the south, as
well as centers in neighboring countries and in the USA and Lebanon.

He noted the council's desire to build a positive relation with Damascus,
stressing he will ask for Syria's support and is keen to found a leadership
center on the Iraqi- Syrian borders. He denied coordination with Iran.

He unveiled that a delegation representing the council visited Tehran and
met with the leader of the Higher Council f the Islamic Revolution Muhammad
Baqer Hakim and the opposition forces which are stationed in Tehran.

He explained that the council did not receive an invitation to take part in
the forthcoming plenary conference of the Iraqi opposition to be held in

Yahoo, 3rd December

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stepping up planning for an Iraq after Saddam
Hussein, President Bush named a special envoy for "free Iraqis" on Monday,
giving the job to his existing presidential envoy for Afghanistan.

U.S. special Afghan envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will take on the Iraq portfolio
titled "special envoy and ambassador at large for free Iraqis," giving up
his job as a National Security Council senior director for southeast Asia,
Near East and North African affairs, the White House said.

"Dr. Khalilzad will serve as the focal point for contacts and coordination
among free Iraqis for the United States government and for preparations for
a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq," the White House said.

The United States is committed to a policy of overthrowing the Iraqi
president and Bush has vowed to go to war against Saddam if he fails to meet
U.N. disarmament demands.

Six Iraqi opposition groups backed by Washington were to meet in London in
mid-December with the goal of electing an opposition leadership.

Elliot Abrams, a former State Department official, was appointed to fill
Khalilzad's job at the NSC.

Daily Star, Lebanon, 5th December

An Iraqi refugee was found dead Wednesday in an apartment belonging to an
Iraqi opposition group in Tyre.

Walid Ibrahim al-Mayahi, 33, was discovered with a rope around his neck. He
appeared to have been strangled.

Mayahi was staying in a two-room apartment that doubled as an office for
supporters of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq Sadr, a leading Iraqi Shiite
cleric who was murdered along with his two sons in the southern Iraqi city
of Najjaf in 1999.

Unconfirmed reports said that Mayahi had recently gained a visa to travel to
the United States to take part in training with Iraqi opposition forces. But
a US Embassy spokesperson said that there was "no record of granting a visa"
to Mayahi.

Mayahi worked at the Sadr Center for Islamic Studies, the center's head

Sheikh Mohammed Bousayri said he suspected Iraqi intelligence agents of
killing Mayahi, who he said had been in Lebanon for about three years and
was a member of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an umbrella organization
of opposition groups.

Security forces detained Bousayri and several other Iraqis for questioning,
but said they had no immediate suspects in the killing.

"There were three people who frequented the center and were known to be
Iraqi intelligence," Bousayri told Reuters by telephone from a police
station in city.

"They had threatened him and also threatened to kill me or kidnap me."

The INC is one of a host of opposition groups the United States has sought
to unite ahead of a war on Iraq, but has been at odds with Kurdish and
Islamist factions over the political shape of Iraq if Saddam Hussein is

Mayahi was said to have arrived in South Lebanon several years ago. He lived
on handouts from charities, security officials said.


Palestine Chronicle, 1st December

NEW DELHI - In one of its strongest show of solidarity with Iraq so far, the
Indian government has come out in its firm support, and said that it won't
allow Iraq feel let down under any circumstances. The Indian government
spelt out its stand in categorical terms on the floor of the Indian
Parliament here Thursday, November 28.

Yashwant Sinha, federal external affairs minister, told a session of the
Rajya Sabha (Upper House or House of Elders in the Parliament) that Iraq
under President Saddam Hussein has been a friend of India. He should not
feel let down. India's support for Iraq is principled and constant.

Replying to a short-duration discussion on the situation in West Asia, Sinha
said he had apprehensions that if any unilateral U.S.-sponsored military
action against Iraq takes place it could spell disaster extending beyond the
Gulf region. India is keeping close watch on the developments that threaten
to disturb world peace and security, Sinha said.

Let's not allow emotions to overtake our stand and responsibility and let
national interest and idealism, which have been the two pillars of our
foreign policy, give expression to our position, Sinha stressed and added.
The world peace should not be affected because of the adventure of one

Any action against Iraq should be under the auspices of the United Nations
and the issue should be resolved through peaceful means without resorting to
use of military force. And, if the UN weapons inspectors don't find any
weapons of mass destruction and Baghdad satisfactorily complied with the
arms inspectors, then the sanctions imposed against Iraq since 1990 should
be lifted, the external affairs minister said.

Referring to the visit of Saddam Hussein's special envoy Al-Sahhaf to the
Indian capital last week, Sinha said that Al-Sahhaf had assured and
demonstrated complete agreement regarding Baghdad's acceptance and
compliance of the UN resolution. Iraq had told us that it does not have
weapons of mass destruction and hence it would allow UN inspectors in and
also abide by the UN resolutions, Sinha said.

Sinha met with Arab ambassadors in New Delhi last August. At that time too,
he had stated the government's stand that the use of force against any
nation was completely unacceptable. We are very clear that there should be
no armed action against any country, more particularly with the avowed
purpose of changing a regime, Sinha said. Iraq had every right to deter any
U.S. possible attack, he added.

During his meeting with Arab diplomats Sinha emphatically stated that if the
world did not refuse U.S. behavior against anti-imperialist regimes and
patriotic governments, such as Iraq, it would be a license for the U.S. to
have more attacks on other states. He said, "In the name of Indian
government I call on all the world states, especially Arabs, to announce
their solidarity with Iraq and to refuse any military action against it."

Iraqi Ambassador to India, Salah Al-Mukhtar hoped that Indian policy would
be much clearer. Now, India has fully understood that any war against Iraq
besides the absence of legal coverage will affect directly its major

India's sound backing of Iraq this time round is not without any reason. New
Delhi has high stakes particularly in the Gulf region because it imports
most of its crude oil from here. Besides, 3.5 million Indian expatriates are
presently working in Iraq.

Also, historically and traditionally, India has strong political and
economic relations with that country. Among few Arab states, Iraq is one of
them to have supported India on Kashmir issue. Besides, the infrastructure
in Iraq has been largely built by Indian firms.

However, during the 1991 Gulf War, India, for reasons best known to its
leaders, demonstrated a flip-flop attitude regarding its stand on Iraq. On
one hand, the then external affairs minister Inder Kumar Gujral flew to
Baghdad to commiserate with Saddam Hussein, while on the other
Chandrashekhar government surreptitiously allowed refueling facilities to
U.S. military planes in India.

Now that the Gujarat elections are about to take place, Indian Muslims, the
second-largest Muslim community in terms of population in the world after
Indonesia, would feel further alienated if India tries to deviate from its
self-professed stand and rashly supports a war, overtly or covertly, against
Iraq without UN sanction.

-IslamOnline ( Redistributed via Press International News
Agency (PINA).

by Judith Miller
Moscow Times, from  New York Times Service, 4th December

The CIA is investigating an informant's accusation that Iraq obtained a
particularly virulent strain of smallpox from a Russian scientist who worked
in a Moscow smallpox lab during Soviet times, senior U.S. officials and
foreign scientists said.

The officials said several U.S. scientists were told in August that Iraq
might have obtained the strain from Nelja Maltseva, a virologist who worked
for more than 30 years at the Research Institute for Viral Preparations in
Moscow before her death two years ago.

The information came to the U.S. government from an informant whose identity
has not been disclosed. The CIA considered the information reliable enough
to brief President George W. Bush about its implications. The attempt to
verify the information is continuing.

Maltseva is known to have visited Iraq on several occasions. Intelligence
officials are trying to determine whether, as the informant told them, she
traveled there as recently as 1990, officials said. The institute where she
worked housed what Russia said was its entire national collection of 120
strains of smallpox, and some experts fear that Maltseva may have provided
the Iraqis with a version that could be resistant to vaccines and could be
more easily transmitted as a biological weapon.

The possibility that Iraq possesses this strain is one of several factors
that has complicated Bush's decision, expected this week, about how many
Americans should be vaccinated against smallpox, a disease that was
officially eradicated in 1980.

The White House is expected to announce that despite the risk of
vaccine-induced illness and death, it will authorize vaccinating those most
at risk in the event of a smallpox outbreak -- 500,000 members of the
military who could be assigned to the Middle East for a war with Iraq and
500,000 civilian medical workers.

More broadly, the Russian government's refusal to share smallpox and other
lethal germ strains for study by the United States, or to answer questions
about the fate of such strains, has reinforced U.S. concerns about whether
Russia has abandoned what was once the world's most ambitious covert germ
weapons program.

A year ago in Crawford, Texas, Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin
issued a statement vowing to enhance cooperation against biological
terrorism. But after an initial round of visits and a flurry of optimism,
U.S. officials said Russia had resisted repeated U.S. requests for
information about the Russian smallpox strains and help in the investigation
into the anthrax attacks in the United States in October 2001.

"There is information we would like the Russians to share as a partner of
ours," said William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for
health affairs. "Because if there are strains that present a unique problem
with respect to vaccines and treatment, it is in the interests of all
freedom-loving people to have as much information as possible."

The level of cooperation on biological terrorism was not discussed at the
meeting last week between Bush and Putin in St. Petersburg, U.S. officials
said, mainly because administration officials are not certain just how
willing Putin is to enhance cooperation in this delicate area.

"The record so far suggests he is either unable or unwilling to push the
military on this front," an administration official said.

"We think it may be a little of both, but we're not really sure at this
point or what to do about it."

World Health Organization records in Geneva and interviews with scientists
who worked with her confirmed that Maltseva visited Iraq at least twice, in
1972 and 1973, as part of the global campaign to eradicate smallpox.

Formerly secret Soviet records also show that in 1971 she was part of a
covert mission to Aralsk, a port city in what was then the Soviet republic
of Kazakhstan, north of the Aral Sea, to help stop an epidemic of smallpox.
The Soviet Union did not report that outbreak to world health officials, as
required by regulations.

Last June, experts from the Monterey Institute of International Studies,
drawing on those Kazakh records and interviews with survivors, published a
report saying the epidemic was a result of open-air tests of a particularly
virulent smallpox strain on Vozrozhdeniye Island in the Aral Sea.

The island, known as Renaissance Island in English, is between Kazakhstan
and another Central Asian country, Uzbekistan. The United States recently
spent $6 million to help both countries decontaminate anthrax that the
Soviet military buried in pits on the island when they abandoned it in 1992.

Alan Zelicoff, co-author of the Monterey report and a scientist at Sandia
National Laboratories, said the Aralsk outbreak was a watershed in the
arcane world of bioweapons.

It demonstrated that the smallpox virus can be made to travel very large
distances, city-size perhaps, and there may be a vaccine-resistant strain or
one that at least is more communicable than garden-variety smallpox,
Zelicoff said in an interview.

The Monterey report led U.S. officials to question whether the U.S. smallpox
vaccine would be effective against the Aralsk strain or whether new vaccines
or drugs might be needed if this strain were used in an attack. U.S. concern
increased in recent months after the White House was told that Maltseva
might have shared the Aralsk strain with Iraqi scientists on a visit there
in 1990, administration officials said.

David Kelly, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, said there was a
"resurgence of interest" in smallpox vaccine in Iraq in 1990, "but we have
never known why."

A spokesman for the Russian Research Institute for Viral Preparations
declined to comment on Maltseva or her work. Her daughter, a physician in
Moscow, said she had no recollection of her mother ever going to Iraq.

Svetlana Marennikova, Maltseva's deputy in the Moscow laboratory, said in an
interview that Maltseva had never gone to Iraq as far as she knew.

"She worked, and then when she got sick, she took a sick leave when she was
no longer able to work," she said. "I don't know about Iraq. I didn't know
about a trip there. I don't think she was there. I would know."

Donald Henderson, a senior adviser to the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services and a leader of the smallpox eradication campaign, described
Maltseva as an "outgoing, hard-working scientist" who was unusually fluent
in English. He said she had traveled widely for the WHO as part of the
eradication campaign.

 Britain plans to vaccinate key military and health service workers against
smallpox as a precaution against any terror attack with the virus, Reuters

Denying it had any specific information of a smallpox attack, the government
said Monday it would vaccinate 350 health specialists as well as selected
members of the armed forces likely to be in the front line of any biological

Times of India (from AFP), 5th December

NEW DELHI: Amid mounting speculation that the US is keen on pushing forward
with its planned aggression against Iraq, sources here said the Bush
administration has "briefed" the Indian government at the highest levels
about the unfolding scenario in an attempt to enlist New Delhi's support.

Although UN weapons inspectors are reporting full cooperation from the Iraqi
authorities in their search for proscribed weapons, the likely US excuse for
war will be the claim that the "full documentation" Baghdad has to provide
on its weapons programmes by December 8 is "false" or "incomplete".
Washington might then claim that this constitutes a "material breach" of
Iraq's obligations under Security Council resolution 1441. And in turn use
this claim to assert the right to attack Iraq.

National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra, who is slated to leave for
Washington on December 6, is expected to be briefed about the US approach
while he is there. The principal purpose of his trip which was scheduled
last month is to discuss the Pakistan-North Korean nuclear relationship with
his US counterpart, Condoleeza Rice. The US, however, is not keen to focus
attention on this issue right now when Iraq is top of its mind.

While Russia, China, France and India have so far taken the view that any
use of force against Iraq must be explicitly authorised by the UN Security
Council, the US has made it clear it will act if it feels its interests
require it to. President Bush and his senior advisors have generally been
dismissive of the weapons inspections process, with US Defence Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld saying Wednesday that it was upto Iraq to provide proof that
it did not possess weapons of mass destruction.

India is uncomfortable with the US approach towards Iraq, not least because
it takes attention away from Pakistan which New Delhi insists should be the
principal focus of Washington's so-called `war on terrorism'.

Yomiuri Shimbun, 6th December

The government has drafted contingency plans outlining the nation's response
to a possible U.S. attack on Iraq. The plans include a refugee relief
operation and economic assistance to countries bordering Iraq as well as
enhanced logistic support in the Indian Ocean for U.S. led operations in
Afghanistan, government sources said Thursday.

The outline also calls for extending economic and humanitarian assistance to
help rebuild Iraq following a war there, the sources said. The plans note
that it might be necessary to pass new legislation to support efforts to
help reconstruct Iraq.

The government plans to brief U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage on the plans when he arrives in Tokyo Sunday and to discuss the
policy proposals at a meeting of Japan U.S. Security Consultative Committee
to be held Dec. 16 in Washington. The Committee is comprised of defense and
foreign ministers of the two nations.

It is expected that the United States will have to reduce its role in the
antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan if it launches an assault on Iraq.

In response to this eventuality, the government is considering lending
"indirect assistance" to the U.S. attack on Iraq by reducing the burden on
U.S. and British forces through an enhancement of Japanese logistic support
to the antiterrorism campaign under the Antiterrorism Law.

New legislation will be required to permit direct logistic support for a
U.S. attack on Iraq. With a war between the two countries expected to be
over quickly if it does break out, government leaders judged that drafting
and passing a new law at the next ordinary Diet session, to be convened next
month, would be too late, the sources said.

"With the overwhelming military power of the United States, it is highly
possible that the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will be toppled
in a short time, about one month," a ranking Foreign Ministry official said.

The government says the planned dispatch of an Aegis-equipped destroyer
later this month to the Indian Ocean to provide support in the antiterrorism
campaign will lower the patrol burdens placed on U.S. and British forces
during refueling operations.

The scope of the refueling operation by the Maritime Self-Defense Force will
be expanded to non-U.S. and British vessels to help make the antiterrorism
campaign more efficient. With this, the government believes the U.S. and
British militaries will be able to devote more time and energy to attacks on

The government plans to extend funds to the office of the U.N. High
Commissioner for Refugees and other relief organization so that they can
prepare refugee relief supplies such as tents. The government also plans
financial aid for nongovernmental organizations that participate in relief

NO URL (sent to subscribers to the Institute of War and Peace Reporting
Balkans list)

by Daniel Sunter in Belgrade
IWPR's Balkan Crisis Report, No. 388, 6th December 6, 2002

Belgrade last week handed over full details of its decades-long military
cooperation with Baghdad to boost United Nations weapons inspectors' current
investigation in Iraq.

Five United States army officials toured Serbia last week, accompanied by
representatives from the Yugoslav defence ministry, to speak to companies
and state-owned military complexes about the weapons trade.

As well as adding to NATO and the Pentagon's intelligence, the information
collected will be of great importance to the UN inspectors currently
searching Iraq for evidence of illegal weapons installations.

Serbia's deputy prime minister Nebojsa Covic told IWPR that the US experts
had been invited to the country following the Jugoimport arms scandal, when
the state-owned factory and Republika Srpska's Orao Aviation Institute were
discovered to have given military assistance to Saddam Hussein's regime in
defiance of UN embargoes.

"That had to be investigated.  We should be completely serious and take care
to be completely honest," said Covic.

After the scandal broke in October, Belgrade handed Washington its entire
federal military intelligence archive, which is believed to contain
information on installations and personnel vital to Saddam Hussein's war

Last week, the American experts visited Jugoimport and several key factories
involved in the manufacture and trade of military equipment - Prva Iskra
Baric, Sloboda (Cacak), Zastava (Kragujevac), Milan Blagojevic (Lucane),
Prvi Partizan (Uzice) and Krusik (Valjevo).

The US officials were furnished with copies of each firm's complete business
records, detailing their contact with Baghdad over the decades.

Stanoje Biocanin, general director of Prva Iskra, told Blic daily last week,
"They were interested in exactly what had been delivered - and what we had
offered - to Baghdad.  Everything boiled down to whether Iraq had the
capability of producing chemical weapons.

"They also wanted individual reports from people who had visited Baghdad,
and I told them I had personally been there to inaugurate a facility known
as KOL 1."

KOL 1, situated in the Iraqi town of Mahmudia, is an industrial complex
built by Yugoslav experts in the Eighties at a cost of around one billion US
dollars.  While it is primarily designed to produce gunpowder and
explosives, there is a theory that it could be capable of making components
for chemical weapons.

Yugoslav foreign affairs minister Goran Svilanovic said on November 28, "We
are preparing a detailed report for the UN, which will be urgently sent to
chief weapons inspector Hans Blix.

"Also, in cooperation with the US government, we are trying to establish
what was happening in the years when our country was under sanctions, and
when proper control mechanisms were not respected."

Belgrade has also accepted Britain's offer of advice and help in the
implementation of a new control system for military trade.

Svilanovic explained the UK method involves tracking arms sales.  Thus, when
Serbia makes a deal in future, the Yugoslav embassies in the destination
countries will have to confirm that the weapons arrived safely - and have
not been diverted to a third country under UN sanctions.

Belgrade sees these measures as the final chapter in the Jugoimport-Orao
affair, which caused huge embarrassment to a government working hard to
rehabilitate the country after the fall of Milosevic.

Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic's government - which had had no knowledge of
the illicit trade - launched an investigation immediately after the first
allegations surfaced.  It soon emerged that corrupt defence ministry
officials had conspired with the powerful weapons dealers to continue
trading with Iraq following Milosevic's fall.

Several Jugoimport and defence ministry officials were dismissed and the
government assumed full control of weapons exports. It later transpired that
due to official negligence, Milosevic-era contracts with Baghdad had never
been cancelled.

Former Serb secret police official Stevan Nikcevic has now been entrusted
with the task of leading Jugoimport out of the scandal and severing all ties
between the firm and Iraq.

Daniel Sunter is IWPR's project manager in Belgrade,3604,852539,00.html

by Jonathan Steele
The Guardian, 3rd December

Pity Germany. Usually caricatured as a country with militarist instincts,
for the last few months it has been in the dock on a different charge. The
Bush administration accuses it of pacifism.

Ever since its chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, announced during his
re-election campaign in August that he would not take part in any
"adventure" in Iraq, Washington's propaganda machine has been in high gear.
Spinners put out the word that its irresponsibility may have lost Germany
any chance of getting a permanent seat on the UN security council.
Schröder's government was cold-shouldered by senior US officials.

The Americans initially hoped Schröder's outburst was merely a ploy to get
votes which a cynical chancellor would renounce under the pressure of
American wrath once he was safely back in the saddle. But there has been no
retreat. Schröder has gone on with his criticisms of US policy and at the
recent Nato summit in Prague the Americans tried to corner him by making a
big media issue out of whether superpower Bush would even shake the naughty
boy's hand.

Far from being isolated, Schröder was the man who with French help led the
resistance to Washington's plans for Nato. The alphabetical seating plan put
the United Kingdom and the United States side by side at Prague, but
Schröder and Chirac sat symbolically next to each other opposite Blair and
Bush. Together they toned down the Anglo-American draft for a Nato statement
on Iraq, preventing any mention of "readiness" for military action and
turning it into nothing more than a repetition of support for the UN.

Schröder could not block the US from using long-standing American bases in
Germany or deny it overflying rights for a war on Iraq. These are guaranteed
by treaty and in the election campaign the chancellor never said he would
reverse this. So his promise in Prague not to interfere with American
freedom of movement, which he spelled out formally last week, was not a
u-turn. His refusal to let Germany itself take part in a war remains firm.

The new iron in the chancellor's spine comes in part from the even stronger
stand of his foreign minister, Joschka Fischer. But Schröder now gives all
the signs of being a man who is arming himself with a battery of arguments
for a long struggle with Washington. In a jovial self-assured performance at
his Prague press conference he talked of "Europeanising" decision-making on
international issues and brushed aside American pressure on the EU to give
Turkey a guarantee of future membership. If done, he said, it would be
because it was in Europe's interest to encourage secular forces there.
Washington's position was not part of the equation.

He talked of "asymmetrical" warfare, now that powerful states have been
shown to be vulnerable to low-tech terrorism. It was wrong to put the new
threats into the framework of Nato's old machinery. On the contrary, the
alliance had to come up with a sophisticated threat assessment and then
develop a range of counter-measures, including more aid for development and
poverty reduction, rather than simply rely on new hardware. Military means
were only one element in what needed to be a broader and more imaginative

Although Schröder denied seeing America's sudden new plans for a
21,000-person Nato reaction force as a measure aimed at undercutting the
EU's slow effort to have its own such force, Schröder's actions show he
shares French suspicions. His conditions for German participation
effectively sabotage the US plan. Any decision to use the new Nato force
would have to be unanimous, and no German troops could take part without a
parliamentary vote.

Schröder's decision to turn US foreign policy into a domestic election issue
certainly had an element of expediency. The Social Democrats' private polls
in August foretold defeat as clearly as the public ones. Yet what was
important about the chancellor's move was that it succeeded. It revealed
powerful underlying support for more independence in German foreign policy.
Sustained by strong pro-Americanism for the last two generations, Germans
were waiting for leaders to recognise the world was different. They want
"nationalism with a European face"; in other words for Germany to defy the
US when necessary and bring its European partners to take a similar stance.

Having tested this new political chord in the election, Schröder continues
to develop it. Chirac sees military prowess as a key element in his
country's international reputation and has notions of great-power status
which Germany does not share. But this divergence matters less than unity on
the bigger issue. They are forcing the US into accepting that Nato will
never take aggressive military action as an alliance. Bush can only count on
"coalitions of the willing". Thanks to Schröder and Fischer there is also a
"coalition of the unwilling".

CNN, 6th December

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) --NATO nations are studying four scenarios presented
by the United States for possible military roles for the alliance should war
break out in Iraq, senior alliance officials said Thursday.

As in the 1991 Gulf War and last year's overthrow of the Taliban in
Afghanistan, the United States will spearhead any attack, backed by a
"coalition of the willing" comprising both NATO and non-NATO allies.

However, unlike in those conflicts, Washington is also seeking a role for
NATO. Options include:

‹ Protecting Turkey from the threat of a counterstrike from the Iraqis.

‹ Using NATO's planning facilities to coordinate efforts such as air or sea
transport for troops and equipment, air-to-air refueling, or even air cover
to ground troops.

‹ Utilizing collective forces such as AWACS surveillance planes,
minesweepers or naval patrol ships.

‹ Providing troops to enforce peace and help rebuild Iraq after Saddam
Hussein's regime has been toppled.

"In the event of a conflict, the United States would welcome NATO political
support and an effective contribution militarily," said Nicholas Burns, the
U.S. ambassador to NATO.

The ideas were presented to the allies Wednesday by U.S. Deputy Defense
Secretary Paul Wolfowitz during a visit to NATO headquarters.

Wolfowitz said the United States had received indications of support from
many allies for military action should the Iraq crisis lead to war.

NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson stressed the United States was not
seeking an immediate response from allies on the military options as
diplomatic efforts continue to avoid a war through the U.N. inspection

"We hope ... there'll be no need for military action," Robertson told
reporters on a NATO plane carrying ambassadors to Kosovo to review alliance
peacekeeping operations there. The plane had to turn back without landing
because of flooding at Pristina airport.

Robertson said NATO would be looking closely at the U.S. ideas over the
coming weeks and would start to develop more detailed planning "when it
becomes clearer that the military option will be required."

The United States is involving allies more closely in the planning over Iraq
than in last year's attack on the Taliban regime in Afghanistan when some
NATO nations were annoyed their offers of assistance were not immediately
taken up by Washington.

That was partly because of the need for a swift response to the Sept. 11
attacks on New York and Washington which did not allow time for lengthy
coalition building, unlike the slow build up for possible action against

Burns said the consultations also showed a renewed U.S. commitment to NATO
in the wake of last month's alliance summit in Prague, where allied leaders
pledged "effective measures" to support the United States over Iraq, and
undertook to refocus the military toward threats from terrorism and rogue

Robertson stressed the leaders' words in the Czech capital meant "NATO is
involved now" in what happens in Iraq.

However, major differences remain on the level of support for the U.S.
position on Iraq.

While Britain has stridently backed the U.S. position and Spain, Italy,
Portugal, Canada and Denmark have indicated they would send troops, Germany
has ruled out any deployment. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has said,
however, German airspace and bases would be available.


Yahoo, 3rd December

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States wants a two-week extension on
the Iraq oil-for-food humanitarian plan so it can discuss with Security
Council members a list of civilian imports it wants banned for Baghdad, U.S.
Ambassador John Negroponte said Tuesday.

It was not immediately clear whether the council, now meeting on the
program, would agree to another short-term extension, this time for as long
as two weeks.

"Many of these issues are quite technical and we think if we have another
rollover for a couple of weeks perhaps that will give us the opportunity to
resolve some of those issues," U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte told
reporters as council members met behind closed doors on the program.

Council members agreed on Nov. 25 to renew the Iraq oil-for-food program for
nine days only so negotiations could continue between Washington, which had
wanted a three-month extension, and the other 14 nations, who insist on the
usual six months.

Iraq has continued exporting oil through the current nine-day extension
despite fears of disruption to supply. Iraqi crude exports have recently
been running at around 1.9 million barrels per day, making it the world's
eighth largest exporter.

ABC News, from The Associated Press, 5th December

In a show of unity after tough negotiations, the Security Council voted
unanimously Wednesday to extend the U.N. humanitarian program in Iraq for
six months and review a list of goods that Baghdad needs approval to import
within 30 days.

The resolution represented a compromise between the United States, which
wants to quickly add about 50 items with possible military uses to the list,
and the other 14 council members, led by Russia, who wanted to renew the
oil-for-food program for the usual six-month period.

The United States had been at odds with the rest of the Security Council on
how long the program should be extended. The compromise preserves council
unity over Iraq at a critical time, with U.N. weapons inspectors in the
country carrying out a toughened search for illegal arms.

"It's absolutely a victory for common sense, and victory for the Security
Council, and I would say victory for the Iraqi people," said Russia's U.N.
Ambassador Sergey Lavrov. "We ensured ... that the humanitarian program
continues uninterrupted."

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said the United States will move swiftly to
implement the agreement and update the so-called goods review list.

"It is imperative that Iraq not be able to take advantage of loopholes or
omissions in the goods review list to acquire items that strengthen its
conventional and weapons of mass destruction capabilities," he said.

An agreement was reached hours before a nine-day extension of the program
was set to expire at midnight.

Syria's U.N. Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe called the six-month extension "a
success for the humanitarian attitude in the Security Council," but said it
should have happened nine days ago.

The Bush administration initially proposed a two-week extension so it could
try to add new items to the 419-page list, including nerve antidotes and
jamming equipment. The list already includes thousands of items ranging from
machine tools and advanced computers to lasers and nuclear fuel production

Russia proposed an amendment, backed by the other 13 council members, that
would automatically renew the program for the usual six-month period after
the two-week extension expired on Dec. 18.

After tough negotiations, a compromise was reached.

At a closed-door meeting Wednesday afternoon, the Russians agreed to sit
down within 30 days to open up the list of goods, so the United States
agreed to extend the program for 180 days, a U.S. official said.

Negroponte said the U.S. decision to accept a six-month extension, rather
than two weeks, was not a setback. The United States got its key demand
speedy negotiations on updating the list which was "an important
accomplishment," he said.

Diplomats said it was critical to preserve the hard-won unity that led to
the Security Council's unanimous adoption on Nov. 8 of a new resolution on
arms inspections, which resumed a week ago. Resolution 1441 threatens
"serious consequences" if Iraq fails to comply, and the Bush administration
has said it will take military action if the council does not.

A French diplomat said the United States made a "wise" decision which
preserves council unity and keeps the humanitarian program going without
making it "hostage" to approval of an updated list of goods.

Lavrov, whose country is Iraq's closest council ally, said Moscow was
prepared to consider proposals to update the so-called "goods review list."
So far, Washington has not produced a list of items it wants to add.

"We have been waiting for the proposals for almost two weeks now, and they
are still not here," Lavrov said.

Russia has proposed its own changes, including amending provisions that
prohibit delivery of heavy trucks to Iraq for civilian use, Russian
officials have said.

The program, funded by revenue from Iraqi oil sales, allows Baghdad to
purchase food, medicine and other humanitarian goods while sanctions imposed
after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait remain in effect.

Under a new system drafted by the United States and adopted by the council
in the summer to speed the delivery of humanitarian goods, Iraq can purchase
any humanitarian items except those that may have a possible military use.
So-called dual-use items on the goods review list must be individually
approved by the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against

A U.S. official said the United States wants to add about 50 "very
technical" items to the list including nerve antidotes like atropine, and
their injectors, jamming and global positioning equipment, parts for trucks
and technical equipment and advanced jet flight simulators.

Western diplomats said the Pentagon also wants to add Cipro, which was given
out in the United States last year to combat anthrax. The powerful
antibiotic is also given to heart attack victims.

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