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[casi] News, 10-15/01/03 (6)

News, 10-15/01/03 (6)


*  Iraq's $40b embezzled, says ex-UN official
*  It is too early to consider attack on Iraq: Annan


*  Medical consequences of attacking Iraq
*  Forget the UN: Saddam Hussein is the best possible reason for liberating
*  Opposing War Is Good, But Not Good Enough
*  Plan: Tap Iraq's Oil
*  Sense in liberal portions
*  Logistics Delay Possible Iraq War Timetable - Paper
*  U.S. to Retain Baath Party in Post-Saddam Iraq
*  US may need over 350,000 troops in Iraq: Report


by Ashraf Shad
Dawn, 11th January

DUBAI, Jan 10: A former official of the United Nations accused the world
body of misappropriating $40 billion by using funds meant for Iraq's
oil-for-food programme.

Denis Halliday, former UN Assistant Secretary General who was the UN
Humanitarian Coordinator in Baghdad in 1998, says Iraq has sold $60 billion
of oil under the programme but received less than $20 billion worth of food,
medicine and other utility items.

In an exclusive interview, given in Baghdad, to Dubai-based Gulf News,
Halliday has blamed the world body for using oil-for- food programme, that
destined to provide basic needs to Iraqi people, to "finance a large part of
UN system.

"I think the Iraqi experience under UN auspices is so incredibly bad, in my
view genocidal, that the UN has done irreparable damage to itself," he was
quoted as saying in Gulf News. He explained where the $40 billion could have

"It has gone into Kuwait, to compensation, to pay for Unscom, Unmovic, and
military inspections. It has gone to finance the UN presence in this country
with its 4,500 personnel. It is paying for some body's establishment in New
York, Paris and Rome," he retorted. He described the situation as ridiculous
that Iraqis are treated as refugees in their own country and has to feed
themselves with their own money.

Last week the same newspaper had reported similar accusation by quoting
Iraqi commercial sources that blamed UN of embezzling $23 billion by
"manipulating the $60 billion oil-for food programme."

Dr. Mohammed Mehdi Saleh, Iraqi Trade Minister had charged that the UN
committee, that oversees the Iraqi boycotts, "was subject to direct
intervention by the American Deputy" of the committee and had accused the
committee of stopping contracts worth of $17 billion during the past six
years. Denis Halliday has also severely criticized the Security Council
describing it as "a body out of control and corrupted by the US.",0005.htm

Hindustani Times, 15th January

Press Trust of India, United Nations, January 15: Iraq need not be attacked
and can be disarmed peacefully if the international community maintains
pressure on Saddam Hussein and inspectors continue their job aggressively,
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said.

"I am both optimistic and hopeful that if we handle the situation right, and
the pressure on the Iraqi leadership is maintained and the inspectors
continue to work as aggressively as they are doing, we may be able to disarm
Iraq peacefully, without need to resort to war," Annan said.

It is too early to consider any military offensive against Baghdad when the
inspectors are "just getting up to full speed," he told reporters on

Annan said he was opposed to unilateral military action by the US and
Britain against Iraq and favoured a second resolution by the Security
Council authorising force if inspectors are unable to do their job.

"If disarmament were to succeed, that is the end of the story. Otherwise the
Council will have to face up its responsibility," he said.

"Extremely worried" about possible impact of war on the Iraqi population,
Annan said the UN was drawing up plans to meet the requirements of a large
number of refugees needing assistance in case of military action against

There was also some thinking about UN role in the post-conflict structures
building, he said, adding currently the focus was on the humanitarian

The UN has experience in building post-conflict structures including in
Afghanistan, Kosovo and East Timor he said, adding, however in Iraq's case
"we are not assuming anything."

The inspectors would prefer proactive cooperation from Baghdad, he said,
adding this would be among the topics that are expected to come up when
Chief Inspector Hans Blix and Director-General of the International Atomic
Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei go to Baghdad late this week.

"If there are unforeseen developments that make the Council determine that
there is a breach, then there should be serious consequences" but the
situation has not reached that point, Annan said.

Asked whether US' military build-up has been helpful, Annan said there is
"no doubt" that the American pressure was responsible for getting the
inspectors back, something which the UN tried unsuccessfully for four years
after they left Iraq in December, 1998.

"Iraq agreed to allow them in four days after American President George W
Bush called for their return in his speech to the UN General Assembly in
September last," he added.

But distinction has to be made between pressure and the threat of force and
the actual use of force, he said and cautioned the Bush administration
against its doctrine of pre-emptive strikes in cases of terrorism,
describing it as a "murky area."


by Helen Caldicott
San Francisco Chronicle, 10th January

As the Bush administration prepares to make war on the Iraqi people -- and
make no mistake, it is the civilian population of that country and not
Saddam Hussein who will bear the brunt of the hostilities -- it is important
that we recall the medical consequences of the last Gulf War. That conflict
was, in effect, a nuclear war.

During the 1991 Gulf War, the United States deployed hundreds of tons of
weapons, many of them anti-tank shells made of depleted uranium 238. This
material is 1.7 times more dense than lead, and hence when incorporated into
an anti-tank shell and fired, it achieves great momentum, cutting through
tank armor like a hot knife through butter.

What other properties does uranium 238 possess? First, it is pyrophoric:
When it hits a tank at high speed it bursts into flames, producing tiny
aerosolized particles less than 5 microns in diameter that are easily
inhalable into the terminal air passages of the lung. Second, it is a potent
radioactive carcinogen, emitting a relatively heavy alpha particle composed
of 2 protons and 2 neutrons. Once inside the body -- either in the lung if
it has been inhaled, or in a wound if it penetrates flesh, or ingested since
it concentrates in the food chain and contaminates water -- it can produce
cancer in the lungs, bones, blood, or kidneys. Third, it has a half-life of
4.5 billion years, meaning the areas in which this ammunition was used in
Iraq and Kuwait during Gulf War will remain effectively radioactive for the
rest of time.

Children are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to the effects of radiation than
adults. My fellow pediatricians in the Iraqi town of Basra, for example, are
reporting an increase of 6 to 12 times in the incidence of childhood
leukemia and cancer. Yet because of the sanctions imposed upon Iraq by the
United States and United Nations, they have no access to drugs or effective
radiation machines to treat their patients.

The incidence of congenital malformations has doubled in the exposed
populations in Iraq where these weapons were used. Among them are babies
born with only one eye or missing all or part of their brain.

The medical consequences of the use of uranium 238 almost certainly did not
affect only Iraqis. Some U.S. veterans exposed to it are reported, by at
least one medical researcher, to be excreting uranium in their urine a
decade later. Other reports indicate it is being excreted in their semen.
(The fact that almost one-third of the American tanks used in Desert Storm
were themselves made of uranium 238 is another story, for their crews were
thereby exposed to whole-body gamma radiation.)

Would these effects have surprised the U.S. authorities? No, for incredible
as it may seem, the American military's own studies prior to Desert Storm
warned that aerosol uranium exposure under battlefield conditions could lead
to cancers of the lung and bone, kidney damage, non-malignant lung disease,
neurocognitive disorders, chromosomal damage and birth defects.

Do George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald
Rumsfeld understand the medical consequences of the 1991 war and the likely
health effects of the next one they are now planning? If they do not, their
ignorance is breathtaking; even more incredible though -- and alas, much
more likely -- is that they do understand, but do not care.

Helen Caldicott has devoted the last 25 years to an international campaign
to educate the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age.

NO URL (Sent to list and the Independent's website was down when I looked
for it)

by Johann Hari
The Independent, 10th January

Why do we need evidence of a stash of anthrax or sarin to convince us that
Saddam, the gasser of the Kurds and butcher of Baghdad, should be
overthrown? Hans Blix and his UN inspection team issued an interim report in
New York yesterday.

They have found no weapons of mass destruction (WMD), so war, it seems, will
not come this month. Why does this make so many of us on the left relax?
What has become of the left which argued that we had a moral responsibility
to defend our fellow humans from fascist dictators? By taking the route of
hunting for WMD, and only accepting the overthrow of Saddam on those
grounds, we have made a crucial mistake. The greatest possible evidence for
this is that, while some in the West celebrate today, the Iraqi people will
be weeping.

Who, you may be asking incredulously, would want their country to be bombed?
What would make people want to risk their children being blown to pieces? I
wondered this too until, last October, I spent a month as a journalist
seeing the reality of life under Saddam Hussein. Strangely, it's the small
details which remain in the memory, even now, three months later. It's the
pale, sickly look that would come over people's faces when I mentioned
Saddam. It's the fact that the Marsh Arabs - a proud, independent people who
have seen their marshes drained and been "relocated" to tiny desert shacks -
are forced to hang a small, menacing picture of Saddam in their new "homes".
It's the child wearing a T-shirt saying "Yes, yes, yes to Daddy Saddam".

If Britain were governed by such a man, I would welcome friendly bombs - a
concept I once thought absurd. I might be prepared to risk my own life to
bring my country's living death to an end. Most of the Iraqi people I
encountered clearly felt the same. The moment they established that I was
British, people would hug me and offer coded support (they would be even
more effusive towards the Americans I travelled with). They would explain
how much they "admire Britain - British democracy, yes? You understand?"

This evidence is, admittedly, anecdotal, and I would be wary of supporting a
war based simply on these impressions. But now there is concrete evidence.
The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based independent
think-tank, by no means pro-war, conducted extensive interviews with people
in Iraq last autumn, and, as their report explains, "a significant number of
those Iraqis interviewed, with surprising candour, expressed their view
that, if [regime change] required an American-led attack, they would support
it. The notion of leaving the country's destiny in the hands of an
omnipotent foreign party has more appeal than might be expected - and the
desire for a long-term US involvement is higher than expected."

There are important conditions, however, attached to Iraqis' support for the
war. They expect it to be quick - one person I spoke to said that "the few
soldiers who fight for him will be defeated in a weekend" - as happened in
1991. The extremely unlikely scenario of a protracted, Vietnam-style
conflict would almost certainly lead to a change in their attitudes.

And, crucially, the Iraqi people expect the Americans to help to rebuild
their country after the war. This, surely, is what we should be marching in
the streets for - not to oppose a war that will remove one of the world's
worst dictators, but to secure a guarantee from Blair and Bush that after
the conflict we will stay and help its people to build a peaceful, federal,
democratic Iraq. Those who scorn this possibility, either with the racist
notion that Arabs are incapable of democracy or with a fashionable cynicism
about political progress, should remember that their sneers could equally
have been directed towards post-Second World War Japan and Germany.

The Japanese had no history of democracy or freedom, and the Germans had
only the memories of the disastrous Weimar Republic, but American
occupations oversaw their transformations into successful democracies. We
must campaign, then, to make sure that Iraq becomes a Japan or Germany and
not an Afghanistan, bombed and then starved of the funds it needs to
establish stability and basic human rights for its people. There is more
hope for Iraq because its people are highly educated, it has a developed
infrastructure, and because it would be morally obscene if the profits from
Iraq's vast oil reserves did not go towards rebuilding the country.

It is time that, in light of the ICG report, we in the West admit that we
have misunderstood the Iraqi people's position. We have been acting as
though an attack on Saddam would be the beginning of another hideous ordeal
for the population, the interruption of an otherwise peaceful situation. In
fact, as the ICG report explains, "for the Iraqi people, who since 1980 have
lived through a devastating conflict with Iran, Desert Storm, sanctions,
international isolation and periodic US-UK aerial attacks, a state of war
has existed for two decades already". Do not imagine that if we fail to act,
the Iraqi people will be left in peace - quite the opposite. We can act to
shorten their suffering.

Nor can we criticise this war, as figures such as Tariq Ali have, as an
"imperial adventure". The Iraqi people are already living under imperial
occupation. The 80 per cent of the population who are Shia Muslims live
under the imperialistic rule of the minority Sunni clique with whom they
feel no common identity. You might be thinking that if they are all Iraqi,
it is not foreign occupation; if so you are misunderstanding the nature of
Iraq. This is an artificial state created by Europeans in 1921 at the end of
the Ottoman Empire, comprising many divergent groups (Kurds, Shia, Sunni,
Christian, Jews and more). We have no reason to believe that they now have a
collective national identity, so to be ruled by a Sunni is indeed akin to
being under foreign occupation. Would you rather be ruled indefinitely by a
totalitarian imperial ruler who will cling to power down to the last bunker,
or a temporary American imperial ruler which might offer a democratic and
stable future?

If your hatred of Dubya overwhelms your hatred of Saddam, then I sympathise
- that is the reason why I too once viewed this war with dread and contempt
- but I strongly suspect that if you were confronted with the reality of
Saddam's Iraq, you would change your mind. Of course, forming an alliance
with George Bush is an unpleasant experience, but we formed an alliance with
Stalin to defeat Hitler. It is also possible that Bush, like his father,
will betray the hopes of the people of Iraq - and we must campaign to
prevent this.

We do not need Bush's dangerous arguments about "pre-emptive action" to
justify this war. Nor do we need to have the smoking gun of WMD. All we need
are the humanitarian arguments we used during the Kosovo conflict to remove
the monstrous Slobodan Milosevic - and this time, we can act in the certain
(rather than probable) knowledge that the people being tyrannised will be
cheering us on.

by Faleh A. Jabar
The Progressive, 3rd January

Getting rid of the Ba'th regime in Iraq has been the cause of my life for
almost a quarter of a century. Precisely when the United States found in the
totalitarian regime a worthy ally to stem the tide of fundamentalist
Khomeini forces in 1979, the leftist movement to which I belonged
discovered, so belatedly, it was in the jaws of a rapacious Leviathan.

I was a member of the Iraqi Communist Party and the editor of the paper's
international and Arab affairs department. I hailed the collapse of the Shah
of Iran as a portent of "the end of single-party systems." This did not
endear me to the Iraqi government. We got a tip I was blacklisted, and I had
to leave in less than six hours! I flew to Beirut on a sunny Sunday
afternoon in October 1978 to avoid the horrible fate that thousands of my
colleagues had met: torture, rape, or assassination. You had either to be
with the Ba'th or you were against it.

For a decade or so, we lived like global underground nomads, changing
countries, dialects, names, and passports, fake or otherwise. More than
200,000 Iraqis--mostly intellectuals and professionals from the left,
liberal, or Kurdish nationalist currents--crossed the border. The world took
no notice. Why should it have? I took solace in the writings of German
intellectuals who sought refuge outside beleaguered Europe under the Nazi
rule. New vocabulary entered our lexicon: exile, identity, alienation, and
angst. These were accentuated by a sense of weightlessness, that unbearable
lightness of being. New layers of emigrants inflated our ranks to reach an
estimated 3.5 million Iraqis in exile in the late 1990s--the crème of the
nation. In London, my last home base, aged liberal politicians from the
monarchy socialize with middle-aged leftists or rub shoulders with young
disillusioned Ba'thists who seek asylum, unified by a sense of loss and

As a young man, Saddam Hussein admired Hitler's system of government. Stalin
and his totalitarian model became Saddam's exemplars. Saddam tailored his
system along Nazi and Stalinist lines, though it had a number of new
features as well. In keeping with Nazi ideals, Iraq's Ba'th system had four
main pillars: totalitarian ideology, single-party rule, a command economy
(nominally socialist), and firm control over the media and the army.

Unlike the Nazi model, the Ba'th version transformed Iraq's traditional
tribes and clans into key state institutions. These groups still survive in
rural provinces and outlying rural areas.

Oil revenues were another cornerstone of the Ba'th system. Massive oil
reserves and revenues provided the government with autonomous resources that
reinforced its authoritarian tendencies and enabled it to build massive
security services. Between 1968 and 1980, the proportionate size of the
armed forces to the population rocketed from 3 per 1,000 to 60 per 1,000.
Equipped with wealth and manpower, the Ba'th regime ruthlessly destroyed the
organized movements of the left, the nationalist Kurds, and the liberal
Shi'a movements.

Affiliation with the single ruling Ba'th party was almost mandatory. No
government employment, higher education, or business was available to
nonparty groups or individuals. Playing along, the Westernized middle and
upper classes took advantage of expanded opportunities and prospered during
the oil boom in the late '70s. Their success exceeded all expectations,
despite the restrictions of the command economy. In 1968, Iraq had
fifty-three millionaire families; there were 800 such households in 1980,
and some 3,000 by 1989. Salaried employees and property owners became
powerful social forces. They did not owe their prosperity to a free market
system; rather, they were dependent on government employment and contracts.
Within the corridors of power and the newly ascendant social classes, tribal
or kinship-based groups held strategic positions. A ruling class-clan
rapidly developed and maintained a tight grip on the army, the Ba'th party,
the bureaucracy, and the business milieus.

As the Ba'th regime felt domestically confident, it began to look outward
for regional supremacy. The Iraq-Iran war was an outcome of such grand
designs. It soon depleted Iraq's human and material resources. In 1988, Iraq
emerged from the eight years of war a military giant but an economic dwarf.
Global waves of democratic change, above all the demise of single-party
systems in Eastern Europe, aggravated the crisis. Reforms were offered but
not delivered. Instead, Saddam pursued a new adventure to seize the King
Solomon treasures of Kuwait to remedy the woes of the previous war.

The climax is known too well.

Totalitarianism is a flawed system; it constantly produces its own
antithesis. It starts with constructing impersonal institutions but ends up
promoting a personality cult; it strives to homogenize the nation, but its
assimilative techniques deepen ethnic and cultural cleavages, ripping the
fabric of the nation apart; its command economy claims egalitarianism as its
ideal, but it actually widens the gap between the rich and the poor,
creating crony capitalism; it claims to embrace lofty ideals of progress,
yet it destroys civil associations and strives to retrieve outdated
traditional value systems; it gives obsessive priority to regime security
but actually endangers national security. Such is the story of Iraqi

Iraq's totalitarian system has been a menace to its own people, the region,
and the world at large. Leaving the monster in its place is an invitation to
future catastrophe. This may sound like an endorsement of the war camp. Not
at all. Warmongering is as shortsighted as philanthropic pacifism. The
former deliberately neglects the possibilities of a political solution to
the problem; the latter does not recognize the existence of the problem.
Both are locked in an ideological cage.

Warmongering comes largely from the evangelical right, i.e., the new
conservatism that imposes a clash-of-civilizations formula on world
politics. The tragic events of 9/11 provided an ideal backdrop to Donald
Rumsfeld's "leaning forward" argument for aggression. Perhaps the swift
success scored by the United States in removing the fundamentalist Taliban
regime was--and still is--a catalyst for further experiments in "surgical"

But an invasion of Iraq may well prove too costly or degenerate into chaos.
The demise of the totalitarian regime, however welcome, will involve and
unleash latent, uncontrollable institutional and social forces beside which
fantasy will pale. A civil war may begin nobody knows where and end up in
nobody knows what. A palace coup might be convenient for the U.S.
Administration, but it would be another tragedy for the Iraqi people.

War is as pernicious as totalitarianism. Both breed violence and mayhem.

Opposing the war in itself is good but not good enough. Letting the
Leviathan off the hook is a grave mistake for which we will pay sooner
rather than later. Opposing war, which is an instrument of politics, should
not lead us to forget the crux of the things political. It is not weapons of
mass destruction that count most; what really counts is the political system
that controls them. Ignoring this fact by the forces of peace simply serves
the war camp.

Dozens of nations have chemical and biological weapons. None has deployed
them, except Saddam's regime, first against the Iranian forces, later
against Iraqi civilians. Governments should be held responsible for such
crimes. Ironically, the United States let Saddam get away with no punishment
for the actual deployment of chemical and biological weapons back in 1988,
but it is now adamant about confronting him for a possible deployment of
such weapons in the future. This is the logic of preemption. Yet there is no
law, domestic or international, that permits a prosecutor to go after an
ex-convict for a future, would-be offense. There is every law to bring a
culprit to trial for actually breaching human norms in the first place.

In all the decades of struggle and international lobbying, one approach has
never been tried: a meaningful political process to disengage the various
components of the regime from each other--above all, a drive to split the
ruling class-clan.

Here's what I think ought to happen. One, threaten Saddam with indictment.
Two, give him an alternative for safe passage at the same time; this may
create a crack in the ruling class clan. Three, send a list of thirty or so
of his aides who are persona non grata and demand that they leave the
country with him. This ought to convince the rest of the class-clan members
that they are not threatened en masse--only those who were most responsible
for the offenses of the regime. Four, encourage this class-clan to oust
Saddam into exile and sweeten the deal by offering a mini-Marshall plan.
This mini-Marshall plan would be made available provided power was
transferred to a civilian, interim government.

Such continued pressure, a political onslaught, should be backed by threat
of force. A few warning shots may well be sufficient. This would help split
the ruling group and embolden the people to take matters into their hands. A
painfully slow process of regime disintegration has already been going on,
and this political pressure would hasten the process along. An invasion, on
the other hand, would wrench matters out of Iraqi hands and would risk
untold consequences.

By the way, a mini-Marshall Plan would prove far less costly than the
projected $100 billion to $200 billion for the war and occupation. It would
help rebuild the wrecked nation, and it could help further split the
semi-monolithic ruling class-clan and encourage a meaningful change of hands
at the top. This, then, could provide sufficient encouragement for a
peaceful, or at least less costly, transformation.

The present U.S. campaign would achieve nothing of this. It is a military
crusade, with diplomacy as a reluctant sideshow. And it is not geared to the
interests or participation of the Iraqi people.

The reinception of the rule of law is a vital necessity for Iraq. It is also
a precondition for any viable, emerging democracy. Such an eventuality will
be the best safety net for regional peace and stability. Iraq is a vibrant
nation that deserves such a future.
Faleh A. Jabar is a research fellow at the School of Politics and Sociology,
Birkbeck College, University of London. His recent publications include
"Ayatollahs, Sufis, and Ideologues: State, Religion, and Social Movements in
Iraq," and "Tribes and Power in the Middle East," both from Saqi Books,
London, 2002. His forthcoming title is "The Shi'a Movement of Iraq," Saqi

by Knut Royce
Newsday, 10th January

Washington -- Bush administration officials are seriously considering
proposals that the United States tap Iraq's oil to help pay the cost of a
military occupation, a move that likely would prove highly inflammatory in
an Arab world already suspicious of U.S. motives in Iraq.

Officially, the White House agrees that oil revenue would play an important
role during an occupation period, but only for the benefit of Iraqis,
according to a National Security Council spokesman.

Yet there are strong advocates inside the administration, including the
White House, for appropriating the oil funds as "spoils of war," according
to a source who has been briefed by participants in the dialogue.

"There are people in the White House who take the position that it's all the
spoils of war," said the source, who asked not to be further identified. "We
[the United States] take all the oil money until there is a new democratic
government [in Iraq]."

The source said the Justice Department has urged caution. "The Justice
Department has doubts," he said. He said department lawyers are unsure
"whether any of it [Iraqi oil funds] can be used or has to all be held in
trust for the people of Iraq."

Another source who has worked closely with the office of Vice President Dick
Cheney said that a number of officials there too are urging that Iraq's oil
funds be used to defray the cost of occupation.

Jennifer Millerwise, a Cheney spokeswoman, declined to talk about "internal
policy discussions."

Using Iraqi oil to fund an occupation would reinforce a prevalent belief in
the Mideast that the conflict is all about control of oil, not rooting out
weapons of mass destruction, according to Halim Barakat, a recently retired
professor of Arab studies at Georgetown University.

"It would mean that the real ... objective of the war is not the
democratization of Iraq, not getting rid of Saddam, not to liberate the
Iraqi people, but a return to colonialism," he said. "That is how they
[Mideast nations] would perceive it."

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of an occupation
would range from $12 billion to $48 billion a year, and officials believe an
occupation could last 1-1/2 years or more.

And Iraq has a lot of oil. Its proven oil reserves are second in the world
only to Saudi Arabia's. But how much revenue could be generated is an open
question. The budget office estimates Iraq now is producing nearly 2.8
million a day, with 80 percent of the revenues going for the United Nations
Oil for Food Program or domestic consumption. The remaining 20 percent,
worth about $3 billion a year, is generated by oil smuggling and much of it
goes to support Saddam Hussein's military. In theory that is the money that
could be used for reconstruction or to help defer occupation costs.

Yet with fresh drilling and new equipment Iraq could produce much more. By
some estimates, however, it would take 10 years to fully restore Iraq's oil
industry. Conversely, if Hussein torches the fields, as he did in Kuwait in
1991, it would take a year or more to resume even a modest flow. And, of
course, it is impossible to predict the price of oil.

Laurence Meyer, a former Federal Reserve Board governor who chaired a Center
for Strategic and International Studies conference in November on the
economic consequences of a war with Iraq, said that conference participants
deliberately avoided the question of whether Iraq should help pay occupation
or other costs.

"It's a very politically sensitive issue," he said. "... We're in a
situation where we're going to be very sensitive to how our actions are
perceived in the Arab world."

Meyer said officials who believe Iraq's oil could defer some of the
occupation costs may be "too optimistic about how much you could increase
[oil production] and how long it would take to reinvest in the
infrastructure and reinvest in additional oil."

An administration source said that most of the proposals for the conduct of
the war and implementation of plans for a subsequent occupation are being
drafted by the Pentagon. Last month a respected Washington think tank
prepared a classified briefing commissioned by Andrew Marshall, the
Pentagon's influential director of Net Assessment, on the future role of
U.S. Special Forces in the global war against terrorism, among other issues.
Part of the presentation recommended that oil funds be used to defray the
costs of a military occupation in Iraq, according to a source who helped
prepare the report. He said that the study, undertaken by the Center for
Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, concluded that "the cost of the
occupation, the cost for the military administration and providing for a
provisional administration, all of that would come out of Iraqi oil." He
said the briefing was delivered to the office of Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy
secretary of Defense and one of the administration's strongest advocates for
an invasion of Iraq, on Dec. 13.

Steven Kosiak, the center's director of budget studies, said he could not
remember whether such a recommendation was made, but if it was it would only
have been "a passing reference to something we did."

Asked whether the Pentagon was now advocating the use of Iraqi oil to pay
for the cost of a military occupation, Army Lt. Col. Gary Keck, a spokesman,
said, "We don't have any official comment on that."

NSC spokesman Mike Anton said that in the event of war and a military
occupation the oil revenues would be used "not so much to fund the operation
and maintaining American forces but for humanitarian aid, refugees, possibly
for infrastructure rebuilding, that kind of thing."

But the source who contributed to the Marshall report said that its
conclusions reflect the opinion of many senior administration officials. "It
[the oil] is going to fund the U.S. military presence there," he said. "...
They're not just going to take the Iraqi oil and use it for Iraq's purpose.
They will charge the Iraqis for the U.S. cost of operating in Iraq. I don't
think they're planning as far as I know to use Iraqi oil to pay for the
invasion, but they are going to use it to pay for the occupation."

by Mike Wade
The Scotsman, 13th January


"There are a lot of people who owe their freedom to the Americans: the
Japanese, the Germans, the Bosnians, the Kosovans, the Afghanis - thatıs
five. By freedom, I donıt mean some absolute state of bliss, I just mean
relief from tyranny."

Again, it may be unpopular but he believes the United States has become the
sole guarantor of order in the world. Anything else is fantasy. He assumes
shopkeeperly mode: "You donıt like the Americans? How about the Chinese or
the Russians? Oh, you donıt like either of those either. How about the
Europeans? They canıt agree fish quotas in the North Sea, for Chrissake.

"These are the cards weıve been dealt."

But at this point in history, for Ignatieff the issue has become whether the
Americans can continue to offer stability. And here - unlike Hitchens - he
is ready to get off the bus to Iraq.

Make no mistake, he says, this is a grade ŒAı odious regime. "But you can
just make the case for intervention only if you put together two things -
massive human rights violations internally and possession or perspective
possession of WMD. Neither on their own is enough to justify coercive
military force. To put the two together is like a binary weapon, it begins
to justify intervention.

"Am I blind to the humanitarian consequences of war? No. But we are talking
about lesser evils. It is a very unpleasant set of choices between bad

So he could accept intervention? Itıs only a qualified yes, for his doubts
over Washingtonıs policy persist, particularly in their apparent belief that
they can free oppressed Iraqis but leave ordinary Palestinians to their

"Itıs not the military problem thatıs difficult. The Americans are probably
right to think they can knock this regime off quickly. But nobody is very
good at nation building, and nobody knows how to get peace in the Middle
East. Unless you put both of those together in the equation, itıs just
making trouble.

"This is not a kind of religious issue, an issue of anti-Americanism. It is
an assessment of an agonising problem in the public policy of major states.
Itıs not about the triumph of good over evil, itıs about whether you can use
a lesser evil to avoid a greater."

He recalls a visit to Gaza in the 1980s, a place ravaged by conflict. All
that time and no peace - two decades later, when alleged terrorist cells are
found in Edinburgh or North London, the failure to win a settlement in the
Middle East causes agonies all over the world.

"It took us far too long to realise these places are not on Mars. This stuff
ends up, through a chain of consequences we donıt understand, to an Algerian
cell by the Hibernian football ground. Or some bunch of weirdoes in Wood
Green grinding out castor oil nuts."

Exasperation takes hold: "Jesus Christ," he snaps. "The liberal in me
understands this - we have surely made a lot of mistakes."

Yahoo, 13th January

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. troops being deployed to the Persian Gulf region
would not be ready for a full-scale war against Iraq before late February or
early March because of logistical complications involved in putting a large
fighting force into place, USA Today reported on Monday.

Citing Pentagon officials, the report said the timing of a possible U.S.
invasion to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had been pushed back from
mid-February mainly because of the complexity of putting a large ground
force into the field and getting it geared up for war.

A Pentagon spokesman was not immediately available for comment on the

USA Today reported that another factor contributing to the delay in the
timetable for a possible was Turkey had not agreed to host some 80,000 U.S.
troops who would participate in an invasion of Iraq.

"We need an answer," a defense official was quoted as saying.

According to the report, the delayed timetable contributed to the Bush
administration's willingness to accept extending U.N. weapons inspections
beyond Jan. 27 -- the date when U.N. inspectors are scheduled to give a
formal assessment of Iraqi compliance with U.N. disarmament demands.

President Bush has said that he has made no decision on whether to invade
Iraq over U.S. charges that Baghdad is developing weapons of mass

But Jan. 27 has been viewed by some administration officials as a potential
moment of decision on whether Iraq's cooperation has been sufficient to head
off military action.

Tehran Times, 13th January

TEHRAN -- The United States does not intend to destroy the Baath Party after
the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussain, Japanese and American
diplomatic sources said, according to the Japanese Kyodo News Agency.

The United States is interested in utilizing the Baath Party's network in
its democratization plans in the post-Saddam Iraq, the agency said.

The TEHRAN TIMES for the first time reported a couple of weeks ago that the
United States prefers a bloodless regime change in Iraq to a bloody war.

The United States has handed over the plan to its allies, including Japan,
as the main post war plan, Kyodo said, adding that the plan is under
consideration by Washington because of its serious doubts about the ability
of the opposition in managing the post-Saddam Iraq.

In the beginning, the White House had pinned hopes on the Iraqi opposition.
The idea of retaining the Baath Party without Saddam came to the fore
because of the fear of Iran's influence through a Shiit uprising in the
southern Iraq.

The U.S. has come to the conclusion that the preservation of the party could
help the democratization process in the post-war Iraq, it said.

At the same time the U.S. sources announced a meeting of an Iraqi Shiite
leader with the White House officials, including Zalmay Khalilzad.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan told a visiting Turkish
official that Turkey will be a major loser of the probable U.S. attacks on

The loss will not be confined to economic losses, rather it will include
political and security ones as well, he said.,001300180001.htm

Hindustani Times, 14th January

Agence France-Presse, Washington, January 14: The United States may need
more than 350,000 troops to wage war in Iraq and subsequently occupy the
country, which is more than the administration of President George W Bush
thought the task would require, ABC News reported late on Monday.

The report, which cited unnamed sources, came as Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld set in motion the largest surge of US forces in the Gulf region,
with orders on Friday that will bring their total numbers there to more than
150,000 in coming weeks.

More than 50,000 Marines, including most of the 1st Marine Expeditionary
Force based at Camp Pendleton, California, and a Marine Expeditionary
Brigade from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, received deployment orders,
Marine officials said.

This military buildup may be just the start of what could end up involving
more than 350,000 troops for a war and subsequent occupation of Iraq, the
network reported.

Sources said the National Guard and reserve callup -- 56,000 troops have
already been mobilized -- could also grow well beyond the 263,000 used in
the Persian Gulf War more than a decade ago, the report said.

The number of troops will depend at least in part on how successful the
United States is during the early phases of any war -- whether the Iraqis
use chemical weapons and whether there is large-scale resistance, especially
by civilians, according to ABC News.

Officials said it is quite possible that the United States will be occupying
part of Iraq and feeding millions of people while still fighting in other
parts of the country, the report pointed out.

These complexities notwithstanding, the Bush administration is preparing to
take its case for war to the United Nations soon after January 27 -- no
matter what UN weapons inspectors say in their report, ABC News reported.

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