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News, 15-22/01/03 (6) ANTI-WAR PROTESTS * Local Professors Protest Against War In Iraq * Iraq War Protesters: Sanctions Have Been A Disaster * Thousands in U.S. Rally Against Iraq War * A King Day Plea for Peace: Antiwar Message Dominates Observances at Area Churches, Rallies * Demonstrators wrap up a weekend of protests against possible war with Iraq * Volunteer 'Human Shields' to Head for Iraq IMPLICATIONS OF WAR * Questions about war that can't be ignored * Child fighters would pose ethical nightmare for allied troops in Gulf * Iraq Has Mined Its Oil Wells * Iraq warned against using human shields * The dangers of delaying an attack on Iraq * The Media Column: War journalists should not be cosying up to the military * Averting another Gulf War syndrome ANTI-WAR PROTESTS http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ibsys/20030116/lo_wews/145652 3 * LOCAL PROFESSORS PROTEST AGAINST WAR IN IRAQ Yahoo, 16th January As the military buildup continues in the Middle East, so do the peace protests here at home, and northeast Ohio is no exception. One of the largest peace vigils to date happened on the campus of Case Western Reserve University on Wednesday. NewsChannel5's Joe Pagonakis reported that more than 100 professors formed a silent circle on campus against the possible war with Iraq. "If there is a time that we have a chance to stop this, it (is) to join the growing resistance to the buildup that's occurring right now," professor Norman Robbins said. Professors made their case for peace and encouraged the Bush administration to be diligent in making U.N. weapons inspections effective. "If we go to war with Iraq, we antagonize people around the world who view the U.S. in a bad light, and in fact by killing people and (inciting) hatred, and inevitably it results in terrorism," professor Lawrence Krauss said. Some of the students at Case Western aren't quite sure if signing petitions and passing out fliers will effectively promote peace and prevent terrorism. Many said that a war with Iraq might be inevitable. "I will commend the professors in taking a stand, but I choose to leave everything in God's hands," student Nicole Carter said. "They are trying to make a stand and raise awareness, but I'm not sure what kind of difference it will make," student Peter Ritchie said. "In conjunction with our friends and allies in the world, if, as a group, they feel it's appropriate to go to war, then I would support it, yes," student Malcolm Wightman said. http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=5648789 * IRAQ WAR PROTESTERS: SANCTIONS HAVE BEEN A DISASTER by Sherna Noah The Scotsman, 17th January Anti-war protesters gathered on the 12th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War tonight to call for Britain and America to hold back from another attack on Iraq. The public meeting, held in central London, was organised by the direct action group which campaigns to end sanctions against Iraq, Voices in the Wilderness UK. Goods illegally exported out of Iraq such as dates, postcards, wallets and clothes were also being auctioned at the meeting to highlight the "disastrous results sanctions have had in Iraq." The meeting was attended by around 100 demonstrators and addressed by Iraqi-born Haifa Zangana, of the group Act Together, Women Against Sanctions on Iraq. She said: "Iraqi people are torn between hatred of their regime and hatred of the British and American governments. "Democracy is freedom and choice. I can't understand how democracy can be forced on people through war." She said Iraqis had been living under the threat of another war for the last 12 years. "War is going to be a big, big mistake on many levels. You start a war and you don't know where it's going to lead. "American soldiers are carrying the most developed weapons in the world but they still look frightened. "The majority of British people are against the war so the question is how do we stop it?" she said. Tomorrow Voices in the Wilderness is planning to protest outside the Permanent Joint Headquarters of the British Armed Forces to voice their opposition to war. The group's joint co-ordinator Gabriel Carlyle said: "The bottom line is that war on Iraq is illegal, immoral and counter productive. "It is illegal because under current circumstances there is no UN mandate for war. "It is immoral because hundreds and thousands of innocent people will die and it is not about human rights and democracy but replacing Saddam Hussein with a more US-friendly dictator. "It is counter productive because it's only going to make the problems of terrorism worse." http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/nat-gen/2003/jan/19/011904067.html * THOUSANDS IN U.S. RALLY AGAINST IRAQ WAR by Calvin Woodward Las Vegas Sun, 19th January WASHINGTON (AP): Tens of thousands rallied in the capital Saturday in an emphatic dissent against preparations for war in Iraq, voicing a cry - "No blood for oil" - heard in demonstrations around the world. A rally in the shadows of Washington's political and military institutions anchored dozens of smaller protests throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In Washington, police said 30,000 marched through the streets, part of a much larger crowd that packed the east end of the National Mall and spilled onto the Capitol grounds. "We stand here today, a new generation of anti-war activists," Peta Lindsay from International Answer, the main organizers, exhorted the spirited masses in a biting cold. "This is just beginning. We will stop this war." Police reported few arrests in the rally, which preceded the march past Marine barracks to the Washington Navy Yard. "We don't want this war and we don't want a government that wants this war," said Brenda Stokely, a New York City labor activist. A sign branded America, not Iraq, a "Rogue Nation." Another said, "Disarm Bush." Activists invoked the nonviolent legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on the long weekend that marks the civil rights leader's birthday, and booed President Bush, who was at Camp David, Md. King's historic "I have a dream" speech rang out from the opposite end of the mall, the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, before a crowd of more than 200,000 in 1963. "Mr. Bush hung Dr. King's picture up in the White House last year but he need to hang up Dr. King's words," the Rev. Al Sharpton, a Democratic presidential candidate, told the demonstration. Added civil rights activist Jesse Jackson: "We march today to fight militarism, and racism, and sexism, and anti-Semitism, and Arab-bashing." Terrence Gainer, chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, said "about 30,000 people moved out on the march route," a two-mile trek from the huge rally. Bush believes that protesting "is a time-honored part of American tradition and it's a strength of our democracy," White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo said. Demonstrators hoped the protests and more ahead would win over an American public unsettled by the prospect of an Iraq war yet supportive of Bush's leadership. Some dared hope their activism would give his administration pause. "Our voices ought to matter." said Joyce Townsend, 69, who came from Detroit on a bus with members of her church. As with any big Washington rally, the main cause made room for other causes. "Free Palestine" was one of them. Racism and genocide were others. "The underlying motives for this government's actions have always been greed and racism," said Moonanum James of United American Indians of New England. "In the spirit of Dr. King, in the spirit of Crazy Horse," he said, "no blood for oil." In Portland, Ore., police said at least 20,000 people marched through downtown. The eclectic crowd included elderly women in wheelchairs, families with small children, couples with dogs and hooded protesters dressed in black. Tens of thousands also demonstrated in San Francisco - a diverse collection of teenagers, retirees, seasoned activists and first-time protesters. Aris Cisneros, 38, brought his two young children. "I want Bush to see that his people are against the war," he said. "I want to show my children that they can stand up to stupidity." In Lansing, Mich., several hundred people met at a church before marching 20 blocks to the state Capitol. "It's just great enthusiasm here, and a great spirit of peacemaking," said the Rev. Fred Thelen from Cristo Rey Catholic Church. In Des Moines, Iowa, about 125 protesters marched two miles in a bitter wind that made temperatures feel below zero. "Standing out in this kind of temperature is nothing compared to innocent people losing their lives in Iraq," said marcher Eric Kimmer, 32, a credit union worker. About 400 people, many of them elderly, gathered in downtown Venice, Fla., to listen to anti-war speeches. "America cannot unsheathe the sword, and tell the rest of the world to brandish plowshares," said Methodist minister Charles McKenzie. Demonstrators staged peace rallies worldwide, events that typically drew hundreds or fewer. But 5,000 people marched through downtown Tokyo, carrying toy guns filled with flowers and wearing face masks that parodied Bush. Larry Holmes, speaking for organizers of the Washington rally, said protesters everywhere sense war is close. "It seems like it has a momentum and a sense of inevitability, and so we're rushing against the clock," he said. "So as they send the troops there and surround Iraq, we're sending the troops into the streets of Washington, D.C., so to speak." Three dozen people stood by the Vietnam War Memorial to show support for Bush's policy and offer a contrary voice to the blitz of demonstrations. "The protesters don't understand the threat" of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, said Scott Johnson, 55, a Navy veteran from Minneapolis. "It's a war of liberation for people." Overseas, 60 protesters in Hong Kong shouted, "War, no," and in Pakistan, the familiar refrain "No blood for oil" was heard - accusing America of wanting to attack Iraq only to control its oil wealth. Police in the Netherlands detained 90 activists who tried to enter Volkel Air Force Base, where Dutch and U.S. forces are stationed, to conduct a "citizens' inspection of American nuclear arms." More than 400 New Zealanders demonstrated in Christchurch. In Moscow, a few hundred people agitated outside the U.S. Embassy. Thousands of Canadian activists made their voices heard in Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Bush says Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and no qualms about using them on the United States, if he could. U.N. inspectors are in Iraq trying to find them. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19230-2003Jan20.html * A KING DAY PLEA FOR PEACE: ANTIWAR MESSAGE DOMINATES OBSERVANCES AT AREA CHURCHES, RALLIES by Donna St. George and Manny Fernandez Washington Post, 21st January The Washington region celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday with frequent reminders that the slain civil rights leader was dedicated to a nation of not only equality but peace. After a weekend marked by the fiery protest of antiwar demonstrations, King's legacy was honored with service projects to help the needy, rallies to rouse activists and religious programs to inspire the faithful. But much of the time, King's words were recalled, and his life recounted, against the backdrop of a possible war in Iraq and President Bush's recent stand against affirmative action. "I cannot recall a King holiday that loomed larger than this one, in terms of the state of the world and the state of the nation today," said Damu Smith, founder of Black Voices for Peace, which hosted a teach-in at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Northeast Washington and helped coordinate similar events across the country. By late yesterday, a standing-room-only crowd packed the church for the National Rally for Peace With Justice, a call by Black Voices for Peace to unite the African American community against a U.S. military strike in Iraq. So many pews inside the red-brick church were filled that latecomers had to watch the speeches on TV monitors. The group's rally was part peace demonstration, with spirited antiwar speeches from consumer advocate Ralph Nader and others, and part church service, with hand-clapping performances by the Plymouth Congregational Church Senior Choir. Many in attendance said they had participated in this weekend's antiwar demonstrations and saw yesterday's event as a way to connect the King holiday with the pro-peace cause. "The last part of King's life, he was speaking in direct opposition of this country's involvement in Vietnam," said Kamau Johnson, 40, a psychologist from Takoma Park who said he was "concerned that the country doesn't rush to war and exhaust all peaceful means." Earlier in the day, Bush paid tribute to the civil rights leader at services in Prince George's County, sitting with his wife, Laura, in the front row of First Baptist Church of Glenarden as grainy images of King filled large screens in the sanctuary. Nearly 1,500 people were gathered in the vast church. The holiday had many hoping that King's message would spread -- among both local and national leaders. Angela Hyatt braved the chilly 39-degree weather to stand with her daughter, Trina, 3, along the route of the District's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade. They were among hundreds gathered on a main thoroughfare in Southeast Washington bearing King's name. "If [local politicians] would come here more, then they will see this area has needs," said Hyatt, 42, a housekeeper. "This area needs to be redone. We need activities for the kids. We need a mall. We have to go out to Maryland to shop." As for war in Iraq, Hyatt said: "King wouldn't favor war. He wanted peace and harmony for all of us." D.C. Council member Sandy Allen (D-Ward 8), the parade sponsor, said one goal she had for the event was to inspire action. "We need to write, march and go back to some of the ways Dr. King did with nonviolence and protest," she said. " . . . If Dr. King were alive today, he'd be out protesting this war because he was a peaceful man." At Washington National Cathedral, the 90-minute King Day service was as much an antiwar event as a religious observance. The audience of several thousand broke into applause when the Rev. Jim Wallis, executive director and editor of Sojourners magazine, called on Bush to create a "faith-based initiative" to end the threat of war. At the service, ministers representing several denominations took turns reading from King's final sermon at the cathedral, shortly before he was killed April 4, 1968. The Rev. Alvin Jackson of the Disciples of Christ recited King's words: "Anyone who feels . . . that war can solve the social problems facing mankind is sleeping through a revolution." After the service, some in the audience joined with leaders from about 20 churches in a candlelight march from the cathedral to the White House, pausing for prayers at Vice President Cheney's home, the British Embassy and the Islamic Center. Elsewhere in the region, people such as Walter McGill honored King's memory with public service. For the past 15 years, McGill has helped bring meals and donated clothes to the homeless, as part of a committee called We Feed Our People, which he helped found in King's memory. Yesterday, the group served an estimated 400 people in front of the King library in downtown Washington. McGill remembered the effort's beginnings, when "a lot of shelters were closed on weekends and holidays. It was also the first time that we'd had King Day as a paid holiday, so we wanted to be able to take the money that we made and share it with the homeless." What started out with three friends turned into an effort staffed by more than 100 volunteers. As the temperatures dropped yesterday, men, women and children lined up for gloves, thermal underwear and plates of fried fish. "This has been a humbling experience," said Francisco Ortiz, who handed out men's clothing. "A man came up to me and said how happy he was that we were out here helping. It really touched my heart." Army Maj. Aaron Combs, 41, said the work he has done every King holiday for the past eight years has been so meaningful that he persuaded members of his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, to donate money and other items to the group. "As black people, we need to be here face to face with them. . . . It's us taking care of us." The African American community turned out in some of its largest numbers at Plymouth Congregational, where an estimated 2,000 showed up. The sanctuary was decorated in bold, colorful African kinte cloths, and a large photo was displayed of a young child in Baghdad. Here, the strain between the Bush presidency and the African American community was unmistakable. Smith, the leader of Black Voices for Peace, contended that the Bush administration "is using its power to block affirmative action, to wage war abroad and to deepen cuts in domestic spending" to the detriment of the black community. "They say that black people are not concerned about this war, but look at y'all today," he said to the predominantly African American audience near the start of the rally. "Give yourselves a round of applause." Charles McGee, 66, an activist from San Jose who was in Washington for the weekend's antiwar activities, said that if the United States invades Iraq, large numbers of black soldiers will be on the front lines. "When it's all said and done, the overwhelming number of people who will fill those body bags will be us," he said. James Hines, 57, of Columbia, who began volunteering four months ago with Black Voices for Peace, said: "The dream is not fulfilled. . . . There's a lot of work to be done. I think we've taken a shift in the wrong direction. I personally don't understand why we need to invade Iraq right now." Staff writers Hamil R. Harris, Linda Wheeler, Miya Wiseman, Yolanda Woodlee contributed to this report. http://www2.bostonherald.com/news/national/ap_demonstr01202003.htm * DEMONSTRATORS WRAP UP A WEEKEND OF PROTESTS AGAINST POSSIBLE WAR WITH IRAQ Boston Herald, from Associated Press, 20th January WASHINGTON - Sitting on a frigid street in view of the White House and surrounded by chanting anti-war demonstrators, Sister Carole Bialock ate a cookie and smiled. "It is a privilege to protest," she said. The 73-year-old Roman Catholic nun from Houston was in Washington for the weekend of demonstrations against a possible war with Iraq. "Anger has brought me here and sadness that our government has sunk so low and is becoming an empire that is really devastating the world," she said. "I strongly believe in nonviolent protest in the spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King." Many of the approximately 1,000 protesters who rallied Sunday near the White House invoked King's legacy on a weekend of remembrance for the slain civil rights leader. Heather Williams, 30, of Alexandria, Va., held a sign that said: "We still have a dream." "We don't believe in war," she said. "We don't believe in death and violence." The demonstration capped a weekend that featured a huge and peaceful rally Saturday and protests around the country and the world. Although President Bush was at Camp David, Md., for the weekend, protesters pressed as close to the White House grounds as they could on Sunday to demand that he back off Iraq. Police swiftly arrested 16 who breached barricades. Police forced them face down on snowy grass and bound their wrists with plastic handcuffs. They were processed on misdemeanor charges and released. At one point Sunday, protesters flooded into a street to block traffic; police pushed and dragged them back. In the scuffle, an older woman who was part of the demonstration was pushed over. Ambulance officials said she was one of two people sent to hospitals with minor injuries. The hospital treating the woman said it did not have her permission to release information. Close to 500 protesters assembled first near the Justice Department and FBI headquarters to denounce what they called "racist witch hunts" by U.S. authorities following the Sept. 11 attacks. During a mile-long march in the cold, that crowd met another of a similar size, waiting by Lafayette Park across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. That set off a surge of enthusiasm and some began running toward, and over, chest-high barricades blocking the park boundaries, triggering the arrests. The mood, however, was largely festive with demonstrators banging drums and singing "Give Peace a Chance." Scores formed a conga line for a street dance. Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser, welcomed the protests as an expression of American freedoms. "It contrasts so greatly with the situation that people in Iraq find themselves in, where your tongue can be ripped out for criticizing the regime," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." On Saturday, a great throng stretched from the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and along the National Mall back to the Smithsonian Institution for a rally in bitter cold. U.S. Park Police no longer gives estimates of rally attendance. In the past, crowds taking up similar space were thought to be 70,000 strong or higher, but any parallels with other events were highly inexact. A much smaller group from the rally, but still numbering over 30,000 by police estimates, marched to the Washington Navy Yard. Rally speakers offered varying estimates of the crowd size, with one telling the crowd that 500,000 had come, but even some supporters of the event thought that was wildly exaggerated. http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=2081908 * VOLUNTEER 'HUMAN SHIELDS' TO HEAD FOR IRAQ by Andrew Cawthorne Reuters, 21st January LONDON: A first wave of mainly Western volunteers will leave London this weekend on a convoy bound for Iraq to act as "human shields" at key sites and populous areas in case of a U.S.-led war on Baghdad. "The potential for white Western body parts flying around with the Iraqi ones should make them think again about this imperialist oil war," organizer Ken Nichols, a former U.S. marine in the 1991 Gulf War, told Reuters. His "We the People" organization will be sending off a first group of 50 human shields from the London mayor's City Hall building Saturday, part of a series of departures organizers say will involve hundreds, possibly thousands, of volunteers. Nichols' planned human shield convoys are one of several such efforts around the world to mobilize activists in Iraq as a deterrent against military strikes on Baghdad. In Bucharest, more than 100 Romanian diehard communists said Tuesday they would travel by bus to Iraq to act as human shields in case of a U.S. attack. Members of the tiny Romanian Workers Party, which took the mantle of ousted dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's defunct Communist party in 1995, said they would set off next month to support "the cause of the people." The new human shield plans revive memories of the 1991 Gulf War when President Saddam Hussein forcibly held thousands of Western hostages after his invasion of Kuwait. Many were put near sensitive sites in a bid to stop attacks that proved futile, although there are not thought to have been any casualties among the Western hostages. Baghdad also used Iraqis, alongside some foreign volunteers, as shields in 1998 against U.S. British bombing. Nichols' groups intend to drive through Europe and the Middle East en route to Iraq. The first will travel in a pair of double-decker buses, led by a car with a white peace flag on it. "We are on the verge of something big," said volunteer Christiaan Briggs, 26, from New Zealand. He argued that the stream of human shield volunteers was symptomatic of radicalizing anti-war opinion around the world. "People know this is wrong. It is just so blatantly transparent how the U.S. is trying to impose its hegemony." "We the People" organizers said the self-financing human shield volunteers had come forward from a range of Western nations including the United States, Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and Denmark. There were also some volunteers from Muslim nation Turkey. The major rallying point for Muslims, however, is in Iraq's neighbor Jordan. There, a campaign led by leftist parties and civic bodies is seeking 100,000 shield volunteers. Baghdad has welcomed the plans, but volunteers smart at suggestions that they are handing a propaganda gift to Saddam. Washington and London are sending troops to the Gulf and threatening military action against Saddam unless he admits to possessing weapons of mass destruction and disarms. "It's laughable to say that we are working for Saddam when it was the UK and the U.S. who gave him his biological and other weapons in the first place," Nichols said. "The hypocrisy is mind-blowing. The biggest threat to world security at this moment is (U.S. President) George W. Bush." Nichols said his involvement in the human shield program was in part "penance" for his participation in the Gulf War when a U.S.-led force drove Saddam's troops out of Kuwait. But those forcibly used as human shields by Saddam in the past are stunned others are volunteering to do it. "Putting yourself in danger is not going to help at all," said John Nicol, a British air force flyer shot down in 1991 and later paraded on Iraqi television. He was moved around by the Iraqis to various potential targets and experienced allied bombing nearby. "I doubt it would be a deterrent to any attack," Nicol, a journalist and military analyst since leaving the air force, told Reuters. "I am shocked that anyone would want to put themselves in such a situation." IMPLICATIONS OF WAR http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorialsopinion/134615436_ramcol15.h tml * QUESTIONS ABOUT WAR THAT CAN'T BE IGNORED Seattle Times, 15th January In antiwar circles, Philip Gold was the man of the week: the military analyst, formerly of the Washington Times, splitting with conservatives over war with Iraq. This month, Gold severed formal ties with Seattle's Discovery Institute, where he had been a senior fellow in national-security affairs. His allies on the Internet hailed him. One Web site called him "The Heroic Phil Gold." He does not look the part. With his short stature, dark beard and soft voice, Gold looks more like a university professor than a U. S. Marine. Actually, he has been both, with no apologies. He is no pacifist. Gold comes to his arguments loaded with historical facts. He asks: What was the last time U.S. forces took a major city that was seriously defended? Manila, in 1944. When was the last time the United States lost a major Navy ship? World War II, 1945. "No American under the age of 60 has a memory of losing a warship," he says. Gold has no doubt that America can beat Iraq. His question is whether it can do so with the minimal loss of U.S. lives (the only lives we count) that Americans have come to expect. Maybe. In the Gulf War, he says, "We got awfully lucky." What if an American unit got cut off without air cover? U.S. forces are technically sharp ‹ but are they tough? Is the home front tough enough to accept casualties? Gold recalls Beirut and Mogadishu, and says, "Since Vietnam, whenever we've been hit, we run." His next question is about purpose. America's debates have been about what kind of world we want. "What matters is us," he says. Call it the narcissism of the mighty. "We believe that deep down, the whole world wants to be like us," says Gold. "We exaggerate our power to alter hearts and minds." The neoconservatives offer the most grandiose purposes for an Iraq war: a crusade for democracy by a Christian power in the heart of Islam. Well, imagine a democracy in Iraq. At the minimum, there would be a Shia Muslim party and a Sunni Muslim party defined by religion, and a Kurd party defined by ethnicity. None would be inclined to accept any of the other's administrators, judges or legislators. The Kurds are armed, and if Saddam Hussein's army melts away, all the factions will have guns. We Americans are for free speech. We let American Nazis march through Skokie, Ill. Imagine a Shia march through a Kurd village. Add guns. Here is the difference: What happened in Skokie was symbolism. It was talk. Nothing was going to come of it, because the question of ethnic and religious persecution in the United States has been settled. In Iraq, nothing is settled. The modern-day imperialists who envision a MacArthur regency in Baghdad think of how easy it was to steer the destinies of Germany and Japan. But Germany and Japan were prostrate, hammered into pacifism. A better parallel for Iraq, Gold says, is Weimar Germany after World War I. The Germans of 1919 were bitter at the government that "betrayed" them, suspicious of the nations that conquered them and seething with revanchism and class war. The victors of World War I insisted on reparations from Germany's most valuable economic asset, its manufacturing plant. The effort backfired. The French occupied the Ruhr in 1922 to collect the money, and were frustrated by disobedience. It may be easier to pump Iraq's petroleum and commandeer it, but the political price would be huge. "Anything that smells like taking Iraqi oil to pay for the war will backfire," says Gold. Even if we don't steal their oil, our military occupation will be hated. Iraq is not a country to be won over with candy bars and baseball. We will not be there, as in South Korea or West Germany, to protect Iraqis from foreign enemies. The Iraqis are going to want us out ‹ and a lot sooner than we will be planning to get out. War is being seen by some Americans as the solution to the problem of Saddam Hussein. It may mean the end of him, but it is not an ending in any other sense. It is a beginning ‹ and of something, Gold reminds us, that we have not thought much about. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=369722 * CHILD FIGHTERS WOULD POSE ETHICAL NIGHTMARE FOR ALLIED TROOPS IN GULF by Andrew Buncombe in Washington The Independent, 16th January American and British forces sent to Iraq may have to fight units of child soldiers trained to mount ambushes, sniper attacks and road blocks, according to US military analysts. The Pentagon has no official plans on how to deal with child soldiers leaving its troops vulnerable to deadly attacks from seemingly harmless children as well as the psychological trauma of having to kill children. Experts say the Pentagon's public relations operation is also not prepared to deal with having such images broadcast in the Arab world. Experts have said the Iraqi regime has been intensely training children aged 10 to 15. The training camps for these units, known as Ashbal Saddam or Saddam Lion Cubs, involve up to 14 hours a day of weapons drill and political indoctrination. In a recent briefing document, Peter Singer, an analyst with the Brookings Institution think tank, said there were up to 8,000 such child soldiers in Baghdad alone. He said that as with the Hitler Youth, which fought in the battle for Berlin, the Iraqi child soldiers could "operate with unexpected and terrifying audacity". He added: "If the record of other child-soldier conflicts holds true, Iraqi child soldiers may become the most problematic in the closing stages of the war or even when the war is seemingly over. [They] will also present a considerable challenge for US public diplomacy, especially in the Arab world where images of coalition forces fighting Iraqi children could have profound consequences." Experts say troops who encounter child soldiers are usually unwilling to return fire and suffer severe trauma if they have to shoot. In September 2000, British soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment were taken hostage in Sierra Leone by child soldiers, largely because the commanding officer was not prepared to "fire on children armed with AK-47s". Rachel Stohl, an analyst with the Centre for Defence Information, said the first American casualty in Afghanistan was shot by a 14-year-old. "Ultimately, they have to be treated as soldiers," she said. Despite such warnings, the Pentagon says it has provided no special training to its troops on how to deal with child soldiers. Lieutenant-Colonel Martin Compton, a spokesman for US Central Command, said: "I am sure if we encounter them we will deal with them. But there is no special planning I am aware of." Analysts say the only element of the American armed forces that has studied fighting child soldiers is the Marine Corps. A retired army colonel, Charles Borchini, now attached to the corps's Centre for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, said troops had to be ready to encounter child soldiers "in theatre". He said training should lay out the rules of engagement, look at ways of countering child soldiers and prepare to deal with the trauma suffered by soldiers who have to kill children. "Child soldiers are a problem all over the world but it is something we in the West are not accustomed to," he said. "We raise our own children and bring them up and having to fight children is not something we are ready for." Major Jim Gray, a Royal Marine who served in Sierra Leone on attachment with the UN, told a seminar organised by Col Borchini: "You combine the fact that [the child soldiers] are on drugs, you give them a weapon, and they behave as if they were on a playground, and it is terrifying." http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=1/16/03&Cat=2&Num=003 * IRAQ HAS MINED ITS OIL WELLS Tehran Times, 16th January To counter a possible U.S. attack, Iraq has mined its border with Jordan, a Kuwaiti daily reported yesterday. Iraq has also mined its oil wells so that it can destroy the wells if Americans enter such areas. Some military analysts believe that one major route any attaching U.S. forces will choose will involve the Iraq-Jordan border. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=74114 * IRAQ WARNED AGAINST USING HUMAN SHIELDS Gulf News, from Reuters, 16th January The United States yesterday warned Iraq against using civilians as human shields to try to ward off air strikes during any war. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that "Iraq announced in late December that it will recruit and receive volunteers from Arab and Western countries to serve as human shields who would be deployed to protect sensitive sites." "This is a deliberate recruitment of innocent civilians for the purpose of putting them in harm's way should a conflict occur," Myers said at a Pentagon briefing. "I'd like to note that it is illegal under the International Law of Armed Conflict to use noncombatants as a means of shielding potential targets, and Iraqi action to do so would not only violate this law, but be considered a war crime in any conflict." http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c =StoryFT&cid=1042490909720&p=1012571727172 * THE DANGERS OF DELAYING AN ATTACK ON IRAQ by Michael O'Hanlon Financial Times, 19th January Unless there is a last-minute change in circumstances, the US and its coalition partners will soon need to go to war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi leader is well on the way to having sacrificed his last clear chance to disarm himself. It was not just the current George W. Bush administration but also the US Congress and the international community that demanded he do so last autumn. Those demands were codified in numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, not just resolution 1441 in November but in a decade of similar resolutions. Some will say that deterrence can contain Mr Hussein even if he retains his weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps. But there is a case against relying on deterrence - Mr Hussein's attempted assassination of former US president George Bush in 1993, his threats against Kuwait in 1994, his attacks on Kurds in 1996, and most of all the uncertainty about what he would do if he ever obtained a nuclear weapon. Moreover, whatever the case for containment, the international community decided last autumn that containment 1990s-style was insufficient and that a tougher strategy was needed. That debate is over and the credibility of the entire UN system is also on the line. At this point, Mr Hussein simply cannot be let off the hook. Some will argue that inspections are working. But disarmament is the goal, and it is not happening. Iraq has failed to account for large quantities of precursor chemicals, biological growth media and other dangerous technologies that we know it imported or produced at one time. This is not a US conclusion; it is a UN conclusion based on inspections in the 1990s as well as Iraq's seriously incomplete weapons declaration of last December 7. The US has done a poor job of reminding the international community about what we know, and how we know it, and must radically improve its diplomacy to develop a strong coalition for war in the coming weeks. For as long as inspections continue, they may prevent Mr Hussein from developing nuclear weapons. Even a "basement bomb" programme - with technologies such as large magnets or centrifuge complexes needed to enrich uranium - is expensive, elaborate and hard to build or operate in secret. But if we allow Mr Hussein to get away with the blatant dishonesty of his December 7 declaration, he will surely grow bolder and thwart inspectors - or simply kick them out of Iraq. At that point he will again be free to pursue a nuclear programme. Even if Iraq does not produce a bomb in Mr Hussein's lifetime, his sons Uday or Qusay might receive a nuclear inheritance. With nuclear weapons, Iraq might again grow aggressive against its minorities and its neighbours, convinced the world could not retaliate. What about the preference of Tony Blair, the UK prime minister, and the UN's Hans Blix to wait a little longer for inspectors to check more sites in Iraq? If we really have intelligence that has a good chance of producing a smoking gun - something more substantial than the dozen artillery shells discovered recently - waiting does make sense. Yet if inspections continue into March, for example, coalition troops could have to fight in chemical gear during Iraq's hot summer months. So why not wait until next winter? One reason is that it would force the US to recall a large proportion of the troops it has sent to the Gulf and then redeploy them later. Deployment arithmetic and troop rotation policies cannot be allowed to determine national security decisions of fundamental importance. But there are stronger reasons not to wait. It is doubtful that inspectors will find any smoking gun even by next year. That is especially true if Iraqi weapons scientists, surely coached and coerced by Mr Hussein, continue not to allow themselves to be interviewed outside Iraq. It is also doubtful that the international community will strengthen its resolve to deal with Mr Hussein by waiting; more probably a number of faint-hearted governments will have time to walk away. Waiting would give western countries and Israel more time to improve security measures against Iraqi reprisal attacks - but it would also give Iraq more time to prepare plans for striking at the US or Europe. For those who still wish to avoid war, including myself, the only remaining hope is to make such a strong statement of the international community's readiness to disarm Iraq forcefully that Mr Hussein changes course and comes clean. But if that does not work, we need to have the courage of our convictions and get the military job done soon. The writer is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/media/story.jsp?story=371412 * THE MEDIA COLUMN: WAR JOURNALISTS SHOULD NOT BE COSYING UP TO THE MILITARY by Robert Fisk The Independent, 21st January It looks like a rerun of the 1991 Gulf War. Already American journalists are fighting like tigers to join "the pool", to be "embedded" in the US military so that they can see the war at first hand and, of course, be censored. Eleven years ago, they turned up at Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, already kitted out with helmets, gas capes, chocolate rations and eyes that narrowed when they looked into the sun, just like General Montgomery. Half the reporters wanted to wear military costume and one young television man from the American mid-west turned up, I recall well, with a pair of camouflaged boots. Each boot was camouflaged with painted leaves. Those of us who had been in a desert -- even those who had only seen a picture of a desert did wonder what this meant. Well, of course, it symbolised fantasy, the very quality upon which most viewers now rely when watching "live" war or watching death "live" on TV. Thus, over the past four weeks, the massed ranks of American television networks have been pouring into Kuwait to cosy up to the US military, to seek those coveted "pool" positions, to try on their army or marine costumes and make sure that if or when the day comes they will have the kind of coverage that every reporter and every general wants: a few facts, good pictures and nothing dirty to make the viewers throw up on the breakfast table. I remember how, back in 1991, only those Iraqi soldiers obliging enough to die in romantic poses arm thrown back to conceal the decomposing features or face down and anonymous in the sand made it on to live-time. Those soldiers turned into a crematorium nightmare or whose corpses were being torn to pieces by wild dogs I actually saw an ITV crew film this horrific scene were not honoured on screen. ITV's film, of course, couldn't be shown lest it persuade the entire world that no one should go to war, ever, again. The Americans are actually using the word "embedded". Reporters must be "embedded' in military units. The fears of Central Command at Tampa, Florida, are that Saddam will commit some atrocity a gas attack on Shiites, an air bombardment of Iraqi civilians and then blame it on the Americans. Journalists in the "pool" can thus be rushed to the scene to prove that the killings were the dastardly work of the Beast of Baghdad rather than the "collateral damage" the Distinguished Medal for Gutlessness should be awarded to all journalists who even mention this phrase of the fine young men who are trying to destroy the triple pillar of the "axis of evil". Already, the "buddy-buddy" relationship that's actually what the Ministry of Defence boys called it 11 years ago -- has started. US troops in Kuwait are offering courses in chemical and biological warfare for reporters who might be accompanying soldiers to "the front", along with "training" on the need to protect security during military operations. CNN is, of course, enthusiastically backing these seemingly innocuous courses forgetting how they allowed Pentagon "trainees" to sit in their newsroom during the 1991 Gulf War. So here's a thumbnail list of how to watch out for mendacity and propaganda on your screen once Gulf War Two (or Three if you include the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq conflict) begins. You should suspect the following: Reporters who wear items of American or British military costume helmets, camouflage jackets, weapons, etc. Reporters who say "we" when they are referring to the US or British military unit in which they are "embedded". Those who use the words "collateral damage" instead of "dead civilians". Those who commence answering questions with the words: "Well, of course, because of military security I can't divulge..." Those who, reporting from the Iraqi side, insist on referring to the Iraqi population as "his" (ie Saddam's) people. Journalists in Baghdad who refer to "what the Americans describe as Saddam Hussein's human rights abuses" rather than the plain and simple torture we all know Saddam practices. Journalists reporting from either side who use the god-awful and creepy phrase "officials say" without naming, quite specifically, who these often lying "officials" are. Stay tuned. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/a/2003/01/22/MN135214 .DTL * AVERTING ANOTHER GULF WAR SYNDROME by David Brown San Francisco Chronicle. from Washington Post, 22nd January As it lays the groundwork for another war with Iraq, the U.S military is engaged in a major effort to prevent the reappearance of Gulf War syndrome. Over the decade that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict, the chronic illnesses that tens of thousands of veterans described ultimately marred the U. S. victory. The agonizing investigation of what came to be known as Gulf War syndrome eroded trust in the military, cost hundreds of millions of dollars and consumed thousands of years of human labor. As U.S. troops prepare to face the same enemy in the same place, military planners hope that this time they can keep the perplexing phenomenon at bay. Their weapons include health questionnaires, epidemiological studies, a powerful computer system, soil-sampling kits, a new generation of detectors for nerve gas and biological threats, and millions of tubes of human serum stored at 25 degrees below zero. "Is a replay a concern? The answer is definitely yes," said Col. Robert DeFraites, an Army epidemiologist who investigated the first vague physical complaints that Gulf War veterans reported 10 years ago this spring. "I think we feel it could come back again." It is not too much to say that the experience of Gulf War syndrome in a small way is remaking the art of modern warfare. The damage and confusion it wreaked has created a new world of things for commanders to worry about. No longer is it enough to bring well trained fighters to a place where they can engage the enemy. Now, the military is determined to document each soldier's sense of his own health, counsel him on what to fear beyond bullets and bombs, and test the air he breathes and the soil below his billet. "Our focus used to be only on winning the battle, and that still is the focus," said Lt. Col. Karl Friedl, director of operational medical research for the Army. "But now there's this greatly increased attention on post- deployment health. We didn't use to think about that." The sheer number of people complaining of illness after the Gulf War helped change that view. Perhaps as many as 160,000 of the nearly 700,000 men and women who served in Operation Desert Storm may have suffered lingering physical symptoms in its aftermath. Over a decade, the government funded 224 research projects, costing $213 million, to try to uncover the cause, extent and best treatment for the illness. The investigation has taken so long partly because so many questions raised by veterans could not be answered. The military's inability to give clear answers fueled the belief that horrible events may have occurred during the war, and might have been averted. In the end, however, military health officials and most civilian researchers who studied the subject do not believe anything unusual or undiscovered occurred in the Gulf War to cause chronic illness. This time, the military is determined to begin and conclude the conflict with much better information. The preventive medicine machine that will roll into battle with U.S. soldiers if war erupts serves two purposes. The first is to monitor and mitigate actual threats to health. The second is to collect data that will allow everyone from the secretary of defense to doctors to better answer the questions from veterans after this or other deployments. Perhaps the most widespread belief among those with Gulf War syndrome is that they encountered toxic substances during the conflict that later made them ill. While most scenarios were implausible, this did not keep the military from coming under withering criticism by Congress, panels of experts and the media for not knowing enough about the battlefield environment, and who was in it. Today, about 500 active-duty soldiers are trained to routinely monitor air, water and soil wherever troops go. This new focus on environmental hazards began right after the Gulf War. When U.S. peacekeeping troops went to Bosnia, 2,500 samples were processed, and in Kosovo, 1,500. More than 1,000 have been taken so far in Afghanistan and Central Asia. A profile of environmental hazards has been added to this information, gleaned from decades of surveillance photography and other intelligence, for many parts of the world where U.S. troops might be sent. This information, along with the lab test results, routinely goes to commanders for use in planning missions. The surveillance technologies that have undergone the biggest change are chemical and biological weapon detectors. The military's main chemical sensor during the Gulf War, the M8A1, gave frequent false alarms, which frayed nerves and forced soldiers repeatedly to don protective suits. It has been replaced by devices that are much better at distinguishing threats such as nerve gas and mustard agents from innumerable other contaminants in the air. Among the four new chemical detection systems is one that can detect vapors and aerosols at a distance. Sampling for biological agents -- a much more difficult task -- was not done routinely during the Gulf War. Now, there are five types of biodetectors in use that can detect bacterial or viral threats such as anthrax, botulinum toxin or plague. "We have learned our lessons," Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Reeves, head of chemical and biological defense, said last week. "We have applied the lessons of Desert Storm." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk