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[casi] News titles, 22-29/01/03

News titles, 22-29/01/03

In an article in the New York Times ('Why We Know Iraq Is Lying', Iraqi/US
relations) Condoleeza Rice advanced what is to my knowledge a new argument.
She compared Iraq's compliance with the inspections process unfavourably
with that of South Africa, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, which had all three
announced a desire to disarm and rushed forward to give the IAEA the
necessary facilities (we might mention in parenthesis that Iraq's relations
with the IAEA has in general been better than its relations with UNSCOM and
perhaps UNMOVIC, both of them creatures of the Security Council). Was it
just a coincidence that this same argument popped up in the preamble to Hans
Blix's report: 'Unlike South Africa, which decided on its own to eliminate
its nuclear weapons and welcomed inspection as a means of creating
confidence in its disarmament, Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine
acceptance ...'? A report which was very much couched in terms that suited
the general thrust of the US case. Iraq must produce its weapons, or
documentation to prove that they have been destroyed. Which presupposes what
needs to be established - that such weapons or such documents exist.

But Hans Blix's tough line need not be regarded as necessarily malevolent -
despite even the thumbs up sign he reportedly gave to John Negroponte ('Arms
inspector's thumbs up', Inspections Process). At present, 'the world',
unable to develop a principled opposition to the genocide that has been
imposed on Iraq for the past twelve years, has accepted the ludicrous
argument that Iraq's 'weapons of mass destruction' pose a serious problem -
more serious than Israel's weapons of mass destruction, or Syria's, or
China's , or the United States'. But it is hanging on to the inspections
process as a means of averting war and the huge change in the geopolitical
structure in the Middle East it would produce. If this miserable game is to
be played through, it is necessary that the inspections should be
'credible'; and therefore it is right and proper that Mr Blix should appear
to be tough.

For the moment the effect is to postpone the war. But this has not yet
reached the stage at which US military intentions have been seriously
compromised. It prolongs the period in which enormous pressure is exerted on
the Iraqi government and therefore increases the possibility that that
government might break up of its own accord (the fact that it hasn't yet,
and that there is no serious sign that it is liable to, is of itself very
impressive and indicates, contrary to the view often expressed by the Iraqi
opposition, that Ba'ath Party power is resting on something more than just a
combination of bribes and terrorism). It gives more time for the military
buildup; and most crucially for handling the immense problem that has been
posed by the hostility of Iraq's neighbours - the one obstacle the US faces
which still might prove to be insurmountable.

The utter inability of the US to garner substantial support outside Britain,
and the enormous popular opposition even in the allied countries themselves,
is of course very encouraging but, as Doug Bandow points out  ('US critics
must either act or hold their peace', International Relations - possibly the
best article in this collection) it doesn't amount to a hill of beans
without structured leadership - a willingness at government level to advance
a principled argument and to defy the US policy regardless of the cost, and
to provide help to allies who might also suffer from US vengeance. Will
Russia or France be up to the job?

Unfortunately the principle at stake would have to be the authority of the
'United Nations', meaning the United Nations Security Council, a principle
that has already been tossed out of the window many times, most recently in
the war against Serbia. The confrontation over Iraq is unusual as being a
rare occasion on which the US has actually referred its actions to the 'UN.'
And the 'UN' not only supported but took responsibility for the policy of
genocide that went under the name of 'sanctions' (and so, to their shame,
did Iraq's Arab neighbours). So the ground on which the US policy might be
opposed in principle has turned into a swamp.

Small wonder Prime Minister Blair thought he could safely announce his
intention of stamping all over his obligations under the UN Charter when he
said that Britain wouldn't take any notice of a veto by one of the permanent
members if it was used irresponsibly ('Blair: Iraq Inspectors Should Get
Time', Iraqi/UK relations). It was a remarkable thing to say. There are only
five countries with a veto, so which of them was he insulting? It should
have provoked a diplomatic incident.

We may soon know if Iraq has chemical or biological weapons or not (we know
they don't have nuclear weapons). If they have them and intend to use them
in the approaching war, they will probably want to bring the inspections
process to a close. They may want to to do this even if they don't have them
since obviously having inspectors of doubtful provenance running all round
your military installations and a U2 spy plane hovering above your head is a
problem for any country preparing for war. Their patience does indeed seem
to be wearing rather thin. One big disappointment should be recorded. There
seem to have been no further developments in the supposed opening to
multiparty democracy in Iraq.

NEWS, 22-29/01/03 (1)


*  Ritter admits 2001 arrest, declines to elaborate [Which poses a little
question of conscience. Would we have been tempted to crow over this if it
had happened at a time when Mr Ritter was (in our eyes) a Bad Guy?]
*  Rumsfeld arouses fury of 'Old Europe' [but "vast numbers of other
countries in Europe" are backing the US. Readers may recall back in the
heady days of February 2002 an article in the Washington Post
2002Feb12?language=printer>), 13th February, entitled "CAKEWALK IN IRAQ', by
Ken Adelman, assistant to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to
1977, and arms control director under President Ronald Reagan, which made
the following bold assertion: 'This President Bush does not need to amass
rinky-dink nations as "coalition partners" to convince the Washington
establishment that we're right. Americans of all parties now know we must
wage a total war on terrorism.' So much for the 'coalition of the willing']
*  Why We Know Iraq Is Lying [Article by Condoleeza Rice in the New York
Times. She doesn't give us much information we didn't have already but she
does produce a new argument. South Africa, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan are
offered as examples of countries which have decided to disarm and have
therefore - abundantly - helped the process of disarmament. The difference
is of course that Iraq claims it doesn't have a programme of WMD production.
So it can't co-operate in revealing it. USUK claims they know this is a lie
but so long as they don't share their information, even privately, with
their 'allies' its a matter of who appears to be the more credible - the
Iraqi government or USUK. It doesn't say very much for the quality of USUK
diplomacy that, for the moment, the world seems more inclined to believe the
*  FBI Questions Thousands of Iraqis in U.S.
*  US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis [US diverting Iraqi oil destined
for Europe and Asia to compensate for problems in Venezuela. Goes on to a
general discussion of the oil interest in the present confrontation]
*  Satellite-backed CIA hit squads hunt Saddam [Does the United Nations,
which is supposed to be in charge of the inspections process in Iraq,
approve of this?]
*  It's not just Saddam, but the system that's got to go [Mark Steyn
explains that the war on Iraq only makes sense if it is the first stage in a
war against the entire Arab world. The Kurdish autonomous zone is a model of
how things could be. But what has Mr Steyn got against poor President
Mubarrak of Egypt, who provided sterling assistance at the time of the
United Nations' war against Iraq in 1991 and who was deeply involved in a
murderous war against terrorism long before September 11th. Indeed the
withdrawal of Islamic Jihad from Egypt leading to its alliance with al Qaida
in Afghanistan (and thence to the attack on the WTC and Pentagon) was
largely a measure of his success]
*  The case for Iraqi democracy and strategic partnership with America
[Interesting pro-US argument in the Daily Star, Lebanon. It points out that
'According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor, the US was
instrumental in overthrowing 81 regimes around the world - yet it only
established democracy in five countries (Germany, Japan, Italy, Panama and
Grenada)' (Yes, that's right, 'Panama and Grenada'). But, it seems, the US
has changed its ways since September 11th and is now wholly committed to
imposing democracy throughout the world (which is surely an optimistic
reading of the 'neo-conservative' philosophy. And of Colin Powell, who is on
record as saying he doesn't believe democracy is possible in Iraq - see '
Spain Official Cautions U.S. on Iraq' in News, 10-17/8/02 (5)). As a US
protectorate, Iraq won't have to pay for its own defence so there will be
more money for everyone. The author also comes out with the quite remarkable
statement: 'Most Iraqis look back with fondness to the days when their
country was allied with [! - PB] Britain after World War I. Thanks to that
alliance, Iraq managed to delineate its borders with Turkey, Saudi Arabia
and Iran, and enjoy peace, security and economic development.' Arthur
Harris, take a bow ...]
*  Daschle: Bush Must Prove Iraq Arms Claim [Senate Democratic leader Tom
Daschle 'said Bush must answer two crucial questions: "Does Saddam Hussein
pose a threat to our national security so imminent that it justifies putting
American lives at risk to get rid of him? And second, how are our efforts to
deal with this threat helped by short-circuiting an inspections process we
demanded in the first place?" ']
*  Nobel Laureates Sign Against a War Without International Support
[Smartest people in the US are all against a war without UN support (and
note that these are the real hard boiled science and economy laureates not
the rinky dink literature and peace laureates)]
*  Bush Vows That He'll Disarm Iraq and Rebuild U.S. Economy [NYTimes
account of the State of the Union speech]
*  Stallin' Norman [N.Schwarzkopf, unhappy at D.Rumsfeld's tendency to
disregard army advice] 

URL ONLY:,3604,880402,00.html
*  A matter of life, death - and oil
by Terry Macalister, Ewen MacAskill, Rory McCarthy in Baghdad and Nick
Paton-Walsh in Moscow
The Guardian, 23rd January
[Account of oil interest, mainly concentrating on the possibility that Saudi
Arabia may not be a reliable supplier. In my ignorance I didn't know that
GWBush's firm which went bankrupt was called 'Arbusta'. Rather tempting
fate, I would have thought]

and, in News, 22-29/01/03 (2)


*  Use winning strategy from Cold War on Iraq [Argument that it wouldn't
really take very much to inhibit Saddam Hussein from using any weapons of
mass destruction he might happen to possess. So why aren't we doing it?]
*  US begins secret talks to secure Iraq's oilfields [Of course those who
believe that the US is doing Iraqis a great favour by liberating them from
tyranny can hardly begrudge them access to Iraqi oil to help them pay for
*  Freeing Iraqis is worth the trouble [Thomas Friedman argues that the
major threat to world peace is Arab incompetence, prejudice and contempt for
women. The Arabs need to have their silly woolly heads knocked together and
the place to begin is obviously Iraq.]
*  Vital to get allies onside, for when the war dust settles [T.Friedman
here expresses the 'problem' of Iraq rather succinctly: 'In the first
scenario, Iraq is the way it is today because Saddam is the way he is. In
the second scenario, Saddam is the way he is because Iraq is what it is.' He
admits he doesn't know which of the two possibilities is true. If it is the
latter then the United States will have to do much what Mr Hussein has done,
and in that case will need all the international support it can get.
Unfortunately, as he correctly observes, the arrogant style of the US
leadership is turning the rest of us into Frenchmen, which, we gather, is a
very bad thing to be]
*  The art of a desert war [Reads to me like a military wet dream. In
particular, I simply don't believe that British SAS men, however
'dark-skinned and moustachioed' they may be, are 'infiltrating the Iraqi
military to identify senior, potential defectors and spies'; and I'm quite
sure they're not 'training and arming Saddam Hussein's military opponents'.
What would they have to teach the Kurdish militias (something which wouldn't
have to be done in secret anyway) or the SCIRI? Who might be teaching them a
thing or two. But that wouldn't fit into this particular (Australian)
author's world view]
*  Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage [The military wet dream reaches
its climax in the strategy of "Shock and Awe". "There will not be a safe
place in Baghdad ... The sheer size of this has never been seen before,
never been contemplated before." Interesting to see how they manage it while
keeping civilian casualties to a minimum]
*  A mess of our making [Review of recent books by Andrew Cockburn and
Patrick Cockburn, Scott Ritter and William Rivers Pitt, Milan Rai, and Con
*  Regime change in Iraq isn't optional [Carl Bildt, former UN special envoy
to the Balkans, argues that the worst option now would be to pack up and go
back to the status quo ('containment'). Since USUK will never lift sanctions
so long as Mr Hussein is in power, the only way to free the Iraqi people
from sanctions is to overthrow Mr Hussein (of course this means that USUK
have been lying over the past twelve years but since no-one believed them
anyway perhaps it doesn't count)]
*  The Prince of Peace Was a Warrior, Too [Joseph Loconte, a fellow at the
Heritage Foundation and 'commentator on religion for National Public Radio',
tells us that ' Jesus talked a great deal about punishment, and the moral
obligation to oppose evil with a strong and swift hand'. I would refer Mr
Loconte to Matt 7:1, 'Judge not lest ye be judged' and ibid. 5:39: 'Do not
resist one who is evil.' The passage Mr Loconte quotes: "Be afraid of the
one who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28) is referring
not to Saddam Hussein but to the Devil who is certainly as strongly
ensconced in my own heart as he is in Mr Hussein's. Or perhaps its referring
to God Who, in Jesus' teaching, alone has the right to pass judgment. In any
case it is clear that He isn't referring to any earthly power with a right
to inflict 'punishment' which is I assume what mr Loconte wants us to think.
I interpret Mr Loconte's other quote: '"I did not come to bring peace, but a
sword" (Matthew 10:34) as being mainly prophecy, a statement of fact (the
history of Christianity has not been peaceful). Interestingly Mr Loconte's
warrior-Jesus bears some resemblance to a particular Muslim view as laid out
in for example Muhammad 'Atar ur-Rahman's 'Jesus, a prophet of Islam']
*  Iraq War: The First Question [Nicholas Kristof concludes that a war would
be risky. Better to leave the military disposition in place, together with
the inspectors - all probably looking a bit like Miss Haversham and her
wedding cake - until President Hussein dies or is killed]
*  Bloody Coward [Powerful reminder by John Pilger of the realities behind
Mr Blair's glib moral pronouncements. And he turns the 'appeasement' charge
against those who are willing to appease the aggression of the US, whose
foreign policy is actually a lot more aggressive and unreasonable than
Hitler's was at the moment of the outbreak of the Second World War]

AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/01/03 (3)

*  Activists search for signs of hope [Discussion with H. von Sponeck]
*  Stronger than ever [George Monbiot suggests that the strength of the
anti-war movement is proof of the continued strength of the global justice


*  Some Facts About Iraqi Military Forces [Includes this: ' 'U.N. inspectors
in 1990s, for example, said they believe Iraq produced three times amount of
anthrax and 16 times more gas gangrene than it declared.' As Glen Rangwala
( has pointed out all the
inspectors have said is that under improbably optimal conditions, Iraq could
have produced etc, not that they actually did]
*  Iraq's Unknown Soldier: Rough but Ready?


*  Blix Laments Iraq Blocking Spy Plane Use [Difficult to imagine Hans Blix
can't see why the objection to the use of US piloted spy planes under
present circumstances is reasonable]
*  Iraq Asks Scientists to Give Interviews ['"We did our best" to encourage
scientists to accept "but they refused," Amin said.' Its not entirely -
er,um - convincing]
*  Farm owner files suit against UN [The owner of a farm where UN inspectors
this week destroyed a wall they suspected of hiding a biological laboratory.
He was a chicken farmer so he doesn't excite very much sympathy from me]
*  Inspectors search mosque ["Can you imagine that struggling Iraq would be
hiding weapons in places of worship?" Well, coming from Northern Ireland as
I do, and also knowing something about the doings of the French Resistance,
I wouldn't say its totally outside the realms of the possible ...]
*  UN denies 'inspecting' Baghdad mosque
*  U.S. evidence on Iraq questioned: Assertions about aluminum tubes come
under fire [Detailed account of the saga, which deserves to rank with the
al-Qaida meeting in Prague and the incubators in Kuwait]
*  Scepticism over papers detailing chemical warfare preparations [Papers
indicating that Iraqi military might be using atropine]
*  Iraqi Scientists Refuse Solo Questioning [Also includes two incidents of
Iraqis whi try to seek protection from the inspectors but who are then
handed over to the Iraqi authorities]
*  Arms inspector's thumbs up [The Daily Telegraph remarked a thumbs up sign
given by Hans Blix to John Negroponte. After trashing Mohamed ElBaradei
(probably because, leaving aside the fact that he is an Arab, the IAEA is
more than merely a creature of the UN Security Council) it then says: 'After
accusing Iraq of many of the same devious evasions as Mr Blix, Mr ElBaradei
...' In fact the tone of ElBaradei's statement was radically different from
that of Mr Blix and indicated that he expects soon to be in a position to
give Iraq a clean bill of health.]
*  Iraq sought UN help to buy special radar-Blix [Hans Blix elaborates on
the negotiations over the U2 spy plane. The Iraqi side seems to be seeking
to avoid the embarrassment of shooting it down if it should go into a No Fly

AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/01/03 (4)


*  Threat of war [This is a long article, but I give it entire as what
appears to be a very readable summary of Mr Blix's main charges, together
with a sometimes sceptical assessment provided by a group of experts which
includes Scott Ritter. Though one of the experts seems to think Blix accused
Iraq of continuing work on VX gas: 'The fact that they've gone on working on
it is serious' -  before continuing, quite reasonably, 'but name a country
which isn't doing it' The actual text of the reports can be found at eg and]

AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/01/03 (5)


*  France Threatens to Veto Resolution on Iraq War
*  Algeria stokes oil fears
*  No Justification for Attack on Iraq Now - Canada
*  Schröder again plays Iraqi card to cheat defeat [Financial Times argues,
perhaps hopefully, that the SDP is facing defeat in two crucial by-elections
which could give the CDU control over the Bundesrat.]
*  Russian gas company signs contract with Iraq [Gives detailed account of
the fourth block in Iraq's Western Desert]
*  NATO Fails to Agree on Iraq War Role [Poor Lord George. Couldn't have
happened to a nicer person]
*   Spain Would Allow U.S. Use of Bases for Iraq Attack
*  CMs to 'lead' pro-Iraq rallies [Chief Ministers engaged in protests
against the Pakistani government's politics of appeasement]
*  World Economic Forum Criticizes US Over Iraq [Especially Malaysian Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamed who tells the US that "out-terrorizing the
terrorists will not work"]
*  Israeli Ambassador Slams Anti-Iraq War Demonstrations in Germany
*  Butler says US guilty of double standards on Iraq [Richard Butler, in
Australia, believes the Iraqi government is trying to cheat the inspectors
but he still opposes a unilateral US intervention. Its quite strong stuff:
'"The spectacle of the United States, armed with its weapons of mass
destruction, acting without Security Council authority to invade a country
in the heartland of Arabia and, if necessary, use its weapons of mass
destruction to win that battle, is something that will so deeply violate any
notion of fairness in this world that I strongly suspect it could set loose
forces that we would deeply live to regret," Butler said.']     
*  US critics must either act or hold their peace [Doug Bandow - senior
fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, former special assistant to
President Ronald Reagan and visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation -
issues a strong and very pertinent challenge to the European and other
government and political parties who claim to be opposed to the war, telling
them what they must do if they expect to be taken seriously: 'The
credibility of Washington's critics is at stake. If nations like Germany and
France give in - especially if they end up voting for and give military
support to the Bush administration - after taking such strong positions,
they will feed Washington's conviction that it can impose its will without
constraint. The Iraq process will inevitably repeat, with North Korea or
Iran the next military target, or with a plan for coercive "regime change"
in Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, or perhaps to forcibly disarm Pakistan.' This
it should be noted is someone who moves in the circles where these things
are decided ...]


*  Diesel smugglers lose business as war looms [Vivid picture of life on the
Turkey/Iraq border, now that the diesel trade has been largely closed down.
Those who express such admiration for the Kurdish autonomous zone don't
often mention the extent to which it has been dependent on
*  Turkish soldier, Kurd rebel killed near Iraq border [Confrontation with
the PKK]
*  Kurdish Clans Organize Anti-War Mass Rally in Baghdad ['Carrying banners
reading "Kurdish clans are human shield to protect Iraq," ...' The article
claims, surely rather improbably, that these are Kurds 'living in the
autonomous cities of Sulaymania, Arbil and Dahouk in northern Iraq']
*  Over 3,000 Kurdish political prisoners in Iraqi jails [according to the
Political Prisoners High Commission (PPHC), recently established in Irbil]
*  Turkish gangs behind [drugs] trade [in Scotland. The article talks of
'Turkish and Kurdish drug barons']


*  Baghdad claim [to have shot down a predator spy drone] denied
*  Allied Jets Hit Iraqi Anti-Aircraft Site [Saturday 25th January, near
Tallil, 170 miles southeast of Baghdad. And Iraqis claim three people
injured, possibly on Friday]
*  Allied planes strike targets in Iraq southern no-fly zone [Sunday, 26th
January. Three days in succession. Five communication relay sites between
the towns of al-Kut and an-Nasiriyah]

AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/01/03 (6)


*  U.K. May Face Arab Boycott If it Backs U.S. on Iraq: Qaradawi [Sheikh
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, president of the European Council for Fatwa and Research,
speaking at a conference in northwest London organized by the Muslim
Association of Britain.]
*  For Saudi royal family, rising fears of a postwar Iraq [Self serving
fantasy of Saudi princes quaking in their boots at the prospect of a pro-US
democratic (a contradiction in terms, shurely?) Iraq]
*  Turkish speaker refuses to meet US ambassador [So did the chiefs of the
parliamentary foreign affairs and defence committees. On the grounds that
its up to him to visit them, not vice versa]
*  Turkey strikes blow against Bush's war [Patrick Seale in the Daily Star,
Lebanon, explains the radicalism and courage of the policy currently being
pursued by the Turkish government]
*  Turkish Leader Calls U.S. Hypocritical [He said all countries were
hypocritical in relation to weapons of mass destruction. They all want other
people to disarm while keeping their own. But of course lumping the US in
with the other ordinary countries of the world was in itself a bit of an
insult these days]
*  Iraq told to actively cooperate with UN : Regional conference in Istanbul
*  Iraq's 1980s war with Iran: from Camembert to coffins, from wealth to war
debt [Moving account of the war as it was experienced in Iraq]
*  America, From Ally to 'World's Biggest Terrorist State' [Growth of
anti-US feeling in Turkey]
*  Turks open borders to 20,000 US troops  [Serious as this is I continue to
think its more about obstructing the Kurds than helping the US. Though,
assuming its true, will the Turks really be able to keep the number down to
20,000? or to prevent the 20,000 from forming an alliance with the Kurdish
*  Iraq says it might strike Kuwait in case of US attack [Tareq Aziz,
interviewed by Canada's CBC television. "If there will be an attack from
Kuwait, I cannot say that we will not retaliate." Uday Hussein's Babil is
quoted as saying 'the September 11 attacks "will be like a walk in the park
when compared to the blood they (the United States) will spill if they
launch a large-scale attack on Iraq."' This is interpreted as a threat but
as this translation stands its a statement of what the US will do to Iraq
not what Iraq will do to the US]
*  Syrians protest war plans
*  Bahrainis rally against war on Iraq ['His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al
Khalifa of Bahrain, meanwhile, assured local politicians that Bahrain will
not be used as a launching pad for any military action against Iraq.'
Bahrain, if I'm not mistaken, is where the US fleet is based]
*  Jordan to get Patriots in weeks

AND, IN NEWS, 22-29/01/03 (7)


*  Iraqi people have a voice - KDP [Problems of organising the Opposition
conference in Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan]
*  SAIRI Official Warns of Saddam Disaster Plan for War [Interview with
SCIRI representative Abdel Aziz al-Hakim. More about the Opposition than
about the Iraqi war plan]
*  Iran to Give Safe Passage for Iraq Opposition Meet[ing in the Kurdish
Autonomous Zone]
*  Iraqi Opposition Leaders Meet in Tehran ["There is an increasing feeling
in the Arab world that Iran is quietly increasing contacts with Iraqi
opposition groups and secretly developing cooperation with Washington". This
may be a case of Iran wanting to strengthen the native Iraqi - and
especially of course the Shi'i - element against the US]
*   Iraqi Opponent Says He's Leaving Iran to Plan Takeover [Ahmed Chalabi in
his villa in Tehran. 'Despite American economic sanctions against Iran, the
villa, which is decorated with expensive Persian carpets and brocade-covered
sofas and armchairs and staffed by about a dozen Iraqi aides and security
people, is paid for by the State Department, Mr. Chalabi said in an
interview. A special Treasury Department exemption under the Office of
Foreign Assets Control was required to allow American funds to finance his
operation, he added.']
*  Opposition is confident it can build a coalition after Saddam [Appearance
of Iraqi opposition representatives at the World Economic Forum in Davos]
*  US aims to lessen Iran's influence: Post-Saddam Iraq [Disputes over the
composition - and eventual importance - of the existing Opposition group.
Laith Kubba, 'who helped create the Iraqi National Congress in 1992 but has
left the group' is quoted as saying: "What kept the US away (from ousting
Saddam) for all this time was the concern that the country (Iraq) might be
dismembered. Now it has become more problematic than ever. Now the concern
is real."]


*  Rebels raise the stakes on Iraq [Adjournment debate in the House of
*  Blair: Iraq Inspectors Should Get Time [Mr Blair lays out the
circumstances in which he is willing to disregard the UN Charter: 'That is
the circumstances where the UN inspectors say he's not co operating and he's
in breach of the resolution that was passed in November but the UN because
someone, say, unreasonably exercises their veto and blocks a new
*  Wartime deceptions: Saddam is Hitler and it's not about oil [by Robert
Fisk, writing in a state of exasperation]
*  Fight club [Guardian account of prominent British supporters of the US
war effort]

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