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[casi] News, 22-29/01/03 (1)

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


*  Ritter admits 2001 arrest, declines to elaborate
*  Rumsfeld arouses fury of 'Old Europe'
*  Why We Know Iraq Is Lying
*  FBI Questions Thousands of Iraqis in U.S.
*  US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis
*  Satellite-backed CIA hit squads hunt Saddam
*  It's not just Saddam, but the system that's got to go
*  The case for Iraqi democracy and strategic partnership with America
*  Daschle: Bush Must Prove Iraq Arms Claim
*  Nobel Laureates Sign Against a War Without International Support
*  Bush Vows That He'll Disarm Iraq and Rebuild U.S. Economy
*  Stallin' Norman


Newsday, 22nd January

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A former U.N. weapons inspector reportedly arrested in a
2001 Internet sting operation on charges that were later dismissed said
Wednesday he was "obligated both ethically and legally not to discuss any
aspect of this case."

Scott Ritter, 41, of Delmar, an outspoken critic of President Bush's plans
for war against Iraq, said he was arrested on June, 15, 2001, on a
misdemeanor charge but refused to elaborate.

"When you dismiss the case and you seal the files, ... it maintains the
presumption of innocence, and it's also supposed to eliminate any stigma
that comes around from through unsubstantiated allegations pertaining to
this case," Ritter said in an interview with Court TV reporter Catherine
Crier. "So I'm sticking to my ethical and legal obligations not to discuss
this case. I wish other people had done that."

Ritter's arrest was first reported by The Daily Gazette of Schenectady on

The Times Union of Albany and the Daily News, citing anonymous sources,
reported on Tuesday that Ritter, a weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-98,
was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 16-year-old girl to a Burger
King restaurant.

The Daily News and WNYT-TV in Albany reported that Ritter tried to meet the
girl so she could watch him perform sex acts on himself. The girl turned out
to be an undercover investigator posing online as a minor as part of a probe
into Internet sex crime.

The Times Union reported that Ritter was charged with attempted endangerment
of a child, which carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail.

WNYT-TV reported the arrest in June 2001 and broadcast Ritter's mugshot
provided by the police under his full name of William Scott Ritter Jr., but
did not make the connection to the former U.N. weapons inspector at that

When asked whether the case was dismissed because of his notoriety, he said,
"I was held accountable to the rule of law. There was no special deal cut
here. There's no secret case."

Ritter said he won't comment on who may have leaked information about the
arrest to the media.

"I wish they hadn't. I certainly hope somebody gets to the bottom of this
because this is an old case. It was dismissed," he said.

In reaction to the media reports of his arrest, Ritter canceled a trip to
Iraq after a signing in San Diego Monday for his book "Endgame: Solving the
Iraq Crisis."

"The timing does stink. I was supposed to be on an airplane yesterday to
Baghdad leading a personal initiative that had international support that
could have possibly opened up other alternatives to war with Iraq," he said.
"Let's not forget, we're on the verge of a major conflict in which thousands
of American lives may be lost, and I was a leading voice of opposition to

"It's a shame that somebody would bring up this old matter, this dismissed
matter, and seek to silence me at this time."

Albany County Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Preiser, who agreed to
have the case adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, was fired last week
by District Attorney Paul Clyne because he said she failed to tell him about
a "sensitive" case. Clyne declined to say what the case was.

by Hugh Williamson in Berlin
Financial Times, 23rd January

"Old Europe" hit back with anger and disbelief yesterday at the suggestion
by Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, that Germany and France were no
longer modern states or important Washington allies.

Senior politicians from both countries lashed out at Mr Rumsfeld for
"misunderstanding Europe" and for breaking diplomatic protocol, despite
unsuccessful attempts by French President Jacques Chirac and German
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to keep a lid on a new transatlantic row.

Speaking in reaction to the display of united opposition in Paris and Berlin
towards US pressure for an early war against Iraq, Mr Rumsfeld on Wednesday
described both Germany and France as a "problem".

He said "vast numbers of other countries in Europe" backed the US on a
possible war in Iraq. "You're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I

"I think that's old Europe. If you look at the entire Nato Europe today, the
centre of gravity is shifting to the east. And there are a lot of new

Olaf Scholz, general secretary of Mr Schröder's ruling Social Democrats,
said Mr Rumsfeld "does not understand Europe".

Hans-Ulrich Klose, a respected SPD foreign policy expert, was more explicit.
Mr Rumsfeld's comments were "improper", he said adding: "The Americans can't
call nations 'a problem' just because they don't share their view. The
Americans shouldn't try to try to divide Europe into 'good' and
'not-so-good' Europeans."

Mr Rumsfeld's comments also angered Germany's conservatives, who are less
critical of US policy on Iraq than Mr Schröder is. Volke Rühe, Christian
Democrat chair of the parliament's foreign affairs committee, said Mr
Rumsfeld "is not a diplomat". Bernd Posselt, spokesman for an allied party,
accused the US defence secretary of "neo-colonialism".

Speaking on French television, Francis Mer, French finance minister, said he
was "deeply insulted" by the description of France and Germany as "old

Mr Chirac and Mr Schröder, in Berlin together to open France's new embassy
in the German capital, avoided comment, but pressed on with their opposition
to early US strikes against Baghdad. "One can never accept it when it is
said that war is unavoidable," Mr Schröder said.

The German government had hoped strains in relations with the US over Iraq
had been overcome. But analysts said Mr Schröder's refusal to sanction
military action against Iraq, combined with the harsh response from
Washington and the involvement of France, meant renewed tensions were

by Condoleezza Rice
New York Times, 23rd January

WASHINGTON: Eleven weeks after the United Nations Security Council
unanimously passed a resolution demanding ‹ yet again ‹ that Iraq disclose
and disarm all its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, it is
appropriate to ask, "Has Saddam Hussein finally decided to voluntarily
disarm?" Unfortunately, the answer is a clear and resounding no.

There is no mystery to voluntary disarmament. Countries that decide to
disarm lead inspectors to weapons and production sites, answer questions
before they are asked, state publicly and often the intention to disarm and
urge their citizens to cooperate. The world knows from examples set by South
Africa, Ukraine and Kazakhstan what it looks like when a government decides
that it will cooperatively give up its weapons of mass destruction. The
critical common elements of these efforts include a high-level political
commitment to disarm, national initiatives to dismantle weapons programs,
and full cooperation and transparency.

In 1989 South Africa made the strategic decision to dismantle its covert
nuclear weapons program. It destroyed its arsenal of seven weapons and later
submitted to rigorous verification by the International Atomic Energy
Agency. Inspectors were given complete access to all nuclear facilities
(operating and defunct) and the people who worked there. They were also
presented with thousands of documents detailing, for example, the daily
operation of uranium enrichment facilities as well as the construction and
dismantling of specific weapons.

Ukraine and Kazakhstan demonstrated a similar pattern of cooperation when
they decided to rid themselves of the nuclear weapons, intercontinental
ballistic missiles and heavy bombers inherited from the Soviet Union. With
significant assistance from the United States ‹ warmly accepted by both
countries ‹ disarmament was orderly, open and fast. Nuclear warheads were
returned to Russia. Missile silos and heavy bombers were destroyed or
dismantled ‹ once in a ceremony attended by the American and Russian defense
chiefs. In one instance, Kazakhstan revealed the existence of a ton of
highly enriched uranium and asked the United States to remove it, lest it
fall into the wrong hands.

Iraq's behavior could not offer a starker contrast. Instead of a commitment
to disarm, Iraq has a high-level political commitment to maintain and
conceal its weapons, led by Saddam Hussein and his son Qusay, who controls
the Special Security Organization, which runs Iraq's concealment activities.
Instead of implementing national initiatives to disarm, Iraq maintains
institutions whose sole purpose is to thwart the work of the inspectors. And
instead of full cooperation and transparency, Iraq has filed a false
declaration to the United Nations that amounts to a 12,200-page lie.

For example, the declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts
to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific fuel for ballistic
missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the
United Nations in Iraq's accounting for more than two tons of the raw
materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other
biological weapons.

Iraq's declaration even resorted to unabashed plagiarism, with lengthy
passages of United Nations reports copied word-for-word (or edited to remove
any criticism of Iraq) and presented as original text. Far from informing,
the declaration is intended to cloud and confuse the true picture of Iraq's
arsenal. It is a reflection of the regime's well-earned reputation for
dishonesty and constitutes a material breach of United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1441, which set up the current inspections program.

Unlike other nations that have voluntarily disarmed ‹ and in defiance of
Resolution 1441 ‹ Iraq is not allowing inspectors "immediate, unimpeded,
unrestricted access" to facilities and people involved in its weapons
program. As a recent inspection at the home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist
demonstrated, and other sources confirm, material and documents are still
being moved around in farcical shell games. The regime has blocked free and
unrestricted use of aerial reconnaissance.

The list of people involved with weapons of mass destruction programs, which
the United Nations required Iraq to provide, ends with those who worked in
1991 ‹ even though the United Nations had previously established that the
programs continued after that date. Interviews with scientists and weapons
officials identified by inspectors have taken place only in the watchful
presence of the regime's agents. Given the duplicitous record of the regime,
its recent promises to do better can only be seen as an attempt to stall for

Last week's finding by inspectors of 12 chemical warheads not included in
Iraq's declaration was particularly troubling. In the past, Iraq has filled
this type of warhead with sarin ‹ a deadly nerve agent used by Japanese
terrorists in 1995 to kill 12 Tokyo subway passengers and sicken thousands
of others. Richard Butler, the former chief United Nations arms inspector,
estimates that if a larger type of warhead that Iraq has made and used in
the past were filled with VX (an even deadlier nerve agent) and launched at
a major city, it could kill up to one million people. Iraq has also failed
to provide United Nations inspectors with documentation of its claim to have
destroyed its VX stockpiles.

Many questions remain about Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
programs and arsenal ‹ and it is Iraq's obligation to provide answers. It is
failing in spectacular fashion. By both its actions and its inactions, Iraq
is proving not that it is a nation bent on disarmament, but that it is a
nation with something to hide. Iraq is still treating inspections as a game.
It should know that time is running out.

Condoleezza Rice is the national security adviser.

by Curt Anderson
Las Vegas Sun, 25th January

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI is questioning as many as 50,000 Iraqis living in
the United States in a search for potential terrorist cells, spies or people
who might provide information helpful to a U.S. war effort.

Agents have fanned out across the country to interview Iraqis in their homes
and where they work, study and worship. A senior government official,
describing the program to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity,
said the interviews began about six weeks ago and will last several months.

The FBI is looking for people who might wish to harm America or whose visas
have expired. The agency also is seeking those who might be interested in
helping the United States overthrow Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi president
whose rule many of them fled.

About 300,000 people of Iraqi origin living in the United States, according
to the Iraqi American Council. There are large Iraqi communities in
Michigan, California, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

The Bush administration has long been searching for definitive links between
Saddam's government and al-Qaida or other terror organizations. Aziz
al-Taee, chairman of the council, said people who have been interviewed told
him the FBI is "asking if anybody knows someone who worked with Saddam. They
asked about a list of some who have vanished. They are asking about
terrorist cells."

Abigail Price, immigration director of the International Rescue Committee,
said she was visited recently by FBI agents who said they were from the
counterterror unit and were interested in various populations of refugees
and where to find them.

Price said she spoke with some Iraqi Kurds in the Atlanta area who were
interviewed by FBI agents. Many were upset, she said.

FBI agents are given sensitivity instructions from headquarters to stress
that the interviews are voluntary and to assure people the government will
protect them from any anti-Iraqi backlash.

Still, Price said, "They come to us because they are afraid. They ask, 'Are
they going to send us back? Have we done something wrong?' No matter how
nice they are, it really is frightening."

According to the Iraqi-American Council, many people of Iraqi origin in the
United States are of Kurdish ancestry; were part of the Shiite Muslim
majority in Iraq, who are largely frozen out of political power there; or
are Christians. Most in those groups are fundamentally opposed to Saddam and
would have little interest in spying or becoming terrorists for his
government, al-Taee said.

More than 50,000 Iraqis came to the United States after the 1991 Gulf War,
and many became U.S. citizens. Al-Taee said those people probably would be
willing to help the Bush administration, particularly in a domestic public
relations campaign to support U.S. military action.

Administration officials say they are looking for any links between Iraqis
in this country and possibly sympathetic radical Muslim groups, such as
al-Qaida and Hezbollah, which have their own anti-American agendas. Iraq's
intelligence service, the Mukhabarat, is not viewed as a serious espionage
threat within the United States.

Equally important to the government is identifying Iraqis who might know
about weaknesses in Saddam's government or the country's defenses, or who
might be in contact with people interested in defecting or providing crucial
information. For these reasons, a key to the program is FBI interviews with
educated or wealthy people such as doctors and businessmen living in the
United States.

Some Iraqis are in the United States on temporary visas to attend school,
visit relatives or do business. The Justice Department recently ordered all
males in this group age 16 and above to be photographed and fingerprinted at
immigration offices if they intend to stay for any length of time.

If their visas have expired or they have other immigration violations, the
FBI can use the threat of deportation to gain information sought by the
government, Justice Department officials said.

More than 77,000 mostly Middle Eastern or South Asian people are covered by
similar registration orders and by tightened controls at U.S. borders.
Justice Department officials say more than 23,400 men have registered with
the Immigration and Naturalization Service, with more than 54,000
fingerprinted and photographed at the borders since last fall.

The effort has captured three known terrorists, according to government
officials, who would not identify them or describe their whereabouts.,6903,882512,00.html

The Observer, 26th January

Facing its most chronic shortage in oil stocks for 27 years, the US has this
month turned to an unlikely source of help - Iraq.

Weeks before a prospective invasion of Iraq, the oil-rich state has doubled
its exports of oil to America, helping US refineries cope with a
debilitating strike in Venezuela.

After the loss of 1.5 million barrels per day of Venezuelan production in
December the oil price rocketed, and the scarcity of reserves threatened to
do permanent damage to the US oil refinery and transport infrastructure. To
keep the pipelines flowing, President Bush stopped adding to the 700m barrel
strategic reserve.

But ultimately oil giants such as Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell saved the day
by doubling imports from Iraq from 0.5m barrels in November to over 1m
barrels per day to solve the problem. Essentially, US importers diverted
0.5m barrels of Iraqi oil per day heading for Europe and Asia to save the
American oil infrastructure.

The trade, though bizarre given current Pentagon plans to launch around 300
cruise missiles a day on Iraq, is legal under the terms of UN's oil for food

But for opponents of war, it shows the unspoken aim of military action in
Iraq, which has the world's second largest proven reserves - some 112
billion barrels, and at least another 100bn of unproven reserves, according
to the US Department of Energy. Iraqi oil is comparatively simple to extract
- less than $1 per barrel, compared with $6 a barrel in Russia. Soon, US and
British forces could be securing the source of that oil as a priority in the
war strategy. The Iraqi fields south of Basra produce prized 'sweet crudes'
that are simpler to refine.

On Friday, Pentagon sources said US military planners 'have crafted
strategies that will allow us to secure and protect those fields as rapidly
as possible in order to then preserve those prior to destruction'.

The US military says this is a security issue rather than a grab for oil,
after a 'variety of intelligence sources' indicated that Saddam planned to
damage or destroy his oil fields - which would inflict up to $30bn damage on
the US economy and cause irreparable environmental damage.

But the prospect of British and US commandos claiming key oil installations
around Basra by force has pushed global oil diplomacy into overdrive.
International oil companies have been jockeying position to secure
concessions before 'regime change'.

Last weekend a Russian delegation flew to Baghdad to patch up relations
after Iraq's cancellation of its five-year-old contract to develop the huge
West Qurna oil field - worth up to $600bn at today's oil price. Lukoil was
punished by Baghdad for negotiating with the US and Iraqi exiles on keeping
its concession in a post-Saddam Iraq.

The delegation of Ministers and oil executives returned to Moscow with three
signed contracts. Oil is the state budget's lifeblood, and Russia requires
an oil price of at least $18. Russians fear a US grip on a large reserve of
cheap oil could send prices tumbling.

But Saddam has offered lucrative contracts to companies from France, China,
India and Indonesia as well as Russia.

It is only the oil majors based in Britain and America - now the leading
military hawks - that don't have current access to Iraqi contracts.

Richard Lugar, the hawkish chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
suggests reluctant Europeans risk losing out on oil contracts. 'The case he
had made is that the Russians and the French, if they want to have a share
in the oil operations or concessions or whatever afterward, they need to be
involved in the effort to depose Saddam as well,' said Lugar's spokesman.

A delegation of senior US Republicans was in Moscow last Tuesday trying to
persuade Kremlin officials and oil companies that a war in Iraq would not
compromise their concessions. A leaked oil analyst report from Deutsche Bank
said ExxonMobil was in 'pole position in a changed-regime Iraq'.

Washington is split along hawk-dove lines about the role of oil in a
post-Saddam Iraq. Two sets of meetings sponsored by the State Department and
Vice-President Dick Cheney's staff have been attended by representatives of
ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhilips and Halliburton, the company that
Cheney ran before his election.

The dovish line, led by Colin Powell, places the emphasis on 'protection' of
Iraq's oil for Iraq's people. His State Department has pointed to a
precedent in the US interpretation of international law set in the 1970s.
Then, when Israel occupied Egypt's Sinai desert, the US did not support
attempts to transfer oil resources.

While the State Department is mindful of cynical world opinion about US war
aims, officials do not always stick to the script. Grant Aldonas, Under
Secretary at the US Department of Commerce, said war 'would open up this
spigot on Iraqi oil which certainly would have a profound effect in terms of
the performance of the world economy for those countries that are
manufacturers and oil consumers'.

The US economy will announce zero growth this week, prolonging three years
of sluggish performance. Cheap oil would boost an economy importing half of
its daily consumption of 20m barrels.

But a cheaper oil price could have been reached more easily by lifting
sanctions and giving the US oil majors access to Iraq's untapped reserves.

Instead, war stands to give control over the oil price to 'new Iraq' and its
sponsors, with Saudi Arabia losing its capacity to control prices by
altering productive capacity.

Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Defence Secretary, and Richard Perle, a key
Pentagon adviser, see military action as part of a grand plan to reshape the
Middle East.

To this end, control of Iraqi oil needs to bypass the twin tyrannies of UN
control and regional fragmentation into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish supplies.
The neo-conservatives plan a market structure based on bypassing the
state-owned Iraqi National Oil Company and backing new free-market Iraqi

But, in the run-up to war, the US oil majors will this week report a big
leap in profits. ChevronTexaco is to report a 300 per cent rise. Chevron
used to employ the hawkish Condoleezza Rice, Bush's National Security
Adviser, as a member of its board.

Five years ago the then Chevron chief executive Kenneth Derr, a colleague of
Rice, said: 'Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas - reserves I'd love
Chevron to have access to.'

If US and UK forces have victory in Iraq, the battle for its oil will have
only begun.

by Andrew Buncombe in Washington
The Independent, 26th January

The US is engaged in a massive effort to track the movements and
communications of Saddam Hussein, using covert special forces and electronic
eavesdropping equipment. The forces carrying out the search have authority
to assassinate the Iraqi leader.

Teams from the CIA and special forces are involved in reconnaissance trips
in the deserts and outside many of the major cities of Iraq. They are backed
by an armoury of satellite technology, which is used to monitor the phone
calls and walkie-talkie transmissions of Saddam and his senior lieutenants.

The US teams are reported to be searching for potential landing strips for
coalition forces to use in the event of an attack. They are also training
opposition Kurdish and Shia leaders.

The units have authority to use so-called "lethal force". A presidential
order signed by Mr Bush last year circumvents the ban on assassinating
foreign leaders or civilians introduced by President Ford amid concern that
the CIA had become a "rogue elephant" in its Cold War operations.

The new order means that al-Qa'ida terrorists are excluded from the ban
because they are classified as "enemy combatants", as is President Saddam
because he is a military commander. Many within the US administration
believe assassinating the Iraqi leader would avert a costly and dangerous

The covert teams are supported by the latest electronic surveillance
equipment. A converted Boeing 707, called a RC-135 Rivet Joint, is flying up
to 10 hours a day at 35,000ft over Iraq, intercepting phone calls and
identifying callers' locations to within a mile.

Two satellites are tracking the Iraqi President. The Micron Spy satellite is
stationed 22,300 miles above the Middle East and can pick up telephone
calls, which are sent to the US listening base at Menwith Hill, Yorkshire,
or the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Maryland.

The Trumpet satellitepicks up mobile-phone calls. Most of the information is
sent to Buckley Air National Guard Base, in Aurora, Colorado.

by Mark Steyn
Chicago Sun-Times, 26th January

Last weekend was going pretty swimmingly for me. All over the TV, the news
shows reported on the "peace" demonstrations "sweeping" America, though you
couldn't help noticing the cameras always stayed in tight, no wide shots,
just closeups--in some cases because there were only six "peace" lovers
present; in others, to avoid showing the vast numbers of nutters.

In Washington, where the pro-Pol Pot, pro-Tiananmen bloodbath Stalinists of
ANSWER were running things, the off-the-graph leftism tended to the dour and
earnest. In San Francisco, the mood was more eclectic, and not just because
of the "Transsexual Vegan Lesbian Epidemiologist Punk For Peace" (really).
The sign designers had put a lot of effort into detailed retouching of
photographs: Dick Cheney was der Fuhrer ("already in his bunker"), but so
was Bush ("Stop The Bushitler"). There was a sign saying "The Difference
Between Bush And Saddam Is That Saddam Was Elected." Yes, indeed. No hanging
chads in Halabja. There was an Uncle Sam recruiting slogan: "I Want YOU To
Die For Israel. Israel Sings Onward Christian Soldiers." One woman marched
under the slogan "This Bush Is For Peace," accompanied by a picture of ...
well, let's not get into that. In a similar vein, another lady waxed
eloquent: "Trim Bush."

Thus, the main planks of the anti-war platform: It's not all about oil, it's
also about Hitler, the Florida recount, dying for those devious Jews, and
letting me show you my pubic hair.

So I couldn't have been happier. After a weekend-long narcissistic freak
show, the pro-war numbers were bound to go up.

And then Rumsfeld went on TV.

On ABC, the secretary of defense told his interviewer that war with Iraq
could be avoided if "the senior leadership in that country and their
families could be provided haven in some other country." Hang on. You mean,
if Saddam, his sons and a couple of other A-list psychos move into Robert
Mugabe's rental condo, that's it? Game over? In the last year, neither Rummy
nor any other administration player has ever expressed such a shriveled war

So let's be clear. Swapping Saddam for a less psychopathic Saddamite who
forswears extraterritorial ambitions and agrees only to a little light
terrorism of his own people would be a total waste of time. The issue for
the West is how to dismantle not Saddam's warheads but the system that
produces the Saddams and Osamas. Cherry-picking a more pliable strongman
won't do it. What kind of Iraqi president does Rumsfeld have in mind? A man
in the mold of such renowned Washington allies as Hosni Mubarak? Mubarak's
Egypt produced the leader of the Sept. 11 murderers, the principal Islamist
agitator in Britain, the highest-ranking al-Qaida terrorist in Canada, etc.
There's no point even bothering with Iraq if you're going to settle for a

One of the peculiarities of this conflict is that the left are now the jaded
cynics and we right wing crazies are the idealists arguing that the peoples
of the Middle East deserve their freedom. This isn't because we're
starry-eyed, but because, being hardhearted right-wingers, we understand
that there's no alternative. As long as the Arab states are such
comprehensive failures, their leaders will have a vested interest in making
sure their wretched subjects remain mired in a grievance culture that blames
that failure on others--i.e., us. Given the rate of Muslim emigration to
Europe, Australia and North America, the psychosis of their failure has
already spread to Manchester, Copenhagen, Paris, Sydney, Buffalo and
Toronto. In the end, difficult as it will be, the problem has to be fixed at
its source, and the best place to do that with a reasonable shot at success
is Iraq--the least Islamist of Arab societies.

In most Muslim countries, as bad as the government is, its opponents are
worse--that goes for Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, the
Palestinian Authority.... The Iraqi National Congress is a notable exception
to that rule. What's more, anyone who says you can't create a functioning
civilized society in Iraq overlooks the fact that there's already one:
Beneath the Anglo-American no-fly zones, the Saddam-free Kurdish areas of
Iraq have quietly created democratic political structures, including
multiparty legislatures and accountable executives and prime ministers;
there is a free press and an independent judiciary, including female judges,
and universities that teach subjects other than suicide bombing and the
descent of Jews from pigs. Many of us on the right think the Kurdish
experiments are worth spreading to the rest of Iraq and then beyond.

In other words, removing Saddam is a means, not an end. The remaking of Iraq
is meant to rattle the terror-exporting Saudis. The substitution of a new
dictator would merely let them off the hook. Again.

Don Rumsfeld, perhaps the sharpest thinker in the Cabinet, must know all
this. So the only reason he'd say such a thing is because war's going to
start any day now. Isn't it?

by Ghassan al-Atiyyah
Daily Star, Lebanon, 28th January

The question worrying most Iraqis at the moment is not whether war will
break out or not, but whether Saddam Hussein will continue to rule over
them. Iraq, after all, has been in a continuous state of war ever since
Saddam seized power in 1979 in a bloodbath in which he killed off most of
his erstwhile comrades. Scarcely a year went by before he launched a futile
eight-year long war with neighboring Iran. Two years after that conflict
ended, Saddam invaded Kuwait and Iraq has been paying the price of that
folly ever since.

The only way this nightmare (both for Iraq and the region) can be brought to
an end is by overthrowing the regime - and definitely not by giving it a new
lease on life under the pretext of allowing UN inspectors more time to
search for weapons of mass destruction. Saddam used means other than WMDs to
destroy Iraq and its people.

This is not a call to wage war per se. After all, both the 1980-1988
Iran-Iraq War and Operation Desert Storm in 1991 failed to dislodge Saddam
from power. The Iraqi people do not need new lessons about the catastrophes
of war. What they need is help to rid themselves of this long and cruel

Some people say that only the Iraqi people have the right to change their
government. That would be correct if Iraq were a normal country. Calling on
the Iraqis to change the regime under present circumstances is like telling
a drowning man to rescue himself.

Some Arab intellectuals justify the continued suffering of the Iraqi people
by saying America is only interested in the country's oil, not in its
people's freedom, as if Saddam has been using Iraq's vast oil resources for
the benefit of the people, and not purely as a means of keeping himself in
power through bribes and buying Arab and foreign support - not to mention
obtaining WMDs and waging wars on his neighbors.

Iraqis feel particularly bitter when they hear other Arabs and Muslims
criticize them for cooperating with the United States in getting rid of
Saddam's tyranny, just because America supports Israel - as if their
suffering somehow redeems the Palestinians. Several Arab columnists (writing
in newspapers owned or supported by states that far from being democratic)
say America does not want Iraq to become a democracy, since that would mean
giving power to the Shiites and handing a victory to Iran. Besides
demonstrating a breathtaking level of ignorance about the Shiites of Iraq,
citing the "Shiite threat," which was used to prolong the Iran-Iraq war, is
now being revived in an attempt to stem the tide of democratic change that
threatens to engulf the entire region. What these columnists fail to mention
is that most Arab countries - and especially those of the Gulf - maintain
excellent relations with Iran.

In order to maintain the status quo (both in Iraq and in the region
generally), some Arabs have been using the "Sunni card," bewailing the fate
of Iraq's Sunnis at the hands of their Shiite compatriots should Saddam's
regime fall. Yet these people conveniently forget that the Kurds and Turkmen
of Iraq (who are predominantly Sunni) are among the strongest supporters of
democratic change in the country.

The former editor in chief of a London-based newspaper wrote recently that
'regime change,' as opposed to replacing Saddam Hussein only, would target
Iraq's Sunni Arab community." Another prominent Arab journalist summarized
the Iraq question by saying that "demands by the Shiite and Kurdish
minorities" can be ignored so long as power remains in Arab hands - ignoring
the fact that the "minorities" in question make up more than two-thirds of
the country's population.

Iraqis are angered at their Arab "brethren" when they hear them speak of
Iraqi Kurds as posing a threat to the country's unity. As a matter of fact,
the Kurds - who have enjoyed de facto independence for many years - are keen
to return to their motherland's fold under a democratic federal system of
government. Nevertheless, many Arabs (and non-Arabs) suspect that federalism
is a step toward Kurdish secession. What should the Kurds do to prove that
they are in fact Iraqis?

Federalism is an Iraqi - rather than an exclusively Kurdish - demand, and is
in the interests of all Iraqis. If federalism serves well the interests and
aspirations of Germans, Brazilians, and even UAE citizens, why should the
Iraq of the future not benefit from a similar system? In order to keep them
within the Iraqi fold, the Kurds have to be treated as equals. They should
enjoy the same rights and privileges as other Iraqis, and must have an equal
stake in government and citizenship. Otherwise, the Kurds are fully entitled
to secede and form their own independent state.

All Iraqis - Iraqi democrats especially - are well versed in the errors and
sins of American policy. After all, they were the ones who had to pay the
price for US support for Saddam in the Iran-Iraq war, Washington's
abandonment of the Kurds to the tender mercies of the Iraqi regime after
Saddam and the shah of Iran signed the infamous Algiers Agreement of 1975,
and more recently in 1991, when America turned its back on the Iraqi
people's uprising.

After World War II, US foreign policy lost its democratic dimension based on
the principles of Woodrow Wilson in favor of a McCarthyite fear of
communism. Washington took to backing dictatorships in many parts of the
world under the banner of fighting communist encroachment. 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).

But it seems that US foreign policy, at least where the Arab world is
concerned, has changed recently undoubtedly due to the catastrophe of Sept.
11, 2001. The attacks on New York and Washington exposed the dangers
inherent in putting too much reliance on oppressive regimes to contain the
threats of nationalist and religious extremism. Those who commandeered the
doomed airliners on that fateful day were overwhelmingly nationals of
countries whose governments cooperated with the United States in oppressing
their own citizens, thus turning these countries - and the Arab Middle East
as a whole - into a fertile ground for breeding extremism and

>From that moment onward, the policy of maintaining the status quo in the
Arab East   which Washington had pursued for decades on end - became a
source of threat rather than security to United States interests. This made
openness and democratization seem like acceptable alternatives. It was at
this point that the interests of the United States converged with those of
anti-dictatorial Iraqi forces. Their mutual goal became the establishment of
a democratic Iraq. Nevertheless, there are still those who doubt American
motives, pointing to Washington's alliance with the Musharraf dictatorship
in Pakistan as an example.

Yet it has to be appreciated that democratic change cannot be undertaken by
decree. Democracy is not a commodity that can be exported. It is a long
drawn-out process that might take years to accomplish and might well require
factors beyond the capability of the Americans to deliver. But at least the
US has ceased to be an obstacle to change - and in fact is calling for it,
even in Pakistan.

The main obstacle to democratic change in Iraq is domestic - in addition to
unaccommodating regional and global circumstances. The lack of democratic
traditions and representative institutions in Iraq, especially after more
than three decades of Baathist rule, will make it extremely difficult to
build democracy in the country. It is highly unlikely that Iraqis, disunited
as they are, would be able to accomplish the task without outside help. One
only has to look at the Iraqi opposition to see how fragmented Iraqi society

That is why the current US-led confrontation with the Iraqi regime is being
seen by many Iraqis as an opportunity not only to free the country of
weapons of mass destruction, but also to rebuild Iraq along democratic lines
with the United States acting as a catalyst for consolidating democratic
practices. Democracy in Iraq cannot possibly take root and grow without
protection from outside interference. Regional powers must be dissuaded from
exploiting the power vacuum that will arise after the Saddam regime is

The United States, in cooperation with European nations, is best placed to
help rebuild the Iraqi economy in order to facilitate and consolidate
democratic change. Nation-building in Iraq will take time. That is why Iraq
must enter into a strategic partnership with the United States similar to
existing arrangements between America on the one hand and Turkey and South
Korea on the other.

Most Iraqis look back with fondness to the days when their country was
allied with 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.

An alliance with the United States would obviate Iraq's need not only for
WMDs, but also for the massive expenditure necessary to maintain a large
standing army. The money saved could then go into rebuilding the country.
Such an alliance would also ensure that Iraq finally shakes off the shackles
of sanctions and other measures that have robbed the country of its

We are not calling for an American mandate, for history does not repeat
itself. We are calling for a relationship (with the United States) that
would save Iraq both from itself as well as from its covetous neighbors
through cooperation with the greatest democracy in the world.

The most precious gift Iraq can present to the region is by turning from a
cause of instability to an example of moderation and political openness.
Iraq can also take part in creating a new regional economic order that
strengthens cooperation between different states.

Extremism and fundamentalism cannot be defeated by oppression, but by
presenting acceptable alternatives. The Iraq of the future, with its rich
human and material resources, can, in cooperation with the United States,
become such an alternative. The new political and economic climate that will
be created will help solve many conflicts - including the Palestine
question, which the status quo has demonstrably failed to solve.

But there are still many obstacles to overcome. The weakness of the Iraqi
opposition is one, but more important is that many regional countries have
grown accustomed to the status quo and will find it very difficult to
acclimatize themselves with a new democratic and open Iraq. They will
therefore try to restrict the process of change such that it only involves
Saddam but not his regime - in other words, Saddamism without Saddam. If
they have their way, the process of change would only be a detour after
which everything goes back to where it was before.

The opportunity for change might also be thwarted by rivalry between Europe
and the US, which could distort the issue, making it seem like a "war for
oil," a personal Bush vendetta, or other such slogans that conceal the fact
that the adversary is a dictatorship that has gassed its own people. It is
really ironic that the most vociferous opposition to war is coming from
Germany, a country that could never have been freed from the Nazis were it
not for the United States. However, there is still a chance for the
Europeans to throw their weight behind the US, a move that might convince
Saddam that resignation is his better option.

The US could still take the easy way out by making do with disarming Iraq,
calling that a victory (like Saddam himself did after his defeat in Desert
Storm). This way, Saddam could conceivably stay in power - or be replaced by
a Saddam clone.

To appreciate the scope of this dilemma, you would only need to imagine the
impact on the region, let alone Iraq, of Saddam surviving this standoff -
just as if Hitler had survived World War II.

Ghassan al-Atiyyah is the Iraqi editor of the London-based Iraqi File

By David Espo
Las Vegas Sun, 28th January

WASHINGTON (AP): Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle challenged the Bush
administration Monday to show proof that Iraq has weapons of mass
destruction, and said the White House has offered "rotating reasons" for the
push toward war.

"When they give so many rotating reasons, it makes people wonder which one
is the real one, or if the real reason is none of the above. Above all, it
makes people doubt there is a guiding principle," Daschle said.

The South Dakotan made his remarks at a joint appearance with House
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, an event billed as a
"pre-buttal to Bush's State of the Union Address. The two party leaders
sharply criticized the president's handling of the economy, his proposal to
end the tax on corporate dividends, and his record on education, civil
rights and more.

"Last year, President Bush told the nation in his State of the Union address
that his economic plan could be summarized in a single word ... jobs,"
Pelosi said. "Unfortunately, his record could be summed up in one phrase ...
loss of jobs."

Both Democrats also said a "credibility gap" had grown up around Bush, a
president whom they said promises one thing and delivers something

Pelosi's criticism was directed largely at domestic issues, while Daschle's
emphasis was foreign policy and the possibility of war against Iraq.

"If we have proof of nuclear and biological weapons, why don't we show that
proof to the world, as President Kennedy did 40 years ago when he sent Adlai
Stevenson to the United Nations to show the world U.S. photographs of
offensive missiles in Cuba," Daschle said.

"At a time when we have only just begun to fight the war on terror, the
American people deserve to hear why we should put hundreds of thousands of
American troops at risk, spend perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars, risk
our alliances, and inflame our adversaries to attack Iraq," he said.

Daschle's Cuba reference concerned the 1960s Cuban missile crisis. At the
time, the Kennedy administration unveiled reconnaissance photographs at the
United Nations to prove its claim that the Soviet Union was deploying
missiles on the island 90 miles off the coast of Florida.

In challenging Bush, Daschle said the president has offered several
explanations for the threat of war: "because Saddam is a threat to his
neighbors, because he gassed the Kurds, because he tried to kill the first
President Bush, because he's making weapons of mass destruction, because -
they say - he was involved in Sept. 11."

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?"

Daschle and Pelosi spoke shortly after top U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix
told the U.N. Security Council that Baghdad had not genuinely accepted U.N.
resolutions demanding that it disarm. Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the
International Atomic Energy Agency, said there was no evidence so far that
Iraq was reviving its nuclear program, and he requested a few months to
complete the search.

In her turn at the microphone, Pelosi also criticized the administration's
record on the environment. "Almost every week, with little fanfare, the Bush
Administration releases yet another government measure designed to weaken
the Clear Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other pillars of environmental
protection in our country," she said. "Ever so quietly and ever so quickly,
the president is rolling back more than 30 years of environmental progress."

by William J. Broad
New York Times, 28th January

Forty-one American Nobel laureates in science and economics issued a
declaration yesterday opposing a preventive war against Iraq without wide
international support. The statement, four sentences long, argues that an
American attack would ultimately hurt the security and standing of the
United States, even if it succeeds.

The signers, all men, include a number who at one time or another have
advised the federal government or played important roles in national
security. Among them are Hans A. Bethe, an architect of the atom bomb;
Walter Kohn, a former adviser to the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency at the Pentagon; Norman F. Ramsey, a Manhattan Project scientist who
readied the Hiroshima bomb and later advised NATO; and Charles H. Townes,
former research director of the Institute for Defense Analyses at the
Pentagon and chairman of a federal panel that studied how to base the MX
missile and its nuclear warheads.

In addition to winning Nobel prizes, 18 of the signers have received the
National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science honor.

The declaration reads:

"The undersigned oppose a preventive war against Iraq without broad
international support. Military operations against Iraq may indeed lead to a
relatively swift victory in the short term. But war is characterized by
surprise, human loss and unintended consequences. Even with a victory, we
believe that the medical, economic, environmental, moral, spiritual,
political and legal consequences of an American preventive attack on Iraq
would undermine, not protect, U.S. security and standing in the world."

Dr. Kohn, a Nobel chemist at the University of California at Santa Barbara,
organized the declaration.

"No voice was speaking against the war," he said. "So I asked, 'Can I
somehow make myself useful?' and had the idea of contacting my Nobel
laureate friends and trying to rally them around a reasonable position."

Dr. Kohn said he eventually tried to contact all American Nobel laureates in
science and economics, who are thought to number about 130. But some had
died or were unreachable, he said, while others never replied. Dr. Kohn said
only six respondents declined to sign the declaration.

He said the signers included Democrats and Republicans alike.

Patricia Halloran, an aide to Dr. Kohn, said that more signatures were
expected in the next few days as laureates returned from foreign travels or
caught up with their mail.

Occasionally, science Nobelists have banded together to speak out, usually
on topics of war and peace, arms and technology. In July 2000, 50 Nobel
laureates urged President Bill Clinton to reject a proposed $60 billion
missile defense system, arguing that it would be wasteful and dangerous. In
October 1999, 32 Nobel laureates in physics urged the Senate to approve the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, calling it central to halting the spread of
nuclear arms.

The Iraq declaration is to be circulated on Capitol Hill by Senator Dianne
Feinstein and Representative Lois Capps, both California Democrats.

The signers are these, with E designating economics; P, physics; C,
chemistry; and M, medicine or physiology:

George A. Akerlof E, Philip W. Anderson P, Paul Berg C, Hans A. Bethe P,
Nicolaas Bloembergen P, Paul D. Boyer C, Owen Chamberlain P, Leon N. Cooper
P, James W. Cronin P, Robert F. Curl Jr. C, Val L. Fitch P, Robert F.
Furchgott M, Sheldon L. Glashow P, Roger Guillemin M, Herbert A. Hauptman C,
Alan J. Heeger C, Louis J. Ignarro M, Eric R. Kandel M, Har Gobind Khorana
M, Lawrence R. Klein E, Walter Kohn C, Leon M. Lederman P, Yuan T. Lee C,
William N. Lipscomb C, Daniel L. McFadden E, Franco Modigliani E, Ferid
Murad M, George E. Palade M, Arno A. Penzias P, Martin L. Perl P, William D.
Phillips P, Norman F. Ramsey P, Robert Schrieffer P, William F. Sharpe E,
Jack Steinberger P, Joseph H. Taylor Jr. P, Charles H. Townes P, Daniel C.
Tsui P, Harold E. Varmus M, Robert W. Wilson P, Ahmed H. Zewail C

by Richard W. Stevenson and David E. Sanger
New York Times, 29th January

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 ‹ In an assertive speech that covered the main themes of
his administration, President Bush tonight combined an unflinching threat of
military action against Saddam Hussein with sweeping proposals on the key
domestic issues of health care and tax relief.

Mr. Bush, delivering his second State of the Union message before Congress,
sought to assure Americans that he could deal with their economic troubles
and foreign crises simultaneously and with compassion and resolve.

He spoke forcefully, purposefully and in somber tones of an America unafraid
to take unilateral action, if necessary, against an Iraqi leader he
portrayed as the personification of evil.

"Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy,
and it is not an option," Mr. Bush said.

He defended his doctrine of pre-emption as the necessary response to
terrorism and sought to increase the pressure on his hesitant allies by
announcing that he was sending Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to the
United Nations on Feb. 5.

Moving to control the next part of the decision-making calendar, Mr. Bush
said Mr. Powell would "present information and intelligence" to buttress
White House contentions that Mr. Hussein had deceived United Nations
inspectors and that he had secret links to Al Qaeda and other terrorist

But the president tempered that message with a new agenda of international
humanitarianism, built on a major new intitiative against AIDS in Africa.

He promised his American audience tax relief for ordinary families and for
investors in the stock market.

Addressing his determination to deal once and for all with Mr. Hussein, the
president made it clear that while he would seek the world's support in
confronting Iraq ‹ and in liberating it ‹ he would not wait. "We will
consult, but let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not
fully disarm, for the safety of our people, and for the peace of the world,
we will lead a coalition to disarm him," Mr. Bush said.

In an effort to answer his critics around the world, Mr. Bush described
America as a benign superpower, one that planned to "bring to the Iraqi
people food, and medicines and supplies." He paused for emphasis, and added:
"And freedom."

"We exercise power without conquest," he said, "and sacrifice for the
liberty of strangers."

He described Mr. Hussein as showing "utter contempt" for the United Nations,
and he sent a message to the armed forces he has dispatched to the Persian
Gulf, telling them that "crucial hours" lie ahead.

"In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on you," Mr. Bush
said, sounding as if he assumed military conflict was coming. "Your training
has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You believe in America and
America believes in you."

Mr. Bush used the speech to lay out his rationale for taking pre-emptive
action against Iraq, saying that Mr. Hussein had used chemical weapons on
his own people and had routinely resorted to torture against his opponents.

"If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning," he said.

In calm and measured tones that sometimes dropped almost to a whisper, Mr.
Bush pivoted from the weak economy, tax cuts, health care and volunteerism
to AIDS, terrorism and the likelihood of war. He linked the troubles at home
to the threats from abroad by suggesting that they collectively posed a
challenge that could not be deferred.

"We will not deny, we will not ignore, we will not pass along our problems
to other Congresses, other presidents and other generations," the president
said. "We will confront them with focus, and clarity, and courage."

Without providing any details, the president cited evidence "from
intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people now in
custody" in asserting that Mr. Hussein is currently tied to Al Qaeda.

And he described what Sept. 11, 2001, might have been like if the hijackers
that day had had access to chemical and biological weapons of the sort that
the United States says Mr. Hussein has stockpiled.

"It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this
country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known," Mr. Bush
said. "We will do everything in our power to make sure that day never

The White House had signaled for days that this would not be Mr. Bush's
final word on Iraq, and the president stopped short of declaring war. But he
left little doubt that he intended to disarm Mr. Hussein by force, with
whatever allies he could assemble, if the Iraqi leader did not give up his
weapons voluntarily.

Mr. Bush left open the possibility that Mr. Hussein could avoid war by
immediately complying with the demands by the United Nations that he disarm,
but seemed to hold out little hope that the Iraqi leader would do so.

"The dictator of Iraq is not disarming," Mr. Bush said. "To the contrary, he
is deceiving."

Mr. Bush also stressed efforts he was taking to protect the nation from
another terrorist attack, announcing that the Central Intelligence Agency
and the F.B.I. would pool foreign and domestic intelligence through a new
joint operation intended to improve their cooperation and better identify

In devoting the first third of his address to the economy and domestic
issues, he displayed a determination not to be seen as overly absorbed by
those crises or inattentive to domestic problems. It was that image that
hobbled his father's unsuccessful re-election campaign 11 years ago.

His address had a number of surprises, among them a call for a $15 billion
program ‹ including $10 billion in new money ‹ to fight AIDS in Africa and
the Caribbean.

The initiative fit into two major themes of Mr. Bush's administration: its
efforts to be seen as "compassionate" in its conservatism and its efforts to
show the rest of the world that its foreign policy goal is not hegemony but
to foster peace, stability and prosperity.

Mr. Bush said his "first goal" was to revive the economy, which after
showing signs of recovery last year appears to be stalling again. He said
the best way to do this was passage of his $670 billion tax cut plan,
including its provision to end taxation of most stock dividends.

He also promised to dedicate $400 billion over the next decade to
overhauling the Medicare system and adding to it prescription drug coverage
for some retirees.

And after two years of attacks by environmentalists for his deregulatory
policies, Mr. Bush called for $1.2 billion in research into cleaner-burning
hydrogen-powered automobiles.

He proposed a $450 million plan to provide mentors for children whose
parents are in prison and a $600 million program to help an additional
300,000 people get treatment for substance abuse.

He said his budget plan for next year, which he will submit to Congress on
Monday, would ask for $6 billion for a new program to produce more and
better vaccines and treatments against bioterrorism from agents like
anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola and plague.

Addressing an issue that ranks high among the concerns of social
conservatives, Mr. Bush pledged to push for a ban on the procedure that its
opponents call partial-birth abortion.

But Mr. Bush's task tonight was to mobilize the American public and the
nation's allies to the cause of disarming Iraq and trusting America's
motives. The president asserted that there was little distinction between
fighting terrorism and confronting "outlaw regimes" that stockpile or seek
to develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

"These regimes could use such weapons for blackmail, terror and mass
murder," he said. "They could also give or sell those weapons to their
terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation."

Mr. Bush's mission tonight was to add urgency to the confrontation with
Iraq, and he did so by alleging ‹ in what White House officials noted was
the present tense ‹ that "Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists,
including members of Al Qaeda." But when asked today for the evidence to
back up his assertion, a senior administration official said simply "we'll
deal with Al Qaeda and Iraq in the next few days."

The heart of Mr. Bush's argument, however, is that America and the world
cannot afford to wait until it is clear that Iraq will attack America, or
its allies.

"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent," he said, a
clear reference to European nations that argue that Mr. Hussein is
contained. "Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their
intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"

Mr. Bush offered little new evidence about Iraq's actions today, but he
described Mr. Hussein's methods of torture and intimidation in stark terms,
and at one point he clearly compared the Iraqi leader to Hitler.

He talked of forced confessions, extracted "by torturing children while
their parents are made to watch." He detailed electric shocks, dripping
acid, and mutilation with electric drills -- not the usual discourse for
State of the Union addresses.

The core of his argument, however, rested on the questions that Hans Blix,
the co-leader of the United Nations inspection team, said on Monday were
still unanswered. He spoke of 25,000 liters of anthrax ‹ "enough doses to
kill several million people" ‹ that remains unaccounted for. He asked for
evidence that 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, which causes respiratory
failure, has been destroyed.

In dwelling for so long on Mr. Hussein's abuses, he quite deliberately
isolated Iraq from the other two nations that make up what, in last year's
address 364 nights ago, he memorably called an "Axis of Evil."

There was no such turn of phrase tonight. Instead, he argued that "different
threats require different strategies." Iran, he said, continued to repress
freedom and seek weapons of mass destruction, but he argued that Iranians
themselves were the greatest hope for change. They are, he said, "risking
intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty, human rights and

by Richard Wallace US Editor In New York
Daily Mirror, 29th January

THE American general who led allied troops to victory in the Gulf War,
yesterday refused to accept that there was enough evidence to invade Iraq.

Retired Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf insisted that UN inspections must
continue and said the US had not considered the consequences for the Middle
East after an invasion.

He said: "The thought of Saddam Hussein with a sophisticated nuclear
capability is a frightening thought.

"Having said that, I don't know what intelligence the US government has. And
before I can just stand up and say 'Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we need to
invade Iraq', I guess I would like to have better information."

He added: "I think it is very important for us to wait and see what the
inspectors come up with, and hopefully they come up with something

Schwarzkopf slammed defence chief Donald Rumsfeld for his warlike language.

He said: "I have gotten somewhat nervous at some of the pronouncements
Rumsfeld has made. He almost sometimes seems to be enjoying it.

"When he makes his comments, it appears that he disregards the army. He
gives the perception when he's on TV that he is the guy driving the train
and everybody else better fall in line behind him, or else. It's scary.

"Let's face it, there are guys at the Pentagon who have been involved in
operational planning for their entire lives.

"And for this wisdom, acquired during many operations, just to be ignored
and in its place have somebody who doesn't have any of that training, is of


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