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News titles, 05-12/02/03 The sheer amount that is happening at the present time - and the sheer amount that is being written about it - means that this collection is becoming ever more arbitrary and unmanageable. I had hoped to produce a brilliant and scintillating introduction that would have brought it all together but I find I have about five minutes left to catch a train. Just to say this - that the US at present is in the position of a seducer who has got the unwilling partner (Iraq's neighbours. See in particular everything concerning Turkey and the depressing section, 'Tightening the Net' ) into bed and is just about to go to work when the door bell rings ('Europes Old and New'. The fact that Vladimir Putin is spending three days in France suggests that something serious might be going on but it would be dangerous to say too much before we know what Hans Blix has to say and how everyone reacts to it.) To pursue the sexual analogy, looking at Turkey's behaviour, the words 'cock teaser' come to mind. The Parliament allows the bases to be upgraded. Then goes off on holiday for a week without making the crucial decision allowing the US to actually use the upgraded bases. And then there are all sorts of difficulties of protocol put in the way of actually starting the upgrading. In particular, one imagines, the Turkish government, acting against its own profoundest convictions and the overwhelming militant feeling of its people, would like to be able to say that it is only fulfilling the obligations it has as a member of NATO. And after three months, Lord George suddenly decides to force the issue, with disastrous results. And all that without mentioning the sheer nightmare of Northern Iraq/Southern Kurdistan. Is Kurdish autonomy to be respected? And if so will it extend to Kirkuk and Mosul (the Kurds could have had their autonomy long ago from the hands of Saddam Hussein if they'd only been willing to relinquish Kirkuk). The Turks have to have an army that will be much bigger than the US army. The US assure the Kurds that it will be under US command. (Or rather 'coalition' command. Perhaps they'll put a Latvian, or a Slovak, in charge.) The Turks of course refuse. The thing gets worse and worse. And in the South, who are the US allies? Who might be in power if a large amount of autonomy is granted to them? A pro-Iranian guerrilla army which is obviously not a million miles removed in its ideology from the Lebanese Hisbollah. And what are they going to do when they don't have Saddam Hussein to fight? And if the US decides that Iran's possession of uranium is a menace to the peace of the world? And all that without mentioning that Colin Powell's masterly coup de theatre in the UN Security Council was upstaged (almost completely as far as public opinion in Britain is concerned) by a hastily thrown together email on a website largely maintained by a bunch of teenagers ... News, 05-12/02/03 (1) POWELL PRESENTATION * Only by Swallowing Big Lies Can Powell Justify a War [Robert Scheer writing in the Los Angeles Times, reminds us that twenty years after he had smoothely and in all apparent sincerity 'justified the deaths of more than a million Vietnamese, tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Laotians and Cambodians', Mr Powell claimed he had known all along that it was a bad idea. But after a strong beginning this article degenerates into an argument for 'containment', meaning, as we know, at best a subsistence level of existence for the great majority of the Iraqi people] * US claim dismissed by Blix [So far no mobile labs have been found. The inspectors know they are probably being bugged 'by several nations' so they take that into account] * US recycles human test claims [Background to C.Powell's claim that experiments on biological and chemical weapons were conducted on death row prisoners in 1995. Though the fact - if it is a fact - that the Iraqis admitted to conducting experiments on animals indicated that they did indeed have a programme in 1995] * Highlights of Powell's Presentation [Associated Press account] * Kurds Puzzled by Report of Terror Camp [Powell situates his "Terrorist Poison and Explosives Factory" in Khurmal, a village which, it turns out, is held by a group broadly friendly to US allies in the region] * Ritter dismisses Powell report [Does the fact that I only saw this damning commentary ("You know who came up with the idea of mobile trucks? The inspectors...") in Japan Today suggest that the little scandal concerning Scott Ritter has had its effect?] * Inspectors: Powell case is circumstantial [Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said of Secretary of State Powell's presentation to the UN: "I don't think there was clear-cut evidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. Very much of it was circumstantial."] * U.S. inaction on camp questioned ['Lawmakers who have attended classified briefings on the camp say they have been stymied for months in their efforts to get an explanation for why the United States has not begun a military strike on the compound near the village of Khurmal. Powell cited its operation as one of the key reasons for suspecting ties between Baghdad and al Qaeda.'] * Vatican: Powell evidence unconvincing [Archbishop Renato Martino interviewed by Reuters] * Responding to Colin Powell [Excellent review by Rahul Mahajan in Z Magazine. Extract pointing out why absolute co-operation with the inspectors is not a reasonable demand: 'The first round of weapons inspections started to fall apart in 1998 for one reason - the United States refused to commit to lifting the sanctions once Iraq was disarmed. This refusal was an abrogation of its own commitment under UNSCR 687.' and now 'Iraq is in the bizarre position of being called on to disarm while being attacked by another country, and then being reviled by the "international community" for partial compliance.'] * Media Tour Alleged 'Poison Site' in Iraq [Not only did Mr Powell get the name of the village wrong but there was no sign of any chemical weapons.] * Reporters on Ground Get Iraqi Rebuttal to Satellite Photos [Al Rafah and Al-Mussayib rocket testing sites. Explanation of facilities Mr Powell quotes as evidence of intention to develop 745 km range missiles. This must surely be a question that can be answered, yes or no, by the inspectors?] URLs ONLY: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=375944 * A masterly display by a trusted American by Rupert Cornwell in Washington The Independent, 6th February [Rupert Cornwell is impressed and think the case is sewn up] http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=375942 * You wanted to believe him but it was like something out of Beckett by Robert Fisk The Independent, 6th February [Robert Fisk is not impressed] http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=377079 * 'No proof of Powell claim on al-Qa'ida link' by James Palmer The Independent, 10th February [International Crisis Group in a statement called "Radical Islam in Iraqi Kurdistan: the mouse that roared" argues that Ansar al-Islam doesn't amount to a hill of beans] AND, IN NEWS, 05-12/02/03 (2) EUROPES, OLD AND NEW * Pope gives audience to Iraqi minister [Tariq Aziz next week] * New Allies Back U.S. Iraq Policy [Ten Eastern European countries join the Gang of Eight. This gives them, I think, a majority in Europe taken as a whole though it does not yet imply firm support for a war without UN Security Council backing] * French history: Appease & surrender ['With a century of abysmal decisions for which tens of thousands of Americans lie dead in that country, France should have the decency to keep quiet.' The Sun is outshone by the New York Daily News. But the NYDS have an advantage since some of the sins of the French (Munich, the phony war during the bombing of Poland) were shared by the UK] * Nato challenge to protect Turkey ['"All that Nato is considering for the moment are prudent deterrent and defensive measures with regard to one nation which happens to have a common border with Iraq," Lord Robertson said.'] * Russia Opposes New U.N. Iraq Resolution * Turkey insists on NATO protection * Rumsfeld Faces Tense Greeting and Antiwar Rallies in Munich [Rumsfeld puts his foot in it by insulting the Germans just at the moment when the job of drawing them in as part pof NATO was reaching its most delicate moment] * France and China Rebuff Bush on Support for Early Iraq War ['A day after Mr. Bush said, "the game is over," [French] Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told reporters during a trip to New Delhi: "It's not a game. It's not over."'] * NATO Allies Trade Barbs Over Iraq [Rumsfeld v Fischer in Munich. Rumsfeld complains that 'If the United Nations doesn't change course, it runs the danger of repeating the failure of its predecessor, the League of Nations ... When the League failed to act after the invasion of Abyssinia [by Italy in 1935], it was discredited as an instrument of peace and security."'. But this is a test the UN has failed many times in the past (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Panama, Grenada, Serbia) yet somehow it is still in existence] * Belgium to block US Nato request [Plucky little Belgium!] * Germany in bid to block war on Iraq ['Project Mirage, which would authorise the UN effectively to take over the running of Iraq ...' and which could, as it is presented here, turn into another trigger for war] * Pope Takes Issue with America's 'Just War' [in dispute with American just war theorist Michael Novak] * NATO members muddle U.S. plans for war * NATO unity threatened at bad time [Rather a good account from the New York Times. Good because it understands that the problem is 'symbolic': It had nothing o do with the defence of Turjey. The US (and probably the Turks) were trying to create the illusion that they had 'NATO' support prior to the passing of a UNSC resolution: '"Our position is coherent," said a French official. "If we are not yet deciding to go to war in the Security Council, we cannot decide to go to war at NATO. Once the Security Council authorizes force against Iraq, it will be very easy to send material to Turkey right away."'] * Pentagon plans NATO blitz on Germany by pulling out [and installing themselves in Eastern Europe (closer to Russia)] * Bush team united by European 'treachery' [Everybody likes knocking the French. 'Sir Christopher Meyer, the outgoing British ambassador to Washington, has taken to referring to Mr Blair and other leaders supportive of overthrowing Saddam as the voices of "real Europe".'] * Schröder faces calls to quit over peace plan [Confused article which indicates that though the majority in Germany support Schroder's opposition to war there is widespread discontent with his manner of handling relations with the Americans and especially to 'project mirage', apparently revealed rather haphazardly over a bottle of wine (but surely the title is itself proof that the thing is a joke?)] * As Cold War Link Itself Grows Cold, Europe Seems to Lose Value for Bush [NY Times article interpreting the current row as the result of a deliberate US decision to ditch 'old Europe'] URL ONLY: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/11/international/europe/11SPAI.html * Bush and Aznar New, if Unlikely, Allies by EMMA DALY New York Times, 11th February [Uninspiring account of interview with Prime Minister José María Aznar of Spain] AND, IN NEWS, 05-12/02/03 (3) ZARQAWI * Germans probe man U.S. suspects of Iraq-Qaeda link [Moussab al-Zarqawi's possible connection with a German cell of the Al Tawhid group] * Intelligence break let Powell link Iraq and Qaeda [The intelligence link - with Zarqawi, not with al-Qaida - turns out to be a phone call from 'Northern Iraq', ie the Kurdish autonomous zone. The article goes on to show that a much more substantial link has been established with Qatar which is at present the centre of the US command in the region] * Portrait of a terror suspect: Is he the Qaeda link to Iraq? [Another account of Abu Mussab Zarqawi] TURKS 'n' KURDS * Turkey to Let U.S. Upgrade Bases ['the parliament stopped short of giving the United States overall permission to station troops here', but this is expected at the end of twelve days - giving the US a fortnight to prepare if Pepe Escobar is right about March 3rd. The article claims that 'Turkey no longer demands a second Security Council resolution to authorize use of force', but it does want 'international legitimacy'. From NATO, perhaps?] * U.S.: Turkey Troops to Stay in Coalition [Turkey says its troops in the Kurdish zone must outnumber the Americans. The Amercians assure the Kurds that Turkish troops will be under US command] * U.S. in Talks on Allowing Turkey to Occupy a Kurdish Area in Iraq * Smell of fear in Halabja ['"We have been expecting this war for a long time," he said. "The international community could not remain indifferent to the situation here for much longer. It was bound to happen sooner or later."'] * Fearing separatism, Turks ban Kurdish names [This article, which says: 'As the Pentagon takes aim at Iraq, Turkey's security forces are zeroing in on babies,' and relates Turkish reluctance to engage in war with Iraq to anti-Kurdish feelings, may turn out to be very dishonest. It is referring to a policy initiated, it claims, in December 2001 by the - generally pro-US - military government. The - generally antiUS - Islamist party which is in power now and is being bullied into supporting the US war contains a comparatively large Kurdish membership and it is reasonable to hope that it will ease up on policies like this (unless USUK political ineptitude produces a new, all out Turkish/Kurdish war)] * Turkish military objects giving command to US [and the PKK aka PADEK announce that they might restart their military campaign] * U.S. to back Kurd assault on Ansar base [in the event of a war] * Kurd general killed; possible al Qaeda link seen ['The attack would not have taken place without al Qaeda's blessings, the (PUK) officials contended.' Which does not inspire confidence in the trustworthiness of the PUK] * Protocols hold up troop preparation ['U.S. work on modernising the bases is not being allowed to proceed until both sides agree to a detailed "memorandum of understanding" covering liability issues, the scope and location of the work, and other technical matters.'] * Turks Balk at Foreign Command of Army * Islamic group takes another Kurd hostage * Turkish Citizens Near Iraq Worry of War [No gas masks for Turks living on the border with Iraq] AND, IN NEWS, 05-12/02/03 (4) BRITISH [... um ...] INTELLIGENCE * Leaked Report Rejects Iraqi al-Qaeda Link * Blair defends al-Qaeda claim * Britain's report on Iraq lifted from published materials [New York Times account] * Real authors of Iraq dossier blast Blair [Reactions of Sean Boyne and Ibrahim al-Marashi as given in the Daily Mirror] * First casualties in the propaganda firefight [Background tale of the Dossier. Though I didn't think Glen's email was 'Full of academic outrage'. On the contrary, it was very laidback, though perhaps a whiff of Little Jack Horner knowing he's got hold of a nice juicy plum could be detected. The article goes on to point to USUK's problem. The reason for going to war now is precisely that Iraq is disarmed and unable to put up a fight. The pretext for going to war is that Iraq is bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Between the reason and the pretext ... falls the shadow] * The Propaganda War Iraq [Channel 4 poll. The great majority in Britain think Mr Hussein is hiding WMDs and would go to war if there was a mjority of the UNSC in favour, even if one or two vetos were placed (but do the great majority understand how the UNSC works?). Without a UNSC resolution only 28% support the war. Most people think the US is the greatest threat to world peace] * Inquiry into the 'tainted' No 10 dossier on Iraq [as part of an already programmed wider review of government propaganda methods] URL ONLY: http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,892273,00.html * Cool, calm, confident: the MoD's top hawk by Jackie Ashley The Guardian, 10th February [Account of Mr Hoon, if anyone is interested] SHOWBIZ SECTION * Online Iraq game hits the button ['"Gulf War 2" ... The game appears interactive but leads players down a set path, designed by O'Connor to highlight the risks of war.'] * Ex SAS man fights for tale of raid [Further efforts to recount tale of SAS exploits in the UN war blocked by the MoD] URL ONLY: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/a/2003/02/07/MN71427. DTL * Ex-Iraqi bombmaker has book, hopes for film deal by Richard Leiby San Francisco Chronicle, from Washington Post, 7th February [Khidr Hamza - The Movie] INSPECTIONS PROCESS * Iraq: Scientist Agrees to U.N. Interview * Iraq's point man on weapons is considered a chemical mastermind [Account of Lt. Gen. Amir al-Saadi] * Blix Holds Out Hope for Iraq Cooperation * Blix unhappy with Iraqi list of scientists * Iraq says it will allow inspections by air [It should be stressed that Iraq never actually refused to allow U2 plane overflights. It simply said it could not guarantee their safety in parts of Iraqi territory that were subject to attack from enemy aircraft. It should be stressed that of the permament members of the Security Council only USUK regards the overflights in the 'No Fly Zones' as legal. If Iraq does now refrain from shooting at enemy aircraft illegally entering its territory for fear of shooting down a U2 spy plane, it will be interesting to see if USUK stops bombing Iraqi installations - attacks which are always presented as retaliations for Iraqi anti-aircraft fire] AND, IN NEWS, 05-12/02/03 (5) ARAB OPINION * Who will benefit from America's latest fabrications against Baghdad? [Daily Star, Lebanon roundup of Arab commentary, amounting to a general howl of despair at the inadequacy of Arab politics] * Frankly Speaking! [Article from Bahrain - one of the countries that is crucial to the US effort since that is where a large part of the US fleet is based - complaining about US arrogance in planning for the aftermath of a war which everyone in the region is trying to prevent] * Saudi Arabia pushes initiative to avert US-led war on Iraq ['"Instead of constantly harping, `If you don't do what we want, we will pursue you,' say the reverse: `If you do what we want, you will not be pursued, you will secure yourself and your future,'" Prince Saud advised the United States.'] * Rumblings in Riyadh [Glasnost in Saudi Arabia?] * Riyadh: Linchpin to a new religious order [The subject - the evolution of Muslim thought in Saudi Arabia - is immensely interesting and important. But it is difficult to understand why someone called 'Syed Saleem Shahzad' should quote with apparent approval an account by a 'US diplomat' which makes a distinction between Salafi Islam, which is, he says, based on the Koran unmediated by interpretation; and other schools which rely 'on the interpretations of different scholars and Islamic jurists'. These latter, together with Sufism, he says, developed in the context of the Ottoman Empire. But as I understand it, the Salafi movement - a late nineteenth century development which is now almost wholly identified with the Hanbali school which is one of the four traditional 'pillars' of Islam, each of them thoroughly reliant on the interpretations of their respective scholars and jurists. And each of them well established, as was the Sufi tradition, long before the arrival of the Ottomans. Have I misunderstood it and is the Sayid (if that is what he is) really quoting the US diplomat just to show how ignorant the Americans are?] * Isn't it time the Kuwait war ended? [Saudi commentator Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi attacks those who claim the Iraqis will put up a stiff fight: 'Their rants raise expectations which will surely come crashing down when images are eventually beamed of Iraqi soldiers welcoming the US Army to Baghdad and Tikrit.' An account of the humiliating collapse of the Iraqi army in Kuwait] * Saudi Arabia may cut military ties with US ['Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah will ask US President George W Bush to withdraw all American armed forces from the kingdom as soon as the campaign to disarm Iraq has concluded.'] * Hizbullah reveals 'Iraqi Taif' plan [Hizbullah proposes a conference between the Iraqi government and opposition forces to bring about 'national reconciliation'. Sounds like a good idea to me] * Rivalry for Eyes of Arab World [Account of new Arab news stations aiming to compete with Al Jazeera which itself is planning an English language channel] * Arabs shower France with praise for opposing US war efforts [Extracts from Arab editorials, eg '"The United States is seeking a blank cheque on Iraq, but the Franco-German plan withdrew it and gave it to the United Nations," said Qatar's Al Watan daily. '] * Tape Ascribed to bin Laden Urges Muslims to Stand With Iraq URL ONLY: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EB07Ak03.html * All quiet on the Arab street by Pepe Escobar Asia Times, 8th February [Spendid evocation of the mood of the bazaars in Cairo as Mr Powell makes his presentation. Fatalist] AND, IN NEWS, 05-12/02/03 (6) IRAQI/IRANIAN RELATIONS * Iran admits to having uranium [It seems this is a good time for the axis of evil to be making 'admissions' of this sort] * Iraqi FM in Tehran for Talks [This is interesting given the apparently powerful support noted in previous mailings for a move to impeach the Iranian foreign minister if this visit went ahead] * Leader: American-Style Democracy for Arabs, Muslims as Destructive as Their Bombs [Full text of Annual Hajj message from the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei on the efforts of the US to undermine the process by which the Muslim world was liberating itself from western control. Difficult to disagree with any of it except the specifically Muslim parts (me not being a Muslim) and the contention that the attack on the World Trade centre was the work of Zionists. His view that US policy has failed in Afghanistan seems to suggest that Iran is backing the opposition] TIGHTENING THE NET * Egypt Asks U.S. for Trade Pact, Aid Boost * U.S. Met With Iranians On War [They 'asked Iran to join search-and-rescue missions for downed U.S. air crews, officials reported. They further requested that the Iranian government deny haven to fleeing Iraqis who might try to cross into Iran and regroup against a U.S.-supported government in Baghdad ... while also reassuring the Iranians that a prospective war for control of Baghdad would not target them.'] * U.S. tells some staff, family to leave four Mideast nations [Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon] * US and Britain give Saddam just 48 hours to leave Iraq [On the proposed second resolution: 'Britain will put forward the resolution because Washington "does not want to be seen to need it"'] * Philippines' Baghdad embassy to close * Saudis set conditions for use of bases [The article says 'strict conditions' have been placed on the use of the Prince Sultan air base and its combined air operations centre, but it doesn't say what these are; in particular if this can be used as the controlling centre for the war which is what I understand the Americans want. It also denies the report that US forces will be asked to leave Saudi Arabia once the war is over] * Mandela requested to negotiate exit plan for Saddam ‹ report ['asked by "distinguished people," including leaders of Arab states bordering Iraq .... but would only intervene if the United Nations requested him to do so', having already been taken for a ride once over the Lockerbie affair when he assured the Libyan President that sanctions would be lifted and a fair trial held if he handed the Libyan suspects over] * Kuwaiti minister calls Iraq 'failed state' [CNN interview with Kuwait's minister of state for foreign affairs, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al Sabah. Who is quite sure that Iraq has WMDs and intends to use them. He claims that the oher members of the Gulf Co-operation Council, 'Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman ... are sending their boys to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Kuwaiti army.'] * Jordan Pressing U.S. to Offer Exile to Hussein [The article in the NY Times presents this as evidence that 'a neighboring Arab state heavily dependent on economic ties to Baghdad and cheap Iraqi oil has effectively abandoned any moves to preserve the current Iraqi leaders in place.'] ANTI-WAR PROTESTS * Turkey ends ex-Marine's 'human shield' protest trip [Turkey doesn't recognise Ken O'Keefe's World Service Authority passport] * [Lib Dem leader, Charles] Kennedy to join Hyde Park march as he urges PM to clarify war aims * Kennedy to join Hyde Park march as he urges PM to clarify war aims [Germany, Indonesia, Austria, Australia, Hungary, Jordan, Turkey] * Trade unions threaten to block military shipments [at a Stop The War Coalition press conference at Westminster; and Tam Dalyell rather unecessarily calls Ibrahim al-Marashi a 'teenage scribbler'; and the Tories liken Charles Kennedy to Neville Chamberlain (but does anyone really care?)] * Iraq Grants Visas to 'Human Shields' AND, IN NEWS, 05-12/02/03 (7) IRAQI OPPOSITION * Iraqi Opposition Says War Is Inevitable [Ahmad Barmani, a representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Paris, frustrated at Old Europe's stand: "They want to let Saddam stay in power."] * Iraqi Exiles Seek U.S. Army Training [The article, about the camp in Hungary, mentions 'a few dozen volunteers living in North America'. They plan for 'up to 3,000 volunteers' with '1,500 trainers' (a 1:2) ratio?) but they'd better move quickly or they might be too late] * Envoy's Effort to Recruit Iraqi Exile for Possible Future Government Sparks Protests [Row over former 'foreign minister and ambassador to the United Nations for Iraq', Adnan Pachachi who is being cultivated as a possible Sunni alternative to Ahmad Chalabi, much to the displeasure of the INC] * Potential Saddam Replacement Owes Money [Ahmad Chalabi seems to have left a bad memory in the Kurdish Autonomous Zone] * Plan would see U.S. rule postwar Iraq [Zalmay Khalilzad in Ankara outlines proposals which INC fear will favour the existing Sunni elite: '"To be kind, it is unworkable," Mr. Chalabi said.'] US OPINION * Bush and Sharon Nearly Identical On Mideast Policy [Long article on Jewish influence. This extract emphasises the 'Christian' connection] * Schwarzkopf turns on need for force against Saddam [Schwarzkopf won over by Powell.] * US will aid Iraq 'even if Saddam has fled without fighting' [Condoleeza Rice undermines the best hope the Arab world had of a peaceful resolution. Madeleine Albright joins Norman Schwartzkopf on board the ship] URL ONLY: http://www.iht.com/articles/86143.html * The question of American power by Bill Keller International Herald Tribune, from New York Times, 10th February [Article on confused attitudes among the Democrats] INSIDE IRAQ * The Saddam branch of Islam [Disappointing article from the Asia Times on the rather undemanding variety of Islam favoured by President Hussein (plenty of prayer, not much discussion) and how different it is from the radical version. He says some 30 to 40 new mosques have been built in Baghdad over the past year, presumably all of them with large cisterns underneath] URL ONLY: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3100016&thesection=news&t hesubsection=world&thesecondsubsection=&reportID=562588 * Going behind 'enemy' lines by BRET BESTIC New Zealand Herald, 8th February [First impressions of Iraq by an ex-army officer from New Zealand working for the inspectors. Makes pleasant but inessential reading] NO FLY ZONES * Blix Holds Out Hope for Iraq Cooperation [Extract. Sunday, 9th February, near al-Kut. This is the only reference I have seen to this particular bombing raid. I have the impression that the press have stopped reporting them] * U.S. Hits Missile Launcher in S. Iraq [Tuesday 11th February and Monday 10th February near Basra (when, the Iraqis say, two people were killed). There seem to be fewer incidents these days, contrary to expectation but it may be that I am missing them or they are not being reported. This article says there have been 15 since the beginning of the year] AND, IN NEWS, 05-12/02/03 (8) IMPLICATIONS OF WAR * Objectives of the 'Shock and Awe' strategy [Report of the New York-based Centre for Economic and Social Rights - continuation of the Harvard International team which reported back in 1991 on the humanitarian consequences of the UN war - detailing the offences against generally accepted principles of international law that are implicit in the proposed strategy of 'shock and awe'] * Britain to play key role in Iraq after war ['Between 10,000 and 20,000 troops from the UK might be needed in an American-led stabilisation force aimed at preventing the disintegration of the country following the fall of Iraqi President Saddam Hussain ... American commanders are believed to be reluctant to place the Challenger tanks and Warrior infantry fighting vehicles of the UK's Seventh Armoured Brigade too near to their own armoured forces because of the primitive state of British communications, which could lead to confusion in battle and a proliferation of friendly-fire incidents.'] * Powell doesn't know who he is up against [Convincing description of the functioning of islamic militancy as a mass of autonomous little groups. Al Qaida is only the best known of them, not necessarily the most important and certainly not the organising centre] * Iraq after Saddam - the next Yugoslavia? [Robert L Barry, who headed the OSCE mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1998 to 2001, draws some interesting parallels with the effort at 'nation building' in Bosnia. They are't encouraging] * War or peace - blood will still be spilled [David Aaronovitch points out that the peace camp too has blood on its hands because the 'peace' is not peace: 'The failure of "vigilant containment" to help the people of Iraq is just about the biggest reason I have for supporting war.' Vigilant containment as recommended by France and Russia has already resulted in the deaths of huge numbers of people. On the other hand a policy of no war, no sanctions, liberates the evil genie, Saddam Hussein. Anyone got an answer ? (I have, but it involves arguing that Mr Hussein is not as evil as he's made out to be. Not many people agree)] * U.S. Military Set to Provide Aid to Iraqi People in the Event of War [but relief organisations complain of a lack of co-ordination] * Strong cases for and against war - but we don't hear them [Ian McEwan who supported the wars against Serbia and against Afghanistan is wavering over the war on Iraq. Difficult to know why since his arguments against the 'peace' camp are stronger, from his point of view, than his arguments against the war camp (mainly fear of what S.Hussein might do in extremis)] * The US lacks a compelling case [If Saddam could have unleashed these horrors on us 'at any moment', why has he not done so already, asks former Reagan adviser, Doug Bandow] * The real 'Mother of all Battles' is about to get under way [Patrick Seale in the Daily Star, Lebanon, stresses the sheer radicalism of what the Americans are about to undertake - attempting to reverse the whole twentieth century process of decolonisation] * Israeli activists demand gas masks for Palestinians ['Physicians for Human Rights said the old division between areas under Israeli rule and those controlled by the authority had been wiped out by the re-occupation of the West Bank, so all should receive gas masks.'] * Iraqi civilian toll, postwar trauma apt to be more dire than in 1991 [Despite the title, this is a very rosy view of US military planning which will involve for example ''careful targeting away from civilian areas -- aiming to avoid electrical generators or water reservoirs", even though the start of the war will be 'seemingly brutal' (!). Any undue horrors will be enitirely down to President Hussein and to the UN's failure to prepare adequately for the war they were hoping to avoid] _______________________________________________ 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