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[casi] SCR 1441: "US Dollars Yielded Unanimous UN Vote..."

Dear List,

Here are two articles on the bribery that made SCR 1441
possible. The second one specifies some of the bribes,
and gives a Jordanian view on the motives of this
proposed war.

Elga S.


US Dollars Yielded Unanimous UN Vote Against Iraq
By Thalif Deen
IPS News Analysis

Monday, 11 November, 2002

Friday's unanimous vote in the U.N. Security Council
supporting the U.S. resolution on weapons inspections in
Iraq was a demonstration of Washington's ability to wield
its vast political and economic power, say observers.

"Only a superpower like the United States could have
pulled off a coup like this," an Asian diplomat told IPS,
commenting that the unanimous 15-0 vote was obtained
through considerable political and diplomatic pressure --
lobbying that was not conducted at the United Nations, but
in various capitals.

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 9 (IPS) - Friday's unanimous vote in
the U.N. Security Council supporting the U.S. resolution
on weapons inspections in Iraq was a demonstration of
Washington's ability to wield its vast political and
economic power, say observers.

"Only a superpower like the United States could have
pulled off a coup like this," an Asian diplomat told IPS.

The unanimous 15-0 vote, he said, was obtained through
considerable political and diplomatic pressure. The
lobbying, he added, was not done at the United Nations,
but in various capitals.

Besides its five veto-wielding permanent members - the
United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - the
Security Council also consists of 10 non-permanent,
rotating members who hold office for two years.

France, China and Russia, in almost a single voice, said
they decided to back the resolution because of assurances
by the United States that it would return to the Security
Council before launching a military attack on Iraq. The
resolution, they argued, does not provide the United
States with the automatic use of military force.

But the 10 non-permanent members - Cameroon, Guinea,
Mauritius, Bulgaria, Colombia, Mexico, Singapore, Norway,
Ireland and Syria - voted under heavy diplomatic and
economic pressure from the United States.

Nine votes and no vetoes were the minimum needed to adopt
the resolution. Of the five big powers, Britain had co-
sponsored the U.S. resolution. In a worst-case scenario,
U.S. officials were expecting the other three permanent
members - Russia, China and France - to abstain on the

That meant the votes of the 10 non-permanent members took
on added significance. Of the 10, the two Western nations,
Ireland and Norway, were expected to vote with the United

Syria, a "radical" Arab nation listed as a "terrorist
state" by the U.S. State Department, was expected to
either vote against or abstain.

So the arm-twisting was confined mostly to the remaining
seven countries, who depend on the United States either
for economic or military aid - or both.

All these countries were seemingly aware of the fact that
in 1990 the United States almost overnight cut about 70
million dollars in aid to Yemen immediately following its
negative vote against a U.S. sponsored Security Council
resolution to militarily oust Iraq from Kuwait.

Last week, Mauritius' U.N. ambassador, Jagdish Koonjul,
was temporarily recalled by his government because he
continued to convey the mistaken impression that his
country had reservations about the U.S. resolution against

"The Yemen precedent remains a vivid institutional memory
at the United Nations," Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the
Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, told IPS.

Bennis said that just after that 1990 vote, the U.S. envoy
turned to the Yemeni ambassador and told him that his vote
would be "the most expensive 'no' vote you would ever
cast". The United States then promptly cut the entire 70
million dollar U.S. aid budget to Yemen.

The latest incarnation of that reality, Bennis said, came
from the island nation of Mauritius, which joined the
Security Council last year under U.S. sponsorship.

The U.S. aid package to the impoverished country,
authorised by the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act
(AGOA), demands that the aid recipient "does not engage in
activities contrary to U.S. national security or foreign
policy interests".

Fear of being accused of acting contrary to U.S. foreign
policy interests plays a role "not only for Mauritius, but
also for any country dependent on U.S. economic
assistance", added Bennis.

Colombia, one of the world's leading producer of cocaine
and an important supplier of heroin to the U.S. market,
received about 380 million dollars in U.S. grants under
the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement
(INCLE) programme this year. The proposed amount earmarked
for 2003 is 439 million dollars.

Under the same programme, Mexico received about 10 million
dollars last year and 12 million dollars this year. It
also received 28.2 million dollars in U.S. Economic
Support Funds (ESF).

Guinea, another of the non-permanent members in the
Security Council, received three million dollars in
outright U.S. military grants last year and is expected to
get 20.7 million dollars in development assistance next

Cameroon is not only entitled to receive free surplus U.S.
weapons but also receives about 2.5 million dollars in
annual grants for military education and training.

After Colombia, the largest single beneficiary of U.S. aid
is Bulgaria, which received 13.5 million dollars in
outright military grants (mostly to buy U.S. weapons
systems) last year and an additional 8.5 million dollars
this year. The amount earmarked for 2003 is 9.5 million

Additionally, Bulgaria has received 69 million dollars in
aid under a U.S. programme called Support for East
European Democracy (SEED). Next year's proposed grant is
28 million dollars.

Besides Syria, Singapore is the only country in the
Security Council that does not receive economic or
military aid from the United States.

But the United States is the biggest single arms supplier
to Singapore, selling the Southeast Asian nations weapons
worth 656.3 million dollars last year and an estimated 370
million dollars this year.

Could any of these countries easily stand up to the United
States or refuse to fall in line with their benefactor or
military ally?

James Abourezk, a former U.S. Senator, said he seriously
doubts that any country receiving U.S. government aid
could withstand the economic pressure to vote for a U.S.
resolution at the Security Council.

"It would be a tragedy," he told IPS, "if a war were to be
declared based on such pressure".

8 : t r u t h o u t 2002 |[2]t r u t h o u t

* Dec.23.2002

Why America is after war
By Fahed Fanek (Jordan Times)

ANALYSTS AND writers - this one included-have spent months
trying to fathom the real reason the Bush administration
is so determined to wage war on Iraq. There were many
theories: oil, terrorism, Israel's security, weapons of
mass destruction, a clash of civilizations, redrawing

It is obvious, however, that the war, if it takes place,
will have nothing to do with terrorism, since Iraq has not
been shown to be involved in terrorist actions.

The war won't be about weapons of mass destruction either,
since Iraq will never be able to match US power with its
pathetic arsenal - if it still has one, that is. And
anyway, the US could deal with threat by containing

The war won't be about Islam, because American policy
doesn't care about religion anyway. And it won't be about
maps either, since the current fragmented state of the
Arab world serves America's interests just fine.

In a recent article, Jay Bookman, deputy editorial page of
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote about a report
issued in September 2000 by the project for the New
American Century, a group of conservative interventionists
outraged by the thought that the United States under
President Bill Clinton might have forfeited its chance at
a global empire.

Those same conservative interventionists, subsequently,
became extremely influential in the current
administration, especially in the White House and the
Defense Department.

In the context, Bookman mentions steps taken by the Bush
administration, such as repudiation of anti-ballistic
missile treaty and a commitment to a global missile
defence system, increasing defence spending by 25 per
cent, the "transformation" of the US military to meet its
expanded obligations, and the development of small nuclear
warheads "required in targeting the very deep, underground
hardened bunkers that are being built by many of our
potential adversaries". All these were recommended by the
2000 report.

The report also explains why so little has so far been
mentioned about an exit strategy from Iraq once Saddam
Hussein regime is overthrown.

Quite simply, the US doesn't intend to leave Iraq at all;
rather, it plans to turn the country into a military base
from which it can control the entire Middle East -
including Iran - in an arrangement similar to those still
prevailing in Germany and Japan 57 years following the end
of World War II.

The occupation will be the first step towards the
emergence of the greatest empire in history.

Imperialism - an accusation the US used to deny - has
become its goal in the 21st century. This great prize was
worth the price the US paid for getting the international
consensus it wanted at the UN Security Council concerning
Iraq. Weeks of intensive diplomatic wrangling were needed
before Resolution 1441, threatening Iraq with "serious
consequences", was passed. The resolution faced many
difficulties because, quite simply, it opposed the will of
the international community.

But the resolution was passed, with an amendment here and
there to save certain parties' faces. America succeeded in
getting what it wanted, which, while not representing the
will of the world community, fulfilled the interests of
certain countries. In other words, the US bribed certain
nations to secure their backing.

France, for example, was promised that a new regime would
honour the trade and oil agreements it has with the
current government. Russia received two prizes for its
cooperation; a free hand in Chechnya and an American
commitment that the future regime in Iraq will pay back
its debts to Moscow, and that it will honour the oil deals
signed with the government of Saddam.

China's bribe was World Trade Organization membership on
easy terms, opening the US market to Chinese imports, and
an agreement to consider movements fighting to secede from
Beijing as terrorist organizations.

Mexico, another non-permanent Security Council member, was
paid an appropriate bribe too: it was promised US support
for better terms from the International Monetary Fund. In
addition, by backing the resolution, the Mexicans avoided
America's wrath.

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