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[casi] RACE AGAINST TIME: How the inspectors' "key tasks" can derail the war timetable

1) Please phone/fax/email your MP/MSP/Member of
the NAW about this
- Roughly half of Westminster MPs have email:
2) Please circulate this email

Dear all

As a result of the Turkish anti-war movement's victory
in forcing the Turkish parliament to derail the US
'northern strategy' for war on Iraq, it is widely
predicted that the war timetable has slipped back by
at least a week to somewhere around 1 April.

The significance of this is that UN weapons inspectors
are supposed to present to the Security Council, and
the Security Council is supposed to agree, a 'work
programme' for the inspectors by 27 March.

This 'work programme' is supposed to include a set of
'key disarmament tasks', defining 'clearly and
precisely' what Iraq has to do to satisfy the world that
it has disarmed.

This is required by paragraph 7 of UN Security
Council Resolution 1284. You can find this at
See the Documents section.

In other words, by 27 March the Security Council is
supposed to START the process of verifiable
disarmament. If this happens, it will be, as far as I can
see, politically *impossible* for the US to go to war in
the next few weeks, therefore putting off the war
timetable for some time, and giving us a chance to
derail it completely.

That's why the US has done its best to fend off and
bury the 'key disarmament tasks' aspect of the
inspectors work, refusing to support a French
proposal to 'speed up' this aspect of the inspectors'

(You can find out about the Franco-Russo-German
proposal at .)

One of the difficult aspects of all this for the US and
UK is that Resolution 1284 requires that the
inspection/key disarmament tasks process then go on
for 120 days to see whether Iraq is complying, and at
that point all economic sanctions on Iraq could be
'suspended'. So there is an expectation built into the
process laid down by Resolution 1284 (a Resolution
proposed and championed by the UK) that inspections
go on for at least FOUR WHOLE MONTHS after 27

The draft resolution put to the Security Council by
the US and UK says only that 'Iraq has failed to take
the final opportunity afforded to it by resolution
1441'. How can Iraq 'fail' this test when the UN
Security Council has not yet drawn up the
examination paper, or presented it to those being
tested, or set a deadline for the examination to be

The 'key disarmament tasks' are also 'key anti-war
tasks' for the peace movement. We must press our
MPs to champion the process set out in Resolution
1284 and to force the UK and US governments to
allow the definition of the 'key disarmament tasks' by
27 March.

It is entirely predictable that Washington and London
will do all they can to sink the inspection process, and
the definition of the 'work programme' in particular.
We must not let them get away with it.

Please write to/call up the media, write to/call up your
elected representatives and bring the 'key
disarmament tasks' into public view.

‘The advice proffered by a large majority of Britons to
Mr Blair is thus clear. He should not continue “to
make active preparations for launching an early
military assault on Iraq” (32 per cent of British
people). Rather, he should inform the Bush
administration “that he lacks the necessary public
support for war in the UK, and the US will therefore
either have to go it alone or else give the UN weapons
inspectors more time to complete their work” (63
per cent).’ (Telegraph, 19 Feb., p. 4)

Best wishes

Milan Rai
author War Plan Iraq
in a personal capacity

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