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[casi] RACE AGAINST TIME: How the inspectors' "key tasks" can derail thewar timetable (fwd)

Dear Listmembers,
A golden opportunity for us. Milan Rai's message (following)
gives us all the information we need to target the media over this issue
(``The UK is in material breach of UN resolution 1284'' ``The UN has
already set a deadline'' ``We want our 120 days'' ``The UN has required
120 more days of inspections'' etc) and there are loads of articles
today in the press to hang our letters on.
The current post includes:
A) Milan's message
B) and C) articles from the Guardian and Independent. Please respond today
if possible. Include name, address, phone number, mention the title of the
article and keep it short.

The French government is not going to use its veto. We have to force
the media to expose the ``second resolution'' for the fraud it is.
best wishes

+  Fay Dowker                       Physics Department               +
+                                   Queen Mary, University of London +
+  E-mail:       Mile End Road,                   +
+  Phone:  +44-(0)20-7882-5047      London E1 4NS.                   +
+  Fax:    +44-(0)20-8981-9465                                       +
+  Homepage:          +

A) Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 09:28:05 -0000
From: Milan Rai <>

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

letters to

``Compromise resolution likely
as UN opposition remains firm''
 Ewen MacAskill, Julian Borger in Washington and
Gary Younge in New York
Thursday March 6, 2003
The Guardian

Britain is working behind the scenes for a compromise
United Nations resolution in the face of unbending
opposition from France, Russia and Germany over war
against Iraq.

The British government, which expects to secure the
backing of the US for the change, is to offer a reworked
resolution that would give Iraq "a little more time" and set
a deadline on which most of the UN security council could

An extra few weeks would push war back to the end of the
month. Such a delay may be acceptable to the US,
because its military timetable has been thrown into
disarray by Turkish intransigence over troop movements.

A US official said: "We may add or subtract to the
resolution but we will not do anything that detracts from
the substance of the resolution." The thrust of the
resolution is to authorise war against Iraq.

The new-found willingness to compromise amounts to an
admission that Britain and the US cannot win a majority in
the security council for the resolution in its present form. It
states that the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, had had
his "final opportunity" to disarm.

When the resolution was tabled last week, Britain and the
US indicated that it was set in stone and the White House
spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said he expected a vote on the
resolution "in short order".

But only Britain, the US, Spain and Bulgaria support the
resolution, and arm-twisting has so far failed to move the
other 11 security council members. France, Germany and
Russia, after a hastily con vened meeting in Paris
yesterday, issued a joint statement signalling that they will
block the resolution.

The compromise resolution is expected to be floated when
foreign ministers representing the 15 security council
members meet in private in New York tomorrow after a
report by the UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix.

The US and Britain are hoping that Mr Blix's assessment
will boost their position by concluding that Saddam has
fallen far short of his disarmament obligations.

Speaking to reporters at the UN yesterday, Mr Blix offered
a measured assessment, saying Iraq had been complying
in some areas but that all of Iraq's biological weapons had
not been accounted for.

The US secretary of state, Colin Powell, insisted in a
speech last night that Saddam had ordered the
construction of new illegal missiles and was hiding
chemical and biological weapons along Iraq's borders.

He said that in late January, the Iraqi intelligence service
had moved banned chemical and biological materials to
remote areas of the country near the Syrian and Turkish
borders. Mr Powell also claimed that banned materials
were being moved every 12 to 24 hours to avoid detection
by the inspectors.

Tony Blair told the Commons yesterday that he was
confident of securing support from the council. This
confidence stems in part from reports from the six swing
countries - Guinea, Cameroon, Angola, Mexico, Chile and
Pakistan - that they might back the resolution if it was
changed to allow more time and set clear tests for
President Saddam.

If five or all six swung behind the resolution, the British
and US predict that France, Russia and China would then
be likely to abstain rather than exercise their vetoes.

The Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, repeated to Mr
Blair at Downing Street yesterday morning what he has
been saying in public: that Russia would neither vote for
nor abstain on the resolution in its present form, implying
that it would exercise its veto.

The new timetable could see the diplomatic phase end
around the Middle of March, followed by a short gap
before military action.

Last night the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, spoke to
the Canadian prime minister, Jean Chrétien, about a
compromise resolution proposed by Canada under which
Iraq would be set a number of deadlines for compliance.

The first deadline of February 28 floated by the original
Canadian "non-paper" has been re vised to March 31.
The Russian ambassador to the UN, Sergei Lavrov,
expressed interest in the Canadian proposal on Tuesday,
saying that the idea was "very close to our own

C) letters to

``Britain seeks compromise to close UN divide
over Iraq''

By John Lichfield, Rupert Cornwell
and Andrew Grice

Independent 06 March 2003

British diplomats at the United Nations are
working on a
compromise to avoid a
head-on collision over
Iraq at the UN
tomorrow after France
and Russia warned that
they will "not allow" a
new resolution
authorising war in the

Within hours of their
announcement last
night, Colin Powell, the
Secretary of State,
accused their foreign
ministers of wilfully
ignoring how Saddam
Hussein was in breach
of his every obligation
to the UN.

Diplomats in New York said a final short
window for Iraq to disarm peacefully could
be added possibly as an amendment to the
resolution, possibly as an announcement
immediately after the original draft
resolution is adopted, or perhaps in some
other way.

The amended resolution is expected to be
floated when foreign ministers of the 15
Security Council countries meet tomorrow
behind closed doors after hearing the
latest progress reports from chief weapons
inspector Hans Blix and nuclear watchdog
Mohamed ElBaradei.

The front against war in the Security
Council was further strengthened today
when China said it saw no need for an
additional resolution and believed weapons
inspections should continue.
Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said the
current weapons inspection resolution
being carried out by the inspectors was
"The tasks carried out by that resolution are
not completed yet," he said at a news
conference. "We are still working hard for a
political solution and to try to avoid war. ...
At this moment, it is absolutely
unnecessary to put aside Resolution 1441
and introduce a new resolution."
He added that inspections "should be

Britain started the search for some middle
ground after the gulf between the United
States and the UK, and Russia and France
widened. General Powell said: "Some of my
colleagues on the Security Council don't
even want to remember, saying let
bygones be bygones. But that's not going
to work, we can't ignore it." He said
President Saddam was still offering only "a
mixture of lies and deceit and falsities" and
nothing indicated that he had taken the
strategic decision to disarm.

In a sometimes impassioned speech to the
Centre for Strategic and International
Studies, the Secretary of State left no
doubt that the US would go it alone if a
resolution failed to pass. Indeed, while the
White House and Downing Street again
proclaimed confidence that it would secure
the necessary nine votes, US officials
hinted that Washington might not even
bother to force the resolution to a vote if it
concluded it would lose.
The Franco-Russian statement, also
signed by Germany, appeared to commit
France and Russia to using their power of
veto in the Security Council, although
neither government was prepared to use
the "V-word".

At the very least, France and Russia ­ who
also claim the support of Beijing ­ have
signalled their intention to fight every inch
of the way to gather support to block the
proposed US-British-Spanish resolution
that would give formal approval for military

Earlier, Tony Blair, said: "We are confident
of securing the votes for that resolution.
We will carry on working to that end."
Last night, the Foreign Office minister Mike
O'Brien indicated that Britain wanted the
UN to decide soon when the vote will be
taken. "We are not looking at a very long
time. A week or two is probably the
timescale that we are looking at," he told
the BBC's Newsnight programme.

Reports last night suggested that Britain
was also working behind the scenes on an
amendment to the resolution that would
give Iraq more time to comply with
disarmament demands and convince
wavering Security Council members.
A total of nine votes out of 15 are needed
to push the resolution through the Security
Council, possibly as soon as early next
week. But last night the prospect looked
remote. Dominique de Villepin, France's
Foreign Minister, said: "We will not allow
the passage of a planned resolution which
would authorise the use of force."
Asked if that amounted to a threat to use
the veto, he said "my terms are clear".
France and Russia would "assume all their
responsibilities", he said.

Diplomatic and political sources in Paris
remained doubtful last night that either
France or Russia would be prepared to use
the "nuclear option" of the veto, which
would plunge their relations with America
into a deep freeze.

M. de Villepin was quoted in the French
press as having said privately that a French
veto would be like "shooting the Americans
in the back". His tough words yesterday ­
and the very existence of the joint French,
German and Russian statement ­ were
interpreted by some as an attempt to
bounce a wavering group of three or four
Security Council members into staying with
the "anti-war" camp.

Similarly, the US and Britain have been
putting pressure on the waverers, including
Angola, Cameroon and Guinea, to join the
"war" side. French sources said a veto
decision would be made by President
Jacques Chirac alone and only when it was
clear which way the vote would go.
If this is a game of political poker, both
sides appear determined to play to the last
card. In theory, everything depends on a
further report tomorrow by the chief UN
weapons inspectors, Hans Blix and
Mohamed al-Baradei. But it was clear last
night that both sides are preparing for an
inconclusive report.

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