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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 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ + Fay Dowker Physics Department + + Queen Mary, University of London + + E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mile End Road, + + Phone: +44-(0)20-7882-5047 London E1 4NS. + + Fax: +44-(0)20-8981-9465 + + Homepage: http://monopole.ph.qmw.ac.uk/~dowker/home.html + ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A) Date: Thu, 06 Mar 2003 09:28:05 -0000 From: Milan Rai <email@example.com> 1) Please phone/fax/email your MP/MSP/Member of the NAW about this - Roughly half of Westminster MPs have email: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/alms.htm 2) Please circulate this email Dear all A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO STOP THE WAR 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 http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/ 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' work. (You can find out about the Franco-Russo-German proposal at http://www.un.int/france/ .) FOUR MONTHS' DELAY 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 March. IRAQ HAS NOT YET BEEN TESTED 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 over? 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. WHAT THE BRITISH PEOPLE THINK ‘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 www.justicenotvengeance.org B) letters to firstname.lastname@example.org ``Compromise resolution likely as UN opposition remains firm'' by 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 agree. 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 approach". C) letters to email@example.com ``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 Gulf. 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 working. "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 strengthened." 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 action. 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. _______________________________________________ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk