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News titles, 26/02-05/03/03 INTRODUCTION Much has happened over the period of this mailing - the backbench revolt in the UK House of Commons; the meeting of the Iraqi pro-US (more or less) opposition in Salahuddin; Zalmay Khalilzad telling them they'll have to behave themselves and not get in the way; the very real possibility of a Turkish invasion of the Kurdish Autonomous Zone; the Arab League summit which, however weakly, nonetheless definitely condemned the proposed war; and of course the vote in the Turkish Parliament which has at the very least - even if it is reversed - postponed the war by several weeks. And it now seems clear that - barring the possibility that the weapons inspectors actually find something (and no-one seems to think that is very likely) - there won't be a UN Security Council resolution clearly and unambiguously authorising war. On the face of it, it seems that the US 'ultra' party - the old Reaganites, the victors of the Cold War - have led the US, together with the British Prime Minister, to the edge of an abyss. What should have been the easiest of missions - an enemy already utterly reviled throughout the world and deprived for twelve years of the means of defending himself - has turned into a labour of Sisyphus and, instead of looking like a people who can do whatever they like, the Americans are actually looking impotent. Assuming, as everyone does, that they will win, the victory will hardly be glorious. A man intent on swatting a fly may be assured of eventual overwhelming, cataclysmic success, but in the course of missing time after time he will end up looking, and feeling, ridiculous. The handling of the delicate problems prior to the war does not augur well for the handling of the delicate problems after the war - when, as seems likely, even those elements of Iraqi opinion that support the Americans at present will turn against them. The 'ultra' thesis is that sheer power will see them through. But that hasn't worked very well up to now. Indeed it could be argued (as I suggested last week) that, given the nonsense it has swallowed already, ' the world's' arguments for opposing the war on Iraq are actually rather weak: what has borne them along has been precisely a reaction against the manifestation of sheer power. None of this is sufficient to prevent war. The people who could prevent war are the same people who could have prevented the 1991 war, and who could have broken the sanctions regime, namely, Iraq's neighbours. Whatever little arrangements might have been made nearly all the neighbours have refused to allow an invasion from their own territory. If Turkey holds good then only Kuwait is left. Kuwait was, presumably, present at the Arab league meeting which opposed the war, and one wonders if, in addition to the talk of Saddam being asked to resign, any pressure was put on them (the articles I have picked up on the summit don't seem to address the question). Kuwait has never to my knowledge declared itself to be in principle in favour of a war under all circumstances; it has always given the impression - like Britain - that it would require a UN Security Council resolution. At the time of writing, a UN Security Council resolution also appears as the indispensable condition of any change of heart by the Turkish parliament. There is for the moment no possibility of such a resolution being passed Indeed none is being proposed. It would be impossible for any reputable lawyer to argue that the resolution currently proposed by USUK (plus Spain) actually authorises war, still less a war waged on its own initiative by one of its members with or without 'allies'. At best it declares that Iraq is now liable to face unspecified 'serious consequences'. It puts the UN Security Council under an obligation to meet again to decide what those 'serious consequences' might be. A decision to go to war would require a third resolution. The obvious reason for this is that the framers of the second resolution knew that an unequivocal authorisation for war had no possibility of being passed. But the sleight of hand whereby some members will interpret the resolution as a simple statement of fact and others as an authorisation is surely too gross even by the habitual standards of United States diplomacy. If the war takes place, then, it will be illegal, and very visibly so. The US, with little Britain at its side, will have declared the UN to be 'irrelevant' and effectively have detached itself from a system of law which is heavily weighted in its favour and has often served it in the past as a useful instrument of policy. Some years ago Gore Vidal put forward the apparently outlandish proposal that the United States should be expelled from the UN. With the war on Iraq, however, the US will effectively have expelled itself, together with its allies, ourselves included. Is it too much to hope that the international community (the real one) will draw the obvious conclusion and that we could see a division begin to emerge between those countries that are willing to live under a system of international law and to abide by the terms of internationally agreed conventions, and those that are not? In this way, the unipolar world could once again become bipolar - not on the basis of two great superpowers but of a great superpower with its satellites on one side and, on the other, a law-bound community of nations probably based on what is now called the 'non aligned movement' or, what must almost be the same thing, the United Nations General Assembly (which could, perhaps, transfer the centre of its activities to Kuala Lumpur). That would be a natural and elegant development of the remarkable political achievement of Donald Rumsfeld and his friends who have managed in a very short time to turn the great upsurge of solidarity with the US that appeared in the wake of Sept 11 into a polarised world with themselves on one side and everyone else on the other, thus achieving the quite dazzling political feat of handing a moral advantage to President Hussein. CORRECTION: Last week's mailing contained an article entitled 'Bush aide: Inspections or not, we'll attack Iraq' about Richard Perle. It was attributed to the Daily Mirror, 25th February. In fact it seems to be a much older article possibly (as the reference to MPs should have alerted me) dating back to RP's visit to Britain last November. We learn that Daily Mirror URLs will summon up up old articles under the current date. Thanks to Gabriel for pointing this out. NEWS, 26/02-05/03/03 (1) NORTHERN IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * U.S. Would Limit Action By Kurds in Postwar Iraq [Extracts on the anti-Kurd elements of the proposed deal with Turkey] * When Iraqis play football in Kurdistan, local fans cannot hide their hatred ['the main chant from 10,000-strong Kurdish crowd, when not cheering on their own side, was: "Stuff the Turks."'] * Iranian-Backed Brigade in Northern Iraq * Thousands of Kurds protest Turkish plans for Iraq * Iraq Kurd gun market bustles under Turkish threat * Turkey to Iraqi Kurds: We will protect our interests [Turkey apparently using the crisis to increase its bargaining power against the Kurds] OPPOSITION ALLIANCE * U.S. Envoy Reassures Kurds on Concerns About Turkey [Zalmay Khalilzad addressing the Opposition conference in Salaheddin. Delays partly due to Turkey's refusal 'to approve the full number of security officials that Washington had requested to protect Mr. Khalilzad'. Wayne Downing (remember him? He was the one who thought the Kurds could do for Iraq what the Northern Alliance did for Afghanistan) was also turned back at the border] * Iraqi Opposition Names Leadership, Defies U.S. Plans [Six man leadership. The 4 we know plus 'Ayad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord, as well as Iraqi dissident and former foreign minister Adnan Pachachi.' Pachachi, 80 years old, is the only Arab Sunni, and he has turned the offer down (see 'Iraq's route to a democratic future' below)] * Iraqi opposition elects a leading commission composed of 6 figures [It mentions 'Adnan al Baja Jee, a former minister by the end of the 1960s', who presumably replaces Pachachi] * Iraqi Opposition in Bitter Dispute With US Aide [Extract on conflict between Zalmay Khalilzad and the SCIRI] * Iraq's route to a democratic future [Adnan Pachachi explains why he rejected the invitation to join the leadership of the US recognised Iraqi opposition and proposes an alternative to US military rule and to rule by the INC.] IRAQI/TURKISH RELATIONS (1 - before the vote) * Turkey Shuts Down Its Border With Iraq - BBC * Turkey evacuates embassy in Baghdad * Another delay sought on U.S. troops in Turkey [from Tuesday to Thursday to Saturday] * Ankara takes new line in foreign policy [Mohammad Noureddine, in the Lebanon Daily Star, maintains that Ankara has agreed to support the US regardless of any second resolution. This, however, is a violation of the Turkish constitution: 'Article 92 (? - in 'Turkish vote shocker: Why Š and what happens next?', also by Mohammad Noureddine, it becomes Article 29 - PB) of the Turkish Constitution states that the army can only be deployed outside the country's borders (and/or foreign troops can only be stationed on Turkish soil) in cases deemed legitimate in international law. Turkish legal experts agree that such a situation would arise if Turkey were attacked by a foreign power, if there were a UN resolution sanctioning such actions, and if Turkey acts according to a decision by NATO' (which helps explain what all the recent fuss over NATO was all about). Noureddine goes on to assert that the deal done with the US requires, among much else, 'that the Iraqi Kurds must be disarmed after the war' and 'that a Turk must be included in the administration that would rule Iraq after the overthrow of the current regime'. He calls it 'a new American Turkish Sykes-Picot' and describes at as a very dangerous development in Turkish foreign policy (away from Kemalism, which he describes as essentially defensive)] * Turkey's top politician postpones U.S. deployment vote to Saturday ['Private NTV television said the two sides had agreed that U.S. officers would arm and disarm Kurdish opposition groups in northern Iraq under the supervision of Turkish officers.'] * Turkey Offered Deal on Textiles ['The proposals would temporarily waive long-standing "Buy American" provisions to enable the Pentagon to purchase Turkish-made apparel for U.S. troops. Turkey would be allowed to increase its duty-free exports of clothing above the present quota, but only for goods made with American yarn and fabric.'] * Turkey Remains Gridlocked on Bases [The article argues that the Turkish military, as represented in the National Security Council, is refusing to come down strongly on the question of US troop deployment in order to make things more difficult for the JDP: "The party is trying to protect itself, because it would be safer if the military backed the deployment, too. Instead, the party is cruising in the dark without any signals from the shore."] AND, IN NEWS, 26/02-05/03/03 (2) IRAQI/TURKISH RELATIONS (2 - after the vote) * Turkish vote on troops a stunning blow to U.S. ['Gul said Turkey's democratic system had spoken with finality. "Turkey is the only democratic country in the region," he said. "The decision is clear. We have to respect this decision, as this is what democracy requires." '] * Turkey Rejects U.S. Use Of Bases [The article suggests among the reasons failure to finalise the economic package and the determination of the old military-political establishment to embarrass the JDP government (a high risk strategy, I would have thought)] * U.S. Clings to Option Of Turkish Bases ['"it will alter our ability to be, in effect, interspersed and be the interlocutors between the Kurds and the Turks," Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday". The crisis has also revealed that Egypt is letting US military material pass through the Suez Canal] * U.S. Forced to Rethink Iraq War Strategy [What are they going to do now with the 'Iron Horse' and the 'Screaming Eagles' (and to think we're obliged to take these people seriously)? Outlines reasons why they wanted Turkey - which come down to keeping the Kurds out of Kirkuk and Mosul; to get quickly to Tikrit; to mediate between the Kurds and Turks] * Troop Vote Strains U.S.-Turkish Ties [Ambiguity as to the possibility of another vote. 'Almost 100 of the party's 362 legislators defected'. The opposition must have voted unanimously against. Which is surprising given that they are presumably largely the old Turkish Nats who could be expected to be more pro-US ...] * Turkey Will Seek a Second Decision on a G.I. Presence [Extract giving a bit of an account of the actual course of events: * 'Serves rude America right' [Short, rather touching little vox pop in Turkey] * Turkish Stocks Plunge on U.S. Troop Vote [This article makes the important point that the by-election which is expected to get Erdogan into Parliament occurs next Sunday. Which helps to explain both why he is not promising a new vote on US deployment, and why the US think they're still in with a chance] * War may be slower, riskier without Turkey [Extracts, with opinions as to purely military implications from Tim Garden of the Centre for Defence Studies at King's College, London and Joseph Cirincione at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington] * An ally we're better off without: Why President Bush should turn his back on Turkey [Christopher Hitchens inveighs against the Turks - Kurdistan, Cyprus, the Armenians. A Turkish intervention in the Kurdish Autonomous Zone would, he says, be destabilising. But how are the US going to prevent - or control - it if they can't get in themselves, in sizeable numbers, from Turkey?] * Erdogan calls for rethink on deployment of US troops [and certain AKP members say they would change their votes if given the chance] * Turkish vote shocker: Why Š and what happens next? [More than usually detailed account from the Lebanon Daily Star. The article reminds us that 'on the eve of World War II ... the CHP-dominated legislature rejected Turkey's entry in the war by one vote'. The CHP is the Republican People's Party, which is at present in opposition and seems to have voted unanimously against US deployment. Mohammad Noureddine concludes that a deal will probably be struck at the expense of the Kurds] * Turkey gives Europe a lesson in democracy [Mary Dejevsky argues that Turkey has now proved itself worthy to join Europe and sees the Turkish vote as an augury of the future reconciliation of Europe 'new' and 'old'] * Powell Interview by Turkish TV [Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs (not Powell) being very reasonable and understanding. Extract.] AND, IN NEWS, 26/02-05/03/03 (3) IMPERIALIST DESIGNS * U.S. Intelligence Categorizes Iraqis to Punish, or to Deal With * U.S. Diplomat Resigns, Protesting 'Our Fervent Pursuit of War' [John Brady Kiesling, the political counselor at the United States Embassy in Athens] * Mystery still shrouds motives for war [Extract. Patrick Seale, in the Lebanon Daily Star, after blaming it all on Ariel Sharon, imagines possible catastrophes] * Pentagon Contradicts General on Iraq Occupation Force's Size [Wolfowitz at a hearing of the House Budget Committee, Rumsfeld at a press conference with Hamid Karzai (remember him?), contradicting Gen. Eric K. Shinseki who had said an occupation would require hundreds of thousands of troops (Last week's mailing, 'Army Chief: Huge Force would occupy Iraq' under Implications of War)] * The Pashtun prophet who shapes U.S. policy [Account of Zalmay Khalilzad. The reference to 'the Pashtun-led Northern Alliance' suggests there may be limits to the writer's knowledge] * Iraq now the rallying call for champions of freedom [Abdelwahab El-Affendi argues that an invasion will be good for the Middle East but bad for the US and Britain] * The American camel noses itself into the Middle East tent [Brief historical account from Lebanon Daily Star of US interest in Middle Eastern oil. It claims that the US was behind the removal of Qasim (1963. It says he was hanged. I understood he had been shot. It also seems to suggest that 'President Arif' came before 'President Kassem' whereas in fact he came, or rather went, after him), as well as the Iran/Iraq war.] * War is coming, deal with it [Michael Young in the Lebanon Daily Star argues that instead of opposing the war, which is inevitable, Europeans should be seeking to influence the post war settlement] URLs ONLY: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23867-2003Mar1.html * War Plan for Iraq Largely in Place by Thomas E. Ricks Washington Post, 2nd March ['Pentagon sources said they expect that more targets will be struck in Baghdad on the first night of the campaign than were hit in the Iraqi capital during the entire Gulf War, when about 330 bombs and missiles hit the city ... Infrastructure such as electrical plants will not be hit, said people familiar with the planning. ... Unlike in the Gulf War, said former Navy secretary Richard Danzig, "[w]e know we have to repair whatever we bomb."'] http://www.dawn.com/2003/03/04/int18.htm * US seeks to regroup after setbacks to Iraq policy by Robin Wright Dawn, from Los Angeles Times. 4th March [The article quotes some 'experts' as looking to early April; Sen 'Jay' Rockefeller saying an attack from the South could take two months, which is too long; and Kenneth Pollack who sees the Arab summit resolution as a serious blow: "The United States was hoping for a more neutral statement and expecting a call for a high-level delegation to ask Saddam to step down. What it didn't expect was a condemnation, which sends a bad signal to everyone else," Pollack said.] http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0303/S00044.htm * American Public Diplomacy and Islam (Press Release: US State Department ) Scoop Media, 5th March 2003, 10:04 am [Interesting report of Charlotte Beers, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on efforts to present an attractive image of the US to the Muslim world] IRAQI/UK RELATIONS * Blair rocked by biggest revolt over war on Iraq * UK taxpayers forced to pay millions for Iraq arms [in the form of government underwritten insurance deals] * Britain to Close Yemeni Embassy ['in light of the deteriorating security situation'] * The first privatised war ['This could be the last war fought by British armed forces predominantly in the public sector. The Ministry of Defence is poised to enter into a welter of partnerships with business, ushering in the most fundamental shake-up of the military for more than 100 years.' The article is largely a complaint that this will impair the efficiency of Britain's war machine. Which reads to me like a strong argument in its favour] URLs ONLY: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,903826,00.html * Saddam's time has almost run out, Straw tells Commons by Patrick Wintour and Michael White The Guardian, 27th February [Guardian account of the House of Commons debate, for what its worth. I assume something of more substance must have been said than what is recorded here] http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=382663 * Why should we in Britain help Bush to get re-elected? by Richard Dawkins The Independent, 1st March [Richard Dawkins provides an original reason for opposing the war. So that Britain might be a more attractive haven for US scientists fleeing the 'uncouth fundamentalist redneck', George Bush, when he wins the next election on the back of a victory in Iraq. Dawkins appears to think that US decency is represented by ex-President Clinton and Mr Gore (not to mention Madeleine Albright)] AND, IN NEWS, 26/02-05/03/03 (4) IRAQI/ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * The Arabs and Iraq [David Hirst on the sense of hopelessness afflicting the Arab world] * Saudis offer bases for war [according to the Washington Post: 'The newspaper said the co-operation included full use of the air command and control centre at Prince Sultan Air Base ...'] * Turkey pockets the price, Iraqi Kurds pay the cost [Lebanon Daily Star roundup of Arab press on the current state of the bargaining. Saad Mehio writes in the UAE daily Al-Khaleej that everyone "is treating Iraq like a commercial deal that must be clinched, an auction that mustn't be missed, or a slaughtered cow whose meat people are rushing to carve up." And passionate argument from Jordan's Mahmoud Rimawi for pressure on Mr Hussein to resign] * League 'lacks courage to discuss UAE plan' [for pressure on Mr Hussein to resign] * 'There is No Future For the Arab League' [according to a range of Saudi intellectuals and political commentators] * Riyadh says it won't be part of war [Speaking before the Arab League summit and the confrontation with Gadaffy: "An occupation of Iraq is not simple. How (are) 250,000 troops going to maintain order in a country like that? Especially if war leads to the instability we think it will lead to, if it leads to chaos we think it will lead to. If the social order breaks down, who is going to be fighting who? It is going to be a mess we think"] * Zayed urges Saddam to resign, go into exile [It may be worth remembering that Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the UAE was in the vanguard of Arab laders breaking the isolation of Iraq and - quite honourably in my view -undermining the effect of sanctions] * Bahrain, Kuwait join U.A.E. in opposing Saddam [They say Saddam's exile is the only way to avert war. But there is another way, and it is in the hands of Kuwait (and Bahrain and Qatar)] * Arab impotence and misguided anger [Pepe Escobar's account of the Arab summit. Rather splendid on the confrontation between Gadaffy and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah. Includes a detour into the Arab reaction to the invasion of Kuwait, stating as a fact that the Saudis had been fooled into believing that Iraq was about to invade them, but wrongly giving the impression that the first Arab League condemnation of the invasion had been obtained under US pressure. He also mentions that the Gulf area is looking forward to all the profitable business opportunities which will come available after the invasion] * Analysts disagree on whether Arab summit rose to people's expectations, agree little could be done to avert war [Some Arab opinions (generally favourable) on the Summit, and appointment of Troika (Lebanon, Bahrain and Tunisia) to tour world on a 'peace mission'] * Why we can trust Bush this time [Interesting argument from Saad Mehio of the Lebanon Daily Star that once the US is installed in Iraq, the Middle East and its problems, including Israel, will necessarily become major preoccupations and it will be forced to change many of its present assumptions and practises: 'This, in fact, is our only reason for feeling optimistic.'] AND, IN NEWS, 26/02-05/03/03 (5) INSIDE IRAQ * Saddam repositioning troops, U.S. officials say * Bin Laden gives Iraq an unlikely unity [Syed Saleem Shahzad gives an account of Sufism in Iraq and remarks that all the Sufis he knows are great admirers of Osama bin Laden: 'Ask any Iraqi about bin Laden and invariably the eyes will light up, and the response will be along the lines of, "Bin Laden is a Muslim, a faithful and a warrior of Islam."' He sees a community of feeling between the supposedly antagonistic Sufi and Salafi schools, mentioning that Mullah Omar is a devotee of Sheikh Mostafa bin Abdullah, spiritual leader of the Naqshandi school of Sufis (and 'local government official' in Arbil). We also learn that 'Izzat Ibrahim, the deputy leader of Iraq ... is himself a Sufi of the Qadri and Rafahi schools'. I haven't had a great regard so far for Syed Saleem Shahzad but assuming all this is right he's really come up with the goods in this one] * Hearing War Drums, Iraqis Still March to Their Own Beat [Getting on with life, and well digging, in Baghdad. The account of a TV encounter between President Hussein and a couple of traffic police is quite funny: '"We will be fighting with one hand and organizing the traffic with the other," the commander of the traffic police reported.'] * A 'third force' awaits US in Iraq [Syed Saleem Shahzad coming up with the goods again with an article on the Muslim Brotherhood, well-placed to mushroom in importance after the war] * What are we fighting for? [Review of books on Iraq - Bradt's Guide, Dilip Hiro, Aburish, Tripp, Coughlin (not recommended), Cockburns] * Inside Saddam's military elite [Account of defector from the Republican Guard] * Iraq's Christians fear being caught in the crossfire [Visit to Baghdad of Bishop Pierre Whalon, 'a French-American who is in charge of the convocation of American Episcopal churches in Europe'. He puts it bluntly: "The concern is that Christians will disappear," said Bishop Whalon. "The present regime gives them some tolerance, who knows what the next one will do."] URL ONLY: http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=261472003 * No morality in leaving Iraqis in the Republic of Fear The Scotsman, 3rd March ['He has been prepared to sacrifice his people and his country's economic development to build the most formidable military machine in the region (it still is, despite the sanctions). Since the inspectors left in 1998 he has used illegal oil revenues to go on a global spree to acquire the paraphernalia needed for weapons of mass destruction. Only a massive American military build up stopped him from re-invading Kuwait in 1994.' None of these statements are, to my knowledge, true. The Scotsman also uses the quotes from Kenneth Pollack's book which can be found in 'What Iraq is really like' under Anti-War Initiatives] NO FLY ZONES * American Warplanes Bomb Two Iraqi Sites [Between Baghdad and Al Kut, Wednesday, 26th February] * U.S. Strikes Iraq Communications Sites [near Mosul, Thursday, 27th February] * Western jets hit Iraqi targets anew: US [Friday 28th February, near An Nasiriyah, 170 miles (270 km) Southwest of Baghdad, according to the US account. The Iraqi account claims there was also an attack in the North] * U.S. Says Iraqi Jets Entered No-Fly Zone [Two flights Tuesday and Thursday, each by a lone Iraqi MiG-25] * Iraq: U.S.-U.K. Raid Kills Six Civilians in Basra [Sunday, 2nd March (Iraq) or early Monday, 3rd March (US)] * Allies bomb key Iraqi targets [The article refers to 'allegations that Britain and the US have unilaterally changed the rules of the no-fly zones'. But since the no-fly zones were established unilaterally its difficult how the rules could be changed any other way.] AND, IN NEWS, 26/02-05/03/03 (6) ANTI-WAR INITIATIVES * AFL-CIO Federation Labor Union Passes anti war resolution [though in favour of continued, 'multilateral', pressure, ie Clinton, not Bush] * Thousands of Egyptians Protest Against a U.S. War in Iraq * 140,000 Egyptians rally for Iraq [Extracts. Rather more scary for the government than our little efforts] * Massive Anti-War Rally in Bahrain * 300,000 Yemenis Protest US War Plans * What Iraq is really like: Those who know can't wait for the U.S. to attack [Jack Kelly, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, says that a group of anti-Saddam protestors over from France weren't allowed to participate in the London demonstration on 15th February or to display 'placards reading 'Freedom for Iraq' and 'American rule, a hundred thousand times better than Tikriti tyranny' ... the tough guys who supervised the march would have none of that," Taheri said. "Only official placards, manufactured in the thousands and distributed among the 'spontaneous' marchers, were allowed.' Which is a blatant lie. But it does pose the question how come the 4 million Iraqi exiles Mr Blair says favour the war haven't been able to get together even a small public demonstration?] * Human shield cracks on Baghdad's cynicism [A rather strange report which suggests that they would have been willing to take position at hospitals or schools but not electricity plants, water treatment centres, communications facilities. No evidence is given of any Iraqi 'cynicism'. The main problem seems to have been that the expectation of very large numbers of people, which would, it was felt, have made an impact on Western opinion, was disappointed] * Inside the deluded world of the 'human shields' [Daily Telegraph account. Although obviously written in a spirit of ridicule a certain amount of genuine affection can also be detected] * Amman protest march cancelled * Independent Iraqis oppose Bush's war [Account of Da'wa and the Iraqi CP who both oppose the war and sanctions as well as Saddam Hussein. But the phrase 'moderate Islamic party' doesn't seem entirely appropriate for the group whose activities in 1979 were one of the elements that contributed to the launching of the Iran/Iraq war.] CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR WEAPONS * Iraq agrees 'in principle' to destroy missiles [Extract referring to the visit of the South African disarmament team. 'South African disarmament experts visiting Iraq said today they were convinced Iraq was doing its best to disarm.' After which, perhaps, USUK will go quiet on the argument comparing Iraq unfavourably with the South Africans] * U.N. Finds No Long-Range Iraqi Missiles [Washington Post interviews missile experts who don't see the threat from the al-Samoud as being terribly serious] * Chemicals Would Be Major Threat in Iraq * Blix: Iraq could have made greater efforts: An edited text of Hans Blix's report [Draft report apparently prepared prior ro the agreement to destroy the al-Samoud missiles] * US prepares to use toxic gases in Iraq [in contravention of the (UK drafted) Chemical Weapons Convention] * U.S. Commander: Iraq Use of Chemicals Against Iran "Most Extensive" [Major General John Doesburg, head of the U.S. army's chemical and biological defense command, 'speaking at a Pentagon briefing, said many people have forgotten the fact that Iraq used chemical weapons in its war with Iran'. Alternatively they are still under the influence of US efforts to confuse the issue at the time] AND, IN NEWS, 26/02-05/03/03 (7) INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY * Australian experts warn attack on Iraq could end in international court [the ICC, for breach of the UN Charter and Geneva Convention] * Germany Refuses to Provide More Aid to Turkey [and Schroeder visits Russia] * Antiwar Fever Puts Mexico in Quandary Over Iraq Vote * Key states bow to war pressure [Angola, Mexico and Pakistan, but not, it seems, very much so far] * Non-aligned power in a unipolar world [Notes from the Lebanon Daily Star on the necessity of the 116-member Non-Aligned Movement : 'The UN, which had served as the foremost forum for NAM to express its opinions and enhance its independence and freedom-oriented policies, faces one of two fates. The first is the imposition of total US hegemony on the world body. The second is that Washington may choose to relegate the UN to international oblivion or the museum of history, like the League of Nations before it, if it doesn't submit to its dictates.'] * North Korea's scant electricity supply fuels nuclear drive [Not directly to do with Iraq but a good short explanation of what is behind the present crisis with North Korea] * Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war [Willing as I am to believe that the US is up to 'dirty tricks' I can't quite make it out of the leaked memo in question (text in next item). In particular I don't see that it details 'the US plan to bug the phones and emails of key Security Council members'] * US plan to bug Security Council: The text of the memorandum detailing the US plan to bug the phones and emails of key Security Council members * Chirac given ecstatic welcome as Algerians back anti-war stance [A long time since any French leader received a 'hero's welcome' in Algeria] * Iran Offers Plan to End Iraq Crisis ["We want a referendum to be held in Iraq and the Iraqi opposition (to) reconcile with the current regime in that country under the supervision of the United Nations ... " and 'a meeting of Iraq's six neighbors, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and U.N. chief Kofi Annan to deescalate mounting tension in the region'] * Muslim leaders gather for summit on Iraq * US hints at fresh sweetener to stop Russia using veto [The article doesn't seem to correspond to the title except that the US and Britain are considering a further watering down of the 2nd Resolution, presumably making it even clearer that it doesn't authorise war. At present it looks as though any old second resolution - perhaps one on the virtues of motherhood and apple pie - would do. Otherwise, Jack Straw is afraid that if Europe continues to oppose the US, the US will go unilateral. Is he hoping that if we go along with the US this time we will be in a better position to restrain it the next time? Does that mean that he thinks that without such restraint the US is in danger of acting ... unreasonably?] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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