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News, 26/02-05/03/03 (7) INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY * Australian experts warn attack on Iraq could end in international court * Germany Refuses to Provide More Aid to Turkey * Antiwar Fever Puts Mexico in Quandary Over Iraq Vote * Key states bow to war pressure * Non-aligned power in a unipolar world * North Korea's scant electricity supply fuels nuclear drive * Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war * 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 * Iran Offers Plan to End Iraq Crisis * Muslim leaders gather for summit on Iraq * US hints at fresh sweetener to stop Russia using veto INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY http://sg.news.yahoo.com/030226/1/389ib.html * AUSTRALIAN EXPERTS WARN ATTACK ON IRAQ COULD END IN INTERNATIONAL COURT Yahoo, 26th February An attack on Iraq by a "coalition of the willing" would be a violation of international law that could end in the world court, 43 Australian legal experts warned here. In an article published by the Sydney Morning Herald, the group of leading barristers and academic lawyers argued that coalition members including Australia had not yet presented any persuasive arguments that an invasion of Iraq could be justified at international law. But the group says Iraq would now be justified in launching a pre-emptive attack against the United States and its coalition partners because it is Iraq that is now facing a direct threat. The group, which includes a former High Court judge, senior counsel and international law professors from Australia's top universities says international law recognises two bases for the use of force. The first, enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, allows force to be used in self-defence only if the attack was actual or imminent. "The second basis is when the UN Security Council authorises the use of force as a collective response to the use or threat of force." But the group says the Security Council is bound by the terms of the UN Charter and can authorise the use of force under charter seven only if there is evidence of an actual threat which could not be averted by other means such as negotiation and further weapons inspection. "Ironically, the same principle would justify Iraq now launching pre-emptive attacks on members of the coalition because it could validly argue that it feared attack." Publication of the article follows Prime Minister John Howard's strong support Tuesday for the US-British draft resolution that could provide a trigger for war on Iraq within two weeks. Australia and Britain are the only two countries to have committed forces to a possible war against Iraq, although Howard maintains no decision has yet been made to commit Australian troops to fighting. The group said even if the use of force against Iraq could be justified, the Geneva Convention significantly limits the means and method. These include prohibitions on targeting civilian populations or civilian infrastructure and causing extensive destruction of property not justified by military objectives. Intentionally launching an attack knowing it would cause "incidental" civilian casualties and which would be clearly excessive in relation to the expected military outcome "constitutes a war crime." "The military objective of disarming Iraq could not justify widespread harm to the Iraqi population, over half of whom are under the age of 15." The group said the creation of the International Criminal Court last year had provided a stronger system of scrutiny and adjudication of violations of humanitarian law. The court now has jurisdiction over war crimes and attributes criminal responsibility to individuals responsible for planning military action that violates international humanitarian law and those who carry it out. "It specifically extends criminal law to heads of state, leaders of government, parliamentarians, government officials and military personnel," the group said. "Respect for international law must be the first concern of the Australian government if it seeks to punish the Iraqi government for not respecting international law." http://www.dw-world.de/english/0,3367,1430_A_788271_1_A,00.html * GERMANY REFUSES TO PROVIDE MORE AID TO TURKEY Deutsche Welle, 27th February German leaders think they have provided their NATO partner of Turkey with enough military aid to defend itself from Iraq. America, meanwhile, awaits a Turkish go-ahead on deployment of U.S. troops in the north. NATO's military headquarters has given its 19 alliance members until Friday to come up with concrete plans on the sort of military support they are willing to provide to Turkey if the alliance member is attacked by Iraq during a U.S.-led war against Saddam Hussein. But as early as Wednesday night, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer let Germany's alliance partners know during a television interview that his government would not go beyond its current contribution -- 46 Patriot air-defense missiles and about 30 crew members for air surveillance planes. On Thursday, Defense Minister Peter Struck seconded Fischer's statement. "I think we have done enough for Turkey," Struck said. Germany grudgingly provided the missiles and crew members after putting up a fight this month with France and Belgium against a U.S. request to begin planning for military support to Turkey, the only NATO member to border Iraq. The three countries' vetoes triggered one of the worst crises in the alliance's 53-year history. After a week of negotiations, NATO Secretary General George Robertson solved the conflict by using an organizational tactic that took the French out of the decision-making process and had the alliance pledge to support the United Nations' effort to settle the conflict with Iraq peacefully. Germany still has around 30 Patriot systems. In response to the question why the country's military needs to keep all of the systems in Germany, Struck (photo) said: "I didn't say we needed all of the Patriots. I just said we have done enough for Turkey." In Washington, the situation is reversed. Leaders in the U.S. capital continue to await a Turkish green signal to give them permission to send in a force of 62,000 service members who could invade Iraq from the north. U.S. officials had hoped that they would get permission from the Turkish parliament on Thursday. But the vote was put off until Saturday in order to give the government more time to discuss the proposal with the opposition. The issue is difficult for parliamentarians for several reasons. Most Turks oppose any war against Iraq. At the same time, parliamentary refusal could create major political problems for Turkey, which has received U.S. support in its effort to join the European Union. In exchange for the stationing rights, the United States has agreed during long negotiations to provide Turkey with up to $30 billion in aid to offset any economic losses caused by a war. The delay came a day after German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder pushed ahead in his effort to block a war against Iraq by traveling to Moscow to meet another opponent of the American drive, Russian President Vladimir Putin. After talks with Schöder at the Kremlin late Wednesday, Putin emphasized the need for a peaceful solution. "We must work further on a peaceful solution and make use of all diplomatic means," he said. Putin said he thought that all of the possibilities that U.N. resolution 1441 held on the disarming of Iraq were "far from spent." At the same time, he rejected a U.S.-led draft resolution that foresees a swift military strike against Iraq. "For us, no resolution that automatically contains the right to use force is acceptable," he said. Likewise, Schröder said he was convinced there was still room for a peaceful resolution. "Baghdad must allow the continuation of inspections without any delay and must fulfill all requirements," he said. The chancellor also underscored the common stance favored by Germany and Russia on Iraq. "Germany and Russia know from their own tortured experience what war means. And that's why the high level of agreement is moving," he said. Wednesday's round of talks between Schröder and Putin was the latest move in their effort to prevent a war. It came as leaders wait to see whether Iraq begins to destroy mid-range Al Samoud 2 missiles by Saturday as ordered by the U.N. chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix. Blix says the missiles' range goes beyond the limit of 150 kilometers (93 miles) set by the Security Council in resolutions adopted after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Schröder's visit to Moscow is one of a series of meetings he has held in his drive to prevent a war. He last met with Putin two weeks ago in Berlin and talked with French President Jacques Chirac on Monday evening in the German capital. By contrast, he last talked to U.S. President George W. Bush by telephone sometime in November or December, a Schröder spokesman said on Wednesday. The diplomatic maneuvers focus on the U.N. Security Council. France and Russia hold veto power in the council. Germany, a non-permanent member, holds the rotating presidency this month. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/28/international/americas/28MEXI.html * ANTIWAR FEVER PUTS MEXICO IN QUANDARY OVER IRAQ VOTE by Ginger Thompson with Clifford Krauss New York Times, 28th February MEXICO CITY, Feb. 27 ‹ Mexico holds one of the potentially decisive votes on the United Nations Security Council for an American-sponsored resolution authorizing war against Iraq. But its president is in a quandary about how to cast it. Like other leaders around the world, President Vicente Fox has a citizenry overwhelming opposed to war ‹ between 70 and 83 percent, polls show. Anti-American attitudes have surfaced in political and intellectual circles, and he desperately needs public support for midterm elections, three months away. But Mexico also shares a 2,000-mile border with the United States, and no country in the world sends more illegal immigrants across a border than Mexico does to the United States. Moreover, since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement 10 years ago, perhaps no other country depends more on the United States for its economic well-being as does Mexico. Mr. Fox's predicament was captured in a cartoon published in the Mexican newspaper Reforma: the president wobbles with a balance pole on a high wire, a small dove of peace perched at one end of the pole, a hulking American eagle on the other. Many political analysts think Mr. Fox will ultimately tilt toward the eagle. After a telephone conversation with President Bush last weekend, Mr. Fox moved away from unequivocal calls for peace, warning that Saddam Hussein must disarm. "The only path toward peace is the disarmament of Iraq," he said in a speech on Tuesday before a meeting of Mexican and American business leaders. "The world wants peace, but only the disarmament of the Iraqis can assure peace." The statement marked a subtle but clear departure for Mr. Fox, whose speeches about Iraq had previously echoed Pope John Paul II's urgent appeals for peace. At an event nine days ago and again last week, Mr. Fox publicly prayed for peace. Then, in a speech to Mexico's military, he said Mexico was "against unilateralism and against war." As late as last week, he issued a call of "No to war." Mr. Fox's positions remain wobbly, strategically couched and ambiguous, as this country prepares to vote on a United Nations resolution supported by the United States, Great Britain and Spain that would lead to military action against Iraq. While his language may be ambiguous, the reason for his ambiguity is clear. If Mexico follows Washington's lead, said a political analyst, Gabriel Guerra, "the sign we will have given is that we do not have an independent foreign policy, that we cannot be a voice and a player on the international stage, because at the end of the day we do not have a backbone." More than just reflecting domestic political concerns, however, Mr. Fox's reluctance to support the United States is also the latest display of how his relationship with Mr. Bush has cooled. "The relationship has taken a negative turn," Mr. Guerra said. "Apart from a honeymoon of rhetoric, Mexico never won anything substantive." The honeymoon began when Mr. Bush chose Mexico for his first foreign trip as president, in February 2001. He agreed to begin work on an immigration accord sought by Mr. Fox, which could have given legal status to some 3.5 million undocumented Mexicans working in the United States. Those talks were put off indefinitely after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Since then, Mr. Fox has been unable to make significant advances for his country on a range of issues, including Mexico's water debt with the United States, the execution of Mexican nationals on death row and various agricultural trade issues. In January, the frustrated architect of Mexico's immigration proposals, Jorge G. Castañeda, resigned as foreign minister. At the other end of North America, Canada, which does not hold a seat on the Security Council, has also been wavering on the Iraq issue. For months, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and senior officials have contradicted themselves on whether Iraq posed an immediate threat, and what position Canada would take if the United States and Great Britain unilaterally invaded Iraq without the approval of the United Nations But Mr. Chrétien has moved more clearly toward Washington, offering a compromise Security Council resolution that calls for Iraq to disarm by March 28 or face war. "Saddam Hussein is the one who can avoid war, by respecting Resolution 1441 and by respecting the United Nations," Mr. Chrétien said. Today, both presidents issued more calls for Iraq to disarm in bilateral meetings here. At a news conference, Mr. Fox denied that his views on the war had shifted toward those of the United States, saying that Mexico would maintain its "independence and autonomy." And he said that Mexico would take some of the points of Canada's proposal into discussions before the Security Council. "We are opposed to war, like all the world, and as long as there are alternatives, that is our goal," Mr. Fox said, adding: "If Saddam and Iraq are not going to comply with the demands of the inspectors, then things change. Without a doubt, they change for the whole world." http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,904732,00.html * KEY STATES BOW TO WAR PRESSURE by Ewen MacAskill and Michael White The Guardian, 28th February International solidarity against a US-British resolution that would trigger war against Iraq began to break down yesterday when three key members of the United Nations security council showed the first signs of wobbling. As the security council met in New York to discuss the second resolution, the US and Britain relentlessly piled the pressure on the handful of countries that hold the key to peace or war. The resolution is desperately needed by Tony Blair, who is risking his premiership on securing a UN mandate for military action, and also by the Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, who was closeted in talks with Mr Blair last night in Madrid. Mr Aznar is confronted by one of the most sceptical publics in Europe. With so much at stake, the US and Britain are embarked on one of the biggest diplomatic squeezes since the UN was formed after the second world war. The vote is pencilled in for the week beginning March 10. The US and Britain, so far supported by only Spain and Bulgaria among the 15 council members, are engaged in a two-pronged push: to win the support of at least five of the six countries in the middle -Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Guinea, Mexico and Pakistan - and to prevent France, Russia and China using their vetoes. Angola, Mexico and Pakistan showed signs of buckling when each of their governments issued statements indicating a softening of their previous opposition to the war option. The Foreign Office minister Lady Amos pressed the US-British line at a meeting with the Angolan president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who also received phone calls from the President George Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, the secretary of state, Colin Powell, and the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. Although the Angolan government officially denied that there was any change, its foreign minister, Joa Miranda, adopted a noticeably more hawkish tone. Pointing out that Luanda clinched peace via a 27-year civil war, he said: "Angola believes it is possible to wage war to achieve world peace." The Mexican president, Vicente Fox, who has been seeking concessions from the US on trade and emigration, also adopted a different tone. He urged the total disarmament of Iraq without the addition of his previously routine phrase "by peaceful means". Christina Rocca, a US assistant secretary of state, arrived in Islamabad to try to win Pakistan's vote and will be encouraged that, after strident opposition to a war against Iraq, President Pervez Musharraf suggested that the next report to the security council by the UN chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, might yet encourage him to vote for the second resolution. [.....] http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/01_03_03_b.htm * NON-ALIGNED POWER IN A UNIPOLAR WORLD by Abdelmalik Salman Daily Star, Lebanon, 1st March Since the Soviet Union's collapse and the disintegration of the Socialist Bloc in the early 1990s and America's assumption of the leadership of a unipolar world order, many questions have been raised about the viability of the 116-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the concept behind it. The doubts and questions cropped up because the concept of non-alignment, as formulated at the 1955 Bandung Conference, envisaged the Third World or developing nations (which had just rid themselves of Western colonialism) avoiding to join either of the world's two main camps - the capitalist or the communist. Instead, they were to adopt positive neutrality embodying their independent identity and interests. NAM's founding fathers were also liberation leaders - chiefly Egypt's Gamal Abdel-Nasser, India's Jawaharlal Nehru, Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito and Indonesia's Sukarno - and felt Third World nations should not allow themselves to fall victim to the conflict between the world's two superpowers. The US was not at all pleased by the emergence of NAM, and its then Secretary of State John Foster Dulles considered it to be an unethical choice. The Soviet Union felt closer than the capitalist camp to NAM, offering its members substantial economic aid and arms. The Cold War era provided NAM with a maneuvering margin that often allowed it to score gains and advance its interests as the Soviet and US camps competed for global influence. However, the demise of the Soviet Union changed that climate, and a new international environment emerged in which the US has been seeking to firmly establish itself as the world's undisputed hegemon. As part of its drive to weaken NAM, America tried to exploit the developing nations' need for economic and development aid by making such aid contingent on their political allegiance to and support of US policies. Under President George W. Bush's neoconservative administration, the US quest for global hegemony goes beyond the developing nations, rejecting any opposition, even from close allies, as was clearly demonstrated by Washington's anger over French-German resistance to the US rush to war on Iraq. Washington's tendency to impose its will using various methods of pressure confronts NAM, which is the voice of the developing South, with a major challenge: it has to play a more pivotal role in defending the interests of its peoples as they seek freedom, reject subjugation and try to shake off economic dependency to the capitalist monster in an era of globalization or Americanization. NAM's message during the coming decades must be to confront the dangers and challenges to the futures of the developing nations in an era of unipolarity, when the space for maneuver is practically nonexistent. Some of the dangers and challenges can be summarized as follows: ‹ The developing world is threatened with the loss of its dreams of independence as Western imperialism and colonialism resurface under US leadership. This is illustrated by the US plan to invade Iraq and plunder its oil wealth. Patronizing, racist tendencies against the peoples of the Third World are on the rise. They call for re-colonizing the developing nations on grounds that they are incapable of running their own affairs and are fostering terrorist, extremist anti-Western and anti-capitalist tendencies. One of NAM's main goals - preserving the political independence of the developing nations - will therefore face a momentous challenge. ‹ The capitalist West, which dominates the world economy, is growing progressively less interested in the fate of development in the South. For over 50 years, no real progress has been made in narrowing the development gap between the rich North and the poor South. The gap has actually widened. Around 20 percent of the world's population in the rich North enjoy around 80 percent world gross domestic product (GDP), whereas 80 percent of the world's population in the poor South enjoy less than 20 percent of world GDP. The debt burden to Western industrialized nations and institutions and of debt servicing is complicating the economic progress of the developing countries. The industrialized West, led by the US, continues to take a tough stand on easing the debt burden of developing nations and are not offering them aid or new development loans. The technological gap between the North and the South is also growing, and the North is not cooperating in the transfer of modern technology in a way that would enhance development opportunities in the South. This ultimately puts the political independence of the developing nations at risk, which is contrary to NAM's avowed objective. ‹ 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. Six NAM countries - Syria, Angola, Guinea, Cameroon, Chile and Pakistan - will play a conclusive role at the UN Security Council during the coming days or weeks in deciding the fate of war and peace in Iraq. At its 13th summit in Kuala Lumpur, NAM decided to reject war on Iraq and support a peaceful solution through supporting the work of UN arms inspectors. That decision should prompt NAM countries to join the French-German axis, which is supported by Russia and China, in its opposition to a new Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. If those six countries are true to NAM principles, they must not give in to US pressures aimed at issuing a new UN resolution authorizing war on Iraq, which is another member of NAM, particularly since such a war will lead to Iraq's occupation and colonization. Moreover, the developing nations that are members of NAM are the target of the US "war on terror." In addition to those grouped in the "axis of evil" - Iraq, Iran and North Korea - the agenda of America's war on terror includes 60 other states that mostly belong to the Arab and Muslim worlds. If NAM doesn't play a unifying role to confront this unjust US assault on its members, the remaining hopes pinned on it to defend the independence and interests of its peoples will evaporate, and it will become an irrelevant club. One of the main factors behind NAM's weakness is its inability to achieve successful development experiences that would have allowed it to build independent political decision-making powers. The failure of development in most NAM countries weakened them in the overall balance of global power, helping the US to pressure and intimidate them. NAM countries must search for ways of enhancing their strength if they are to successfully confront the pressures of hegemony by one superpower in the first quarter of the 21st century until it becomes possible for other international players to emerge as competitors to US monopoly on global power. NAM members need to be honest with themselves about the reasons for their anomalies and weaknesses. The discussions at the Kuala Lumpur summit show that this has not yet occurred. There is a need to enhance cooperation amongst countries of the South in transferring modern technology amongst themselves. Non-aligned countries that have made significant progress in that field, such as the Asian Tiger countries - Malaysia, which holds NAM's current presidency and Indonesia - and Latin American states such as Argentina and others, have a role to play in that regard. NAM members should not stake too much hope on the transfer of technology from the industrialized West. There is also a need for a joint NAM plan for political reform in all NAM countries so that noncorrupt regimes that are committed to healthy democratic rule can emerge. The persistence of corruption and dictatorial rule in many NAM countries makes them vulnerable to external pressures, particularly from the US hegemon. Malaysia, which has made significant headway in technological development and democratic rule, will be leading NAM for the next few years. It must sponsor initiatives that will encourage other developing countries to follow the same path that has allowed it to enjoy a large measure of political and economic independence. Abdelmalik Salman is an Egyptian political analyst who heads the Studies and Research Department at the Bahrain daily Akhbar al-Khaleej (email@example.com). He wrote this commentary for The Daily Star http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/world/1799465 * NORTH KOREA'S SCANT ELECTRICITY SUPPLY FUELS NUCLEAR DRIVE by James Brooke Houston Chronicle, from New York Times, 2nd March ONJUNG-RI, North Korea -- Behind the standoff between North Korea and the world over its nuclear weapons crisis is a power crisis. Almost a decade ago, North Korea agreed to stop construction of Soviet-designed power plants that produced plutonium that could be used for nuclear weapons. In return, a U.S. led consortium was to build three nuclear power plants designed to be proliferation-proof. Although the first plant under the agreement was to be ready this year, the project is years behind schedule. The deal collapsed last fall after North Korean officials were said to have admitted to an American envoy that they were cheating on the accord and pursuing a second secret nuclear weapons program. Just as winter started, the United States ended fuel oil deliveries to North Korea that had been stipulated under the agreement. To visit North Korea today is to visit a country that has regressed into a preindustrial past. Electric wires go from house to house, but at night entire villages disappear into darkness. During the day, residents trudge through the snow, carrying stacks of firewood on their backs. Without the power to mine coal or the fuel to deliver it, most rural households have reverted to cooking and heating with wood. North Korea has become a nation of walkers and bicyclists as there is little gasoline for cars and buses. "The country was fully electrified before the crisis began in the 1990s," said Timothy Savage, who surveyed North Korea's energy needs in 2000 for the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, a California-based group. "They have appliances, radios, televisions and in some cases refrigerators." But because of a lack of maintenance, North Korea's hydro and fuel oil plants were working at only 30 percent of capacity, and 30 percent of production was lost as a result of leakage, the Nautilus survey found. The survey calculated that this nation of 22 million people was limping along on 2 gigawatts of energy, less than the amount of power consumed by an American city of 1 million people. Calling for "desperate measures," North Korea's director of energy, Kim Jae Rok, was quoted recently in The Sunday Telegraph as saying that his nation now plans to build four nuclear power plants. "This will enable us to meet the urgent need for electricity supplies in our country," Kim said. http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,905936,00.html * REVEALED: US DIRTY TRICKS TO WIN VOTE ON IRAQ WAR by Martin Bright, Ed Vulliamy in New York and Peter Beaumont The Observer, 2nd March The United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq. Details of the aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer. The disclosures were made in a memorandum written by a top official at the National Security Agency - the US body which intercepts communications around the world - and circulated to both senior agents in his organisation and to a friendly foreign intelligence agency asking for its input. The memo describes orders to staff at the agency, whose work is clouded in secrecy, to step up its surveillance operations 'particularly directed at... UN Security Council Members (minus US and GBR, of course)' to provide up-to-the-minute intelligence for Bush officials on the voting intentions of UN members regarding the issue of Iraq. The leaked memorandum makes clear that the target of the heightened surveillance efforts are the delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan at the UN headquarters in New York - the so-called 'Middle Six' delegations whose votes are being fought over by the pro-war party, led by the US and Britain, and the party arguing for more time for UN inspections, led by France, China and Russia. The memo is directed at senior NSA officials and advises them that the agency is 'mounting a surge' aimed at gleaning information not only on how delegations on the Security Council will vote on any second resolution on Iraq, but also 'policies', 'negotiating positions', 'alliances' and 'dependencies' - the 'whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises'. Dated 31 January 2003, the memo was circulated four days after the UN's chief weapons inspector Hans Blix produced his interim report on Iraqi compliance with UN resolution 1441. It was sent by Frank Koza, chief of staff in the 'Regional Targets' section of the NSA, which spies on countries that are viewed as strategically important for United States interests. Koza specifies that the information will be used for the US's 'QRC' - Quick Response Capability - 'against' the key delegations. Suggesting the levels of surveillance of both the office and home phones of UN delegation members, Koza also asks regional managers to make sure that their staff also 'pay attention to existing non-UN Security Council Member UN-related and domestic comms [office and home telephones] for anything useful related to Security Council deliberations'. Koza also addresses himself to the foreign agency, saying: 'We'd appreciate your support in getting the word to your analysts who might have similar more indirect access to valuable information from accesses in your product lines [ie, intelligence sources].' Koza makes clear it is an informal request at this juncture, but adds: 'I suspect that you'll be hearing more along these lines in formal channels.' Disclosure of the US operation comes in the week that Blix will make what many expect to be his final report to the Security Council. It also comes amid increasingly threatening noises from the US towards undecided countries on the Security Council who have been warned of the unpleasant economic consequences of standing up to the US. Sources in Washington familiar with the operation said last week that there had been a division among Bush administration officials over whether to pursue such a high-intensity surveillance campaign with some warning of the serious consequences of discovery. The existence of the surveillance operation, understood to have been requested by President Bush's National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, is deeply embarrassing to the Americans in the middle of their efforts to win over the undecided delegations. The language and content of the memo were judged to be authentic by three former intelligence operatives shown it by The Observer. We were also able to establish that Frank Koza does work for the NSA and could confirm his senior post in the Regional Targets section of the organisation. The NSA main switchboard put The Observer through to extension 6727 at the agency which was answered by an assistant, who confirmed it was Koza's office. However, when The Observer asked to talk to Koza about the surveillance of diplomatic missions at the United Nations, it was then told 'You have reached the wrong number'. On protesting that the assistant had just said this was Koza's extension, the assistant repeated that it was an erroneous extension, and hung up. While many diplomats at the UN assume they are being bugged, the memo reveals for the first time the scope and scale of US communications intercepts targeted against the New York-based missions. The disclosure comes at a time when diplomats from the countries have been complaining about the outright 'hostility' of US tactics in recent days to persuade then to fall in line, including threats to economic and aid packages. The operation appears to have been spotted by rival organisations in Europe. 'The Americans are being very purposeful about this,' said a source at a European intelligence agency when asked about the US surveillance efforts. http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,905954,00.html * 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 The Observer, 2nd March To: [Recipients withheld] From: FRANK KOZA@Chief of Staff (Regional Target) CIV/NSA on 31/01/2003 0:16 Subject: Reflections of Iraq debate/votes at UN - RT actions and potential for related contributions Importance: High TOP SECRET/COMINT/XL All, As you've likely heard by now, the Agency is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council (UNSC) members (minus US and GBR of course) for insights as to how to membership is reacting to the on-going debate RE: Iraq, plans to vote on any related resolutions, what related policies/ negotiating positions they may be considering, alliances/ dependencies, etc - the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises. In RT, that means a QRC surge effort to revive/ create efforts against UNSC members Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea, as well as extra focus on Pakistan UN matters. We've also asked ALL RT topi's to emphasise and make sure they pay attention to existing non-UNSC member UN-related and domestic comms for anything useful related to the UNSC deliberations/ debates/ votes. We have a lot of special UN-related diplomatic coverage (various UN delegations) from countries not sitting on the UNSC right now that could contribute related perspectives/ insights/ whatever. We recognise that we can't afford to ignore this possible source. We'd appreciate your support in getting the word to your analysts who might have similar, more in-direct access to valuable information from accesses in your product lines. I suspect that you'll be hearing more along these lines in formal channels - especially as this effort will probably peak (at least for this specific focus) in the middle of next week, following the SecState's presentation to the UNSC. Thanks for your help http://www.news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?id=261002003&tid=518 * CHIRAC GIVEN ECSTATIC WELCOME AS ALGERIANS BACK ANTI-WAR STANCE by Angela Doland in Algiers The Scotsman, 3rd March FRENCH president Jacques Chirac received an ecstatic reception from Algerians yesterday as he began the first full visit by a French president since Algeria won independence in 1962. Mr Chirac, who wants to show support for the North African nation's effort to put a decade-long Islamic insurgency behind it, received a hero's welcome. People poured into the streets, some holding posters with Chirac's portrait. Others threw confetti from balconies as the French president shook hands with the crowd. Some cried out "Welcome." Others shouted "Visas, visas." One well-wisher, Rakkah Amirouche, held a sign reading "No War in Iraq", adding that Mr Chirac had become even more popular because of his stance on the Iraq crisis. The three day trip is likely to be an emotional one, seeking to heal wounds left from the brutal independence war. Chirac himself served in the conflict, when France fought unsuccessfully to keep control of Algeria. But yesterday it was just celebration. Entwined French and Algerian flags dangled from apartment buildings, and images of Chirac and Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika hung from lampposts. An estimated half a million Algerians turned out, cheering as Mr Chirac rode in a convertible limousine with his host, Mr Bouteflika, along the avenues of the Algerian capital. The focus of the visit is on rejuvenating ties. Later in the day Mr Chirac was to receive the keys to the city of Algiers, visit a neighbourhood hit by deadly floods in 2001, and lay a wreath at a monument for Algerians who fought against France in the war - a symbol of healing. "The Algerian war is a painful moment of our common history that we must not, and cannot, ignore," Mr Chirac told Algerian newspapers on the eve of his visit. But the emphasis was on opening a new chapter in relations between the two nations. "It is time now to move forward and build with Algeria a strong, trustful and impartial relationship," Mr Chirac added. Algeria's independence tore France in two. Before then, the North African nation was considered as much a part of France as Normandy or Provence. More than a million French people who lived there fled their homes and took refuge in France after the war. Though Chirac and other presidents have made trips to Algeria, none had the full ceremony of a state visit. He is accompanied by five cabinet ministers and artists such as Algerian singer Cheb Mami and dancer Kader Belarbi - a star of the Paris ballet. French executives from companies such as Airbus and TotalFinaElf also made the trip - part of Chirac's effort to encourage French businesses to invest in Algeria after pulling out in the 1990s at the peak of a bloody Islamic insurgency. Islamic rebels have waged a campaign of killing to try to topple the government and set up an Islamic state, slitting throats and spraying machine gun fire at roadblocks. In 1996 they killed seven French Trappist monks living quietly in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. An estimated 120,000 people have died in the violence, which erupted in 1992 after the army cancelled elections that a Muslim fundamentalist party was poised to win. President Bouteflika has tried to end the violence, offering amnesty to rebels willing to turn in their guns. The effort was designed to turn a page, but violence continues and many Algerians live in terror at the thought that former insurgents live among them. Human rights groups opposed the amnesty, saying only trials could bring justice. They are also urging an investigation into the thousands believed to have "disappeared" at the hands of Algerian security forces in the chaos of the 1990s. New York-based Human Rights Watch says at least 7,000 people are missing. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International asked Mr Chirac to raise the issue. Mr Chirac is immensely popular in Algeria. People were touched when he took time in a brief 2001 trip to visit a flood-hit neighbourhood after rains killed hundreds. Because of his work toward a peaceful solution in Iraq, his popularity has further grown in this largely Muslim nation. There is a new urban legend in the country that Chirac had an Algerian brother who died, and that he will visit the grave during the trip. Kheira Zaaf Aitsaid, a teacher, stayed off work to welcome the French president. Referring to the violence, she said: "When you see this kind of festivity, in the 1990s it would have been impossible." http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/mar/04/030403207.html * IRAN OFFERS PLAN TO END IRAQ CRISIS by Ali Akbar Dareini Las Vegas Sun, 4th March TEHRAN, Iran (AP): Iran offered a plan Tuesday to avert war in neighboring Iraq, calling for elections supervised by the United Nations and urging the nation's divided opposition to reconcile with President Saddam Hussein. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi announced the plan in Tehran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. "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," Kharrazi was quoted as saying during a conference held in the capital. "We believe this is a genuine move, that the Iraqi people elect their real representatives in a referendum supervised by the United Nations," IRNA quoted Kharrazi as saying. The foreign minister added, however, that Iran had no intention of interfering in Iraq's domestic affairs. "They should themselves decide on their own future and form a broad-based government in which all minorities as well as ethnic and religious groups have a share," Kharrazi said. In October, Saddam won a referendum extending his term by another seven years, capturing by official count 100 percent of the more than 11 million votes cast. The Iranian plan was quickly rejected by a key Iran-based Iraqi opposition group, and other Iraqi exiles were skeptical any sort of power-sharing or reconciliation with Saddam was possible. The plan was similar to one proposed recently by the spiritual leader of the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah and follows an initiative by the United Arab Emirates that urged Saddam to go into exile to avert an American attack on Iraq. Iran fought an eight-year war in the 1980s and Iran supports Iraqi opposition groups seeking to topple Saddam. Iran, however, repeatedly has said it opposes a unilateral U.S. attack against Baghdad and that any military action requires U.N. approval. Iranian leaders fear an attack without clear U.N. backing could give Washington a free hand in Iraq and leave Iran encircled by pro-U.S. regimes. "The Iraqi government, which has the power in hand now, should accept this plan," Kharrazi said. "We believe this is the only way for a peaceful change of government in Iraq, which will prevent the breakout of a war in the region." State-run Iranian television quoted deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Sadr as saying that Iran also was suggesting 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. In the first reaction following Iran's announcement, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, one of the two main Kurdish groups controlling large parts of northern Iraq, rejected the idea. "No elections or referendum can be held as long as Saddam remains in Iraq. Iraqi opposition groups have agreed on a multiparty federal system to govern Iraq after Saddam's fall. No agreement can be reached between Iraqi opposition groups and Saddam because he won't accept it," said Piroud Ebrahim of the KDP. The other main Kurdish group, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said it sent a similar proposal to Saddam six months ago and received no response. "I don't expect the Iraqi regime to respond to such a plan and Baghdad has not responded to similar initiatives," said Hazem al-Youssefi, the PUK's representative in Cairo. The key Shiite Muslim Iraqi opposition group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which is based in Iran, rejected the plan. The Supreme Council "has nothing to do with the plan," a Supreme Council official said on condition of anonymity. "We respect Iran's stand but Tehran usually does not impose its opinions on SCIRI and we are not committed to accept the plan." The Iranian initiative follows a proposal from the United Arab Emirates, which called on Saddam to step down and avert an American attack on Iraq. That proposal, presented during a weekend Arab summit in Egypt, was well received by Bahrain and Kuwait, but other Arabs expressed reservations, concerned that it amounted to meddling in internal Iraqi affairs and could set a precedent by calling for a fellow Arab leader's removal. In February, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group called for a plan similar to that proposed by Kharrazi - holding an Arab or Muslim conference to form a national reconciliation government in Baghdad. "Among the priorities of a national reconciliation government would be to establish national unity, settle disputes with neighboring countries and resolve outstanding problems (over disarmament) with the United Nations," a statement from the Lebanese group said. http://jang.com.pk/thenews/mar2003-daily/05-03-2003/main/main6.htm * MUSLIM LEADERS GATHER FOR SUMMIT ON IRAQ News International, Pakistan, 5th March DOHA: As calls grow stronger for Saddam Hussein to consider a life in exile, Muslim leaders gathered on Tuesday for an emergency summit expected to focus on the prospect of a US-led war to oust the Iraqi president. Formal discussions open on Wednesday in the third high-level gathering in a week for Arabs and Muslims desperately trying to figure out how to handle the crisis and avert war. Organisers said the Iraq-US crisis will top the agenda of the emergency summit of the 57 member Organisation of the Islamic Conference. But they said it's up to the leaders to decide if they will discuss an initiative by the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, urging Saddam to step down to avoid a US-led attack. Kuwait's minister of state for foreign affairs, Muhammad Al Sabah, said here on Tuesday that the initiative is "not only of historical importance but is timely and the only peaceful exit for this dangerous crisis." The initiative also calls for international supervision of post-Saddam Iraq. UAE leaders said they want the conference to discuss the initiative, which was shunned by an Arab summit held in Egypt last week. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher praised Sheikh Zayed's initiative as "well intentioned," but he dodged questions whether it will be discussed formally at the summit. "We want to send a clear message to the whole world in the name of the Islamic world," Maher said. Morocco's foreign minister, Muhammad Benaissa, said on arrival Tuesday that the crisis between Baghdad and Washington should be resolved peacefully. Among Muslim countries participating in the one-day summit are Iran and Turkey, Iraq's powerful neighbours, which have expressed concern about possible turmoil in Iraq in case Washington launches an attack. Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul is taking part in Wednesday conference while Iran is sending a low-level delegation. Turkish politicians have been haggling over whether Turkey, the only Muslim nation in the Nato, should allow US troops to launch an attack from its territory or risk losing billions of dollars in aid and a say in Iraq's future. Iran called on Tuesday for UN-supervised elections in Iraq and urged the divided Iraqi opposition to reconcile with Saddam's regime as part of a plan aimed at averting war. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi announced the plan in Tehran but it is not clear if Iran will present the ideas to the summit. Kharrazi added, however, that Iran had no intention of interfering in Iraq's domestic affairs. Most of the OIC countries have sent low level delegations to the summit including the Muslim world's most populous country Indonesia. Heavyweight Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are represented by ministers or deputy ministers. Iraq sent Saddam's deputy Izzat Ibrahim. [.....] http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-599997,00.html * US HINTS AT FRESH SWEETENER TO STOP RUSSIA USING VETO by Philip Webster, Roland Watson and Greg Hurst The Times, 5th March TONY BLAIR'S efforts to win a United Nations resolution authorising war with Iraq suffered a new blow last night as Russia suggested that it might exercise its veto. As Jack Straw and Peter Mandelson gave warning of the dangers of forcing America down a unilateralist path, Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, appeared to dash expectations that Moscow would abstain rather than use the veto. Mr Straw, the Foreign Secretary, declared that Europe could "reap a whirlwind" if it pushed America into acting alone. But even as Mr Ivanov spoke, it emerged that Britain and America are looking at ways of amending their "war resolution" to help to win over wavering countries. They are examining drafts that might help enough of the United Nations Security Council's six undecided countries to back it. They need five of the six ‹ Chile, Mexico, Pakistan, Guinea, Cameroon and Angola ‹ to back a resolution. One option is to introduce a mechanism alongside the resolution giving President Saddam Hussein a deadline to produce chemical and biological weapons, or concrete evidence of their destruction. However, Washington is particularly wary of such a "benchmark" device, which is being proposed by Canada, fearing that Saddam would seek further to divide the Security Council by beginning to meet part of its requirements but failing to fulfil its demands. With France apparently hardening its stance against war, Britain and the United States are desperate to avoid a situation in which more than one of the five permanent members of the Security Council exercise their veto. But Mr Ivanov, before meeting Mr Straw, told the BBC World Service: "Abstaining is not a position Russia can take. We have to have a clear position and we are for a political solution . . . Russia will not support any decision that would directly or indirectly open the way to war with Iraq." Pressed on whether Russia would use its veto to block a new resolution, he said: "I do not rule anything out because the right of veto can be used by any permanent member of the Security Council, including Russia. If necessary, Russia can resort to using this right." Mr Blair and President Bush are expected to make direct appeals to President Putin to back war, or at least not to oppose it. In a further sign of the importance of Russia's position, Mr Ivanov stayed on in London last night to meet Mr Blair today. The Prime Minister was in Belfast yesterday for talks on the Northern Ireland peace process. At Westminster Mr Straw told France and Germany they would "reap a whirlwind" if they pushed America into acting alone against Iraq by demanding more time for weapons inspections. He told MPs that the greatest risk was not of a split within Nato but of a new climate in which the dominant superpower no longer worked with the international community. "To our European colleagues, I say take care," he said. "Just as America helps to define and influence our politics, what we do in Europe helps to define and influence American politics. We will reap a whirlwind if we push the Americans in a unilateralist position in which they are at the centre of a unipolar world." Peter Mandelson, speaking at the University of Kent, said that if Europeans allowed the international system to develop so the US and Europe were in opposing corners, they would squander the chance of gaining influence. Instead there would be a weakened international system, in which Europe became progressively irrelevant to the US. America would increasingly go it alone, creating coalitions of the willing "like a sheriff and his posse". US and British officials are broadly agreed that they have to offer some movement to countries whose votes they are hoping to win, as well as to give France a reason not to exercise its veto. One source said: "If it takes something to win the resolution, then we may have to offer something." Much depends on the latest report this Friday from Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector. Any criticisms of Baghdad could be used to shape an amended resolution or a series of separate demands. One US official said: "There's the possibility of movement." _______________________________________________ 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