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News, 15-19/03/03 (3) MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE * Text of Statement on Iraq * The praxis of upheaval according to neo-conservatives * When the B-52s fly out we'll know war's begun * Wake-up call to UN as deadline approaches * Powell Says U.S. Has 45-Nation Coalition on Iraq * US to use depleted uranium * Allied forces can expect to beat Iraqis quickly, easily * Wolfowitz Interview with Newsweek THE FAITHFUL ALLY * Cook to Lead Backbench Revolt over Iraq * Commons Backs Blair's Call for War MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-eur/2003/mar/16/031609175.html * TEXT OF STATEMENT ON IRAQ Las Vegas Sun (from AP), 16th March Text of the statement on Iraq that was released Sunday at a summit in the Azores Islands: Statement Of The Atlantic Summit: A Vision For Iraq And The Iraqi People Iraq's talented people, rich culture, and tremendous potential have been hijacked by Saddam Hussein. His brutal regime has reduced a country with a long and proud history to an international pariah that oppresses its citizens, started two wars of aggression against its neighbors, and still poses a grave threat to the security of its region and the world. Saddam's defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding the disarmament of his nuclear, chemical, biological, and long-range missile capacity has led to sanctions on Iraq and has undermined the authority of the U.N. For 12 years, the international community has tried to persuade him to disarm and thereby avoid military conflict, most recently through the unanimous adoption of UNSCR 1441. The responsibility is his. If Saddam refuses even now to cooperate fully with the United Nations, he brings on himself the serious consequences foreseen in UNSCR 1441 and previous resolutions. In these circumstances, we would undertake a solemn obligation to help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq at peace with itself and its neighbors. The Iraqi people deserve to be lifted from insecurity and tyranny, and freed to determine for themselves the future of their country. We envisage a unified Iraq with its territorial integrity respected. All the Iraqi people - its rich mix of Sunni and Shiite Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and all others - should enjoy freedom, prosperity, and equality in a united country. We will support the Iraqi people's aspirations for a representative government that upholds human rights and the rule of law as cornerstones of democracy. We will work to prevent and repair damage by Saddam Hussein's regime to the natural resources of Iraq and pledge to protect them as a national asset of and for the Iraqi people. All Iraqis should share the wealth generated by their national economy. We will seek a swift end to international sanctions, and support an international reconstruction program to help Iraq achieve real prosperity and reintegrate into the global community. We will fight terrorism in all its forms. Iraq must never again be a haven for terrorists of any kind. In achieving this vision, we plan to work in close partnership with international institutions, including the United Nations; our Allies and partners; and bilateral donors. If conflict occurs, we plan to seek the adoption, on an urgent basis, of new United Nations Security Council resolutions that would affirm Iraq's territorial integrity, ensure rapid delivery of humanitarian relief, and endorse an appropriate post-conflict administration for Iraq. We will also propose that the Secretary General be given authority, on an interim basis, to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people continue to be met through the Oil for Food program. Any military presence, should it be necessary, will be temporary and intended to promote security and elimination of weapons of mass destruction; the delivery of humanitarian aid; and the conditions for the reconstruction of Iraq. Our commitment to support the people of Iraq will be for the long term. We call upon the international community to join with us in helping to realize a better future for the Iraqi people. http://www.dawn.com/2003/03/16/int16.htm * THE PRAXIS OF UPHEAVAL ACCORDING TO NEO-CONSERVATIVES by Jim Lobe Dawn, 16th March WASHINGTON: "Whenever I hear policy makers talk about the wonders of 'stability', I get the heebie-jeebies," wrote Michael Ledeen, a "scholar" at the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in early 2000. "That is for tired old Europeans and nervous Asians, not for us." "In just about everything we do, from business and technology to cinema and waging war, we are the most revolutionary force on earth. We are not going to fight foreign wars or send our money overseas merely to defend the status quo; we must have a suitably glorious objective," said the former "anti-terrorism" consultant for Italian military intelligence and the Reagan administration, who is now counted among the very few foreign policy analysts regularly consulted by Karl Rove, President George W. Bush's political eyes and ears at the White House. Ledeen, a long-time associate of office-mate and Defence Policy Board chairman Richard Perle, with whom he founded the right-wing Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs (JINSA), is so excited about the impending invasion of Iraq and its regional implications that he can scarcely contain himself. "As soon as we land in Iraq, we're going to face the whole terrorist network," he told the latest edition of The American Prospect magazine, meaning not only Al Qaeda, Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Palestinian Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but also Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia - what he terms "the terror masters". "I think we're going to be obliged to fight a regional war, whether we want to or not," Ledeen added. "It may turn out to be a war to remake the world," he told the Prospect's Robert Dreyfuss. Ledeen, like his fellow-neo-conservatives in and out of the Bush administration, such as Perle and Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, insists that Iraq will be the first "domino" to fall in what will become a democratic revolution that will spread the blessings of liberty and representative government across the Arab Middle East. Indeed, Bush himself adopted that as the official position of the US government three weeks ago in a major policy address at, not insignificantly, AEI itself. "A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region," he told Ledeen, Perle, and their fellowneo-cons. But the overwhelming consensus among Middle East experts both inside and outside the government is that such hopes bear no relation whatsoever to an achievable reality. According to one intelligence official, restoring a strong central government in Baghdad would be the best that could realistically be hoped for. Indeed, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research circulated a classified report to top policymakers entitled Iraq, the Middle East and Change: No Dominoes, which, according to one unnamed official quoted in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, concludes that the notion of a regional democratic transformation is "not credible". The bureau's conclusion, which is said to reflect the views of most Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analysts as well, also echoes the views of independent analysts and retired diplomats who have spoken out against the current policy and its optimistic assumptions. "It may be excusable as a fantasy of some Israelis reacting to the trauma of the second intifada," said Anthony Cordesman, the normally taciturn Mideast specialist at the conservative Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) here last September. "As American policy, however, it crosses the line between neo-conservative and neo-crazy." "The idea of instant democratic transformation in the Middle East is a mirage," asserted four veteran democracy and regional specialists at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Besides, they concluded, "If a tidal wave of political change actually came to pass, the United States would not be even remotely prepared to cope with the resulting instability." Indeed, the consensus position among regional specialists is that, if anything, a US invasion will likely bring instability throughout the region. "Democratic imperialism promises not only to liberate the Arabs from despotic rule but also to unleash the sectarian, ethnic and ideological animosities that historically have torn them apart", warned Richard Joseph, a Mideast scholar at the University of Texas, in a recent Financial Times column. But as frightening a prospect as that may be, it may not be totally unattractive to neo-conservatives like Perle, Ledeen, Wolfowitz and his deputy, Douglas Feith, as one might imagine. In fact, some analysts here have begun to suggest that, in the probable event that democracy does NOT sweep the region, the default option - fragmentation and disintegration of Arab states - corresponds all too neatly to the long-held dreams of some on the Israeli right with which the neo-conservatives have long been closely linked. Such a scenario was spelled out in an influential article published on the eve of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 by Oded Yinon, who at that time was attached to Israel's foreign ministry. Published by the World Zionist Organisation, the paper, A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s, urged policies that promote the dissolution of Arab states into different ethnic and sectarian groupings, and expressed the hope that the then-raging war between Iran and Iraq would result in the break-up of the latter into at least three states for the three major groups - Kurds, Sunnis, and Shias. According to veteran Israeli peace activist and former Knesset member, Uri Avnery, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who led Israel's ultimately disastrous invasion of Lebanon shortly after Yinon published his piece, entertained some of the same ideas at the time. "(Sharon's) head was full of grand designs for restructuring the Middle East, the creation of an Israeli 'security zone' from Pakistan to Central Africa, the overthrow of regimes and installing others in their stead, moving a whole people (the Palestinians) and so forth," he wrote last Fall. "I can't help it, but the winds blowing now in Washington remind me of Sharon. I have absolutely no proof that the Bushies got their ideas from him, even if all of them seem to have been mesmerised by him." It may not have been necessary, because Perle, Feith, and David Wurmser, who now works on post-invasion Iraq in the State Department, and other neo-cons were already working on a related scenario in 1996 when they prepared a memorandum for Sharon's Likud rival, former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In addition to the idea of ousting Saddam Hussein and restoring the Hashemite monarchy in Iraq, the paper touted re-establishing the "principle of pre-emption" against Syria and threats in Lebanon in part by securing alliances with different ethnic and tribal groups there. In the end, the administration and its neo-con members and cheerleaders may prefer a democratisation of the region over destabilisation and possible fragmentation of the Arab world, but the default option, in their eyes, is not necessarily a bad one. "It's a war to turn the kaleidoscope, by people who know nothing about the Middle East," a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas Freeman, told the Prospect. "And there's no way to know how the pieces will fall." http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=387598 * WHEN THE B-52S FLY OUT WE'LL KNOW WAR'S BEGUN by Mark Rowe Sunday Independent, 16th March The Cotswold hamlet of Dunfield is an incongruous place to stage a peace protest. It is also an unlikely location for a military air base. RAF Fairford has become the target of campaigners since it is from here that American B-52s, capable of carrying 30 tons of bombs, which gained notoriety for their high-altitude carpet-bombing during the Vietnam War, will depart for Iraq possibly within just a few days. In recent days, 14 B-52s have arrived, prompting an invasion of 20 or so peace campaigners who have pitched their tents outside Gate 10, within view of the runway. Pinned to the gate are pictures of Iraqi children. "I'm a mother and I think of how Iraqi mothers must be feeling ," said Lou Selene, a Greenham Common veteran. "Of course Saddam is evil and I wish he would die but that is no excuse to bomb Iraq." The huge fuselages and dark tail fins of the B 52s are clearly visible from the warren of country roads that surround RAF Fairford too visible for the MoD's liking. A steady convoy of police cars and vans encircle the base while a Section 60 order allows the police to stop and search anyone within a mile. Twelve people were arrested after cutting through fencing at the base last weekthen two more were arrested and charged with criminal damage and aggravated trespass. They said they would claim "lawful excuse" in court this week. "It shows that even if this war is inevitable we do have an impact," said Ms Selene. "The lawful excuse defence has worked before with attacks on military targets that may be why they've kept the B2 stealth bombers away." Nuala Young, lecturer and grandmother of four, is organising a protest by up to 50 other grandmothers tomorrow. "We shall ask to see the base commander and when he refuses we shall sit down outside the main entrance," she said. "Then we'll see what happens." http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,915647,00.html * WAKE-UP CALL TO UN AS DEADLINE APPROACHES by Nicholas Watt The Guardian, 17th March [.....] "The UN is a very important organisation," he said, in remarks which will offer some comfort to people who feared that the UN would go the way of the League of Nations if it refused to bow to the will of Washington. "I understand that the wars of the 21st century are going to require incredible international cooperation...The UN must mean something." Echoing the language of the toughest hawks in Washington, who would love to see the UN consigned to the history books, Mr Bush had harsh words over its failures in the 1990s. "Remember Rwanda or Kosovo," he said. "The UN didn't do its job." But Mr Bush then answered one of the main criticisms voiced by the international development secretary, Clare Short, who warned that the UN must be involved in the reconstruction of Iraq. "We hope tomorrow the UN will do its job," Mr Bush said. "If not, all of us need to sit back and try to figure out how to make the UN work better. Perhaps one way will be if we use military force. In a post-Saddam Iraq the UN will definitely need to have a role. That way it can begin to get its legs of responsibility back. It is important for the UN to be able to function well." [.....] http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=Z5DDCVOYCLVEOCRBAELCFFA? type=topNews&storyID=2401341 * POWELL SAYS U.S. HAS 45-NATION COALITION ON IRAQ Reuters, 18th March WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Tuesday there was a coalition of about 45 nations that support taking military action against Iraq, one third of which prefer not to be named. "We now have a coalition of the willing that includes some 30 nations who have publicly said they could be included in such a listing," Powell told reporters. "There are 15 other nations who for one reason or another do not yet wish to be publicly named but will be supporting the coalition." President Bush gave an ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Monday: leave power in 48 hours or face a U.S.-led war that will start "at a time of our choosing" to force Iraq to give up its suspected weapons of mass destruction. Iraq denies it has such weapons. U.S. officials released a list of the nations they said would be part of the coalition including: Afghanistan, Albania, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy and Japan, which it listed as "post-conflict." The others were South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/2860759.stm * US TO USE DEPLETED URANIUM BBC, 18th March A United States defence official has said moves to ban depleted uranium ammunition are just an attempt by America's enemies to blunt its military might. Colonel James Naughton of US Army Materiel Command said Iraqi complaints about depleted uranium (DU) shells had no medical basis. "They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of them," he told a Pentagon briefing. If war starts, tonnes of depleted uranium (DU) weapons are likely to be used by British and American tanks and by ground attack aircraft. Some believe people are still suffering ill health from ammunition used in the Gulf War 12 years ago, and other conflicts. In the House of Commons in London on Monday, Labour MP Joan Ruddock said a test of the UK Government's pledge to keep civilian casualties to a minimum in an attack on Iraq would include not using depleted uranium weapons. Apparently anticipating complaints, the US defence department briefed journalists about DU - making it plain it would continue to be used. Depleted uranium, a by-product of uranium enrichment for nuclear weapons or nuclear reactors, has valuable military properties. It is very dense, about 1.7 times heavier than lead, and not only very hard but unlike other materials is self-sharpening when it penetrates armour. Used defensively as armour, it tends to make ordinary munitions bounce off. These properties contributed to the relative success of American tanks against Iraq's in 1991. For the M1 Abrams tank there is no other option: it uses only DU-tipped shells and has DU armour. "In the last war, Iraqi tanks at fairly close ranges - not nose to nose - fired at our tanks and the shot bounced off the heavy armour... and our shot did not bounce off their armour," Col Naughton told the briefing. "So the result was Iraqi tanks destroyed - US tanks with scrape marks." He questioned the motives of those who challenged US use of depleted uranium. DU has been blamed for a number of leukaemia cases among former Balkans peacekeepers "Who's asking the question? The Iraqis tell us 'terrible things happened to our people because you used it last time'. "Why do they want it to go away? They want it to go away because we kicked the crap out of them, OK? "I mean, there's no doubt that DU gave us a huge advantage over their tanks. They lost a lot of tanks. "Their soldiers can't be really amused at the idea of going out in basically the same tanks with some slight improvements and taking on Abrams again." Cancer surgeons in the southern Iraqi port of Basra report a marked increase in cancers which they suspect were caused by DU contamination from tank battles on the farmland to the west of the city. But the director of the Pentagon's deployment health support directorate, Dr Michael Kilpatrick, said: "To the question, could depleted uranium be playing a role, the medical answer is no." Depleted uranium is mildly radioactive but the main health concern is that it is a heavy metal, potentially poisonous. The likelihood of absorbing it is increased significantly if a weapon has struck a target and exploded because the DU vaporises into a fine dust and can be inhaled. Dr Kilpatrick said a study that had followed 90 US Gulf War veterans exposed to the dust and to shrapnel from DU rounds in "friendly fire" incidents had found no DU-related medical problems. Some Gulf War veterans believe DU might have contributed to health problems they have suffered. And it has been blamed for a number of leukaemia cases among former Balkans peacekeepers. BBC News Online environment correspondent Alex Kirby says scientists disagree about the ability of DU to cause the horrific problems that have been reported. The World Health Organisation recommends cleaning areas with high concentrations of radioactive particles. "There is real controversy, and real uncertainty," he said. There have also been various health warnings. A 1995 report from the US Army Environmental Policy Institute, for example, said: "If DU enters the body, it has the potential to generate significant medical consequences." Alex Kirby says the Pentagon claim that criticisms of DU come only from Iraq and "other countries that are not friendly to the US" is demonstrably untrue. "To sum up, I guess the poor Iraqis have got much worse things than DU to worry about in the immediate future, and any risk to environment and health over the longer term remains unproven and perhaps circumstantial. "But that does not mean the risk is proven not to exist." http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2003%2F03%2F18%2Fwi tacs18.xml&secureRefresh=true&_requestid=16589 * ALLIED FORCES CAN EXPECT TO BEAT IRAQIS QUICKLY, EASILY by JOHN KEEGAN Daily Telegraph, 18th March Would a second Gulf war resemble the first and, if so, how? The anti-war party is painting the blackest picture of what lies in store. Things will be even worse, they warn, than the first time around. There will be more destruction, more ecological disaster, more civilian deaths and many more casualties among the Western invading armies, because of the need to conduct street fighting in Iraq's cities. The comparison is dubious because no effort is made to establish objectively how destructive of life and property the first war actually was. It certainly did little harm to the coalition forces engaged. The British suffered fewer than 20 fatal casualties, most to an unfortunate episode of "friendly fire" when American A-10 aircraft hit two warrior armored vehicles. The Americans admitted 376 fatal casualties from August 1990 to February 1991, but almost all were the results of accidents. Militarily, the first Gulf war was fought at almost no cost in combat deaths to the attackers at all. The Iraqi total of combat deaths has never been accurately calculated. Figures between 50,000 and 150,000 have been cited, but they are sensationalist. The number includes 8,000 Iraqis allegedly buried alive in their trenches by plows mounted on American tanks, a most improbable method of war. Since there were only four days of real combat, and even allowing for the effects of American bombing in the preliminary air war, it seems most unlikely that more than 10,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed. Five thousand might be more realistic. That is horrible enough. The anti-war party seeks to inflate the figure by adding civilian deaths, which it also inflates. The only generally accepted total is 300 dead at the Amiriya bunker in Baghdad, struck by an American ground-penetrating missile. The worst economic damage was caused by Saddam himself, through his order to ignite Kuwaiti oil wells before the Iraqi retreat. About 650 wells were set on fire, but, thanks to American oil firefighters, most were extinguished within three months. There was no ecological disaster and no long-term damage done to the Kuwaiti economy. The first Gulf War was largely a desert war, which was why Saddam lost as quickly and completely as he did. By deploying his army in remote areas bereft of air and other cover, he exposed his soldiers to the full fire power of allied forces. Recent intelligence reports suggest that this time Saddam has not built large defensive systems and has not deployed his army to border areas. Instead it is waiting deeper inside Iraq to guard strategic highways. The anti-war movement in the West predicts that, in consequence, an American invading force, with British and perhaps Australian support, will be drawn into costly street battles in Basra, Baghdad, Mosul and other larger Iraqi towns, in which they will suffer heavy casualties. That sounds like wishful thinking. It will not be necessary to enter the Iraqi cities in order to bring Saddam down. It will suffice to put the cities under siege, cutting off supplies from the outside and taking control of water and electricity utilities. Such interruption of everyday life will either force the Iraqi army to seek battle outside the cities, which will lead to its defeat, or will provoke civil disorder, which it will be unable to contain. The populated areas in the north of Iraq, moreover, are largely inhabited by Kurds, who are alienated from Saddam's regime, and in the south by Shia Muslims, who also have strong separatist inclinations. Only the center of Iraq is Sunni Muslim, the group on which Saddam depends for support. Moreover, following the internal uprising which ensued after his defeat by the coalition in 1991, the population pattern has altered. Large scale migration from the north and south has made the Sunnis a minority in Baghdad. Saddam is in a highly precarious position. His armed forces are much weaker than they were in 1991. The army is perhaps numerically only half as large. His air force, which was sent to Iran in 1991 for its survival's sake, is demoralized and operates antiquated aircraft. Much of the population is disaffected. He depends for support on the Sunni element, which is the minority, and on the loyalty of the special elements in his military apparatus. They are not numerous. The outlook is therefore quite at variance from that suggested by the Western anti-war party. It is most unlikely that the commanders of a western intervention force would undertake street battles, the only combat option that might favor Saddam's strategy for survival. Instead they would, after penetration of the country, seek to avoid battle except in the desert, where they would enjoy all the military advantages. They would seek to create acute economic and political difficulties for the regime, while putting it under relentless military pressure. They have the ability to reach and dominate the major city outskirts within a few days of an invasion. The collapse of the Saddam regime can be calculated to follow very swiftly. Victory in a second Gulf war is likely to result even more quickly and completely than in 1991. http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0303/S00260.htm * WOLFOWITZ INTERVIEW WITH NEWSWEEK Scoop, 19th March Source: Press Release: US Department of Defence, 12th March Newsweek: You must be thinking a lot about this and it must be perplexing to you why, if a threat is so imminent and the dangers are so real, why is its so difficult to get the international community, or at least much more of the international community on board here? What happened? What's going on? Is this a Kitty Genovese moment, you know, in the sense that people just don't want to know how bad it is? What's going on? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: I think for one thing there's a lot of what can be called free rider activity going on. People are so used to the United States taking care of problems and they know the President's going to deal with this one so they can reap the benefits in whatever form serves their purposes, and frequently that's domestic politics. Sometimes it's as simple as they don't want to buck a domestic tie. Blair's a real stand-up guy and it takes a lot of political courage to do that, but unfortunately part of his problem is caused by a number of leaders who are actually demagoguing this issue and whipping up opinion. Newsweek: But in all these countries it's a really strong domestic tide. DepSecDef Wolfowitz: But it's fed by leadership. Leadership matters. American opinion is different because our leadership is talking about it differently. Newsweek: But even in those countries that are really strong traditional allies of ours where the leadership is with us, a country even like Poland, their majority is against them. DepSecDef Wolfowitz: But they're hearing all these echoes from France and Germany and supposedly respectable European opinion. I think another part is that they're not threatened directly the way we are. They didn't experience September 11th. They're not the target of Saddam's threats the way we are. We have historically also had to lead the world on the issue of non-proliferation and understanding what these weapons can do. But I would say finally, and I think this is very important, and I think it is going to have a big effect on public opinion in the aftermath, I really don't think many people really appreciate what a horrible regime this is. When we met last week at the White House with a group of Iraqi-Americans--and they have a letter I want to give to you. You might say it's an ordinary letter but the thing that really struck me is it refers to "our President" meaning George Bush. These people are Americans. They intend to stay in the United States. Quite a few of them are willing to volunteer to go over there and help, but they've fully made the transition. And by the way, I think it shows that Iraqis can handle democratic politics. But one of them said, and I quoted him in the speech yesterday, said there's a war going on right now against the Iraqi people by the regime. The people who are demonstrating against war, he had a more eloquent formulation and I can get it for you, but the people who are demonstrating against war are in effect allowing this war to continue. If it comes to the use of force against Saddam Hussein it will be a war for the Iraqi people not against the Iraqi people. It will be a war to end Saddam's war against the Iraqi people. I think it will change a lot of minds and hearts, particularlyin Western countries when the stories start pouring out about how he has treated his people and how grateful they are to be liberated. And perhaps how they feel about some of the countries that have been fighting us in the United States. I got a taste of that in Dearborn. These people have noticed what the French are doing, and I think they're quite representative. They all have families back there. There's a whole range, a lot of Shia, a lot of Suni, a fair number of Caldian Assyrians who are Christians, but every one of them had suffered or their family had suffered and suffered badly. And it's not, when people say we all know Saddam is a bad guy, but -- the speed with which they get to the "but" tells me they really don't know how terrible he is. I was mentioning to a pretty distinguished journalist the fact that this is a regime that tortures children in order to make their parents talk. He mentioned it to his wife who couldn't get it out of her mind. In fact he came back to me and said what's the evidence for it? So I went back and got Max Vanderstill's report and the Amnesty International report and then I go to Dearborn two or three weeks ago and somebody brings up his, I'd say nine year-old son, maybe a little older, who was severely brain damaged because at the age of one an Iraqi soldier had kicked him in the head in order to try to get his mother to tell where the father had escaped to. It's just routine. It's going to be a problem. There's going to be a lot of--if it comes to the use of force in the liberation of Iraq--there are going to be a lot of scores to settle and our hope will be to discourage as much as we can the score-settling. Try to get people to look to the future. I do think that there will be a lot of political and moral pressure that can be exercised by reminding people of what will happen if they don't deal withtheir differences in a peaceful way. They don't want to go back to the horror they had before. In China in the 1980s I was struck at how, whatever people thought, they were determined not to go back to the Cultural Revolution. It's been striking in the decade of the '90s that even at the worst period of Russia's economic problems, the communist party has never really made it back. And I think one of the things that we will have to work with--it's not a magic cure for anything--but one of the things we'll have to work with in Iraq is people know what it means if they have to return to the rule of the strong man. The only alternative to that is working together, building a single unified country with a democratic representative government that respects people's rights, respects the rule of law. It's a complicated business. It's a difficult business. But if you look at the number of countries in the last 20 years that have managed it with no prior historical experience -- from Korea and Taiwan to any number of Central European countries -- I think it's a much more doable thing in the 21st Century because the world is interconnected and people do understand how other people live. Many many people have the experience of having spent time in school in democratic countries. In the case of Iraq, a lot of their four million exiles, many of whom have spent years and years in England and the U.S. -- I guess I should emphasize because this is another one of these tricky things. We're trying very hard to make sure that the message inside Iraq is we're not coming with an exile government to impose some American-selected leadership on you. That's the essence of anti-democratic. And we don't know what the people inside think because they haven't been allowed to say. So there have to be processes that allow outside views and inside views to merge and reconcile one another. The other message we're trying to get across--and now I'm speaking for the Defense Department--is that there is no point in fighting or dying for a doomed regime. Whatever sins you may have committed in the past, don't commit any new ones that you'll have to answer for. There is a great opportunity here to participate in the liberation of your country. We're going out of our way not only to try as we did in Afghanistan to minimize civilian casualties if we have to use force, but also to avoid damage to the civilian infrastructure which was not an objective ten years ago, as I think the world knows, unfortunately. But also to let all kinds of Iraqis at all sorts of levels, including ordinary soldiers, know that there's no reason they have to die for this unworthy cause. Newsweek: The cost of rebuilding Iraq, the UN has estimated that it will be[inaudible] $30 billion over the first three years, and yet when it put out an appeal recently for I think it was $37 million as opposed to billion, they got no response. Are you worried that you don't have enough allies to participate and make contributions not only to the war effort but to the post-war rebuilding of Iraq? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: Actually it is very encouraging how many countries have stepped forward and given us help of various kinds from basing and overflight rights to actually contributing forces. It's a large number. It's more than enough to get the job done. This is not going to be a unilateral action if it's required. Newsweek: But the other -- I'm sorry to interrupt, but could we have a list of those 40? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: No. For one thing a lot who live in the neighborhood do not want to be identified as Saddam's opponents until they're sure that he's gone. So there are quite a few countries that have said privately; there are others who have said look, it's going to depend on what happens in the UN. But if you make a good-faith effort in the UN we'll be with you. Some others, I mean it would be nice to get another resolution because there are some countries for whom that's crucial. But I also think that's the harder part. If the Saddam regime is removed and there's a liberation of Iraq then you're going to have an opportunity for countries to participate in rebuilding. It's one of the potentially most important countries in the Arab world--not potentially, one of the most important countries in the Arab world--and a potential success story. It's not like, I don't mean to say this disparagingly of Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is a poor country. It's remote. It doesn't offer a whole lot commercially or in any other way. Whereas Iraq is not only a huge potential source of natural resources which is what most people look at, but even more importantly, it's got one of the most educated populations in the Arab world. Unfortunately, a lot of those educated people have left, but I think they will come back. So a successful Iraq could be a real engine of growth in the Middle East, and I think the kind of place that countries are going to want to participate in the rebuilding and get some credit for the rebuilding. So I think we'll get a lot of help in that department. But I also think it's not something that's possible to estimate. I did see somebody who said the war could be over in a week. I mean these predictions of how much it will cost or how many troops it will take or how quickly it will be over, it's foolish to make predictions because there are so many uncertainties. We know that Saddam has plans to try to destroy the oilfields and we're trying to see what can be done to discourage people from carrying out those orders. But it makes a huge difference whether he does or he doesn't. Whoever made that UN estimate, what they assume an American military campaign will look like, they obviously don't know what our plans are. Newsweek: Presumably there are people here in the Pentagon who are trying to make these kinds of estimates on precisely that -- rebuilding the oilfields and -- DepSecDef Wolfowitz: And they know that they are precisely at exactly that -- Newsweek: The reason that you've not put those out is because they're estimates that you don't have a lot of confidence in? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: That's not quite the right way to -- They're estimates that are so dependent on assumptions that nobody can know. It's not that we can't have confidence in saying how much certain things might cost, although there are problems there too. But we don't know whether those bills are going to have to be paid or not. We don't know how much damage there is in Iraq. Some of that bill probably is for reconstruction that's got to be done anyway. If the wealth of that country is going into reconstruction instead of building more palaces and bunkers and tank transporters, it certainly will move along a lot better and a lot faster. That's another huge difference from Afghanistan. Afghanistan has no source of income. Iraq has very substantial sources of income and rather large reserves that are -- billions of dollars in either frozen assets or in UN escrow accounts. So it's a big challenge, it will be a big job, but I think there are a lot of Iraqi resources and I think there will be a lot of people who will want to help. The stakes are large. Newsweek: I want to ask you, it is complicated, you know how complicated it's going to be. Huge challenges. I wonder what you worry about, what keeps you up at night as you're possibly poised on this enterprise. You mentioned score settling, all of the ethnic problems. What do you think are the biggest challenges? What concerns you the most about this? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: I still think the thing that worries me the most is the use of chemical and biological weapons. We're quite sure he has them. We know he's used them. We don't think he'd have any qualms about doing so. We put a lot of effort into both military actions that can prevent him and what's called psychological operations that can discourage people from carrying out his orders because he can't do these things by himself. There are a lot of other things that one can worry about. That's the one that really does worry me the most. I think there's a tension up in Northern Iraq which it's unfortunate that the Turkish Parliament didn't agree to cooperation with us because I think American participation in the north would not only have meant a faster and more certain end to any war if there is one, but also I think would have helped to calm the tensions between Kurds and Turks. That's something we're going to have to work at, we are working at already. I think it's doable, but it takes, it's going to take a lot of attention. I think it's going to be a challenge to try to move as quickly as we can to hand over responsibility to Iraqis because I think it's not that it would be intolerable if it takes a long time. We've been in Bosnia for seven years now where the stakes are much much smaller, but I think the faster you give people responsibility the -- put it the other way around. The longer you take to give them responsibility the greater danger is that they'll become dependent in some form or other on outside help, on international assistance. It's a little bit I guess of teaching someone to swim by putting them in the water instead of going a baby step at a time. At the same time there really does have to be a pretty systematic vetting of the old institutions and figure out who are the people who really were just perfectly reasonable administrative functionaries and who are the people who at the very least should not have any future political role in the country. For the most part those are decisions that fundamentally have to be made by Iraqis, but it's going to take some depth of supervision on our part. It happened quite naturally and quickly actually in 1991 in Northern Iraq, and that's an experience that people barely noticed and easily forget about. But after the Gulf War had ended, a month after the ceasefire, Saddam Hussein was slaughtering the Kurds in the north and the Shia in the south and the Kurds fled, a couple of million of them to the Turkish border. So we intervened to create a sanctuary so people could go home. The effect of that intervention with some Kurdish help was to kick the Iraqi army out of the sort of northern third of the country. I remember three months afterwards, General Shalikashvili was the commander there, was saying it's time to leave, they don't need us anymore. And some of us back here including me were skeptical. We made them stay another three months. But in September I guess of '91 they left. And the Kurds have managed their affairs pretty well in those 12 years, particularly considering that they've been under the same UN sanctions as the rest of the country; they've been under constant threats from Saddam Hussein; they've been attacked more than once by Saddam's forces. So there's a lot -- And by the way, it's an interesting fact that Jay Garner who is going to be heading the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance was Shali's Deputy Commander in Northern Iraq 12 years ago. That's one of the reasons we picked him. He's had hands-on experience with -- from the military side, but he's seen how you can evolve responsibility quickly to local people. We're going to be doing it on a much larger scale, but I think it can be done. Newsweek: The Iraqi legal system will cease to exist once you go in there for all intents and purposes, and yet Iraq needs for foreign investment, as you've pointed out, to [inaudible] the oil industry. How do you do that? How do you get foreign investors to come into a country that has no laws regulating foreign investment and which also is saddled with $60 billion in commercial debt and other debts that would scare, under normal circumstances, scare investors away? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: You obviously don't do it overnight. But I suspect that first of all, I would imagine there are some pretty large number of lawsthat don't have to be thrown out. That if you got some reasonable Iraqi legal experts, both from inside and outside the country they could probably tell you pretty quickly which are the instruments of Ba'thist control that you have to scrap and which are reasonable laws about property ownership and things of that kind. Newsweek: You haven't done that yet? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: I don't think it's our job to do. There's been a certain amount of work in the State Department working groups over the last year on principles about legal systems, but I think there's just a lot you can't do until you're on the ground, people are free to say what they want and speak their minds, and then there are just going to be a whole series of decisions that are going to come and I think may come very quickly. There's just a huge number of countries that have faced this problem over the last 15 years, some more successfully than others, but on the whole, I'm talking about all the countries in Central and Eastern Europe, I'm talking about Indonesia, talking about, well those countries principally. I guess one could say okay, there are countries like the Central Asian republics that don't seem to change very much since the Soviet Union. I don't think that's what's going to happen here. I don't think the people would put up with it. And -- Newsweek: How do you have an Iraqi leadership develop organically? How do you make that transition to Iraqis governing themselves? I know that's a big question. I guess I'm interested in the very first step. How does that happen? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: My instinct says it comes through both the process of elections and a lot of people have suggested if you start with local elections, give people a chance to establish some legitimacy that way. Again, these are things I think -- But the other thing I think is that people are going to establish legitimacy by the extent to which they can be convincing that they do speak for larger groups of people and the extent to which they can demonstrate that they can deal with the country's problems. I'm suspecting that you will find that some people will emerge as natural leaders and other people will emerge as natural troublemakers and -- Newsweek: Do you have specific people in mind? DepSecDef Wolfowitz: No, absolutely not. I mean we really go into this with a view that this is not something for Americans to decide. Newsweek: Do you have a model in mind? Someone in the Administration once said to me we're looking for someone like, someone who was, let's say, a military hero in the Iran/Iraq War, but untainted by the other -- DepSecDef Wolfowitz: I think it's foolish to look for an American model, I really do. We don't know what these people are going to feel after what they've been through. You're probably going to get some competitive models among Iraqis. I suppose I could tell you one thing. I would like a model that's someone who says--and it's interesting, I'll tell you where this phrase came from. I didn't get it from here, but it reminds me - "I'm not a Suni, I'm not a Shia, I'm not a Christian, I'm not a Turk, I'm not an Arab, I'm not a Kurd, I'm an Iraqi." I actually heard this. It isn't where the phrase came to mind, but I heard a Kurdish leader saying a year ago why shouldn't I as an Iraqi Kurd be able to be the president of Iraq? I thought that was a very positive development. They accept that the world isn't going to allow them to have their own state, and part of that acceptance is say okay, I should be entitled to be president of the country that you're making me be a citizen of. The person that I remember, I think it's not insignificant, Megawati Sakarnoputri, when she ran for President of Indonesia, would regularly say she has one grandparent who's Balinese and three who were Javanese. She said I'm not a Balinese, I'm not a Javanese, I'm an Indonesian. And it was not a cliché. She was saying this to large crowds of cheering Javanese for the most part. Indonesia is a country with enormous problems but it is interesting how well they managed in -- Most of those problems I would say are the result of the economic shambles that Suharto left them. They actually ran a peaceful, democratic election in which out of 43 parties they produced a reasonable consensus on who had won the election. I think it shows that even people in difficult circumstances -- It's a powerful idea and I think people who have been deprived -- That is, democracy is a powerful idea, and I think people who have been deprived of it as long as the Iraqis have have a hunger for it. Newsweek: Thank you. THE FAITHFUL ALLY http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=6296715 * COOK TO LEAD BACKBENCH REVOLT OVER IRAQ by Andrew Woodcock The Scotsman, 18th March Former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook was today set to be the most senior Labour rebel in a House of Commons vote on Tony Blair's plans to go to war on Iraq. Mr Cook last night won an unprecedented standing ovation from MPs after a personal statement in the Commons following his resignation from the Cabinet, in which he called on them to reject Mr Blair's call for the use of "any means necessary" to disarm Saddam Hussein. In a devastating critique of the Prime Minister's arguments for military action, Mr Cook rejected claims that Saddam posed a threat to British people and warned that the UK would be internationally isolated if it joined a US-led assault. He questioned the motives of US President George W Bush, whose determination to oust Saddam had shattered the unity of Nato, the European Union, the UN Security Council and the international coalition against terrorism. And he told MPs: "I cannot support a war without international agreement or domestic support." But he made clear he would not join any backbench campaign to unseat Mr Blair, heaping praise on the Prime Minister as the most successful Labour leader in his lifetime. To loud assent from anti-war backbenchers, Mr Cook rejected the argument that voting against war would be disloyal to British servicemen in the Gulf. Thousands of people would be killed in any conflict, he warned. And he made clear he feared these would include UK troops, saying: "I am confident that British servicemen and women will acquit themselves with professionalism and courage. I hope that they all come back." Many had questioned the power of the Commons to hold the Government to account, Mr Cook said. "Nothing could better demonstrate that they are wrong than for this House to stop the commitment of troops in a war which has neither international agreement nor domestic support. "I intend to join those tomorrow night who vote against military action now. It is for that reason and that reason alone that with a heavy heart I have resigned from the Government." Unlike the US, Britain was not a superpower and its interests were best protected not by unilateral action, but by a global order governed by rules, said Mr Cook. He warned: "The international partnerships most important to us are weakened. The European Union is divided. The Security Council is in stalemate. "Those are heavy casualties of a war in which a shot has yet to be fired." Future historians would be astonished at the "diplomatic miscalculations" which had wrecked the global coalition against terror created after September 11. It was "deluded" to blame France for the failure to secure Security Council backing for war, as Mr Blair has done, said the former Leader of the Commons. And it was wrong for the Prime Minister to compare the current crisis to Kosovo, where Nato, the EU and Yugoslavia's neighbours agreed on action to end an "urgent and compelling humanitarian crisis". "It is precisely because we have none of that support in this case that it was all the more important to get agreement in the Security Council as the last hope of demonstrating international agreement. "Our difficulty in getting support this time is that neither the international community nor the British public is persuaded that there is an urgent and compelling reason for this military action in Iraq." The public were right to believe that while Saddam was a brutal dictator, he posed no threat to them, and that continued inspections were the best way to disarm him of remaining weapons of mass destruction. Saddam's armed forces were weaker now than at the time of the 1991 Gulf War and his efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction were effectively blocked by the presence of UN weapons inspectors, said Mr Cook. "Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly-understood sense of the term; namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target. "It probably does still have biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it's had them since the 1980s, when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories." He asked: "Why is it now so urgent that to take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there 20 years and which we helped to create? "Why is it necessary to resort to war this week while Saddam's ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?" And he added: "What has come to trouble me most over past weeks has been the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected we would not now be about to commit British troops." http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=6302506 * COMMONS BACKS BLAIR'S CALL FOR WAR by Jane Merrick and Gavin Cordon, PA News The Scotsman, 19th March War in Iraq looked all but inevitable today after the House of Commons gave the go-ahead for military action. After an impassioned speech to MPs, Prime Minister Tony Blair won the backing of the Commons to send troops into Iraq to disarm Saddam Hussein, but in the process suffered the biggest Government rebellion in modern times. A total of 138 Labour MPs plus one teller backed a rebel amendment calling for more time for weapons inspections, outstripping the 121 Labour backbenchers who voted against the Government in the last Iraq debate nearly a month ago. But there was relief among ministers that the revolt was not worse. [.....] The number of rebels in the Commons vote last night fell short of the 165 mark which would have left the Government needing to rely on Conservative votes to go ahead with military action. But Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews, who voted against the Government, said the size of the rebellion meant Mr Blair did "not have a mandate to send people to war". Graham Allen, another leading rebel, said it was "incredible" that the vote had not only held up but increased, despite two weeks of Government pressure. "That is a long time for individuals to be subject to such sustained pressure from the full might of the Government machine," he said. "It underlines the strong feeling of how inappropriate it is to go to war on George Bush's timetable." Downing Street issued an appeal to Parliament and the country to rally behind British forces as they readied themselves for war. And Labour Party chairman John Reid told the BBC2 Newsnight programme: "What is now clear is that there is a majority in Parliament as well as in the governing party to support the Government's resolve to disarm Saddam Hussein. "Now it is time for Parliament and the country to unite particularly behind our troops who are facing potential action in order to carry out the policy and the wishes of the Government, Parliament and the country." Mr Blair is expected to underline that message at Prime Minister's Question Time today. The rebel amendment was defeated by 396 to 217, while the main Government motion authorising the use of "all necessary means" to strip Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction was passed by 412 to 149. The vote came at the end of a day of high tension at Westminster, which saw Mr Blair threaten to resign if Parliament blocked him from taking military action, potentially just hours away. The Prime Minister may have won the backing of MPs but at the cost of eight Government ministers, including one member of the Cabinet, Robin Cook, who objected to war without the backing of a fresh resolution. Two middle-ranking ministers, John Denham and Lord Hunt, quit while five unpaid ministerial aides also stood down. International Development Secretary Clare Short who had previously threatened to quit if there was war without a UN resolution announced she would be remaining in government, having changed her mind about resigning overnight. [.....] Today a group of Iraqi exiles were presenting messages and letters of support to Mr Blair at Downing Street, including representatives of the Kurds, Shia Muslims and Iraqi students and writers. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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