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[casi] News, 15-19/03/03 (3)

News, 15-19/03/03 (3)


*  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


*  Cook to Lead Backbench Revolt over Iraq
*  Commons Backs Blair's Call for War


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

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

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

We call upon the international community to join with us in helping to
realize a better future for the Iraqi people.

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

"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."

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

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.",3604,915647,00.html

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."


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

The others were South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands,
Nicaragua, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the
United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.

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

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

DU has been blamed for a number of leukaemia cases among former Balkans

"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

"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."

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newsweek: Thank you.


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

"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

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

"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."

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

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

"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

"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


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.

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