The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] News, 02-09/04/03 (9)

News, 02-09/04/03 (9)


*  Ex-CIA director: U.S. faces 'World War IV'
*  'Syria-next' seems improbable
*  The War That May End the Age of Superpower
*  French duplicity rules UN out of rebuilding Iraq
*  Why We Fight


*  Iraqi POWs Will Get Day in Court, but Which Court?
*  Red Cross Says It's Seen 3,000 Iraqi POWs
*  Plans for Iraqi-led courts to try Saddam's regime
*  Iraqi democracy is about judges, not voters
*  U.S. plans war crimes tribunal without UN
*  Allies opt for bombs instead of trials


by Charles Feldman and Stan Wilson
CNN, 3rd April

LOS ANGELES, California: Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Wednesday
the United States is engaged in World War IV, and that it could continue for

In the address to a group of college students, Woolsey described the Cold
War as the third world war and said "This fourth world war, I think, will
last considerably longer than either World Wars I or II did for us.
Hopefully not the full four-plus decades of the Cold War."

Woolsey has been named in news reports as a possible candidate for a key
position in the reconstruction of a postwar Iraq.

He said the new war is actually against three enemies: the religious rulers
of Iran, the "fascists" of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists like al

Woolsey told the audience of about 300, most of whom are students at the
University of California at Los Angeles, that all three enemies have waged
war against the United States for several years but the United States has
just "finally noticed."

"As we move toward a new Middle East," Woolsey said, "over the years and, I
think, over the decades to come ... we will make a lot of people very

It will be America's backing of democratic movements throughout the Middle
East that will bring about this sense of unease, he said.

"Our response should be, 'good!'" Woolsey said.

Singling out Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the leaders of Saudi
Arabia, he said, "We want you nervous. We want you to realize now, for the
fourth time in a hundred years, this country and its allies are on the march
and that we are on the side of those whom you -- the Mubaraks, the Saudi
Royal family -- most fear: We're on the side of your own people."

Woolsey, who served as CIA director under President Bill Clinton, was taking
part in a "teach-in" at UCLA, a series of such forums at universities across
the nation.

A group calling itself "Americans for Victory Over Terrorism" sponsors the
teach-ins, and the Bruin Republicans, UCLA's campus Republicans
organization, co-sponsored Wednesday night's event.

The group was founded by former Education Secretary William Bennett, who
took part in Wednesday's event along with Paul Bremer, a U.S. ambassador
during the Reagan administration and the former chairman of the National
Commission on Terrorism.

by Michael Young
Lebanon Daily Star, 5th April

For months the Syrian regime has been worried that it "will be next" once
the Bush administration removes Saddam Hussein from power. The past week has
hardly been reassuring in this regard. However, a "Syria-next" scenario
seems improbable. For one thing, the Bush administration has its hands full
with Iraq. It knows that an assault on Syria would merely polarize the
Middle East further. And, significantly, even Washington hard liners don't
really believe a war is needed to change Syrian behavior.

Much ink has been spilled on the warnings issued last week by US Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in which he deemed Syria's alleged dispatch of
military material to Iraq a "hostile act." US Secretary of State Colin
Powell followed up warning that Syria "can continue direct support for
terrorist groups and the dying regime of Saddam Hussein, or it can embark on
a different and more hopeful course."

It was a statement by the US Undersecretary of State John Bolton, however,
that was more worrying. Right after Powell had issued his warning in front
of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Bolton said: "I don't think
any of us are naive enough to think the example of Iraq alone will be
sufficient." Bolton, Vice-President Dick Cheney's man at the State
Department, has accused Syria of developing weapons of mass destruction.

Rumsfeld's and Powell's admonitions were harsh, but were really specific
only to Iraq. In contrast, Bolton's more general comment suggested
Washington had a long-term agenda to intimidate its adversaries in the
Middle East. However, there is clearly no consensus on such a policy in the
Bush administration.

As Israeli analyst Zvi Barel wrote in Haaretz: "Rumsfeld's statement
surprised officials in the State Department and the CIA. American sources
said secret contacts are being held with Syria to stop the spill of
equipment and weapons into Iraq, and there was no intention of making this
public." The officials also said "Rumsfeld's statement played into the hands
of those Š that claim Washington's plan is not to make do with Saddam's head
but continue from Iraq to other Arab states."

If the US has been alarmingly ambiguous on Syria, the Syrians, too, have
taken risks. The regime's decision to openly side with Iraq earlier this
week was odd, as was allowing Syria's mufti, Sheikh Ahmed Kaftaro, to call
for suicide attacks against US forces in Iraq. In the past, the late
President Hafez Assad avoided taking firm positions unless compelled to do
so. Given US difficulties in Iraq, he might have bartered his neutrality for
something profitable.

What has Syria gained by defying Washington? If Saddam wins, Syria loses
nothing by avoiding a row with the US; and if the US wins, Syria gains
nothing by entering into one. Damascus is in an impossible situation with
administration diehards. However, it must realize that the snags in the Iraq
campaign mean the diehards might have less of a say in the future. If so,
why strengthen their hand by allowing volunteers to cross into Iraq and by
calling for a US defeat - all for a regime in Baghdad on a fast track to

Already Washington has struck back. According to Kuwait's Al-Rai al-Aam
newspaper, US Special Forces have destroyed part of the Kirkuk-Banyas
pipeline that was used by Iraq to export oil to Syria outside the UN's
oil-for-food program. The Americans also destroyed part of the railway link
between the two countries - both actions a clear message to Damascus that a
US-dominated post-war Iraq may look unkindly on Syria.

This is also a US administration that has for the first time called Syria's
presence in Lebanon an "occupation." And the person who did so was Powell,
not Rumsfeld or Bolton. According to Al-Safir's Hisham Melhem, Powell told a
congressional hearing in mid-March: "I don't think we have reached the point
whereby Lebanon is governed by the Lebanese people without the existence of
a Syrian occupation army."

In this context Syria might reorder its priorities: first, avoid the
negative repercussions of the war in Iraq, especially a humanitarian
calamity or emergence of a Kurdish state; second, build up a consensus in
Lebanon around Syrian withdrawal, so that outside parties will avoid trying
to forcibly sever the Syrian-Lebanese relationship. And third, manipulate
events on the ground in Iraq only in a way that Damascus can gain
concessions from the US.

Syria should realize the Bush administration would have little appetite for
a new war in the region after Iraq. But it might well have a taste for
provocation. If so, Syria could protect itself better by avoiding being so
easily provoked.

Michael Young writes a weekly column for THE DAILY STAR. His weblog is

by Henry C K Liu
Palestine Chronicle, 7th April


To dismiss widespread national resistance against foreign invasion as the
handiwork of coercive units of a repressive regime insults the intelligence
of neutral observers. All military organizations operate on the doctrine of
psychological coercion. No-one will voluntarily place him/herself in harm's
way unless they are more apprehensive of what would appen were they to do
nothing. Only when a nation is already occupied by a foreign power can the
theme of liberation by another foreign power be regarded with credibility. A
foreign power liberating a nation from its nationalist government is a very
hard sell. The US manipulates its reason for invading Iraq like a magician
pulling color scarves out a breast pocket. First it was self defense against
terrorism, then it was to disarm Iraq of WMD, now it invades to liberate the
Iraqi people form their demonic leader. Soon it will be to bring prosperity
to the Iraqi people by taking control of their oil, or to save them from
their tragic fate of belonging to a malignant civilization.

There is no point in winning the war to lose the peace. Military power
cannot be used without political constraint, which limits its indiscriminate
application. The objective of war is not merely to kill, but to impose
political control by force. Therein lies the weakest part of the US war plan
to date. The plan lacks a focus of what political control it aims to
establish. The US has not informed the world of its end game regarding Iraq,
beyond the removal of Saddam Hussein. The idea of a US occupational governor
was and is a laughable non-starter.

Guerilla resistance will not end even after the Iraqi government is toppled
and its army destroyed. Drawing upon British experiences in Malaysia and
Rhodesia, the force ratio of army forces to guerilla forces needed for
merely containing guerilla resistance, let alone defeating a guerilla force,
is about 20 to 1. US estimates of the size of Iraq's guerilla force stands
at 100,000 for the time being. This means the US would need a force of 2
million to contain the situation even if it already controls the country.

At the current rate of war expenditure at $2.5 billion a day, the war budget
of $75 billion will be exhausted after 30 days, or until April 20, ten days
before the projected arrival of all reinforcements to the front. Nobody has
asked how a doubling of forces will win a guerilla war in Iraq. The US is
having difficulty supplying 120,000 troops now, how will doubling the supply
load over a 300 miles supply line help against an enemy that refuses to
engage face to face? Domestic political opposition in the United Kingdom has
started to demand that Prime Minister Tony Blair should pull British troops
out now, based on the grounds that the US war plan has changed.


For the US, it is not a matter of winning the war eventually, it must win a
quick and decisive victory, or its image of superpower invincibility will
suffer. An offensive war must conclude within a short time, while a
defensive war only needs to continue. This is particularly true with a
superpower. Every day that passes without a decisive victory for the invader
is an incremental victory for the defender. Stalingrad did not need to
destroy the German Wehrmacht. It only needed to hang on without
surrendering. Despite orchestrated denial, the US has failed to deliver on
its original war scenario of a quick and easy win with both military and
moral superiority. Claiming that it had always anticipated a long war now
only adds to the credibility gap on new assurances of the reliability of any
new war plan.

Globally, two traditional allies of the US, France and Germany, will now
want to be treated with more equal status with more political independence.
The European Union may even begin to claim the moral high ground in world
affairs over the US, promoting more tolerance for diversity of cultural
values and historical conditions, over the impositions of US values as a
universal standard for the whole world, for which no non-US citizens will be
willing to die to implement. Even US citizens may only be willing to die to
defend the US, but not to project by force US values all over the world,
particularly if this war should show that even with much sacrifice in the
form of American soldiers' lives, success remains elusive.

The US must bring the war to a successful conclusion within a matter of
weeks, or it will be fighting a defensive war on all fronts. There is only
one thing worse than an empire, and that is an empire that fails to conquer
a small nation.


Despite its institutional role as an central bank that is independent of
political influence, the Fed is constitutionally obliged to support the
White House on national security issues that affect the economy. Thus
Greenspan has not made public any anxiety he may have about the endless
costs of war or the risks of disruption to world oil supplies, in
aquiescence of Bush's war plans. Greenspan was reported to have been at the
White House at least three times in the first 10 days of the war, and he met
with Bush on Monday to review the US economic outlook.

The impact of war costs on the federal budget deficit played a part in
Congress' gutting of the proposed Bush tax cut package. Some have even
accused the White House of denying the military adequate troops in Iraq for
fear of its adverse impact of the budget deficit, which would jeopardize
chances of congressional passage of the tax package. Charges of exposing US
soldiers to unnecessary danger merely to protect tax cuts for the rich have
been heard. In the end, Congress cut the Bush tax cut proposal by half
anyway. Former White House chief economist R Glenn Hubbard argued that the
country could afford both the war on Iraq and the Bush tax cut plan, which
had been largely put together by himself.

Hubbard reasoned that the tax cut would add one percent to the US gross
domestic product (GDP) for the next two years and would help to pay for the
war, the expenditure for which is a fraction of the GDP. One percent of the
GDP would be $100 billion. The budget revenue boost from $100 billion of GDP
would be $30 billion a year. The war is costing $2.5 billion a day at
current engagement levels. In the past 11 days, the war cost is already over
$30 billion. Perhaps the Harvard-educated Hubbard should brush up on his


Now the war is threatening to spill over to Syria and Iran and is creating
political instability in all Arab regimes in the region. NATO is weakened
and the traditional transatlantic alliance is frayed. This war has succeeded
in pushing Russia, France, Germany and China closer, in contrast if not in
opposition to US interests worldwide, a significant development with long
term implications that are difficult to assess at present. Globalization is
dealt a final blow by this war. The airlines are dead and without air
travel, globalization is merely a slogan. The freezing of Iraq foreign
assets is destroying the image of the US as a financial safe haven. The
revival of Arab nationalism will change the dynamics in Middle East
politics. The myth of US power has been punctured. The geopolitical costs of
this war to the US are enormous and the benefits are hard to see.

This war will end from its own inevitable evolution, even without anti-war
demonstrations. It will not be a happy end. There is yet no discernible exit
strategy for the US. After this war, the world will have no superpower,
albeit the US will remain strong both economically and militarily. But the
US will be forced to learn to be much more cautious, and more realistic,
about its ability to impose its will on other nations through the
application of force. The UK will be the big loser geopolitically. The
British military has already served notice to Blair that Britain cannot
sustain a high level of combat for indefinite periods.

The invasion of Iraq represents a self-inflicted blow to US imperialism.
Anti-war demonstrations all over the world and within the US will raise
public consciousness on what the war really means, and for what it really
stands. The aim is not to simply stop this war, but the forces behind all
imperialistic wars.

Saddam is not insane, his record of rule is not pretty, but it is typical of
all regimes afflicted with garrison state mentality. That mentality has been
created by a century of Western, and most recently US, imperialism.

Americans, even liberals and radical leftists, cannot possibly sympathize
with the natural need for violence in the political struggle of nationalists
in their struggle against imperialism. They harbor a genuine sense of
repugnance for political oppression unfamiliar to their own historical
conditions. Be that as it may, only Iraqis are justified in trying to rid
Iraq of any leader not to their liking, not a foreign power, no matter how
repugnant the regime may seem to foreigners. Moral imperialism is
imperialism nonetheless.


Henry C K Liu is chairman of the New York-based Liu Investment Group. ©2003
Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved.,,482-637292,00.html

by William Rees-Mogg
The Times, 7th April

If you do not fight the war, you will not control the peace. When the war in
Iraq is over, the US Army will remain in control of the country, just as the
Allies were left in control of Germany in 1945. How long that period will
last will depend on the success of the reconstruction programme, which is
bound to be under American control.

Some people imagine that President Bush will turn to the United Nations,
which spent 12 years failing to disarm Iraq, from 1991 to 2003, and politely
ask it to take over responsibility for the reconstruction.

There are several objections to this proposal. As Bosnians have cause to
remember, the UN can take a pacifist view of peacemaking operations. If
nasty people shoot at the blue berets, they are sometimes too polite to
shoot back. In President Wilson's words, they are "too proud to fight".
After the end of this war, Iraq may well remain a dangerous place for some
time. It would be a mistake to replace the "overwhelming force" of the
United States with the underwhelming force of the United Nations.

Handing Iraq over to the UN would mean bringing back into high influence
Saddam Hussein's closest international allies, France and Russia, the two
countries which invested in the Saddam regime on the largest scale, supplied
him with weapons and lent him money. Both countries agreed to the
disarmament of Iraq under UN Resolution 1441, with its threat of "serious
consequences", then decided to veto the consequences when Iraq failed to
disarm. They did not cause the war, but they did make it inevitable.

Saddam has comprehensively ruined Iraq, leaving behind huge debts which have
been estimated at around £65 billion. This money was not spent on
development, or for the benefit of the people of Iraq, but on weapons for
the army, presidential palaces for the Saddam family and high living for the
regime, including its security apparatus of torturers and murderers.

France and Russia, which supplied the arms, are no doubt among those with
the largest holdings of Saddam's debt. If the United Nations were
responsible for reconstructing Iraq, France and Russia would be well placed
to protect their financial interests. Each has a permanent seat on the
Security Council; each has a veto. The American Administration would prefer
to spend the money on the redevelopment of Iraq rather than on meeting the
bills incurred by Saddam's weapons programme.

Russia might hope to be forgiven. The main Russian support for the Iraqi
regime goes back to the time of the Soviet Union, much of it even to the
days of Leonid Brezhnev. In those days the two totalitarian dictatorships
naturally made good friends for each other. But Brezhnev is long dead, as is
the Soviet Union, and the world is a cleaner place for it. In the case of
France, Saddam's leading sponsor over the years has been Jacques Chirac. He
is very much alive, and living in the Elysée.

If one asks whether the United States ought to hand over reconstruction to
the UN, one should first look at President Chirac's record over Iraq. One
should also remember the record of Saddam Hussein himself: the wars, the
massacres, the tortures, the megalomania, the grotesque self-indulgence, the
hostages, the poison gas, the attempt to build a nuclear arsenal. All of
these were well known to France. Such was the regime of which M Chirac was
the cynical sponsor for nearly 30 years. No one can defend M Chirac who is
not prepared to defend Saddam as well.

William Shawcross last night presented his film, J'Accuse Jacques, on
Channel 4. He recounted how M Chirac, as Prime Minister of France in 1975,
greeted Saddam, then the Vice-President of Iraq. At the banquet, he called
Saddam "a personal friend and a great statesman". M Chirac agreed to sell
Iraq arms worth billions of pounds and a new fast breeder reactor. Saddam
himself claimed that "the agreement with France is the very first concrete
step towards production of the Arab atomic bomb". So it would have been if
the Israelis, with admirable foresight, had not bombed the reactor in 1981.
Since that banquet France has sold something like £13 billion of arms to
Iraq. Those are the weapons the Americans have had to destroy in two Gulf

Between these two wars, France repeatedly intervened on Saddam's behalf in
the UN Security Council. These French interventions had the effect of
undermining the work of the inspectors of that time. France's reward was to
become the largest exporter to Iraq, selling £428 million in 2001, despite
the existence of UN sanctions. In this period, the French resistance to UN
disarmament of Iraq was motivated by commercial advantage, for France had
been a huge provider of arms. It is difficult to believe that President
Chirac, who was prepared to help Saddam to create an Arab atomic bomb in
1975, was altruistically concerned with helping the UN inspectors in 2003.

The United States respects the humanitarian side of the work of the United
Nations, and would welcome the UN as a humanitarian partner. But one has to
face reality. France torpedoed American efforts to deal with the problems of
Iraq's disarmament. The result was that America has had to fight another
Gulf war, costing about $100 billion (£65 billion) and some casualties, when
they thought that they had dealt with the matter 12 years ago. Americans
feel that M Chirac stabbed them in the back. They are not going to ask him
to do so again. That is not the American way.

Another part of modern reality is that electronic eavesdropping means that
both the Americans and the French ‹ and the British for that matter ‹ know
almost everything about each other's secret diplomacy. Every telephone call
between Paris and Baghdad, every currency transfer by Elf Acquitaine, will
be monitored by the CIA in Langley, Virginia. Modern nations do not have to
guess what each other's dealings and motives are. As never before every
telephone call, every electronic message, might just as well be broadcast to
the world. Indeed, if it were broadcast, that would only mean that it would
be less believed. The Americans know that M Chirac double-crossed them over
Resolution 1441; they know every detail of how and why he did it; they know
what it has cost them in money and in lives. They will shake hands at photo
opportunities; they will play the Marseillaise; they will drink toasts in
mediocre champagne at diplomatic dinners; but they will be slow to forgive
and they will never forget.

For the present, that is just as well. Having failed to disarm Iraq for 12
years, ending with the fiasco of the volte-face over Resolution 1441, the UN
does not have the capacity, the self-confidence or the unity to take the
decisions that will soon be required. The UN is far from useless; it is the
best UN we have got. But it has always been like Shakespeare's proverbial
cat, "letting I dare not wait upon I would". Reconstructing Iraq will not be
a job for the fainthearted.

The objective is agreed, Everyone wants, or professes to want, an
independent democracy. Unfortunately, Iraq is divided into three major
religious or ethnic groups: the Arab Shias, the Kurds, and the Arab Sunnis.
This pattern is even more complicated than that, including groups such as
the Turkomans, who are small in numbers but have the influence of being
ethnically linked to Turkey.

If the new democratic constitution were to be based on the Westminster
model, it would produce an overwhelming Shia majority, which might itself be
dominated by Islamic fundamentalists. That would be unacceptable to the
Kurds and Sunnis, who between them make up about a third of the population.
Some combination of regional government, plus proportional representation,
might provide a viable democratic constitution.

Turkey, which is the nearest there is to a working democracy in a Middle
Eastern Islamic country, depends on the army as the ultimate national
institution. Iraq's democracy will only succeed, or survive, if it can
command the loyalty of whatever army emerges after the war has been won and
lost. Yet winning the war will itself destroy the existing Iraqi army, which
was hopelessly corrupted by Saddam Hussein. The conditions for
reconstruction include democracy, the support of Islam, a place for the
Kurds and the Sunnis, as well as the Shias, and the loyalty of the army.
That is quite a Rubik's Cube for an American general to solve.

by William Norman Grigg
New American, 8th April


The campaign to compel Iraq to disarm actually began under Bill Clinton in
the mid-1990s, and it introduced a new term into the American political
vocabulary: "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs), shorthand for nuclear,
chemical, and bio-warfare weapons. Beginning in 1998, the Clinton
administration embraced the view that American national security depends on
enforcing UN edicts banning Iraq's possession of WMDs, or its capacity to
produce them. The same doctrine undergirds the Bush administration's
decision to go to war in Iraq.

But neither this strategic doctrine, nor the expression "weapons of mass
destruction," originated in the Clinton era. In fact, they can be traced
back to A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations, a 1962 State
Department-commissioned study written by Dr. Lincoln P. Bloomfield of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (The full text of A World Effectively
Controlled by the United Nations is available at

The Bloomfield study's purpose was to describe a "stable military
environment" that could be based on official U.S. disarmament proposals,
particularly the State Department's 1961 Freedom From War blueprint for
"general and complete disarmament" under UN supervision. Noted Bloomfield:
"The proposed system would explicitly forbid national possession of weapons
of mass destruction, of the means of delivery, and of the trained personnel
required to mount an attack." (Emphasis added.)

Surveying official U.S. arms control policy (still in effect today),
Bloomfield found embedded therein "the notion of a world 'effectively
controlled by the United Nations.' It [has not been] made explicit, but the
United States [arms control] position carried the unmistakable meaning, by
whatever name, of world government, sufficiently powerful in any event to
keep the peace and enforce its judgments."

"National disarmament is [an indispensable] condition Š for effective UN
control," states the Bloomfield document. This will require that the UN (or
a successor organization) be given "effective powers in the realms of
disarmament and the settlement of disputes." George W. Bush was following
the same formula when he declared on February 26th: "We believe in the
Security Council ‹ so much that we want its words to have meaning."

The Bloomfield study also prefigured the Bush administration's rhetoric that
Saddam would hold the world at his "mercy" unless he were punished for
defying UN orders to disarm. "One mad tribal ruler in a future Congo might
not be able to bring the rest of the world to its knees," wrote Bloomfield.
"But twenty-five rockets, with megaton warheads previously secreted or
secretly produced in Soviet or Chinese facilities, could supply to [small]
nations an inordinate amount of political and strategic power."

To deal with such challenges to the envisioned world order, the world
government authority described by Bloomfield would require an "international
force, balanced appropriately between ground, sea, air, and space elements"
as well as "a nuclear force" and (Bloomfield suggests) perhaps even a stock
of chemical and biological weapons. In this system, the UN (or, once again,
a successor) would "monitor and enforce disarmament, settle disputes, and
keep the peace. All other powers [would be] reserved to the nations," which
would be "disarmed to police levels." Furthermore, "a significant 'UN
presence'" would exist in all countries to monitor and enforce the
disarmament program.

Of course, in the name of keeping the peace, the world government authority
would be prepared and authorized to wage war. Under the system described by
Bloomfield, a national government could be charged with "aggression" without
violating the borders of another nation-state, or even threatening to do so.
A nation could commit this supposed offense simply through "overt
repudiation of the new order and the political system representing it,"
particularly by developing weapons forbidden by the world government
authority. This would supposedly justify war in order to "abort such
violation by imposing timely sanction upon a violator in the form of
immediate seizure of the forbidden facilities, punishment of those
responsible, etc.," writes Bloomfield. Again, note how Bloomfield's words
foreshadow, with uncanny detail, the Bush administration's approach to Iraq.

Creation of this "new order," Bloomfield predicted, could come about either
through gradual, evolutionary means, or through "a grave crisis or war to
bring about a sudden transformation in national attitudes sufficient for the
purpose.... [T]he order we examine may be brought into existence as a result
of a series of sudden, nasty, and traumatic shocks.... For the United
States, as well as for the other countries, a threshold will have been
crossed from one historical condition to another, drastically different one.
However many stages it takes, however tacit or explicit the labels, however
gradual or violent the process, there is a Rubicon that divides Š basically
untramelled national sovereignty from Š meaningful supranational authority."

Since 9-11, Americans have been incessantly told that on that terrible
morning, "everything changed," and that in the post-September 11 world we
must act "pre-emptively" to disarm Saddam and other rulers who defy the UN's
will. By launching an aggressive war on Iraq to enforce UN disarmament
decrees, our nation has ‹ at very least ‹ reached the "threshold" described
by Bloomfield, and while we may not have crossed the Rubicon, we have at
very least wet our feet therein.

War for the "Core"

A central concept in A World Effectively Controlled by the United Nations is
that the collective security system it describes must be "global, with no
exceptions to its fiat: universal membership." Building that order will
require treating nations outside of it as "aggressors," and forcibly
assimilating them. This point is described with stunning candor in a March
2003 Esquire magazine article by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a Pentagon specialist
in "Strategic Futures." Barnett's essay, "The Pentagon's New Map," is
essentially an updating of A World Effectively Controlled by the United

"When the United States finally goes to war again in the Persian Gulf, it
will not constitute a settling of old scores, or just an enforced
disarmament of illegal weapons, or a distraction in the war on terror,"
writes Barnett. Instead, it represents what Bloomfield called a "threshold,"
or Barnett calls a "tipping point": "Our next war in the Gulf will mark a
historical tipping point ‹ the moment when Washington takes real ownership
of strategic security in the age of globalization."

The conflict with Iraq, continues Barnett, "forces America to come to terms
with what I believe is the new security paradigm [or model] that shapes this
age, namely, Disconnectedness defines danger. Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime
is dangerously disconnected from the globalizing world, from its rule sets,
its norms, and all the ties that bind countries together in mutually assured
dependence." Notice how Barnett acknowledges that although the enemy is
Saddam's regime, this war's true target is America, which is being forced to
assume a new global role.

Barnett calls those regions of the world belonging to the emerging global
system ‹ such as the European Union and Russia, much of the Pacific Rim, and
the NAFTA nations ‹ the "Functioning Core." Nations and regions not yet
absorbed into these arrangements fall into "the Non-Integrating Gap." This
includes much of Africa, the Middle East, and the Islamic world in general,
as well as parts of Asia and Latin America ‹ all of which represent
potential theaters of military action as the rulers of the emerging global
system plot their wars of assimilation.

"The reason I support going to war in Iraq is not simply that Saddam is a
cutthroat Stalinist willing to kill anyone to stay in power, nor because
that regime has clearly supported terrorist networks over the years,"
observes Barnett (a key adviser to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld). "The real
reason I support a war like this is that the resulting long-term military
commitment will finally force America to deal with the entire Gap as a
strategic threat environment."

Assuming that the division described by Barnett reflects the Bush
administration's strategic priorities would explain apparent anomalies in
the way it has conducted the "war on terrorism." For instance, why are
Russia and China regarded as allies despite their major role in sponsoring
international terrorism for at least five decades? Barnett explains that
Russia, while corrupt and still in the authoritarian clutches of "former"
KGB officials like President Putin, has been connected to the international
network of finance and "collective security," and thus is part of the

The same is true of China, Barnett insists, even though it "is still ruled
by a 'Communist Party' whose ideological formula is 30 percent
Marxist-Leninist and 70 percent Sopranos.... China just signed on to the
World Trade Organization, and over the long run, that is far more important
[than renouncing Communism] in securing the country's permanent Core status.
Why? Because it forces China to harmonize its internal rule set with that of
globalization ‹ banking, tariffs, copyright protection, environmental

Once again, there is continuity between Barnett's strategic vision and that
set out by Bloomfield four decades ago. Writing in 1962, Bloomfield pointed
out that the "central dilemma of world politics today" was this: "[G]iven a
continuation unabated of communist dynamism, the subordination of states to
a true world government appears impossible; but if the communist dynamic
were greatly abated, the West might well lose whatever incentive it has for
world government." Accordingly, the best outcome would be not to vanquish
communism, but "to transform and tame the forces of communism, in any event
to where the present international system might be radically reshaped."

According to Barnett, both post-Soviet Russia and Communist China are now
adequately housebroken, and can be regarded as members in good standing of
the "Global Core."

Of course, Barnett allows, being assimilated into the Global Core "does not
mean bad things will never happen to you.... [I]t is always possible to fall
off this bandwagon called globalization. And when you do, bloodshed will
follow. If you are lucky, so will American troops."

In addition to serving as a constabulary in "Core" nations not entirely
assimilated, American troops are to be used to break the will of "Gap"
nations who resist the gospel of globalization. Barnett poses the following
strategic axiom: "A country's potential to warrant a U.S. military response
is inversely related to its globalization connectivity." Entirely
unconnected countries ‹ Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen,
Taliban-era Afghanistan ‹ are priority targets. But on that same roster can
be found other countries Barnett calls "seam states," such as Mexico,
Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand,
Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Under the model presented by Barnett, the U.S. must: "1) Increase the Core's
immune system capabilities for responding to September 11-type
perturbations; 2) Work the seam states to firewall the Core from the Gap's
worst exports, such as terror, drugs, and pandemics; 3) Shrink the Gap."

This is the mission of the U.S. soldiers fighting and dying, and
occasionally being tortured, in Iraq. The cold truth is that American blood
is being shed in Iraq to "shrink the Gap" ‹ and enlarge the "Core."

CFR's Plans for Iraq

Unlike some defenders of our interventionist foreign policy, Barnett does
not avoid describing the emerging U.S. role in the Middle East as

"The only thing that will change that nasty environment and open the
floodgates for change is if some external power steps in and plays Leviathan
full-time," he insists. "Taking down Saddam, the region's bully-in-chief,
will force the U.S. into playing that role far more fully than it has over
the past several decades, primarily because Iraq is the Yugoslavia of the
Middle East ‹ a crossroads of civilizations that has historically required a
dictatorship to keep the peace." (Note, once again, how Barnett specifically
refers to the U.S. being "forced" by war to carry out a role it has
historically avoided.)



by Sue Pleming
Reuters, 2nd April

WASHINGTON: Many of the thousands of Iraqi prisoners held by U.S. forces
will likely get their day in court but the format and location of such legal
proceedings remain a mystery.

The Bush administration is considering a range of options -- from U.S.
military courts in line with the Geneva Conventions that cover how prisoners
of war are treated, freed or prosecuted; to Iraqi-run courts possibly aided
by international experts.

"This is not a one-size-fits-all issue in Iraq. There are different
categories of prisoners and you must not lose sight of all the subtleties
here," Eugene Fidell of the National Institute of Military Justice said on

Legal analysts said it was unlikely Washington would opt for an ad hoc
tribunal under U.N. control or for broad use of military commissions set up
by the White House in 2001 to deal with al Qaeda or Taliban fighters from
the war with Afghanistan.

The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands was also not an option
because neither Iraq nor the United States signed on to this legal body.

Among the most likely choices, said analysts, would be to try most of those
accused of war crimes in U.S. courts-martial, which offer a wider range of
protections than the military commissions that have been condemned
internationally even though no one has yet been tried in one.

Before any trials could begin, experts said, prisoners would be split into
categories such as those not suspected of crimes and civilians who would
ultimately be freed; lawful combatants who are suspected of committing war
crimes and unlawful combatants such as the Fedayeen Saddam paramilitaries.

President Bush has vowed repeatedly the United States would hunt down all of
those responsible for war crimes. Britain said on Monday that about 8,000
prisoners of war had been taken so far in the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Ruth Wedgwood, a legal specialist from Johns Hopkins University, said the
United States would be reluctant to use an international court because it
needed the flexibility to barter information from prisoners to track down
weapons of mass destruction and any terror links.

"The U.S. will be squeezing people for more information and there will be a
lot of important unraveling of the WMD thread and that's something a U.N.
tribunal would not want to deal with," said Wedgwood.

She pointed out the Geneva Conventions preferred the use of military courts,
largely because of the view held by soldiers that "your brother officers
would take better care of you than would an angry civilian who has been

However, she said military tribunal had become a "dirty word"
internationally because of its association with the court proposed for the
al Qaeda prisoners, which did not offer the same protections.

Several experts suggested the use of "showcase" trials for the main players
accused by America of committing crimes against their own people.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would be at the top of this list along with
his sons and the Iraqi military commander known for attacks on the Kurds who
has the nickname "Chemical Ali."

Paul Williams, a law professor from American University and former State
Department lawyer, said in this instance an Iraqi court aided by
international jurists would be best suited to deal with these high-profile

He also suggested the use of truth commissions, such as those used in South
Africa, for "victim catharsis." The goal, said Williams, was to harshly
prosecute the major perpetrators and possibly grant greater amnesty to those
lower down.

But no matter who is in charge of the courts, experts said it was essential
the United States be seen to follow international law covering POWs.

"What we want to ensure is that certain fundamental standards, such as
presumption of innocence and right to legal counsel -- are given," said
Vienna Colucci, international justice specialist from Amnesty International.

Fiona McKay, director of international justice for the Lawyers Committee for
Human Rights, said it was important that those responsible for crimes in
Iraq who fled to other countries should also be tracked down.

by Erica Bulman, Associated Press Writer
Yahoo, 4th April

GENEVA - The Red Cross said Friday it has seen more than 3,000 Iraqi
prisoners of war, but has yet to receive permission from Iraqi officials to
visit the Americans they are holding.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said most Iraqi POWs were
registered in southern Iraq, but it had also visited one Iraqi prisoner held
by a Kurdish faction in the north.

U.S. Central Command says coalition forces hold more than 4,000 Iraqi
prisoners of war, and the ICRC acknowledges it has likely not seen them all.

"The ones we have registered are the ones that have been brought in (to the
prison camps)," said ICRC chief spokeswoman Antonella Notari. "Some are
still probably being brought in or transferred from around the country. They
could still have not arrived at the camps.

"We haven't been notified but we have access. The visits continue. We'll get
to register everybody."

The ICRC never gives details of its visits or of the conditions in which
prisoners are being held.

There are no definite numbers for U.S. prisoners held by the Iraqis, but 15
Americans are listed as missing. Among them are two Army Apache helicopter
pilots captured March 24 after their helicopter went down. One U.S. POW,
Pfc. Jessica Lynch of Palestine, West Virginia, was rescued by U.S. troops
from a hospital in Nasiriyah on Tuesday. A dozen other members of her unit,
the 507th Maintenance Company, remain unaccounted for, including five
formally listed as POWs.

Five of Lynch's comrades were shown in an Iraqi television video television
being asked questions by their Iraqi captors. The video also showed bodies,
apparently of U.S. soldiers, which led Pentagon officials to accuse Iraq of
executing some of its prisoners.

"We are very keen to visit the coalition prisoners," Notari said. "We stand
ready to do that.

"But it doesn't depend on us. Negotiations are still under way. It's not

Notari declined to give a reason for the problems, but analysts suggest that
Iraqi officials fear that coalition forces would be tipped off to the
location of the POWs if they were able to detect where the ICRC delegates
went, and then follow up with a rescue raid.

No British troops are believed to be in Iraqi hands.

Baghdad is required to give the ICRC access to POWs under the Geneva
Conventions on the conduct of war. The ICRC started visiting Iraqis held by
coalition forces on Monday.

by Edward Alden
Financial Times, 8th April

The US plans to set up Iraqi-led courts to try the top officials of Saddam
Hussein's regime for war crimes, bypassing the international tribunals that
have been used after conflicts in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and other

A group of about 35 exiled Iraqi jurists met in Washington last week as part
of an ongoing programme in which the US is training individuals to serve as
prosecutors and judges in post-war Iraq.

"We will work with the Iraqi people to create an Iraqi-led process that will
bring justice for the years of abuses," Pierre-Richard Prosper, US
ambassador-at-large for war crimes, said yesterday.

The plan is further evidence that the US is hoping for the quick
establishment of a fully functioning set of democratic institutions that can
handle even the most politically-charged cases, such as the crimes of Mr
Hussein's regime. A senior state department official said there are many
Iraqis with legal training both inside and outside the country who "have a
thirst for justice".

"The key will be to try to move as quickly as possible," he said.

US military tribunals will be set up to prosecute those accused of crimes
committed against US soldiers during the current conflict, such as Iraqi
soldiers who have masqueraded as civilians. Such procedures are relatively
well-established under the rules of war.

But the trials of the regime's leaders - including perhaps Mr Hussein and
his family - promise to be a far more difficult matter. Whatever legal
process is established will have to be seen both inside and outside Iraq as
dealing fairly and efficiently with hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of top
regime officials who were complicit in torture, murder and internment of
political opponents during three decades.

Critics of the US plan for an Iraqi-led process say that an international
tribunal could be important in helping to heal the divisions caused by the
war and in giving legitimacy to the American effort.

"It is really important for people to know now that there will be an
objective accountability mechanism that's not just victor's justice," said
Elissa Massimino, the Washington director of the Lawyers Committee for Human

She said her group and others have urged the United Nations to play the
leading role by establishing an international tribunal for Iraq, modelled on
the Rwanda and Yugoslavia tribunals. "There is a need for international
legitimacy," she says.

David Scheffer, who was US ambassador for war crimes in the Clinton
administration, said international tribunals have been vital in the past
because it is simply too difficult to reconstruct quickly the legal systems
of conflict-ridden countries.

But the Bush administration, which has already rejected the permanent
International Criminal Court for trying war crimes, says the international
tribunals used for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia were too removed from
the citizens of those countries. "It needs to be something that is accepted
by the community so that the justice that is administered actually means
something," said the senior State official. "What is important is that the
process is one that Iraqis believe in."

While the US has not ruled out some supporting role for the UN or a looser
international coalition, "we have to see what the Iraqis themselves want",
the official said.

Cherif Bassiouni, an Egyptian-born expert on the Iraqi legal system now
advising the administration, says the crimes of the regime should be dealt
with by the regular Iraq courts in as ordinary a manner as possible. Mr
Hussein's regime, he said, corrupted a functioning Iraqi legal system by
establishing layers of special tribunals run by the military, the police and
intelligence services.

Setting up special tribunals to prosecute the regime's criminals, he said,
would "smack of illegality. You don't want to come in and do exactly the
same thing Saddam did". But Mr Scheffer says that the crimes of Mr Hussein's
regime simply cannot be turned into a matter for ordinary criminal justice,
particularly in a country that has seen no ordinary justice for 35 years.

"These are extraordinary cases," he said. "They require extraordinary
investigative efforts. They require extraordinary political decisions of the
greatest sensitivity. There is nothing ordinary about this process."

Lebanon Daily Star, 8th April

One of the big stories in Iraq on Monday was the reported death of Ali
Hassan al-Majid, also known as "Chemical Ali" for his role in the gassing of
Kurdish villagers in 1988. The real importance of this event, however, lay
not in the fanfare about the demise of a key regime member but rather in
sober reflections on how best to reform and rebuild all that which Saddam
Hussein and George W. Bush have corrupted and/or destroyed. First and
foremost, Iraqis need food, water and medicine. Once that has been
accomplished, the priority must be on the long term - and here the most
accurate measure of success or failure will not be the new polity's ability
to punish those of Majid's colleagues who survive but instead its commitment
to preventing the resurrection of tyranny, whatever its provenance.

Current discussions over this matter are intense, but most miss the point by
concentrating on the political structures to be erected in post-war Iraq.
This is not to say that these deliberations are entirely useless. On the
contrary, the time it will take to hand over power to an all-Iraqi
government is a major consideration, as are the identity and attitudes of
the American who presumably will preside over the interim period, the shape
of the Iraqi administration to be installed, and the dogma of both Shiite
theologians in Karbala and neoconservative ideologues in Washington. More
essential than all of this, though, is that no amount of attention to these
and other details will make much difference if the resulting decisions and
policies are not underpinned by the rule of law.

If the goal is genuinely to prevent a situation in which one brand of
lawlessness is simply replaced by another, the first fully functional
institution in the "new" Iraq must be the judiciary. No other branch of
government is even close to being so primordially important, and few can be
established at such minimal cost. All of Iraq's citizens deserve the right
to have their disagreements - with the state, with their employer, with one
another - adjudicated by a judicial body that cares not whether this or that
person is Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish or Turkmen. Only then can the fledgling
system have any chance of enjoying the popular confidence which alone can
see it through its first few trying months and years.

So how can Iraq obtain such a framework for the administration of justice?
For one thing, it must not be imposed from abroad, least of all from an
America in which each of 50 states has its own legal system. The American
case is an exaggeration, but it clearly demonstrates what is an almost
universal desire to set one's own laws. For another, its guiding force must
be the United Nations and not a foreign power, least of all one of the
current invaders. To do otherwise would be to condemn the entire effort to
rampant suspicion. The best-case scenario, therefore, would be to see a UN
body recruiting those Iraqi exiles with the requisite experience as judges,
lawyers and academics. These individuals would design a new legal system
consistent with the rhetoric of "democracy" trumpeted by Washington and
London. Ballot boxes are fine things, but without independent courts one
might as well tell voters to stay home.

by Steven Edwards
National Post, 8th April

UNITED NATIONS - The United States yesterday ruled out the use of
international war crimes tribunals run by the UN in post-war Iraq, saying
such prosecutions will be carried out by U.S. courts or new Iraqi courts
organized with American help.

U.S. officials said the courts will prosecute Saddam Hussein and "several
dozen" of his henchmen for the regime's crimes, such as the gassing of
thousands of Kurds in 1988.

The officials said U.S. military or civil courts have the right to prosecute
Iraqis accused of crimes in the current conflict.

The Americans say Iraqis violated rules of war by executing at least one
U.S. prisoner, opening fire after feigning surrender with a white flag, and
parading U.S. prisoners of war before TV cameras.

Many human rights groups have called for the creation of an ad hoc
international court to conduct post-war prosecutions, as happened after the
Balkan wars of the 1990s and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

The United States has rejected this idea, citing the need to build national
institutions in a new democratic Iraq.

"We believe [the prosecutions] must have some indigenous roots to reinstate
the rule of law," said Pierre Richard Prosper, U.S. ambassador for war
crimes issues.

"And for Iraq we have a group of Iraqi jurists who are ready and willing to
accept the mandate of justice. We should empower them."

Topping the list of the nine Iraqi leaders the Bush administration wants to
prosecute are Saddam and his sons Uday and Qusay.

Another name on the list, Ali Hassan Al-Majid, better known as "Chemical
Ali" after he orchestrated the 1988 gas attack on the Kurds, was believed
killed in an attack on Basra on Saturday.

U.S. officials and lawyers have dossiers on 200 others accused of atrocities
such as torture, extra-judicial executions, rape and the looting of
dissident communities in Iraq.

While Mr. Prosper said the United States would seek to prosecute only the
most senior leaders, he added the Iraqis may decide to try more.

"We are looking at several dozen," he said. "But the Iraqi people may have a
different view of the core leadership that needs to be brought before the
bar of justice."

Some human rights groups said yesterday Iraq has almost no jurists in the
country who were not controlled by Saddam's Baath party.

"After decades of Baath party rule, the Iraqi judiciary has been deeply
compromised," said Richard Dicker, director of the International Justice
Program at Human Rights Watch.

"The Iraqis should certainly be involved in this process, but the country's
justice system just doesn't have the capacity to handle a series of highly
complicated trials. The local solution proposed by the U.S. government would
be a mistake."

The likely independence of any war crimes trials was also questioned by
Elisa Massimino, director of the Washington office of the Lawyers Committee
for Human Rights.

"It is a bit of a stretch to say that this will be an Iraqi tribunal because
the United States will be controlling Iraq in the aftermath of the war," she

But she acknowledged the United States has the right to conduct its own
trials for crimes committed against U.S. soldiers in the conflict.

Hays Parks, a special assistant to the army's judge advocate general, said
war crimes investigations had already begun into Iraqi television showing
pictures of U.S. POWs and instances of false surrenders by Iraqi troops.

He added the United States could try war crimes cases with military courts
martial, military commissions or in U.S. federal district court.

It could also hand suspected criminals over to other governments to be tried
for abuses against their nationals.

Kuwait might be interested in Iraqis who committed abuses during Iraq's
1990-91 invasion and occupation of the emirate.

U.S. laws of war have their origins in a code drawn up in 1863 during the
Civil War that looked at the practice of warfare through history.

It now includes the 1907 Hague Convention for the conduct of military
operations on land, and the four 1949 Geneva Conventions, which deal with
the treatment of military wounded and sick, prisoners of war and civilians.

by Richard McGregor at US Central Command in Qatar and Edward,Alden in
Financial Times, 9th April

Air Marshall Brian Burridge, commander of UK forces in the Gulf, declared
this week he had a "personal passion" to deal with alleged war criminals
such as the Iraqi leaders by capturing them and putting them on trial.

But when UK forces discovered the location of the senior Iraqi official in
Basra, Saddam Hussein's cousin, Ali Hassan al Majid, on Saturday, they
bombed his house, and, in all likelihood, killed him.

Mr Majid is better known as "Chemical Ali" for his role in killing thousands
of opponents of the regime in gas attacks.

Claims that the US-led coalition wants to capture Iraq's leaders are
increasingly being dispelled by its conduct of the war. While the US has
promised to set up Iraqi-led courts for trying the regime's top leaders for
their conduct during the fighting, many of the most significant figures
appear unlikely to survive the war in order to face trial.

>From the opening night of the conflict three weeks ago, when the US made
what it called a "decapitation" strike against a leadership compound, the
coalition had tried to kill, rather than capture, Mr Hussein and his

US fighter jets late on Monday dropped four "bunker buster" bombs on a
restaurant complex in an upmarket Baghdad suburb where it said it had
credible evidence regime leaders were meeting.

"We focus our action directly against the regime, its relationships and
command and control systems that give protection to them," said Brig-Gen
Vincent Brooks, Central Command spokesman, yesterday. US commanders said
they were cautiously confident the attack had killed Mr Hussein and perhaps
his sons.

Earlier this week, while asserting the military campaign was not about
"individuals", Brig- Gen Brooks said: "Any piece of the regime that's out
there. .. will be attacked and destroyed."

The US and UK tactics have been driven largely by the desire to hasten an
end to the war by killing regime leaders who still command loyalty among the
Iraqi armed forces and engender fear in the Iraqi population. But the effort
also appears to be influenced by the US desire to make the construction of a
new postwar government as easy as possible.


Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]