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[casi] News, 07-14/05/03 (1)

News, 07-14/05/03 (1)


*  Strong Must Rule the Weak, said Neo-Cons' Muse
*  The secret that Leo Strauss never revealed
*  U.S. imperialism -- a force for good


*  Halliburton Unit's Bill for Iraq Work Mounts
*  Bush ally set to profit from the war on terror
*  Iraq work beckons for British firms


*  Burridge interview in full
*  Poland rethinks troops' mission in Iraq
*  Queen puts kybosh on Iraq parade
*  Short's resignation statement


by Jim Lobe
Inter Press Service, 7th May


''Strauss was neither a liberal nor a democrat,'' she said in a telephone
interview from her office at the University of Calgary in Canada.
''Perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical (in
Strauss's view) because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to
tell them what's good for them.''

''The Weimar Republic (in Germany) was his model of liberal democracy for
which he had huge contempt,'' added Drury. Liberalism in Weimar, in
Strauss's view, led ultimately to the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews.

Like Plato, Strauss taught that within societies, ''some are fit to lead,
and others to be led'', according to Drury. But, unlike Plato, who believed
that leaders had to be people with such high moral standards that they could
resist the temptations of power, Strauss thought that ''those who are fit to
rule are those who realise there is no morality and that there is only one
natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior''.

For Strauss, ''religion is the glue that holds society together'', said
Drury, who added that Irving Kristol, among other neo-conservatives, has
argued that separating church and state was the biggest mistake made by the
founders of the U.S. republic.

''Secular society in their view is the worst possible thing'', because it
leads to individualism, liberalism and relativism, precisely those traits
that might encourage dissent, which in turn could dangerously weaken
society's ability to cope with external threats. ''You want a crowd that you
can manipulate like putty,'' according to Drury.

Strauss was also strongly influenced by Thomas Hobbes. Like Hobbes, he
thought the fundamental aggressiveness of human nature could be restrained
only through a powerful state based on nationalism. ''Because mankind is
intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed,'' he once wrote. ''Such
governance can only be established, however, when men are united - and they
can only be united against other people''.

''Strauss thinks that a political order can be stable only if it is united
by an external threat,'' Drury wrote in her book. ''Following Machiavelli,
he maintains that if no external threat exists, then one has to be
manufactured. Had he lived to see the collapse of the Soviet Union, he would
have been deeply troubled because the collapse of the 'evil empire' poses a
threat to America's inner stability.''

''In Strauss' view, you have to fight all the time (to survive),'' said
Drury. ''In that respect, it's very Spartan. Peace leads to decadence.
Perpetual war, not perpetual peace, is what Straussians believe in.'' Such
views naturally lead to an ''aggressive, belligerent foreign policy'', she

As for what a Straussian world order might look like, Drury said the
philosopher often talked about Jonathan Swift's story of Gulliver and the
Lilliputians. ''When Lilliput was on fire, Gulliver urinated over the city,
including the palace. In so doing, he saved all of Lilliput from
catastrophe, but the Lilliputians were outraged and appalled by such a show
of disrespect.''

For Strauss, the act demonstrates both the superiority and the isolation of
the leader within a society and, presumably, the leading country vis-a-vis
the rest of the world.

Drury suggests it is ironic, but not inconsistent with Strauss' ideas about
the necessity for elites to deceive their citizens, that the Bush
administration defends its anti-terrorist campaign by resorting to
idealistic rhetoric. ''They really have no use for liberalism and democracy,
but they're conquering the world in the name of liberalism and democracy,''
she said.

by 'Spengler'
Asia Times, 13th May

No sillier allegation has found its way into mass-circulation newspapers
than the notion that a conspiracy of Leo Strauss acolytes has infiltrated
the Bush administration. Supposedly Defense Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, a
Strauss doctoral student, and other lesser-known officials form a
neo-conservative cabal practicing some sort of political black arts.

If anything, the Straussians are dangerous not because they are
Machiavellian but because they are naive.

First of all, there is no Straussian conspiracy, for the simple reason that
no two Straussians agree about what Leo Strauss (1899-1973) really meant to
say during his 37 years of teaching in the United States. Anyone who does
not believe this should listen to today's Straussians searching for hidden
meanings in his works by reference to numerology, comparative word counts,
and other far-fetched devices. At the conclusion of this essay I will reveal
the secret of the Tower of Straussian Babel.

Secondly, there is nothing the least sinister about Strauss himself, who
spent his life attempting to square the circle of reconciling traditional
values with the modern world.

Third, and most important, the questions that preoccupied Strauss have no
relevance whatever to the problem which American foreign policy now proposes
to address, namely, how to respond to the hundreds of millions of Muslims
who want no part of the modern world. Hitler and Stalin, the spawn of
modernist despair, were Strauss's life-long concerns. How to prevent
democracies from sinking into debilitation and becoming the prey of tyrants
was the subject of his political philosophy. He spoke to an academic
audience that dismissed religion as a discredited superstition, not to a
world of enraged believers.

Strauss was a German-Jewish theologian who lost his faith, and came under
the spell of the modernists' critique of tradition. On the one hand, he
agreed with the critics of Christian civilization from Machiavelli through
Heidegger. On the other, he perceived that the end of the old order of
things led only to Nihilism and destruction. Nietzsche and Heidegger refuted
the absolutes of right and wrong as taught by revealed religion, insisting
that men invented their own values as circumstances permitted. The Nazis
idolized Nietzsche; Heidegger himself embraced National Socialism. That left
Strauss in a profoundly uncomfortable position intellectually, given his
fascination with Heidegger, as well as personally, as he had to flee Nazi

Caught between the collapse of tradition and the pyromania of the
modernists, Strauss took the well-trodden path back to ancient Athens, that
is, to the political philosophy of Socrates. Westerners who reject religion
have been doing that since the Renaissance. Strauss, the theologian who
began his career writing glosses on Jewish authorities, restyled himself as
a classicist, with a fantastic twist. As he wrote to Karl Lowith in 1946: "I
really believe, although to you this apparently appears fantastic, that the
perfect political order, as Plato and Aristotle have sketched it, is the
perfect political order. I know very well that today it cannot be restored."
What that means, we shall see below.

By all accounts Strauss was a persuasive exegete of classical texts and an
inspiring teacher. On American shores, to be sure, he was playing to an easy
crowd. "Young Americans seemed, in comparison [to Europeans], to be natural
savages when they came to the university. They had hardly heard the names of
the writers who were the daily fare of their counterparts across the
Atlantic, let alone took it into their heads that they could have a
relationship to them," wrote the late Allan Bloom, Strauss's best-known
student. Eager young Americans were easily impressed by the erudite German.

Much is made by left-wing critics of Strauss's "esotericism", his search for
hidden meanings in classic texts. His students bear some of the blame for
this, given their scavenger hunts for hidden messages in their teacher's own
opus. Some commentators go as far as to allege that Strauss used esoteric
exegesis to teach his students the art of political deception. That is
silly. What author in what century was free to express himself with
unconditional freedom? Heinrich Heine commented that Hegel wrote confusing
prose because he did not want to reveal himself as an atheist. Strauss, for
example, attempted to show that Machiavelli was an atheist who wished to
overturn existing mores, and cloaked himself in commentary upon Roman
authors. To whom is this is a surprise? Machiavelli was accused of this for
centuries. All the Renaissance humanists were freethinkers of one sort or
another. Why does anyone think that there was a Counter-Reformation?

Americans want happy endings, and the enterprising Leo Strauss provided them
with this one: Reason as taught by the Athenian political philosophers can
provide solutions to modern problems of statecraft. His student Harry Jaffa
spent a lifetime portraying the Founding Fathers of the United States as
well as Abraham Lincoln as master logicians. To Jaffa, Lincoln was "the
greatest of all exemplars of Socratic statesmanship". "Never since Socrates
has philosophy so certainly descended from the heavens into the affairs of
mortal men."

And yet there is the nagging problem of Heidegger, who rejected all tellers
of absolute truth and Socrates most vehemently. As an impressionable young
man, Strauss fell under Heidegger's influence and never quite shook it.
Considering Heidegger's grandiose reputation, it is depressing to consider
how cheap was the trick he played. What is Being?, he demanded of a
generation that after the First World War felt the ground shaky under their
feet. It is a shame that Eddie Murphy never studied philosophy, for then we
might have had the following Saturday Night Live sketch about Heidegger's
definition of Being with respect to Non-Being, namely death. The use of
dialect would make Heidegger's meaning far clearer than in the available
English translations:

"What be 'Be'? You cain't say that 'Be' be, cause you saying 'be' to talk
about 'Be', and it don't mean nothing to say that 'Be' be dis or 'Be' be
dat. 'Be' be 'Be' to begin wit'. So don't you be saying 'Be' be 'Be'. You
wanna talk about 'Be', you gotta talk about what ain't be nothin' at all.
You gotta say 'Be' be what ain't 'ain't-Be'. Now when you ain't be nothing
at all? Dat be when you be daid. When you daid you ain't be nothing, you
just be daid. So 'Be' be somewhere between where you be and where you ain't
be, dat is, when you be daid. Any time you say 'Be' you is also saying
'ain't-Be', and dat make you think about being daid."

That is all there is to Heidegger's Existential idea of Being-towards-death.
Metaphysical pettifogging of this sort appeals to people whom the
disintegration of social order has made uncertain about their sense of
being. The enunciation of the concept "Being" dredges up the problem of
mortality, Heidegger continued. Men confront their mortality under
particular circumstances, in what came to be called "radical historicism",
that is, the complete absence of absolute truths. What remains is subjective
Existential choice. Heidegger's was to join the Nazis.

That left Strauss in the prickly position of preaching the absolute truth of
Socratic philosophy while giving credence to Nietzsche and Heidegger, who
rejected all absolutes and Socrates more than anyone. The Straussians come
out on every side of this question, leading to the charge that Strauss
secretly taught a cynical, value-free theory of power to his inner sanctum
of acolytes. No such thing is the case. Strauss is neither a Heideggerian
Historicist nor a Greek rationalist, but exactly the opposite. He was
confused, but confused in a very special way. He was a confused Jew.

That is the secret that Strauss never revealed to any of his students (how
many teachers admit to confusion?). A Jewish atheist, an old joke goes,
tells God: "Look at all the terrible things you have permitted to happen!
Just for that, I refuse to believe in you - so there!" To advance a solution
to mankind's problems (in this case Socratic political philosophy) in the
full knowledge that it cannot possibly succeed is a peculiarly Jewish
gesture, a perversely stubborn statement of faith in the face of all the
known facts.

Despite his atheism, Strauss remained occupied with Jewish issues throughout
his life. He is buried in the cemetery of the Knesseth Israel Synagogue in
Annapolis, Maryland. What characterizes Strauss's diverse group of followers
is not a penchant for conspiracy, but a kind of optimism, a faith, if you
will, that statecraft can improve the human condition. What will happen to
his legacy? Demography soon will solve Europe's Existential crisis, as the
Europeans die out. The issues that occupied Strauss are dying out with them.
He left his students no tools to apply to a world of civilizational and
religious war. It was not the philosophers, but the theologians who sorted
out Europe in the religious wars of the 17th century. If Washington really
is in the hands of the Straussians, the United States is flying blind.

by Max Boot
National Post, 13th May

What is the greatest danger facing America as it tries to rebuild Iraq:
Shiite fundamentalism? Kurdish separatism? Sunni intransigence? Turkish,
Syrian, Iranian or Saudi Arabian meddling?

All of those are real problems, but none is so severe that it can't readily
be handled. More than 125,000 U.S. troops occupy Mesopotamia. They are
backed up by the resources of the world's richest economy. In a contest for
control of Iraq, America can outspend and outmuscle any competing faction.

The greatest danger is that America won't use all of its power for fear of
the "I" word -- imperialism. When asked on April 28 on al-Jazeera whether
the United States was "empire building," Secretary of Defence Donald
Rumsfeld reacted as if he'd been asked whether he wears women's underwear.
"We don't seek empires," he replied huffily. "We're not imperialistic. We
never have been."

That's a fine answer for public consumption. The problem is that it isn't
true. The United States has been an empire since at least 1803, when Thomas
Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory. Throughout the 19th century,
what Jefferson called the "empire of liberty" expanded across the continent.
When U.S. power stretched from "sea to shining sea," the American empire
moved abroad, acquiring colonies ranging from Puerto Rico and the
Philippines to Hawaii and Alaska.

While the formal empire mostly disappeared after the Second World War, the
United States set out on another bout of imperialism in Germany and Japan.
Oh, sorry -- that wasn't imperialism; it was "occupation." But when
Americans are running foreign governments, it's a distinction without a
difference. Likewise, recent "nation-building" experiments in Somalia,
Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan are imperialism under another name.

Mind you, this is not meant as a condemnation. The history of American
imperialism is hardly one of unadorned good doing; there have been plenty of
shameful episodes, such as the mistreatment of the Indians. But, on the
whole, U.S. imperialism has been the greatest force for good in the world
during the past century. It has defeated the monstrous evils of communism
and Nazism and lesser evils such as the Taliban and Serbian ethnic
cleansing. Along the way, it has helped spread liberal institutions to
countries as diverse as South Korea and Panama.

Yet, while generally successful as imperialists, Americans have been loath
to confirm that's what they were doing. That's OK. Given the historical
baggage that "imperialism" carries, there's no need for the U.S. government
to embrace the term. But it should definitely embrace the practice.

That doesn't mean looting Iraq of its natural resources; nothing could be
more destructive of the goal of building a stable government in Baghdad. It
means imposing the rule of law, property rights, free speech and other
guarantees, at gunpoint if need be. This will require selecting a new ruler
who is committed to pluralism and then backing him or her to the hilt. Iran
and other neighbouring states won't hesitate to impose their despotic views
on Iraq; we shouldn't hesitate to impose our democratic views.

The indications are mixed as to whether the United States is prepared to
embrace its imperial role unapologetically. Rumsfeld has said that an
Iranian-style theocracy "isn't going to happen," and U.S. President George
Bush has pledged to keep U.S. troops in Iraq as long as necessary to "build
a peaceful and representative government." After allowing a temporary power
vacuum to develop, U.S. troops now are moving aggressively to put down
challenges to their authority by, for example, arresting the self-declared
"mayor" of Baghdad.

That's all for the good. But there are also some worrisome signs. Bush asked
for only US$2.5-billion from Congress for rebuilding Iraq, even though a
study from the Council on Foreign Relations and the James A. Baker III
Institute for Public Policy estimates that US$25 billion to US$100-billion
will be needed. Iraq's oil revenues and contributions from allies won't
cover the entire shortfall. Bush should be doing more to prepare the U.S.
public and Congress for a costly commitment. Otherwise, Iraqis quickly could
become disillusioned about the benefits of liberation.

The cost of U.S. commitment will be measured not only in money, but also in
troops. While Bush and Rumsfeld have wisely eschewed any talk of an early
"exit strategy," they still seem to think U.S. forces won't need to stay
more than two years. Rumsfeld even denied a report that the U.S. armed
forces are planning to open permanent bases in Iraq. If they're not, they
should be. That's the only way to ensure the security of a nascent democracy
in such a rough neighbourhood.

Does the U.S. administration really imagine that Iraq will have turned into
Switzerland in two years' time? Allied rule lasted four years in Germany and
seven years in Japan. American troops remain stationed in both places more
than 50 years later. That's why these two countries have become paragons of
liberal democracy. It is crazy to think that Iraq -- which has less of a
democratic tradition than either Germany or Japan had in 1945 -- could make
the leap overnight.

The record of nation-building during the past decade is clear: The United
States failed in Somalia and Haiti, where it pulled out troops prematurely.
Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan show more promise because U.S. troops remain
stationed there. Afghanistan would be making even more progress if the
United States and its allies had made a bigger commitment to secure the
countryside, not just Kabul.

If we want Iraq to avoid becoming a Somalia on steroids, we'd better get
used to U.S. troops being deployed there for years, possibly decades, to
come. If that raises hackles about American imperialism, so be it. The
United States is going to be called an empire whatever it does. It might as
well be a successful empire.

Max Boot is an Olin senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and
author of The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American



by Mark Fineman
Los Angeles Times, 9th May

BAGHDAD - The Pentagon has paid nearly $90 million to a subsidiary of the
well connected Halliburton Co. to cater to the Americans who are working to
rebuild Iraq, U.S. officials said - while the reconstruction effort has yet
to show significant results for ordinary Iraqis.

The Defense Department gave Halliburton's KBR exclusive rights to the job -
which has included fixing up an extravagant presidential palace being used
by the Americans - under a broad U.S. Army logistics contract that pays the
company a fee based on a percentage of everything it spends, according to
Pentagon documents and Halliburton's corporate filings.

KBR, whose parent firm has had strong ties to Vice President Dick Cheney,
has drawn scrutiny for an emergency oil contract in Iraq that is becoming
increasingly lucrative.

Under a "task order" from the lesser-known logistics contract, the Defense
Department has rung up KBR's multimillion-dollar bill - which is expected to
nearly double - as the number of U.S. officials and Iraqi exiles working for
the Pentagon-created reconstruction agency balloons. In blocks-long convoys
from Kuwait, the firm is hauling in everything from prefabricated offices,
showers, generators and latrines the size of trailer homes to food and
bottled water.

As supplies for the Americans continue to arrive by the ton, little of the
millions KBR is spending have gone into the Iraqi economy that Washington
has pledged to restore. KBR's logistics job gives it no direct role in the
rebuilding of this shattered country; that falls to the Bush
administration's ambitious $2.4-billion reconstruction program, which is
being overseen by the State Department.

The company's most lucrative subcontracts are with trucking, catering and
security companies based in neighboring Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, oil-rich
nations with the best land routes into Iraq.

KBR and Pentagon officials say hiring Iraqis and buying local goods are a
top priority. Although the company subcontracted with one Iraqi-owned firm
that has bought local goods and recruited more than 350 Iraqis to work for
the Americans, the firm estimates that the move has put just $100,000 into
the local economy so far.

Antiwar activists have asserted that U.S. corporate profits were among the
motives in waging the campaign in Iraq, which has the second-largest oil
reserves on the globe. Other critics have charged that the Dallas-based
Halliburton has received preferential treatment from the Bush

Cheney was Halliburton's chief executive officer for five years until he
resigned in August 2000 to be George W. Bush's running mate. Cheney no
longer owns stock in the company, and spokesmen for both the Pentagon and
KBR deny favoritism; both said the Army logistics contract sanctioning the
company's work for the Iraq reconstruction agency was competitively bid
before it was awarded in 2001.

But another contract that KBR won to repair Iraq's oil fields and put out
postwar oil and gas fires was not competitively bid. And it has been a
lightning rod for criticism.

The Army Corps of Engineers, citing urgency and the need for secrecy,
awarded KBR the exclusive, classified oil contract March 8, after KBR had
done a similarly classified study on how to solve Iraq's postwar oil

Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) is spearheading an effort to expose
details of the KBR oil contract, and his latest exchange of letters with
Army Corps commander Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers this week disclosed that the
scope of work for Halliburton's subsidiary in Iraq's oil industry goes well
beyond firefighting and emergency repairs.

In a May 2 letter, Flowers wrote that the Halliburton contract also includes
"operation of facilities and distribution of products" for the Iraqi oil

Flowers added that the contract, which has a ceiling of $7 billion but is
expected to cost much less, will continue at least until August, when the
corps is planning to issue a competitively bid contract to repair Iraq's oil
infrastructure that could run through 2004.

Far lesser known is the contract that the Pentagon used to deploy KBR to set
up, cater to and care for the Iraq-based officials of the postwar
reconstruction agency here. That contract has no cost ceiling.

Dubbed the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, the contract was awarded in
December 2001 and can remain in place for up to 10 years. Specifically, it
requires KBR "to deploy within 72 hours of notification and to deliver
combat support and combat service support for 25,000 troops within 15 days,"
according to Halliburton's corporate documents on file with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

The logistics program "provides the war fighter with additional capabilities
to rapidly support and augment the logistical requirements of its deployed
forces through the use of a civilian contractor," the company stated in the
press release that announced the contract award, which was dated Dec. 14,

The company has billed the Pentagon for hundreds of millions of dollars for
work done under the contract during America's rapidly expanding military
presence abroad since the Sept. 11 attacks. It has built and maintained
bases and other facilities and catered to the needs of U.S. troops in
Afghanistan and even Djibouti, a key East African outpost in the
U.S.-declared war on terrorism.

An official in Baghdad with the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and
Humanitarian Assistance, known as ORHA, insisted that the company's work for
the agency is appropriate under the contract: "This was an Army mission.
It's supporting the Army, which is supporting ORHA."

The official said he doubted that KBR's work for the reconstruction agency
would exceed $200 million, but he added that it already has eclipsed
original estimates because the agency and its mission have grown
exponentially - and far beyond what KBR and the Pentagon had projected when
they planned the job in January.

The company's initial work order for the Iraq job was for $69.5 million,
based on an ORHA work force of about 350 in three sectors - the north, the
south and central Iraq.

As of this week, ORHA staff has ballooned to more than 1,000 people
throughout the country, which the agency has now divided into four sectors,
and the ORHA official said he expects the agency's staff to grow to as many
as 2,000 in the months ahead.

A second "task order" for an additional $20 million was issued by the Army
last month, and the Pentagon is in the process of awarding a third one.
"We're expecting a significant increase," the ORHA official said, indicating
that the increase will be more than what KBR already has spent.

KBR's task has been logistically taxing and dangerous, and most defense
industry analysts say few other companies could manage it.

Its truck convoys move through several hundred miles of desert and urban
areas that the U.S. military still has not fully secured. And the massive
Republican Palace in Baghdad that serves as the agency's national
headquarters is a contrast in grand opulence and harsh subsistence: More
than 650 agency personnel sleep in grand halls of Florentine marble, crystal
chandeliers and gold leaf - on cots.

The palace still has no running water. Electricity has been spotty, and
until this week, most of the reconstruction agency's staff was dining solely
on military meals-ready-to-eat rations.

The Babel Tourist Hotel, which the agency commandeered last week as the
headquarters of its "south-central sector" in Hillah, an hour's drive south
of the capital, is in similar shape. On Wednesday, KBR-contracted trucks
were bringing in prefabricated buildings, office pods and generators.

And in Baghdad, a small army of the Iraqi workers hired by the newly formed,
London based Iraq Project & Business Development Co. is grateful for work
that starts at $2 a day to clear garbage, clean latrines and mop the palace

A scene at the palace one typical afternoon this week underscored the
contrasting economies that are part and parcel of KBR's job here.

As several Iraqi supervisors assembled a group of carefully selected KBR
cleaning recruits from Baghdad's desperate work force, Saudi and Kuwaiti
truckers making as much as 200 times the Iraqis' salaries were bringing in
imported computers, desks, chairs and other furniture.

When asked specifically what is covered by KBR's "task order" to serve the
basic needs of the reconstruction agency, the ORHA official in Baghdad
replied: "I guess the real question is, what doesn't it cover?",12239,953645,00.html

by Antony Barnett and Solomon Hughes
The Observer , 11th May

James Woolsey, former CIA boss and influential adviser to President George
Bush, is a director of a US firm aiming to make millions of dollars from the
'war on terror', The Observer can reveal.

Woolsey, one of the most high-profile hawks in the war against Iraq and a
key member of the Pentagon's Defence Policy Board, is a director of the
Washington-based private equity firm Paladin Capital. The company was set up
three months after the terrorist attacks on New York and sees the events and
aftermath of September 11 as a business opportunity which 'offer[s]
substantial promise for homeland security investment'.

The first priority of Paladin was 'to invest in companies with immediate
solutions designed to prevent harmful attacks, defend against attacks, cope
with the aftermath of attack or disaster and recover from terrorist attacks
and other threats to homeland security'.

Paladin, which is expected to have raised $300 million from investors by the
end of this year, calculates that in the next few years the US government
will spend $60 billion on anti terrorism that woul not have been spent
before September 11, and that corporations will spend twice that amount to
ensure their security and continuity in case of attack.

The involvement of one of the most prominent hawks in Washington with a
company standing to cash in on the fear of potential terror attacks will
raise eyebrows in some quarters.

In 2001 US Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz sent Woolsey to Europe, where he
argued the case for links existing between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. He
was one of the main proponents of the theory that the anthrax letter attacks
in America were supported by Iraq's former dictator.

More recently Woolsey told CNN about Saddam's attempts to produce a
genetically modified strain of anthrax. He told the US broadcaster: 'I would
be more worried over the mid to long term about biological weapons, because
the chemical gear, we're - I think we're pretty well equipped to deal with.
But there have been stories that Saddam has been working on genetically
modifying some of these biological agents, making anthrax resistant to
vaccines or antibiotics.'

Little evidence was provided for the Iraq link to the anthrax attacks and
the FBI is now investigating a lone US scientist whom it believes was
responsible. But Woolsey's assertions added to a political atmosphere in
which spending on equipment designed to protect individuals and firms from
terror was predicted to mushroom.

One of Paladin's first investments was $10.5m in AgION Technologies, a firm
devising anti germ technology that it hopes will 'be the leader in the fight
against bacterial attacks initiated by terrorists on unsuspecting civilian
and military personnel'.

Woolsey is not alone among the members of the Pentagon's highly influential
Defence Policy Board to profit from America's war on terror.

The American watchdog, the Centre for Public Integrity, showed that nine of
the board's members have ties to defence contractors that won more than
$76bn in defence contracts in 2001 and 2002. Woolsey's fellow
neo-conservative, Richard Perle, had to resign his chairmanship of the board
because of conflicts of interest, although he remains a board member.

The hawks and their money

DICK CHENEY, Vice President

Cheney once ran oil industry giant Halliburton whose subsidiary, Kellogg
Brown & Root, has won lucrative contracts in post-Saddam Iraq. The Defence
Department gave KBR exclusive rights to a $90m contract to cater for the
Americans who are working on rebuilding Iraq. KBR also won a lucrative
contract to repair Iraq's oilfields.

DONALD RUMSFELD, Defence Secretary

Rumsfeld was a non-executive director of European engineering giant ABB when
it won a £125m contract for two light water reactors to North Korea - a
country he now regards as part of the 'axis of evil'. Rumsfeld earnt
$190,000 (£118,000) a year before he joined the Bush administration.


An influential member of the Pentagon's Defence Policy Board, Perle is
managing partner of venture capital company Trireme, which invests in
companies dealing in products of value to homeland security. It sent a
letter to Saudi arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi arguing that fear of terrorism
would boost demand in Europe, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

GEORGE SHULTZ, ex-Secretary of State

Shultz is on the board of directors of the Bechtel Group, the largest
contractor in the US and one of the favourites to land lucrative contracts
in the rebuilding of Iraq. Shultz is chairman of the the advisory board of
the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a fiercely pro-war group with
close ties to the White House.

Hoover's (Financial Times), 11th May
Source: The Sunday Telegraph (United Kingdom)

BRITISH COMPANIES are to be given a share of lucrative contracts worth
hundreds of millions of pounds to rebuild Iraq, following a change of heart
by the US government.

UK construction and engineering firms wishing to participate in the
reconstruction of Iraq are to be invited to presentations by the US Agency
for International Development (USAID) and leading American construction and
engineering firms to be held in London later this month.

The meeting follows an outcry after it emerged that only US companies would
be invited to bid for reconstruction work by USAID.

A spokesman for Balfour Beatty, the construction group, said: "It is now
becoming the done thing for US companies to partner with UK companies. We
have suddenly been approached by quite a number of them. The way things are
moving, it is not a question of whether we will participate but how and with

USAID is handing out contracts for work totalling $2.4bn in the first phase
of reconstruction of the shattered country. Acccording to some estimates,
the total reconstruction bill could eventually be $100bn.

USAID and American firms such as Fluor, Parsons, Louis Berger and Kellogg
Brown & Root will outline the work likely to become available to British
subcontractors at the meeting, which will be held at the headquarters of the
Department of Trade and Industry on May 23.

Airlink USA, which has been awarded a contract to refurbish Baghdad, Basra
and three other Iraqi airports, will be present and looking for

Balfour Beatty is already believed to be in discussions with Bechtel, the US
engineering giant which has won a $680m contract to repair roads, hospitals
and other infrastructure in Iraq.


BBC, 8th May

The Commander of British troops in Iraq is on his way home. Air Marshal
Brian Burridge reflected on the military campaign in an interview with BBC
Radio 4's Today programme. Here is a transcript of the full interview.

Q: Air Marshal, how would you assess the balance between the achievement of
military objectives and the difficulties which still remain to be solved?

A: I wouldn't characterise Iraq's difficulties as huge problems - I mean
they're difficult for sure but the military campaign was, by military
standards, a stunning success. We managed to preserve the treasure house of
Iraq in the shape of their oil and that was a really, really important thing
to do.

It was mercifully short and therefore the infrastructure didn't suffer too
badly and in so doing we've of course removed the most brutal, corrupt and
reprehensible regime in history. And I have to say, in all the detailed
knowledge I've gathered really since we stopped fighting - talking to
people, understanding more - even I underestimated just how bad this regime

So the Iraqi people can look ahead in the longer term with, I think, some
confidence. And I'm particularly pleased to see schools coming back to
normal and investment being put into children, in that the future is really
in the next generation in Iraq.

Q: And yet there are pressing problems of a very obvious nature, like clean

A: Well I wonder how pressing that problem is. You've got to remember that,
for example in the area of Basra that I know well, 80% of the population now
have running water which was a greater proportion than ever before. The
problem is that the infrastructure is in such poor shape that we lose vast
amounts of water and lakes form, and you can see fountains coming up through
the pavement because the place has been neglected for 25 years. And Saddam
used water as a weapon.

But Unicef are doing great work in trying to restore as much of that as they
can - they're building a pipeline up from the south and really militarily
we've done as much as we can do with our expertise on that sort of
infrastructure - which is frankly make and mend - and now it needs the
really deep investment and deep attention of real experts.

Q: And a long-term commitment from outside if it's going to be sorted out,
doesn't it?

A: Sure, and commitment and expertise - I mean it's very useful to have
PowerGen with us who with real expertise could analyse the situation over
power in Iraq, and they said the power transmission lines were badly damaged
in the Iran/Iraq war - they've not been repaired and the whole thing is
going to be limited until we get decent infrastructure in there, and that's
what we've got to do.

Q: Looking at the whole thing in the round, from the objectives as they were
stated in London and Washington to the conclusion of the fighting. How
important do you think it is to find weapons of mass destruction, to
demonstrate to people that the warnings that we were given by Mr Blair and
Mr Bush, particularly about the nature of the threat from Iraq, were real?

A: I think it's very important. I know the stuff is there.

Q: You know it's there?

A: It will take forensic uncovering. There's no doubt that there is evidence
of an expensive research programme which will be revealed through searches
of documents, people are telling us more things and it will be discovered.

Q: You know this for a fact? You're absolutely sure? Sorry to interrupt
there but it's a terribly important point as you'll realise, because all
sorts of people - many who were sceptical about the war and so on - but
people more generally, are saying look, they haven't found anything, was
this place a threat? Now you're saying you know, you absolutely know that
there is stuff and it will be found - how do you know?

A: Yeah, I can understand why people would be sceptical because they don't
get the chance to deal in the sort of analytical information that I get. But
if you start from 1985 and the use of chemical weapons against the Kurds,
particularly Halabja 15 years ago, that shows an intent and a capability and
that capability has continued to exist and been developed and we're sure of

And we are also sure that in order to defeat the great efforts of the UN and
the UN arms inspectors, that Saddam went to great lengths in order to hide
it. There's only a very few people who understood in the closing days of the
regime exactly where the weapons of mass destruction - both documentation
and production facilities - were. But it's described here as a forensic
piece of archaeology.

Q: The threat - you saw what the Iraqi army did in terms of defending
Baghdad...a lot of people looking in from the outside said that the whole
thing just crumbled - it was amazing in the way that it melted away as the
Americans approached Baghdad. That makes people wonder what the threat
really was?

A: The defence of Baghdad did not just crumble because it wasn't very good.
It crumbled because the speed, tempo - our ability to manoeuvre completely
unhinged the regime's ability to command and control. I mean it's almost an
apocryphal story now. The first commanding officer we captured on the route
into Baghdad said, 'I was told you were 160 kilometres away' and so they had
lost the ability to position their forces to use them properly.

But make no mistake, I've seen some of their equipment - the Republican
Guard equipment was in good condition - plenty of ammunition and sadly we're
coming across so much ammunition in urban areas etc. So they had invested in
them and had the Republican Guard themselves had the will to fight as
individuals, then it would have been a very different sort of fight.

by Judy Dempsey in Brussels
Financial Times, 8th May

Poland is reconsidering its plans to command one of the three military zones
the US has provisionally designated for the multinational stabilisation
force in Iraq, as the legal and military implications become more apparent.

Nato officials say the US plans envisage five divisions of troops, drawn
principally from the US and aided by forces from other countries. The three
zones will cover the north, the centre and the south of the country, with a
division varying between 15,000 and 20,000 soldiers.

Poland has emerged as the leader of the northern zone with one division,
although officials said US troops would retain some presence in Kurdish
areas that flank Turkey's southern border.

The central zone would consist of three divisions, of which two would be
provided by the US. Washington wants members of its "coalition of the
willing" to make up the other division.

The fifth division would be based in the south and led by Britain, with
military contributions from Spain and other countries.

Poland, however, appears to be having a change of heart over the scope of
its mission, which its officials discussed with Donald Rumsfeld, US defence
secretary, earlier this week.

Nato officials say there is a growing realisation by Warsaw that it does not
have the experience for leading such an operation. It lacks the planning
capability and says it will require financial assistance to send more than
1,500 troops.

The Polish armed forces are also short of English speakers, which will be a
hindrance as English is the operating language for Nato forces.

However, a Bush administration official said on Wednesday that the US had
full confidence in Poland's ability to manage the north.

"This is the first time Poland has undertaken this kind of an operation,"
the official said. "The disagreements over the last few months have been
hard for everyone, and I imagine hard for Poland as well, but I think that
Poland, with the help of its friends, will manage this successfully."

Jerzy Szmajdzinski, Polish defence minister, told the Washington Times this
week that he intended to ask Denmark and Germany to contribute to Warsaw's
division and help with the logistics of the planned operation.

He suggested the planning staff could be drawn from a Danish-German-Polish
joint corps, established shortly after Poland joined Nato in 1999, and based
in the Polish Baltic city of Szczecin.

But Peter Struck, German defence minister, rejected the idea, saying Berlin
had no intention of sending soldiers to Iraq without a clear United Nations
mandate coupled with a mandate from the German parliament.

Though it did not initially question the legal basis for joining the Iraq
stabilisation force, Poland is also looking for a UN mandate in order to
satisfy public opinion and its European Union partners.,5744,6416991%255E17

The Australian, 10th May

QUEEN Elizabeth II has made it known that she is not in favour of a victory
march for British troops returning from Iraq, a British newspaper reported

"The Queen will be prepared to lead the nation at a commemoration service
for British servicemen who died (in Iraq), but would hesitate to take part
in any victory parade," the Times said, citing Buckingham Palace sources.

"We will be happy to participate in what the defence ministry feels is
appropriate," said a palace spokeswoman, adding: "At the moment that seems
to be moving towards a service of thanksgiving."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's office said yesterday that the defence
ministry had been charged with the delicate task of organising a church
service to mark the end of hostilities in Iraq.

The thanksgiving service would involve Britain's royal family, Blair,
military top brass and the families of those who died.

Victory over Saddam Hussain's regime would not be celebrated in the
triumphalist manner seen in 1982 when a full-scale military parade took
place in London after Britain overcame Argentine forces in the Falklands

The Times recalled that the Queen and 14 members of the royal family had
attended the religious ceremony at Saint Paul's cathedral in London
following the Falklands war but had stayed away from the victory march.

After the 1990-1991 Gulf War, in contrast, the Queen took part in a parade,
flanked by the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the crown prince of

BBC, 13th May

International Development Secretary Clare Short resigned from the government
on Monday. Here is her statement to MPs explaining her reasons for quitting
her job.

I have decided to resign from the government.

I think it is right to explain my reasons to the House of Commons to whom I
have been accountable as secretary of state for international development -
a post I have been deeply honoured to hold and am very sad to leave.

I had many criticisms of the way in which events leading up to the conflict
in Iraq were handled. I offered my resignation to the prime minister on a
number of occasions but was pressed by him and others to stay.

I have been attacked from many different angles for that decision but I
still think, hard as it was, it was the right thing to do.

The reason I agreed to remain in the government was that it was too late to
put right the mistakes that had been made.

I had throughout taken the view that it was necessary to be willing to
contemplate the use of force to back up the authority of the UN.

The regime was brutal, the people suffering and our attorney general
belatedly, but very firmly, said there was legal authority for the use of

And because the opposition was voting with the government the conflict was
unavoidable. I decided I should not weaken the government at that time and
should agree to the prime minister's request to stay and lead the UK
humanitarian and reconstruction effort.

However, the problem now is that that the mistakes that were made in the
period leading up to the conflict are being repeated in the post-conflict

In particular, the UN mandate necessary to bring into being a legitimate
Iraqi Government is not being supported by the UK Government.

This, I believe, is damaging to Iraq's prospects, will continue to undermine
the authority of the UN and directly affects my work and responsibilities."

The situation in Iraq under international law is that the coalition are
occupying powers in occupied territory. Under the Geneva Convention of 1949
and the Hague regulations of 1907 the coalition has clear responsibilities
and clear limits to its authority.

It is obliged to attend to the humanitarian needs of the population, to keep
order and keep civil administration operating.

The coalition is legally entitled to modify the operation of the
administration as much as is necessary to fulfil these obligations but is
not entitled to make major political, economic and constitutional changes.
The coalition does not have sovereign authority and has no authority to
bring into being an interim Iraqi Government with such authority, or to
create a constitutional process leading to the election of a sovereign

The only body that has the legal authority to do this is the UN Security
Council. I believe it is duty of all responsible political leaders right
across the world, whatever view they took on the launch of the war, to focus
on reuniting the international community in order to support the people of
Iraq in rebuilding their country, to re-establish the authority of the UN
and to heal the bitter divisions that preceded the war.

I am sorry to say that the UK Government is not doing this. It is supporting
the US in trying to bully the security council into a resolution that gives
the coalition the power to establish an Iraqi Government and control the use
of oil for reconstruction with only a minor role for the UN. This resolution
is unlikely to pass but if it does it will not create the best arrangements
for the reconstruction of Iraq.

The draft resolution risks continuing international divisions, Iraqi
resentment against the occupying powers and the possibility that the
coalition will get bogged down in Iraq.

I believe the UK could and should have respected the attorney general's
advice, told the US this was a red line for us and worked for international
agreement to a proper UN-led process to establish an interim Iraqi
Government, just as was done in Afghanistan.

This would have been an honourable and wise role for the UK and the
international community would have united around this position.

It's also in the best interests of the US.

In both the run up to the war and now, I think the UK is making grave errors
in providing cover for the US mistakes, rather than helping an old friend,
which is understandably hurt and angry about the events of September 11, to
honour international law and the authority of the UN.

American power alone cannot make America safe. Of course we must all unite
to dismantle the terrorist networks and, through the UN, the world is doing
this. But undermining international law and the authority of the UN creates
the risk of instability, bitterness and growing terrorism that will threaten
the future for all of us.

I am ashamed that the UK Government has agreed the resolution tabled in New
York and shocked by the secrecy and lack of consultation with departments
with direct responsibility for the issues referred to in the resolution.

I'm afraid this resolution undermines all the commitments I have made in the
House and elsewhere about how the reconstruction of Iraq will be organised.

Clearly this makes my position impossible and I have no alternative than to
resign from the government. All of this makes me very sad. I believe the
government I have served since 1997 has a record of which all who share the
values of the Labour party can be proud.


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