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[casi] News, 07-14/05/03 (5)

News, 07-14/05/03 (5)


*  Dr. Huda Ammash's Detention - Jailed for Exposing Costs of Sanctions &
*  Health chief refuses to disavow Baath party
*  Former vice-president of Iraq under Syrian army protection
*  Relatives of Iraqi leaders fled to Syria: Assad
*  Coalition Takes Another Card
*  Civil turmoil greets Iraq's new U.S. leader


*  US sanctions move is likely to be accepted
*  Text of U.S.-supported U.N. resolution on Iraq
*  Don't lift the sanctions yet


by Abu Spinoza
Counterpunch, 8th May

The US occupation military forces in Iraq recently detained Dr. Huda Sali
Mahdi Ammash, a Iraqi scientist. South End Press, the publishers of Dr. Huda
Ammash, in a press release has suggested that "there may be political
motivation for her detention." Dr. Ammash published a peer-reviewed paper,
"Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions," in an anthology Iraq Under
Siege (South End Press, undated edition, 2002), edited by Anthony Arnove.
Co-publisher of the anthology, Alexander Dwinell said: "We are outraged at
the U.S.'s extra-legal detention of Dr. Ammash and its plans to interrogate
her. We demand that Dr. Ammash be released immediately." He added: "The US
government is trying to silence Dr. Ammash's outspoken criticism of the US
role in causing cancers and other illnesses in Iraq through its own use of
biologically hazardous weapons such as radioactive deleted uranium."

In her paper, "Toxic Pollution, the Gulf War, and Sanctions," Dr Ammash
examines the effects of United States' use of depleted uranium during the
first Persian Gulf War, the spread of electro-magnetic fields in the
environment, chemical pollution, and massive destruction of Iraq's
infrastructure on public health. Her assessment of the overall effect is
that US actions are largely responsible for the deterioration of public
health in Iraq. She writes: "Iraqi death rates have increased significantly,
with cancer representing a significant cause of morality, especially in the
south and among children." This view is shared by other scientists and

According to biographical details that are available from various sources,
Professor Ammash was born on 1953 in Baghdad. He obtained her B.Sc., in
Biology from University of Baghdad in 1975 and her M.S., in Microbiology
from Texas University, Denton, Texas. In 1983 she obtained her Ph.D., in
Microbiology from University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri, USA. She
elected a Fellow of Islamic Academy of Science (IAS) in 2001. She has had a
distinguished academic and professional career in Iraq. She served as Dean
of College of Education for Women, University of Baghdad and as Dean of
College of Science (1995 1997). Her publications include, "Impact of Gulf
War Pollution in the Spread of Infection Diseases in Iraq" (Soli Al-Mondo,
Rome 1999) and "Electronic, Chemical, and Mircobial Pollution Resulting from
War and Embargo, and its Impacts on the Environment and Health," (Journal of
the [Iraqi] Academy of Science, 1997).

The US occupation forces had listed Dr. Ammash among the 55 most-wanted
Iraqi officials. Dr. Ammash is the daughter of Saleh Mahdi Ammash, a former
vice-president, defense minister and member of the Baath party's leadership.
He was reportedly executed on Saddam Hussein order in 1983.

The US authorities have not given any reason for Dr. Ammash's detention. She
was shown on Iraqi television on March 27th sitting next at the same table
as Saddam Hussein. That cannot be sufficient ground for detention. Attending
a meeting with a dictator of a country under attack by a foreign superpower
is not a crime. Donald Rumsfeld had no qualms about attending a meeting with
Saddam Hussein at the height of the regime's brutality.

The US has been unable to find any concrete evidence of the existence of
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The arrests of Iraqi scientists and
technicians may be an attempt to (a) concoct some circumstance evidence of
an Iraqi program for developing weapons of mass destruction, (b) mute
criticism of United States' occupation by Iraqi scholars and scientists, and
(c) stifle Iraqi's technological and scientific potential for years to come.
Since the US has offered no reasons of Dr. Ammash's detention, one can only
speculate about its reasons for her detention.

However, occupation authorities have an obligation under international law
to follow the rules and procedures of Geneva Convention. The US has shown a
consistent pattern of disregarding international laws and norms unless it
suits its purpose. Hence, it is up to the people of the United States to
compel the US occupation authorities to at least abide by minimum acceptable
standards of civilized nations. The progressive community should demand the
unconditional release of Dr. Huda Ammash as part of its campaign to end the
illegitimate US occupation of Iraq.

Dawn, 11th May

BAGHDAD, May 10, AFP: Iraq's controversial US-appointed interim health chief
caused a firestorm on Saturday when he refused to publicly renounce
membership in the Baath party of former strongman Saddam Hussein.

Ali Shnan al-Janabi, a senior Baath member under Saddam, skipped out the
back door of the health ministry after a heated press conference at which he
was asked to confirm a pledge he had signed denouncing the party.

"The coalition forces have dissolved the Baath party. I've signed a paper
renouncing my membership and we are following the new orders diligently," he
said following a meeting on Iraq's battered health sector attended by more
than 200 health professionals.

But when asked point-blank to renounce the Baath party, he refused.

"I say that question is incorrect. Maybe I don't understand the question,"
he said.

An intense focus has developed on Iraq's health care system, which aid
agencies say is in a critical state. Many Iraqi hospitals were either
damaged in the US-led bombing campaign or during a wave of looting that
followed Saddam's downfall a month ago.

They were also badly affected by a dozen years of crippling UN sanctions,
although the health ministry has been accused of adding to the problem
through corruption and mismanagement of hospitals to the point that patients
died needlessly.

The senior advisor to the ministry from the US Office of Reconstruction and
Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) for post-war Iraq, Stephen Browning, defended
Janabi's appointment to the sensitive post.

He hailed "significant" reforms the temporary health chief announced at the
meeting, especially measures to allow Iraqi doctors to practice more freely.

He said Janabi was named by doctors both inside and outside Iraq, as well as
by groups such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, as "a
respected and courageous doctor and administrator."

"When I asked people about Dr. Ali Shnan's character they assured me he was
the man for the position," he said.

But he added of any ministry employees not ready to denounce the former
ruling party: "We certainly don't want them to serve."

"I can only say that (Janabi) signed a sworn statement saying he renounced
the Baath party," Browning said.

He also announced a private Iraqi company would start providing former
soldiers to guard the health ministry, which was badly looted. Other private
contractors would be hired to protect hospitals, some of which are currently
being guarded by US army troops.

The US advisor said everyone who wanted to work with the health ministry
would have to sign the anti-Baath pledge - the first of its kind - and that
he was encouraging other ministries to draw up similar documents.

US officials have repeatedly said Baath party membership would not
automatically disqualify people from jobs in post-war Iraq, and that the
backgrounds of many who have already resumed work were still being checked.

"Under the old regime it was part of your identity, we had to be part of the
party. I'm not an active member of the Baath party anymore," Janabi told the
press conference.

Hoover's (Financial Times), 11th May

The former vice-president of Iraq is being sheltered at a military base in
the Syrian capital Damascus, according to a Gulf diplomat, speaking to the
British Telegraph newspaper.

Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of Saddam Hussein's closest henchmen, is said to
be under the protection of Syria's Republican Guard in a military base near
the airport.

He is among many regime figures who are believed to have slipped into Syria
before Damascus sealed the border.

"The Syrians allowed him to stay," the diplomat told The Telegraph. "A
substantial sum of money was paid to cross the border on an unmarked route
used by shepherds." Rassem Raslan, a former Syrian ambassador to Paris, said
that Izzat Ibrahim had been a regular visitor to Damascus in the past two
years. "There were many opportunities for officials from Baghdad to come
here and build relations," he said. "People who were involved in improving
trade ties and putting the oil pipeline into operation have been able to use
their connections to get in," he added, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile, many former Iraqi officials are making plans to move out from
Syria. Last week, American intelligence officials accused France of
providing passports to fleeing regime officials who want to come to western

The French government denied the charges, but a Syrian employee of the
French embassy in Damascus claimed that eight Iraqi officials from the oil
and finance ministries had been given passports in the middle of April.

"The commercial section of the embassy received passports for eight Iraqi
officials and members of their families," he said. He claimed that Paris
also ordered that a passport issued for Tahir Jalil al-Habbush, a former
head of Iraq's intelligence service who is on America's wanted list, should
be cancelled soon after it had arrived.

Daily Star, Bangladesh, 12th May

AFP, Washington: Syria gave haven to families of Iraqi regime leaders, but
not the leaders themselves, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an
interview in the May 19 edition of US magazine Newsweek

"Some of them came to the border. They weren't allowed to come in," he said
of members of Saddam Hussein's regime, many of whom disappeared during the
US-led invasion of Iraq.

"We allowed families to come to Syria, women and children. But we were
suspicious of some of the relatives -- that they had positions in the past
and were responsible for killings in Syria in the '80s," Assad told the

But he insisted that volunteers who entered Iraq via Syria to fight in
support of Saddam Hussein crossed over a lengthy unsealed border.

"The government of Syria had no relations with these volunteers," or with
"individuals" who smuggled arms into Iraq, Assad said.

"We only have two official checkpoints from which you can enter Iraq, but
the border is 500 kilometers. How can you close it? I told Mr Powell, 'you
have an army, you control it.'"

US Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Assad in Damascus on May 3,
following heated criticism from Washington over Syria's alleged links to
anti-Israeli groups and the former Iraqi regime.

Assad said he believed Powell when he said there were no plans for US
military actions against Syria, despite the spike in anti-Syria rhetoric.

"Powell is the rational wing" of President George W. Bush's administration,
the Syrian leader was quoted as saying.

CBS, 12th May

DOHA, Qatar, May 7, 2003:U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq have taken a
former official of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party into custody, U.S. Central
Command announced Wednesday.

Ghazi Hammud, Baath regional chairman in the Kut district, is in custody,
the command said in a statement. He is No. 32 on Central Command's list of
the 55 most-wanted members of Saddam's regime  and the two of hearts on the
deck of cards issued to help U.S. soldiers identify regime figures.

The statement did not give details of where or when he was taken into
custody or whether he surrendered or was taken by force.

With his detention, the United States has now acknowledged holding 20 of the
55 most wanted. At least one is believed to have been killed in an


Iraqi leaders captured to date include:

No. 10 Muzahim Sa'b Hassan al-Tikriti, who headed Iraq's air defenses under

No. 16 Abdel Tawab Mullah Huweish, director of the Office of Military
Industrialization and a deputy prime minister in charge of arms development.

No. 18 Muhammad Hamza al-Zubaydi, former member of Iraqi Revolutionary
Command Council and central Euphrates regional commander. Played key role in
brutal suppression of Shiite Muslim uprising of 1991.

No. 21 Gen. Zuhayr Talib Abd al-Sattar al-Naqib, former head of the
Directorate of Military Intelligence.

No. 24 Samir Abd al-Aziz al-Najim, senior figure in Saddam's Baath Party.

No. 32 Ghazi Hammud, Baath regional chairman in the Kut district.

No. 40 Jamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan al-Tikriti, Saddam's son-in-law and
deputy head of the Tribal Affairs Office.

No. 41 Mizban Khadr Hadi, appointed commander of one of four military
regions Saddam established on the eve of the war.

No. 42 Taha Muhie-eldin Marouf, only Kurd among Saddam's hierarchy and one
of Saddam's two vice presidents.

No. 43 Tariq Aziz, former deputy prime minister.

No. 44 Walid Hamed Tawfiq al-Tikriti, former governor of Basra province and
member of Saddam's clan.

No. 45 Hikmat Mizban Ibrahim al-Azzawi, finance minister and deputy prime

No. 47 Amer Mohammed Rashid, oil minister and a former general who led
Iraq's top-secret missile program.

No. 48 Muhammad Mahdi al-Salih, former trade minister.

No. 49 Lt. Gen. Hossam Mohammed Amin, national monitoring director.

No. 51 Watban Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, Saddam's half brother.

No. 52 Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, another half brother of Saddam.

No. 53. Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, a top biological weapons scientist known as
"Mrs. Anthrax" and the only woman on the list.

No. 54 Abd al-Khaliq Abd al-Gafar, Iraq's minister of higher education and
scientific research.

No. 55 Lt. Gen. Amer al-Saadi, who officials say led Iraq's unconventional
weapons programs.

No. 5, Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali," is believed to have
been killed.

by Patrick E. Tyler
San Francisco Chronicle, from New York Times, 13th May


The U.S. military, meanwhile, reported that it had captured two key figures
from Hussein's government. The first was the British-trained microbiologist
Rihab Rashid Taha al-Azzawi al-Tikriti, who was known as "Dr. Germ" for her
role in marshaling Iraq's biological warfare program.

"It is our right to have a capability and be able to defend ourselves," Taha
told the British Broadcasting Corp. in an interview this year when asked if
she was ashamed of her work on anthrax and other lethal pathogens. She said
she no longer carried out such research.

Taha's husband, former oil minister Amer Mohammed Rashid, surrendered to U.
S. forces on April 28.

Also taken into custody was the former chief of staff of the Iraqi armed
forces, Ibrahim Ahmad Abde al-Sattaf Muhammad al-Tikriti -- No. 11 on a list
issued last month of the 55 most wanted former members of Hussein's


LAST DAYS OF 'INTERNATIONAL LAW',,5944-674200,00.html

by James Bone and Roland Watson
The Times, 9th May

BRITAIN and the United States challenged the UN Security Council yesterday
to pass an aggressive new resolution endorsing their military presence in
Iraq and giving them power to spend the country's oil money under
international supervision.

Effectively sidelining the UN, the draft resolution would support the
creation of the interim Iraqi authority and assign a new UN "special
co-ordinator" to work alongside the allies in creating the new

The proposal would end UN sanctions on Iraq without any further role for UN
weapons inspectors and phase out the existing UN "Oil-for-Food" programme.

Victorious in battle, London and Washington are seeking to press home their
diplomatic advantage by pushing for a vote on the new resolution before the
end of the current phase of the UN 'Oil-for-Food" programme on June 3.

Diplomats said that other Security Council members had little stomach for
another bruising fight with Britain and the United States after the
diplomatic row over the war. "I do not think anyone is going to cause too
much trouble, given what happened last time," one UN official said.

France and Russia, two veto-bearing powers that enjoyed broad support in
their opposition to the war, would find themselves isolated in the 15-nation
council if they tried to block the lifting of sanctions. Germany, their
erstwhile ally, has already signalled that it is ready to end sanctions
without demanding that UN inspectors first certify Iraq free of weapons of
mass destruction, and Berlin is considering sending German peacekeepers to
the country.

The ambassador from one of the six "swing voters" on the council who helped
to block a "war resolution" in the run-up to the conflict said that his
country was likely to support the latest US-British proposal.

Under the proposal, the two countries would write to the Security Council
president acknowledging their responsibilities as "occupying powers" in
Iraq. The council would endorse their presence for "an initial period of 12
months . . . to continue thereafter as necessary unless the Security Council
decides otherwise."

The draft resolution would "support the formation, by the people of Iraq
with the help of the 'occupying powers' and working with the (UN) Special
Co-ordinator, of an Iraqi interim authority as a transitional administration
run by Iraqis until a permanent government is established."

The Security Council would lift the 12-year-old oil embargo and other
non-military sanctions and wind up the "Oil-for-Food" programme over four
months by paying off contracts.

Iraq's oil revenues would then be deposited in an "Iraqi assistance fund" at
the central bank under the supervision of an international advisory board,
including representatives of the UN, the International Monetary Fund and the
World Bank. But the oil money would be spent for the benefit of the Iraqi
people "at the direction of" the occupying powers, in consultation with the
Iraqi interim authority.

The new UN co-ordinator would play a political as well as an humanitarian
role. The draft resolution says his tasks would include "working with the
'occupying powers' and the Iraqi people to form a new government".

Diplomats say the United States is pushing for the UN to name Sergio Vieira
de Mello, the UN human rights commissioner, as its co-ordinator in Iraq. The
charismatic Brazilian, a rising star in the UN system, is said to be
interested in changing jobs. But insiders say Kofi Annan, the UN
Secretary-General, fears that he may use the post as a springboard to seek
Mr Annan's job.

The UN secretariat has drawn up a list of four Arabic-speaking figures for
the job: former prime ministers from Jordan, Morocco and Egypt and Lakhdar
Brahimi, the veteran UN official who oversees its operation in Afghanistan.

The resolution does not mention the UN weapons inspectors. John Negroponte,
the US Ambassador to the UN, said that he saw no role for them in the
"foreseeable future" despite Russia's and France's insistence that they
certify Iraq free of weapons of mass destruction.

The diplomacy unfolded under the threat of unilateral US action. Officials
have signalled that the US is ready to breach UN sanctions if they are not
lifted. This week the US lifted its own sanctions which have prevented
American companies exporting equipment to Iraq for a decade.

US Assistant Secretary of State Kim Holmes declared himself pleased with
talks he had with top Russian officials on the draft resolution.

USAToday, 9th May

Text of a United States-supported resolution for the United Nations Security
Council, from a draft copy circulated among U.N. diplomats on Friday:

Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of Iraq;

Reaffirming the importance of disarmament of Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction and ballistic missiles in accordance with its previous relevant

Stressing the right of the Iraqi people to freely determine their own
political future, welcoming the commitment of concerned parties to support
the creation of an environment in which they may do so as soon as possible,
and expressing resolve that the day when Iraqis govern themselves must come

Encouraging efforts by the people of Iraq to take the first step toward
forming a representative government based on the rule of law that affords
equal rights and justice to all Iraqi citizens without regard to ethnicity,
religion, or gender,

Welcoming the April 15 2003, Nasiriyah statement and the April 28 2003,
Baghdad statement,

Resolved that the U.N. should play a vital role in providing humanitarian
relief, in supporting the reconstruction of Iraq, and in helping in the
formation of an Iraqi interim authority,

Noting the statement by the Group of Seven Industrialized Nations in which
the members recognized the need for a multilateral effort to help rebuild
and develop Iraq and for the need for assistance from the I.M.F.
(International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank in these efforts,

Welcoming the resumption of humanitarian assistance and the continuing
efforts of the Secretary-General and the specialized agencies to provide
food and medicine to the people of Iraq,

Welcoming the appointment by the Secretary General of his Special Adviser on

Reaffirming the need for accountability for crimes and atrocities committed
by the previous Iraqi regime,

Stressing the need for respect for the archaeological, historical, cultural,
and religious heritage of Iraq, and for the continued protection of
archaeological, historical, cultural, and religious sites, museums,
libraries and monuments,

Noting the letters of 8 May 2003, from the Permanent Representative of the
United States of America and the United Kingdom to the President of the
Security Council and recognizing the specific authorities, responsibilities,
and obligations under applicable international law of these states as
occupying powers and the responsibilities of others working now or in the
future with them under unified command (the "Authority");

Concerned that many Kuwaitis and Third-State Nationals are still not
accounted for since 2 August 1990,

Determining that the situation in Iraq, although improved, continues to
constitute a threat to international peace and security;

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Appeals to Member States and interested organizations to assist the
people of Iraq in their efforts to reform their institutions and rebuild
their country and return to the international community as a member in good

2. Calls upon all Member States, in a position to do so, to respond
immediately to the humanitarian appeals of the United Nations and other
international organizations for Iraq and to help meet the humanitarian needs
of the Iraqi people by providing food, medical supplies and resources
necessary for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq's economic

3. Calls upon all Member States to deny safe haven to those members of the
previous Iraqi regime responsible for crimes and atrocities;

4. Encourages efforts to locate, identify and repatriate all Kuwaitis and
third-State nationals or their remains present in Iraq on or after 2 August
1990, which the previous Iraqi regime failed to carry out;

5. Decides that all Member States shall take appropriate steps to facilitate
the safe return to Iraqi institutions of Iraqi cultural property and other
items of archaeological, historical, cultural rare scientific, and religious
importance illegally removed from the Iraq National Museum, the National
library and other locations in Iraq since the adoption of resolution 661 of
2 August 1990, including by establishing a prohibition on trade in or
transfer of such items and items with respect to which reasonable suspicion
exists that they have been illegally removed;

6. Calls upon the Authority to promote the welfare of the Iraqi people
through the effective administration of the territory, including in
particular working towards the restoration of conditions of security and
stability and the creation of conditions in which the Iraqi people may
freely determine their own political future;

7. Calls upon all concerned to comply fully with their obligations under
international law including in particular the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and
the Hague Regulations of 1907;

8. Requests the Secretary General to appoint a Special Coordinator for Iraq
whose responsibilities will involve coordinating of the United Nations in
post-conflict processes in Iraq, coordinating among U.N. and international
agencies engaged in humanitarian assistance and reconstruction activities in
Iraq, coordinating with the Authority, and assisting the people of Iraq

(a) support for and coordination of humanitarian and reconstruction
assistance by U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations;

(b) support for the orderly and voluntary return of refugees and displaced

(c) working with the Authority and the people of Iraq with respect to the
restoration and establishment of national and local institutions for
representative governance;

(d) facilitating the reconstruction of key infrastructure, in cooperation
with other international organizations;

(e) promoting economic reconstruction and the conditions for sustainable
development, including through coordination with national and regional
organizations, as appropriate, civil society, donors and the international
financial institutions;

(f) encouraging international efforts to contribute to basic civilian
administration functions;

(g) promoting human rights;

(h) encouraging international efforts to rebuild the capacity of the Iraqi
civilian police force;

(i) supporting international efforts to promote legal and judicial reform;

9. Supports the formation, by the people of Iraq with the help of the
Authority and working with the Special Coordinator, of an Iraqi interim
authority as a transitional administration run by Iraqis until a permanent
government is established by the people of Iraq;

10. Decides that, with the exception of prohibitions related to the sale or
supply to Iraq of arms and related materiel other than those arms and
related material required by the Coalition to serve the purposes of this and
other related resolutions, all prohibitions related to trade with Iraq and
the provision of financial or economic resources to Iraq established by
Resolution 661 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions, including
Resolution 778 (1992) of 2 October 1992, shall no longer apply;

11. Notes the establishment of an Iraqi Assistance Fund, with an
international advisory board including duly qualified representatives of the
Secretary General, the International Monetary Fund. (Arab Fund for Social
and Economic Development) and the World Bank, to be held by the Central Bank
of Iraq, and to be audited by independent public accountants chosen by the
international advisory board;

12. Decides further that the funds in the Iraqi Assistance Fund shall be
disbursed at the direction of the Authority, in consultation with the Iraqi
interim authority, for the purposes set out in paragraph 13 below;

13. Underlines that the Iraqi Assistance Fund should be used to meet the
humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, for the economic reconstruction and
repair of Iraq's infrastructure, for the continued disarmament of Iraq, and
for the costs of indigenous civilian administration, and for other purposes
benefiting the people of Iraq;

14. Decides that the Iraqi Assistance Fund shall enjoy the privileges and
immunities of the United Nations;

15. Welcomes the readiness of international financial institutions to assist
the people of Iraq in the reconstruction and development of their economy
and to facilitate assistance by the broader donor community;

16. Requests the Secretary General, in consultation with the Authority, to
continue the exercise of his responsibilities under Security Council
resolution 1472 (2003) of 28 March 2003 and 1476 (2003) of 24 April 2003,
for a period of four months following the adoption of this resolution, as
necessary to ensure the delivery of priority civilian goods under contracts
approved by the 661 (1990) Committee pursuant to paragraphs 8 (a) and (b) of
resolution 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995, to the extent not modified or
terminated, or as necessary to fulfill other commitments made pursuant to
those resolutions;

17. Decides that all funds remaining in the escrow account established
pursuant to resolution 986 (1995) that have not been allocated as of the
date of the adoption of this resolution to finance the export of goods to
Iraq under paragraph 8(a) or (b) of that resolution, and that have not been
committed by the Secretary General pursuant to his authorities under
Security Council resolution 1472 (2003), shall be transferred promptly to
the Iraqi Assistance Fund in order to provide for the urgent needs of the
Iraqi people;

18. Decides that all export sales of petroleum, petroleum products and
natural gas from Iraq following the date of the adoption of this resolution
shall be made consistent with prevailing international market practices, to
be audited by independent public accountants reporting to the international
advisory board referred to in paragraph 11 above, and decides further that,
except as provided in paragraph 19 below, all proceeds from such sales shall
be deposited into the Iraqi Assistance Fund, until such time as a new Iraqi
government is properly constituted and capable of discharging its

19. Decides further that 5% of the proceeds referred to in paragraph 18
above shall be deposited into the Compensation Fund established in
accordance with resolution 687 of 3 April 1991 and subsequent relevant

20. Further decides that petroleum, petroleum products and natural gas
originated in Iraq, and proceeds of sales thereof, shall be immune from
judicial, administrative, arbitration or any other proceedings (including
any prejudgment or postjudgment attachment, garnishment, or execution or
other action to satisfy a judgment) arising in relation to claims, of
whatever kind and whenever accrued, against Iraq or any instrumentality or
agents thereof (or the Authority, or its participating states or their
instrumentalities or agents), and that all Member States shall take any
steps under their respective domestic legal systems necessary to give full
effect to this paragraph;

21. Decides that all Member States in which there are:

(1) funds or other financial assets or economic resources of the Government
of Iraq or its state bodies, corporations, or agencies, located outside Iraq
as of the date of this resolution, or.

(2) funds or other financial assets or economic resources that have been
removed from Iraq, or acquired, by Saddam Hussein or other senior officials
of the former Iraqi regime and their immediate family members, including
entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by them or by persons
acting on their behalf or at their direction, shall freeze without delay and
immediately cause the transfer of those funds or other financial assets or
economic resources to the Iraqi Assistance Fund; and further decides that
all such funds or other financial assets or economic resources shall enjoy
the same immunities and protections as provided under paragraph 20;

22. Endorses the exercise of the responsibilities stated in this resolution
by the Authority for an initial period of 12 months from the date of the
adoption of this resolution, to continue thereafter as necessary unless the
Security Council decides otherwise;

23. Requests the Special Coordinator to report to the Council at regular
intervals on his work with respect to the implementation of this resolution;

24. Calls upon Member States and international and regional organizations to
contribute to the implementation of this resolution;

25. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

by Rahul Mahajan
Z-Net, 9th May

After five years spent working to end the sanctions on Iraq, I find myself
in an odd position. I'm opposed to the current U.S. plans to end the

The new situation is fascinating. For a dozen years, every time we in the
anti-sanctions movement talked about the suffering caused by the sanctions
(well over 500,000 children under the age of five dead and a society in
ruins), the constant refrain  from the Bush administration, the Clinton
administration, and the Bush administration -- was that the suffering was
not caused by sanctions but by the regime. Once the regime is destroyed,
miraculously, the Bush administration realizes overnight that sanctions were
actually harmful and that it's necessary to remove that burden from the
Iraqi people in order to provide humanitarian aid and reconstruction.

Adding to the confusion, the two countries on the Security Council
previously most against continuation of the sanctions, France and Russia,
did an about-face and opposed the U.S. plans. Both (especially Russia) have
insisted that sanctions cannot be lifted until U.N. weapons inspectors
certify that Iraq is disarmed of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This is
true even though Vladimir Putin of Russia openly mocked Tony Blair about the
dramatically unconfirmed claims by "coalition" members that Iraq possessed
WMD that posed a threat to the world.

Did this administration, which tried to keep Iraqi infants from being
vaccinated for diphtheria and limited imports of streptomycin into the
country, see a blinding light on the road to Baghdad? And did other
countries suddenly decide that the deaths of Iraqi children was, as
Madeleine Albright put it in an interview in 1996, a price worth paying  and
this time merely in order to uphold a trivial legalistic argument?

Actually, it's not so confusing. The United States has moved to consolidate
control over Iraq. The talks being held by selected members of the "Iraqi
opposition" under the control of the U.S. military are not intended to
create an independent government, but rather one which is tightly controlled
by the United States  just as in Afghanistan. As in Afghanistan, the
meetings are excluding entire segments of the political spectrum. They are
being done with express disregard of calls across that spectrum for meetings
to be held under neutral U.N. auspices rather than under those of an
occupying power with clear plans for increased regional domination.

Those plans have become clear as well. The Bush administration wants to set
up permanent military bases in Iraq, making it the main Middle East staging
area for U.S. "force projection." The massive political leverage given by
this presence will be used as a club against Iran and Syria and also to
force the Palestinians to acquiesce to the Israeli occupation through the
latest "peace plan." The administration also wants not only to open up
future Iraqi exploration to foreign corporations (with U.S. and maybe
British corporations presumably favored) but to privatize, at least in part,
the state oil companies and their currently producing wells.

All of these things can be obtained through the U.S. military presence and
the creation of what will essentially be an Iraqi puppet government.
However, some problems are the kind that can't be solved by bombs. Existing
U.N. resolutions require Security Council approval for Iraqi oil sales and
for disbursement of oil money to pay for other goods. Other countries may be
leery of buying Iraqi oil without some clear understanding that what they're
doing is legal, so the United States cannot simply declare those resolutions
void by fiat, the way it declared war on Iraq.

The draft resolution being currently circulated would give the United States
very open, explicit control over Iraq's oil industry and the money derived
therefrom. Then, instead of being forced to disburse USAID funds to
corporations like Bechtel that are closely tied to current and past
administration figures in closed bidding processes with no foreign
corporations allowed, the United States will be able to use Iraq's money to
pay off mostly American corporations. In the process, it will try to escape
the legal obligation it shares with the United Kingdom: since they committed
an illegal aggressive war (with no Security Council authorization) against
Iraq, they are financially responsible for the reconstruction. Iraq should
not have to pay for its own reconstruction, especially since for years to
come its oil revenues will be barely enough to meet the basic needs of its

This fundamental violation of the rights of the Iraqi people is being done
in the name of the immediate crisis faced. Yet the way that the sanctions
work is not the way they used to. Most imports are automatically approved
without any requirement for deliberation by the Sanctions Committee.
Furthermore, the biggest bureaucratic delays were created by deliberate U.S.
understaffing, so that there were never enough people to review all the
proposed contracts (see Joy Gordon's article "Cool War: Economic Sanctions
as a Weapon of Mass Destruction, Harper's, November 2002). Finally, all
members of the Security Council have indicated willingness to cooperate in
expediting the release of all goods required for immediate needs. In the
long run, the sanctions must be lifted because they impose a highly
inefficient foreign control of the Iraqi economy, causing the collapse of
local economic activity and requiring money that should be spent internally
to be spent on foreign corporations; in the short run, there is no
compelling reason to lift them in the absence of a legitimate Iraqi
government that has the right to make choices about how Iraq's oil wealth is
to be used for the benefit of the Iraqi people, not for U.S. corporate
boondoggles and plans for military-based political domination.

France and Russia are opposing this move (France rather weakly), not because
of any genuine concern about WMD, but for two reasons. First, the venal one:
they don't want to be completely shut out of any lucrative postwar contracts
and certainly want to hang on to oil concession deals signed with the
previous Iraqi regime. Second, a reason that activists in the United States
and elsewhere should support fully: they don't want to retroactively
legitimize U.S. aggression and thus contribute further to its more and more
openly imperial role in the world.

In fact, overt subordination of the United Nations to the United States is a
central part of the Bush administration agenda. It has served notice that
the U.N. has no role in anything "important"  not in weapons inspections, in
the Iraqi political process, in major reconstruction decisions, nor in
peacekeeping (where a multinational "coalition of the willing" is being
assembled). Instead, as George Bush said, the "vital role" of the U.N. is
easily defined: "That means food. That means medicine. That means aid." Or,
as Richard Perle said even more openly, in an op-ed shortly after the war
began titled "Thank God for the death of the U.N.," "The 'good works' part
will survive, the low-risk peacekeeping bureaucracies will remain, the
chatterbox on the Hudson will continue to bleat." No longer content with a
system where nominally the U.N. is the ultimate authority but the United
States dominates it by coercion and bribery, the Bush administration wants
explicit recognition that the U.N. should play only the roles allowed to it
by the United States.

An example from history helps to illuminate the fundamental principle
regarding the sanctions. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, one of the
first things it did was try to set up a puppet regime composed of Kuwaitis
to rule the country as a satellite of Iraq. It would actually have withdrawn
most of its army had that regime gotten any international recognition.
Instead, the sanctions that were levied at U.S. insistence embargoed not
only Iraq's oil sales but Kuwait's. Kuwaiti oil was not to be sold so that
an illegitimate regime could not plunder Kuwait's oil wealth for the benefit
of the Iraqi government. Those sanctions were indefensible for reasons that
don't apply today, including the almost complete termination of food imports
into Iraq (although food was technically allowed under UN Security Council
Resolution 666, in practice virtually none got in). The principle, however,
was sound.

Today, the United States is willing to (partially) withdraw after it
installs its own puppet regime (one that will presumably have more
independence than the one Iraq tried to install, but will still be
subservient to U.S. dictates). It also wants to plunder Iraq's oil wealth
for its own political purposes and for the benefit of U.S. corporations.
This is reason enough to keep the sanctions on until there is a legitimate
Iraqi government. This can only happen if U.S. and other "coalition" forces
withdraw, there is a multinational U.N. peacekeeping force with no
participation from any of the aggressor nations, and the Iraqis are given a
genuine chance to exercise their right to self-determination.

Rahul Mahajan is a member of the Nowar Collective
( His newest book, "Full Spectrum Dominance:
U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond" will be out
in June 2003. His articles are collected at He
can be reached at

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