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News titles, 11-18/6/03 (Wednesday to Wednesday) The strongest argument that supporters of the conquest are able to appeal to at the present time is the existence of mass graves (see Problems of the Past). Most of which are a consequence of various risings, most notably in 1991. Then, thanks to the irresponsible policy pursued by the United Nations, Iraqi society collapsed completely and large numbers of people associated with the government were killed (so far I have no indications as to what was done with the bodies). The Iraqi government had to restore its authority quickly in very difficult circumstances and under threat of instant annihilation by the 'International Community' sitting on its doorstep. The English Speaking Peoples are faced with a much milder version of the same problem - milder because their means of intimidation are so much greater and they do not have a Superpower with a megaphone next door urging the people to rebellion. So where the Iraqi government killed thousands, the invaders (having already killed thousands during the course of the 'war') are only killing hundreds. At least so far - its early days yet. Whether they allow relatives to collect and bury their dead is still unclear - though the absence of Palestinian, or Irish, style martyrs' funerals suggests that perhaps they don't. At any rate no-one yet seems to be in a hurry to dig up the mass grave by the side of the road to Basra or in other places where the 1991 war was fought and, presumably, the bodies of Iraqi soldiers buried alive in their trenches by the forces of the United Nations may still be found. NEWS, 11-18/6/03 (1) ADMINISTRATIVE PROBLEMS * US-led coalition pushes for early privatization in Iraq ['without waiting for a new government': "I think it is the right direction. I don't have any doubt about it," the US advisor said.] * CPA announces $100 million in reconstruction projects in Iraq ["The $100 million will come from Iraqi funds," Bremer said.] * UN hopes of big influence over postwar Iraq fade ['as detailed proposals for the management of Iraqi oil receipts threatened to leave multilateral institutions with only minor powers.'] * U.S. Sets Up Iraq Court, Plans Baathist Purge PROBLEMS WITH THE 'ALLIES' * U.S. troops raid SCIRI, KDP offices * Iraqi royal returns to Baghdad... [Sharif Ali bin al-Husayn, the cousin of Iraq's last king and head of the opposition group-cum-political party, the Constitutional Monarchy Movement (CMM). Considering that he has been very close to the INC, he's taken his time about it. Has he been waiting for A.Chalabi to disgrace himself utterly?] * 'Dodgy dossier' still posted on Downing Street website * [Jeremy Greenstock] [With his usual infallible diplomatic tact our Prime Minister appoints as ambassador to Iraq the man who for years defended the UN sponsored torture of Iraq] PROBLEMS WITH THE PAST * Forensic experts say mass grave in Iraq is recent [in Salman Pak] * Iraqi Kurds discover another mass grave of Saddam's victims: report * Remains of second Kuwaiti PoW found in Iraq ‹ minister [Anyone remember the INC saying a month ago that they personally had found a whole mass grave full of them (see eg Patrick E. Tyler: Mass grave signals fate of Kuwaitis, http://www.iht.com/articles/96690.html)?] * Ex-Iraqi ambassador says Saddam deserved to be overthrown ['But Mohammad Al Douri argued in a television interview broadcast by BBC World Monday that Iraqis ‹ not the US led coalition ‹ should have toppled Saddam.'] PROBLEMS WITH THE PRETEXT * CIA Rejects Blame for Bush's Iraq Uranium Claim [They say they told him it was rubbish] * Successor named to head UN inspections team [Demetrius Perricos] * Democrat Henry Waxman, Asks Condoleezza Rice "Why did President Bush cite forged evidence about Iraq" [This and the next: two letters on President Bush's use, in his State of the Union address, of the forged letter implicating the Iraqi government in an attempt to obtain uranium from Niger] * Documentation Waxman: 'Explain Why You Cited Forged Evidence' * Levin Seeks Release of WMD Intelligence [Carl Levin wanting to ascertain if it is true that the US shared its best intelligence with UNMOVIC] AND, IN NEWS, 11-18/6/03 (2) HUMANITARIAN PROBLEMS * Aid agencies reject money due to strings [Mercy Corps and Save the Children: 'Ellen Yount, AID press office director ... said officials merely intended to coordinate with grant recipients for a consistent message to the American public.' Indeed] * Iraq: Water and sanitation [USAID press statement, to be read in conjunction with 'Aid agencies reject money due to strings' above. This is the sort of 'consistent message' to which the aid agencies are to be expected to adhere.] * Routine immunization of children re-established across Iraq [UNICEF press statement: 'The country's vaccines were kept in a building at the Vaccine and Serum Institute of Baghdad. The institute was struck by missiles during the war and all electricity to the store room was cut.'] PROBLEMS WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD * US seeks more time beyond the law [Jim Lobe on the attempt to prolong exemption from prosecution by the ICC. The question is posed if the Security Council has the right to grant such an exemption given that 'the UN charter does not grant it power to amend an international treaty'. The question however is academic, given that under the UN Charter the Security Council is the only body that can enforce an international treaty, therefore only the Security Council can decide whether or not any particular international treaty is to be effective] * How to Stop America [Extract in which George Monbiot argues the need 'to tear up the UN's constitution, override the US veto and seek to build a new global security system, against the wishes of the hegemon.' And that the opportunity to do this is provided by the fanaticism of the neocons who are acting against US strategic interests. So far so good. He goes on to argue that in a superior system of internatoional law 'each nation's vote should be weighted according to both the number of people it represents and its degree of democratisation'. Perhaps, but the thing's already a big enough job so let's just start with the world as it is and the principle of one state, one vote.] * US plays aid card to fix war crimes exemption [Pressure on the Balkans. US threatens to withdraw 'military aid' (is that a threat?) if the Balkan countries do not grant immunity. Some irony given that the US is also putting pressure on Serbia to deliver up its military top brass to the International Kangaroo Court (IKC) in the Hague. The EU is putting pressure on the same countries not to deals with the US (why do they bother? there is no prospect of the US submitting to international law. They should simply be excluded from it)] * War crime vote fuels US anger at Europe [More on the EU pressure on countries not to make agreements exempting the US from possible war crimes prosecutions] * US turns to the Taliban [Interesting account, arguing that it will be impossible for the US to control Afghanistan without striking a deal with the Taliban. And that they know it] * Belgium: questions and answers on the "anti-atrocity" law [Summary of the present state of the idea of 'universal jurisdiction'. It does not include discussion of the US practise of applying domestic law internationally] * The Iron Handshake [US pressure on India to join the 'coalition' in Iraq] PROBLEMS WITH THE NEIGHBOURS * Iraqi oil chief freezes oil agreement with Jordan [but Saudi Arabia steps into the breach] * Bahraini banks say agreement necessary on unpaid Iraqi debt before new investment can be made * Iraqis in Iran: Unwelcome at home, unwanted abroad [Important NY Times article on Iraqis expelled to Iran in the wake of the failed 1991 rising. The US, having created the circumstances which led to their expulsion, doesn't want them back again in case they are pro-Iranian] * American-Arab free trade area [Jordan Times analysis of likely consequences] AND, IN NEWS, 11-18/6/03 (3) PROBLEMS WITH THE PEOPLE * U.S. Military Stages Major Operation in Iraq [Operation Peninsula Strike, in Thuluya, 45 miles north of Baghdad: 'Some of the detainees were as young as 13 years old.'] * Iraqi intelligence document instructs on postwar sabotage [Washington Times comes up with proof that all the looting and destruction was done on Iraqi government orders. Funny we haven't heard more about this ...] * Iraqi tribal chief assassinated in Al-Basrah [and other attacks on former supporters of the government] * Muqtada Al-Sadr in Tehran as followers rally against British * War may have killed 10,000 civilians, researchers say [Latest conclusions from the Iraq Body Count] * US 'copter shot down in Iraq - 15 Saddam loyalists killed in operation [More on Operation Peninsula Strike] * Iraqi shepherd sues Rumsfeld, Franks over loss of relatives and flock * Fighters' Camp Hit By Major U.S. Strike [Murder of around 68 non-Iraqi fighters near Rawa, 200 miles northwest of Baghdad and 30 miles east of the Syrian border: 'it was a camp area that was confirmed with bad guys, and specifically who the bad guys are will be determined as we exploit the site.'] * 5 U.S. soldiers injured in fighting on streets of Mosul [prompted by demonstrations by ex Iraqi soldiers demanding to be paid] * '113 killed in US bid to crush Iraqi resistance' [82 near Rawa, 27 near Balad, 4 in Dhuluiya (during hunt for 'Chemical Ali'), and various people killed or injured trying to escape from detention (we learn that the US is using Abu Ghraib prison) and three killed in an arms dump explosion near Mosul] * US troops ambushed in Iraq [on road between Baghdad and Balad. And launch of Operation Desert Scorpion] * Organized 'sabotage' undermines Iraq's crude oil deliveries [Explosions on Iraq/Turkey pipeline] MEDIA PROBLEMS * Iraq: US military & free speech [Account by Index on Censorship of the Iraqi Media Network (IMN), 'created in April 2003 by US defence technology giant Scientific Applications International Corp (SAIC) under contract to the Pentagon'] * Al-Jazeera hacker pleads guilty * Turning the tanks on the reporters [Powerful account from The Observer of the US terror campaign against journalists reporting from the enemy side] _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk