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News, 9-16/7/03 (3) RESTORATION OF THE MEANS OF LIFE * Groups question quality of water * Electricity cuts at hospitals continue to kill THE RADIANT FUTURE * Break up Iraq now! * On America's side in Iraq * Blair seeks new powers to attack rogue states * Washington's Afghan plan unravels HELPING HANDS ACROSS THE WORLD * Vikings in Iraq * France Rules Out Sending Troops to Iraq * India says 'no' to U.S. on troops for Iraq MOPPING UP THE PAST * Iraq civilian body count passes 6,000 * [Figures for US injured in war] * Kwaiti says it identified four missing Kuwaitis dead in Iraq * Two high officials of ousted Saddam's regime arrested * Former iraqi spy boss announces personal hunt for Hussein * Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid: Leader of Iraq's Chaldean Catholics * More mass graves in northern Iraq RESTORATION OF THE MEANS OF LIFE http://www.baghdadbulletin.com/pageArticle.php?article_id=41&cat_id=1 * Groups question quality of water by Ralph Hassall Baghdad Bulletin, 7th July On June 24, a power outage left Baghdad without water for two days. Electric pumps were unable to work and no water was pumped to the network. Even the toilets in the offices of Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer were unable to flush. "The Electricity Authority is responsible," said the vice-manager of the Baghdad Water Authority, Mohammed Qassim Hussein. "The situation for us is now normal, but we don't know what they are going to do in the electricity department." A senior Coalition Joint Task Force spokesman blamed the power failure on looters who attacked an important tower between Baiji power station and Baghdad ‹ a charge confirmed by the Central Electrical Dispatch Centre. The current security situation has left engineers unable to fix nighttime problems in both water and electricity networks, and at the moment one relies almost totally upon the other. The water system uses electrical pumps ranging between 400 volts to 11 kV, and the total electricity consumption range is between 50 to 70 MW a day, about five percent of Baghdad's daily power consumption. This doesn't include the electricity required to pump water to the tanks at the top of people's houses. Most water is treated at two large water plants. The April 7 project at Rasafa is responsible for western Baghdad, and the Al-Karkh project in Tarmia supplies water for the larger eastern side. Smaller water treatment plants such as the Al-Wahda project, which supplies water to Medical City, are sited around the capital to meet specific area demands. "We treat the water and supply all water stations in Baghdad," said control supervisor Mohammed Muthena at the Tarmia facility. "The water cut was due to an electrical failure. We have three backup generators, two of eight megawatts and a smaller generator of three megawatts. Unfortunately, none of them work." The Al-Karkh project is the fifth largest in the world and the largest in the Middle East. It draws 1.5 billion liters of water from the Tigris at Dijla and turns it into 1.1 billion liters of drinkable water each day. "During the power strike we used our diesel generators for two to three days, but when Tarmia was out of service we couldn't provide all the water," said Abbas Haider, an electrical engineer at Rasafa. The generators in the Rasafa station are all operational thanks to the help of the International Red Cross. The aid agency is now busy trying to repair the house-sized generators at Tarmia; which in April were so overworked that they blew up. The Al-Karkh project supplies around 300 million liters per day to the April 7 project and thus the Rasafa region is dependent on Tarmia's operational efficiency. "If there is no power, water can still flow to the network, but very slowly," Haider said. "During the big power cut, we pumped to Rasafa, but because Tarmia was down we could only operate at half capacity." Haider ‹ a Rasafa resident himself ‹ said he received water at home during this time. His good fortune is almost certainly due to the repair work carried out by the IRC on the Qanat pumping station in mid-April. Qanat, which pumps to northern Rasafa, was missiled during the war and received emergency repair work, including a new compressor. But many other districts in Rasafa couldn't receive any water during the power strike because other stations couldn't provide the necessary pressure. "Water leaves our station through a 1.6 meter diameter pipe that runs along the canal. There are pipes leading from it to various districts. Once the water leaves our station, it is not our problem," Haider said. "It is a network problem." Short-term backup systems are in place, but these are unable to meet the great demands illustrated by the big power cut. The reservoirs of Tijla and Shimali ‹ both of which are supplied by Tarmia ‹ have tanks that can provide a negligible emergency supply of two to three hours. Is the water safe to drink? Cracks in the water pipe network and reduced water pressure allow dirty and clean water to mix. Of 11,000 km of main water pipes in Baghdad, 5,000 km are in need of repair. To combat the risk of contamination, two tons of chlorine are added to Baghdad's water supply to kill bacteria. "Our project is 45 kilometers from Baghdad. Chlorine disappears along the pipe, reacting with contaminants. When we pump it in, the water has a residual chlorine level of 1.5 milligrams per liter. When it comes out of the tap, we have a residual level of 0.5 milligrams per liter," Hussein said.The lowest internationally accepted level is 0.5 milligrams per liter. Between April and May this year, a "rapid quality assessment" of the water in Primary Health Care Centers in both Al-Karkh and Al-Rasafa was carried out by Cooperazione Internazionale, a Greek NGO. The report stated that in Al-Rasafa, 21 out of 56 samples analyzed were not fit for human consumption. In Al-Karkh 33 out of 54 samples we deemed unsafe. Some chlorine levels were so low they were recorded as zero. In some water sources they found parasites and bacteria. "Water in the system is severely contaminated, with the analysis showing only half of it is fit for human consumption," according to a COOPI assessment performed in May. Drops in water pressure are also caused by excessive water usage by Baghdad residents. Adnan Abdallah, head of planning at the BWA, explained that some residents have been taking large quantities of water from the network using electrical pumps. The water drain causes pressure to drop in the pipes, sucking in dirty water from the outside. Keeping an eye on chlorine levels is not straightforward, even at the stations where it is added to the water. The gauge that automatically measures the chlorine levels at Tarmia has been broken for some time, but the levels can be monitored in an onsite laboratory. In Rasafa, a laboratory is used to check the level. "Our people can use the instruments and US soldiers come and work at the lab," said Haider, though he admitted the lab is not staffed on a daily basis. The supply of chlorine in Iraq is limited and more will be needed in the not-so-distant future. "I don't know when we will get more, but there is enough that we can work until the end of the year without resupply. If we need more, we will ask the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to help us," said Youssef Jouad, an electronics engineer at Tarmia. Fact and rumor "The Tigris water is clean," said Abdullah, but tales of deliberate and accidental water contamination are common. "Ziala was just a rumor," he said, referring to allegations of deliberate contamination of the river with radioactive materials. "But we have no ability to check the radio activity percentage anyway the responsible department no longer exists." The possibility of accidental contamination is high. During the water cleaning process, in addition to chlorine, the river water is treated with a succession of chemicals which separate the water from the mud. The unwanted muddy sludge is then pumped back into the river along with the chemicals. Like any chemical, in high concentrations they can be harmful to humans and the environment. The Tarmia plant was only designed to operate until the year 2000 and is now due for overhaul. A document titled: "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" produced for the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington DC in January 1991, lists causes for concern in Iraqi water quality. Apart from underlining the difficulties the water treatment industry would suffer under sanctions it reported that drinking the highly mineralized water in the rivers could result in diarrhoea and stones forming inside the body. COOPI supported this assessment. "These negative factors give rise to major concerns of outbreaks like watery and bloody diarrhoea, typhoid fever, cholera and hepatitis A. In Baghdad City, COOPI considers the threat of an epidemic is now critical and expected to worsen," the organization stated in a press release. So far there have only been reports of isolated incidents but summer heat is expected to raise the risk. On a broader level, the DIA report of 1991 also predicts that: "failing to secure supplies (of water treatment materials) will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease and to certain pure-water-dependent industries becoming incapacitated, including petrochemicals, fertilizers, petroleum refining, electronics, pharmaceuticals, food processing, textiles, concrete construction, and thermal power plants." http://www.baghdadbulletin.com/pageArticle.php?article_id=50&cat_id=1 * ELECTRICITY CUTS AT HOSPITALS CONTINUE TO KILL by Allaa Yousef Baghdad Buletin, 7th July Paul Bremer visited our hospital two months ago. We were told that the purpose of his visit was to see the sick children. I was asked to be with the medical personnel and welcome him on his visit. He met a large number of our doctors, nursing staff and management employees. He talked about the "liberation of Iraq," and he also said that everything will be alright within two weeks. Electricity, he said, will be maintained, the water supply will reach everywhere and the security situation will be okay! This week, multiple events took place that made me remember the words of Mr. Bremer. The mains electricity went down all over the city last week. We are supposed to have a private cable for supplying our complex when such things happen, but this time when the supply went down, the generator failed to generate electricity. As a result, all our ventilators stopped functioning within two hours, when the emergency Uninterrupted Power Service power supply packs charged off. We turned my patients over to manual ventilation, using special bags connected to oxygen bottles to pump air to their lungs. We continued by this manual ventilation method for nine hours while the engineers were doing their best to repair the generator, but to no avail. We got permission from the manager to transport the patients to another hospital with all our equipment and ventilators, risking the life of all four of them. I had no other choice but to move them. Losing Sherrin, a six year-old girl, made things more difficult to deal with. Death chose her over all my other patients. Her system suddenly collapsed. She was an only child with blonde hair and green eyes. Her mother couldn't have children for six years of marriage and couldn't have any more after her. Before her death, her mother felt so dispirited she went to the US forces checkpoint in our medical complex and asked them for help. Somebody there promised her help, but nothing reached us. After 24 hours in the other hospital, in which we had gathered all our patients, I was told that our generator was fixed. After losing Sherrin, we returned to our hospital . Five days later I was woken up at three in the morning. My assistant informed me that a lot of patients were being transported to our hospital from Al-Eskan hospital because their hospital was on fire. I went down to the emergency unit and saw more than 20 patients with their terrified mothers. With the pediatric team, we started to examine the patients. Three needed intensive care but I had no beds available for them and two were in need of cardiac monitoring. One patient needed a ventilator. All the ventilators in the hospital were occupied by my patients (we have only three ventilators), so I left him to be ventilated manually by the oxygen bag system. The patient died an hour after his arrival. When will all these sad stories end? How much longer can we tolerate the pain and suffering of our people? How much more stress and working under pressure? When will it all stop? They say tomorrow is another day, the problem is that I'm not seeing tomorrow coming. THE RADIANT FUTURE http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/169.htm * BREAK UP IRAQ NOW! by Ralph Peters New York Post, 10th July PRESIDENT Bush consistently has done the right thing by ignoring the nay- sayers before, during and after Operation Iraqi Freedom. Yet he's in danger of making the same mistake his father did at the end of Desert Storm - doing only half the job. Just as the failure to press on to Baghdad in 1991 left Iraq and the entire region with cancerous problems, today's failure to recognize the artificial, unjust nature of the Iraqi state promises enduring discontent. Will American troops need to return to Iraq a third time, in another decade? Speaking of Iraq as a single, integrated country is a form of lying. Its borders were drawn by grasping European diplomats almost a century ago, with no regard for the wishes - or rivalries - of the local populations. Today, the Iraq we're trying to herd back together consists of three distinct nations caged under a single, bloodstained flag. Our problems are with only one of those nations, the Sunni Arab minority west and north of Baghdad. Favored by the British, the Sunni Arabs took power at Iraq's formation and maintained it through massacre, torture and imprisonment. Saddam Hussein was the ultimate expression of Sunni Arab tyranny over Iraq's Kurds and Shi'ites. By holding Iraq together with U.S. troops, we merely encourage the Sunni Arabs - who remain hostile to our presence, whose extremists attack our soldiers and who still intend to recapture control of the entire country. We are punishing our friends, rewarding our enemies and alienating the neutral. President Bush needs to perform radical surgery on Iraq now, while the world remains in a funk over our success. We still have a window through which we can thrust major reforms. But the window is closing. Defending the status quo is deadly folly. The break-up of Iraq should proceed in two stages. First, we should provisionally divide the country into a federation of three states, giving the Sunni Arabs one last chance to embrace reform. ‹ One state would encompass the Shi'ite region in the south, encompassing all of the southern oil fields. ‹ The second would be an expanded Kurdistan, including historically Kurdish Kirkuk and Mosul, as well as Iraq's northern oil fields. ‹ The third would be a rump Sunni Arab state sandwiched between the other two. ‹ Baghdad would become an autonomous district. Stop worrying about Shi'ite extremism. If we mean what we say about democracy, the Shi'ites should be free to choose whomever they want as their leaders - even fundamentalists. Although the odds of theocratic rule emerging or enduring in southern Iraq are lower than the media imply, the Shi'ites, who long have been oppressed and persecuted, should be free to determine their own future. Democracy means letting people make their own mistakes. We've made a few ourselves. The only thing upon which we should insist is strict supervision to ensure an honest vote. We must, however, make it clear to Iran that meddling will not be tolerated. As this column consistently points out, the Kurds deserve freedom and a state of their own. After the Jews and Armenians, they have been the most persecuted ethnic group of the last hundred years, always denied an independent homeland, shot, gassed, driven from their homes - and even victimized for the use of their native dialects. The world's willingness to look away from the long tragedy of the Kurdish people is inexcusable. And consider how strategically helpful a Kurdish state, reliant on U.S. military guarantees, might be. If the Kurdish people agreed to host our forces, we could abandon our bases in Turkey, the use of which has been restricted almost to worthlessness. New airbases amid a welcoming population would be quite a change in the region. Even the Saudis and the Gulf Arabs would be on notice. And what about Turkey? Our "long-time ally"? I have no personal grudge against Turkey. On the contrary,NÐ• êTy¿e country maH@imes and even took my wife there on our honeymoon. Istanbul remains one of my favorite cities. I've argued for years that Turkey was a vital ally. But times change. Turkish treachery on the eve of our recent war cannot be overlooked. Startled by the swiftness of our victory, the Turks immediately assured us that it was all a minor misunderstanding, that Turkey wished to remain the best of friends. Yet Turkey is again becoming the "sick man of Europe," plagued by ineradicable corruption, growing Islamic radicalism and a self-destructive military. The result of our renewed friendship? Last week, U.S. forces had to break up a secret Turkish military operation in northern Iraq, arresting a dozen of Ankara's special operations troops. The Turkish mission? To assassinate the senior Kurdish leader in Kirkuk. His crime? Cooperating with the Americans. The Turkish chief of staff, Gen. Ozkok, threw a public tantrum, insisting that we had created a grave crisis by busting his assassins. Sorry, pal. You created the crisis. And you just blew any chance you and your government had of rebuilding bridges to Washington that will bear any real weight. The Turkish military's scheme to undercut our occupation underscores the need for the Bush administration to stop thinking small when it comes to nation-building. Instead of just changing the oil in the old jalopy, it's time for a fleet of new cars. An independent Kurdistan should roll off the assembly line first. The second stage of the division of Iraq would kick in if the Sunni Arabs still refuse to cooperate: We would declare the interim Iraqi Federation dissolved, creating three fully independent states in its place, with the Kurdish and Shi'ite states meeting along the Iranian border to guarantee the Kurds a corridor to the sea for their oil, gas and trade. Then leave the Sunni Arabs to rot. Oh, and there just might be a third step down the road, too. We should not miss any opportunity to support the longing for freedom of the tens of millions of Kurds held hostage behind European-imposed borders in Turkey, Syria and Iran. For Americans serious about human rights and freedom, Greater Kurdistan must be a long-range goal. Military operations alone cannot change the Middle East. The European legacy of phony borders must be demolished, starting in Iraq. Don't betray our troops again by leaving the job unfinished to please our enemies. Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and the author of "Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World." http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/10_07_03_c.asp * ON AMERICA'S SIDE IN IRAQ by Michael Young Lebanon Daily Star, 11th July Recently, as the Anglo-American coalition forces in Iraq came under sustained attack, opponents of the war in Iraq adopted a new stratagem: They began systematically criticizing how the US civil administrator, Paul Bremer, was running affairs in his new domain, effectively calling on the Bush administration to salvage the results of an invasion they previously opposed. Such ambiguity was inevitable in a situation where the United States plainly miscalculated how to take control of post-war Iraq. Bremer is at the heart of a bureaucratic war between the State Department and the Pentagon, and the cost is being paid in American lives. He's taken unilateral measures that have eroded his authority, but was smart enough to partially backtrack on Monday, when it was announced that an Iraqi interim government would be formed later this month. Beyond Bremer and his tribulations, however, is a more fundamental certainty, one that even many of those opposed to the war realize: The United States must succeed in Iraq or the consequences could be catastrophic, especially for the Middle East. Catastrophic, first, because there are sundry groups around the world that, while their ties with the former regime of Saddam Hussein were never proven, would gain much confidence from the Bush administration's humiliation in Iraq. This includes Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hizbullah, each quite different in its own way, but whose agendas are all essentially conflict-driven. For the moment, Hamas and Hizbullah have accepted the reality of American power, momentarily interrupting their conflicts with Israel. However, Al-Qaeda continues to show signs of life, particularly in Afghanistan, so that an American pullout from Iraq would certainly undermine the Bush administration's commitment to ensuring that Afghanistan doesn't again fall into Osama bin Laden's lap. The states surrounding Iraq are more befuddled when surveying America's fortunes. On the one hand they fear the establishment of a pro-American democracy that might destabilize them and give their inhibited peoples something to dream about. On the other, if the Bush administration withdraws from Iraq, what will probably ensue is civil war and a breakdown of the country's territorial integrity. The vacuum could devastate regional stability, since Iraq would become a hub for antagonism between its neighbors. The first casualties of war are liberal intellectuals, because they're never quite sure which way to lean. They, rightly, dislike war on principle, but when a specific war advances the values they favor they are left with two options: to either pursue their opposition, which allows them to claim consistency, but also makes them seem incoherent by refusing to implement their principles; or to support the war, which makes them seem coherent, but also inconsistent. Intellectual chaos thrives today in the West over Iraq, as the war engendered a cornucopia of bleeding heart liberals, liberal hawks, Attila the Hun hawks, isolationist conservatives and old-line realists. The only thing potentially uniting the sensible ones is their outlook on an American defeat. They know that if Bremer and US forces turn tail in Iraq, liberalism will lose, as the country becomes a Hobbesian playground where thugs like Saddam Hussein would plot a comeback. What of Arab intellectuals? There have been lucid readings of the pitiable Arab condition since Saddam Hussein's mass graves were uncovered. However, Arabs, particularly Arab nationalists, remain ambivalent about whether to embrace the Baath overthrow or lament it. Therein lies a bizarre consequence of the Iraq war, as many thinking Arabs still yearn for an American setback. They want the US to be singed by the blowback of imperial hubris, disregarding what this will mean for millions of Iraqis who don't want war or more of Saddam Hussein, and who certainly don't want to pay for the Arab nationalist ardor of others. That's why there is a single sensible choice: to support the Americans in Iraq and insist they remain there until their task is ended. However, within this context, supporters must ensure that the policies adopted will bring about genuine Iraqi democracy. Forming an Iraqi provisional government is a step in the right direction, but only if Bremer is not seen as a puppet master. Meanwhile, demanding an American pullout must be abandoned for the near future, but never forgotten. The Bush administration's enemies realize that the key to American failure in Iraq is to sever the organic link between the occupation authorities and the Iraqi people. Bremer's mistakes have not made things easier. However, the long-term interests of Iraqis, their freedom and ability to avoid civil war, are tied into a transitory perpetuation of the occupation until a full-fledged Iraqi government takes over. Such words may irk some Arabs, but it's time to wake up: Whatever one thinks of America's Iraq war, a withdrawal now would be infinitely worse than staying on and ensuring that Iraq can stand on its one two feet, unified and emancipated. Michael Young writes a regular column for THE DAILY STAR. His weblog is www.beirutcalling.blogspot.com http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=424035 * BLAIR SEEKS NEW POWERS TO ATTACK ROGUE STATES by Andy McSmith and Jo Dillon The Independent, 13th July Tony Blair is appealing to the heads of Western governments to agree a new world order that would justify the war in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein's elusive weapons of mass destruction are never found. It would also give Western powers the authority to attack any other sovereign country whose ruler is judged to be inflicting unnecessary suffering on his own people. A Downing Street document, circulated among foreign heads of state who are in London for a summit, has provoked a fierce row between Mr Blair and the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder. Mr Schröder is in London for a summit of "progressive" governments, convened by Mr Blair, which opens today. Mr Blair has involved British troops in five conflicts overseas in his six years in office, and appears to be willing to take part in many more. The document echoes his well-known views on "rights and responsibilities" by saying that even for self-governing nation states "the right to sovereignty brings associated responsibilities to protect citizens". This phrase is immediately followed by a paragraph which appears to give the world's democracies carte blanche to send troops anywhere there is civil unrest or a tyrant who refuses to mend his ways. It says: "Where a population is suffering serious harm, as a result of internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the principle of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect." [.....] http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/EG15Ag01.html * WASHINGTON'S AFGHAN PLAN UNRAVELS by Ramtanu Maitra Asia Times, 15th July In recent weeks, two major incidents along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have laid bare the new complexities in the area. And a large part of the blame for these two incidents lies with the United States's duplicitous role in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The first of the two incidents occurred on July 4, a Friday afternoon at the Jama Masjid-o Imambargah Kalaan Isna Ashri, a Shi'ite mosque in Quetta in the western Pakistani province of Balochistan bordering Afghanistan. On that holy Muslim day, while the Shi'ite faithful were offering their prayers, three killers, apparently including a suicide bomber, attacked the mosque: 53 were killed and 57 injured. This is not the first time the Shi'ite community has been at the receiving end of such a vicious attack from presumed Sunni killers in Quetta. Less than a month ago, on June 8, 13 trainee police personnel, all belonging to the Shi'ite community, were slaughtered in the same town, which, incidentally, is a major headquarters of the Pakistan army. The second incident occurred three days later, on July 7, when about 2,000 Afghan demonstrators, protesting the Pakistan army's alleged occupation of Afghan territory in the Nangarhar and Kunar provinces along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, climbed the Pakistan embassy walls in Kabul and broke windows and furniture. Pakistan promptly closed the embassy. In all likelihood, the embassy will be opened shortly, but the bad blood developed between Islamabad and Kabul, both virtual client states of the United States, will continue to bring death and mayhem for some time to come. The Quetta killings were orchestrated by either the Sipah-e-Sahaba or the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, both virulent Sunni killer gangs fortified by the Taliban militia, al-Qaeda members and Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agents. It is rather well known that al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants have been avoiding the US dragnet by hiding in Balochistan and in Pakistan's tribal agencies (FATA) bordering Afghanistan. The Balochi Shi'ites, most of whom immigrated ages ago from the Hazara region in central Afghanistan, have been providing the Americans and the Pakistanis intelligence about al-Qaeda and Taliban militia in the province. That led to a number of arrests of al-Qaeda operatives. But while their intelligence was accepted, neither the Americans nor the Pakistanis saw it necessary to provide the Shi'ite sources with adequate security. It is certain that more killings will ensue, likely precipitating full-fledged sectarian violence between Shi'ites and Sunnis in already-troubled Pakistan that may, sooner or later, embroil the keeper of the Shi'ite faith - Iran. Indeed, some in Washington, particularly the neo conservatives thumping to "take out" the Iran regime, would like to get Tehran involved in the brawl. This crude layer of the American political mainstream hopes that such action by Tehran would provide the "smoking gun" to justify a regime change in Iran to the hapless American populace. The stoning of the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was yet another incident waiting to happen. The fact is that under the guidance of its Afghan-born expert, Zalmay Khalilzad, the Bush administration has been pursuing a policy that will not only set Pakistan and Afghanistan on the road to confrontation, but also threaten to tear down the already-stretched fabric of Pakistani society. To repeat the ABCs of this situation: the key players in Pakistan on whom the US is relying to eradicate Taliban extremists are the very individuals who created the Taliban. By supporting President General Pervez Musharraf in his power grab in 1999 in a coup under the pretext of replacing a "fundamentalist" with a "moderate", Washington did manage to buy off a small section of the Pakistani army personnel. These switched from being pro Taliban to become pro-American. Needless to say, Musharraf is one of them. Since then, Washington has dumped money on Pakistan, looked away from its enriched uranium-for missile deal with North Korea, and suppressed information about the on-going support to the Taliban and al-Qaeda militia by a section of the Pakistan army and the ISI. The results are plainly visible. First, two Pakistani provinces - Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) - are now under fundamentalist control and Islamic laws, reminiscent of the Taliban-imposed so-called Dark Age laws, are being put in place in the NWFP. Second, the bordering tribal agencies, where Islamabad's writ never ever reached, have become the hideouts of the al-Qaeda and the Taliban. These areas border eastern and southeastern Afghanistan, where most of Afghanistan's major cities are located. The fabled Kabul-Kandahar road runs parallel and close to the borders. >From these hideouts, and with the help of the intelligence provided by the Pakistan army and the ISI, the anti-American and anti-Kabul elements carry out sorties and ambushes. When Americans used their muscle to force the Pakistan army to comb that area jointly, the chiefs of at least one tribal agency, the Mohmand agency, announced their opposition to the joint combing. Promptly, the NWFP provincial assembly, now under the control of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) - also known as Musharraf Mullahs and Army - endorsed the Mohmand tribal chiefs. More recently, when Musharraf was touring abroad for 18 days in late June appeasing Western leaders, Pakistan's chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Mohammad Aziz Khan, identified America as Pakistan's number one enemy. In a public speech in Rawalkot in the Pakistan-held part of Kashmir Khan declared, "All the defeats and setbacks that the Islamic world has suffered have been due to disunity and splits in Muslim ranks, because of the presence of and tolerance of these elements that most of our [jihadi] movements came to nought." Khan, once the most powerful commander in the Pakistan army, is close to the mullahs, and it is likely that he will be fired. But that may not be the end of the story, for such a move could spell doom for Musharraf himself and the rest of the pro-American Pakistani "moderates" in the army. If Musharraf has turned out to be an American puppet, it was not, perhaps, intended. His switch from being a pro-Taliban to pro-American and anti-Taliban - a move made to receive protection from Washington - made him a puppet. By contrast, Hamid Karzai, the interim leader of Afghanistan, was always an American puppet. He knows better than most that he had virtually no credentials to take up the job that was handed to him by a group of bullying Americans at the UN-organized international conference in Bonn at the close of 2001. Nobody knows better than Karzai the problem of being a puppet of Washington. Karzai, who is referred to as the "mayor of Kabul" by cynical Kabul residents, was wholly at the mercy of the Americans from the time he was made leader. The US provides him an inner core of bodyguards, and he remains as distant from the Afghans as he was the day he was sworn in. Meanwhile, Americans are out there "fixing" things. One of the things that the Americans "fixed" is drug production. During the Taliban days, opium production had reached a peak of 5,000-plus tons. In 2001, with the warehouses filled to the ceiling with raw opium, the Taliban wanted to show how "good" they were, and stopped poppy cultivation in the territories they controlled - about 95 percent of the country. The opium price soared, and the Taliban regime and its Pakistani benefactors made huge profits. At the same time, the Taliban, citing their efforts to end the venal drug trade, sought recognition as the legitimate Afghan government. Following the American invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 and subsequent removal of the Taliban from power, competing agencies within the US government set about to prove their worth (with some individuals intensely involved in lining their pockets with the drug money) by adopting policies to "short-cut" the process of Afghan reconstruction. One of these short-cuts involved a deal with the warlords. The deal was to allow the warlords to grow poppy, so that these warlords could buy arms and recruit militia to strengthen their ranks. In return, they would not only provide the Americans with the intelligence on where the al-Qaeda and the Taliban are hiding, but would also provide the Americans with fighters. What came of this approach? The first thing that happened is that poppy fields and the poppy growers took over Afghanistan. In the year 2002, about 3,750 tons of opium was harvested. In cold cash, this translates conservatively into anything between US$5-6 billion for the warlords. The second thing that the policy did was further weaken Karzai, who was running from pillar to post to get some cash to show some "improvement" in living conditions in Kabul to justify his and the Americans' presence, and he was deprived of revenue. The warlords claimed - and the American operatives endorsed their claims - that they needed the money to bolster their anti-Taliban militia and help the Americans find al-Qaeda members. As a result, the Afghan warlords, who were virtually eliminated by the Taliban, are now stronger than ever. In a few more years, these warlords will be strong enough to kick out their American benefactors and American puppets. As if these developments do not portend a bad enough future for the immediate region, Washington felt compelled to introduce another. By pressurizing the Pakistan army to comb the border areas to ferret out the al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Americans have given Pakistani troops a free hand to occupy Afghan territory and maintain control of the Taliban and al-Qaeda operations. According to area expert Ahmed Rashid, the Afghan government and the US have been frustrated by Pakistan's reluctance to reign in elements of the Taliban and al-Qaeda Islamic militant units. These militants use Pakistan as a safe haven from which to launch raids against US and Afghan troops. United Nations officials and heads of aid agencies say that the security situation has worsened and that aid and reconstruction is blocked in southern Afghanistan, or one third of the country, because of increasing Taliban activity. According to reports, the mob that attacked the Pakistan embassy in Kabul was well organized. They were carrying sledge hammers, sticks and stones - an indication that there was a plan to attack the embassy and it was not a decision made on the spur of the moment. Pakistan's ambassador to Kabul, Rustam Shah Mohmand, even accused the Karzai government of inciting the mob. He said, "We hold the Afghan government squarely responsible, not only for negligence, but for stage-managing the show, for creating the environment in which such an attack could take place." Prior to this, Musharraf, while in the US, criticized the Afghan leader for his limited control over Afghanistan and for having a government which was not fully representative of the ethnic mosaic that represents Afghanistan. The Karzai cabinet has a large number of Panjshiri Tajik and Uzbek representatives, but only a handful of the Pashtun community - the largest community in Afghanistan. It is also well known that Pakistan, being close to the Pashtun-dominated Taliban militia, would like to interact with the Pashtuns, and not with the Tajiks or Uzbeks. Musharraf's statement in the US did not go well with Karzai. The American puppet in Kabul said that he was seeking clarification from the virtual American puppet in Islamabad concerning his statements that Karzai's government was unable to extend its authority into Afghanistan's provinces. On the same day, Karzai issued a tough statement accusing Musharraf of interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs. The Humpty Dumpty of the US war on terrorism has taken another fall, and it is not at all clear that the divisive forces in Washington will be able to put it together again. HELPING HANDS ACROSS THE WORLD RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 30, 11 July 2003 * VIKINGS IN IRAQ [Norwegians following Danes to Iraq. The Danes were suffering from malnourishment] More and more international military contingents are arriving in Iraq, including some Scandinavian ones. Some 104 soldiers from the Norwegian Army's Telemark Battalion are on their way to Al-Basrah, "Aftenposten" reported on 9 July. Their stated mission includes mine-clearance, road-building, and humanitarian activities. The first batch of 15 Norwegians left for Iraq on 26 June, according to "Aftenposten" the same day, and at that time the Norwegian Defense Ministry acknowledged that their duties would be military as well as humanitarian in nature. State Secretary Gunnar Heloe said it is important that Norway does not appear to be part of the occupation forces. Observers in Oslo are concerned about the imprecise nature of the mission. Vegard Hansen of the Norwegian Foreign Policy Institute (NUPI) said in the 9 July "Aftenposten" that "Norwegian soldiers in Iraq risk being exposed to popular unrest and protest, and to planned attacks by remaining resistance groups." Henrik Thune of NUPI added that "this is intended as a peacekeeping mission, but it could easily turn into a peacemaking assignment." The newly-arrived Norwegians may have more to fear than hostile fire, based on the experience of the Danish detachment that preceded theirs. The approximately 50 Danish soldiers at Camp Niebuhr near Al-Basrah are facing malnourishment, "Jyllands-Posten" reported on 6 July. This is because the Danes were forced to eat prepackaged rations for almost a month after their kitchen ovens, refrigerators, and freezers broke down, and they had limited access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Camp doctor Knud Thomsen is hoping that providing the troops with better access to fruits high in potassium -- such as bananas -- and by giving them orange juice, will alleviate the problem. The first Danes suffering from dehydration to be sent to the British field hospital in Al-Basrah were found to have dangerously low levels of potassium, which is rare in Denmark for anybody other than alcoholics, according to "Jyllands-Posten." Camp commander Major Kent Gjedsoe said the general situation has improved recently, and that new air conditioners purchased in Kuwait are better able to operate in the extreme heat. "It's just wonderful," he added. (Bill Samii) http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2003/jul/15/071504134.html * FRANCE RULES OUT SENDING TROOPS TO IRAQ by Robert H. Reid Las Vegas Sun, 15th July BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP): France's president Tuesday ruled out sending French troops to Iraq, following India and Germany in rejecting U.S. calls for help without approval from the United Nations. Although a few nations are sending troops, near daily guerrilla attacks - many of them deadly - and growing doubts about the basis for the war are complicating Washington's search for peacekeepers to replace exhausted American troops in Iraq. In Paris, President Jacques Chirac, a leading opponent of the war, told the Czech president that sending French soldiers to Iraq "cannot be imagined in the current context." He cited comments last week by his foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, who said a French role was unthinkable without approval by the U.N. Security Council. India also rejected a U.S. request for peacekeepers for Iraq, saying Monday it would consider such a move only under a U.N. mandate. And German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said last week that his country would consider sending peacekeepers only if asked by an interim Iraqi government or the United Nations. "We are very consciously not with troops in Iraq," German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said Tuesday. "The German position about this did not change." The long tours of duty in Iraq are heightening the strain on both the U.S. Army and on soldiers' families back home. On Monday, the U.S. military said thousands of troops from the 3rd Infantry Division, which helped capture Baghdad, would stay in Iraq indefinitely because of the precarious security situation. The Bush administration has scored some success in recruiting other countries to help patrol Iraq. Poland will contribute 2,300 soldiers to a brigade that will also include units from Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Lithuania. A second brigade will have 1,640 Ukrainians and the third 1,100 Spanish troops as well as units from Honduras, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador and Nicaragua. And on Tuesday, Croatia said it plans to send in up to 60 peacekeepers. "It is in our interest to contribute to the strengthening of stability in Iraq ... and to prove ourselves a serious partner and a future member of NATO," Defense Ministry official Davor Denkovski said. However, the decision to keep the 3rd Infantry in Iraq shows the need for even more troops from countries with well-trained and well-equipped military forces. Even with a U.N. mandate, the decision to send soldiers to Iraq would require considerable political soul-searching for many countries because of widespread opposition to the war. The failure to find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has reinforced the feeling in Europe and elsewhere that the war should have never been fought. Recent doubts that Iraq had tried to import uranium from Africa, as President Bush said in his State of the Union address in January, have revived debate in Europe over the basis for the war. That in turn would make it hard for governments to convince their publics of the need to risk the lives of their own soldiers to help the United States. "Whatever they may have achieved with their bombs and missiles in Iraq ... is overshadowed by the suspicion, which is being confirmed ever more, that for the sake of the war they grotesquely exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein," Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said. Germany's Berliner Zeitung newspaper said the governments in Washington and London "rather than those in Berlin and Paris are today finding it most difficult to justify their actions" in Iraq. In a commentary in The Times of India, former Foreign Secretary Salman Haidar cited public opposition to America's Iraq policy as a main reason for refusing to send troops, even as India works for better relations with Washington. "The Iraq war was widely seen as unjust, and there is sympathy for the Iraqi people with whom we have had age-old ties," Haidar said. "It would be disturbing to see Indian troops deployed against them," even though Indian forces would have been sent to the relatively peaceful Kurdish areas, he said. Even with a U.N. mandate, Germany and France are already deeply committed to peacekeeping missions elsewhere. Germany has 8,500 troops abroad, mostly in Afghanistan and the Balkans as well as in the Horn of Africa as part of the war against terrorism. France is leading a European Union operation, mandated by the United Nations, to stabilize the situation in the Congo town of Bunia and has about 4,000 troops maintaining order in Ivory Coast. http://www.iht.com/articles/102686.html * INDIA SAYS 'NO' TO U.S. ON TROOPS FOR IRAQ by John Kifner New York Times, 15th July NEW DELHI: In a sharp blow to America's postwar plans, India refused Monday to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq. The Bush administration had hoped that India would send a full army division of 17,000 or more soldiers to serve in the Kurdish region around Mosul, and exerted considerable pressure on the government of Prime Atal Bihari Vajpayee to do so. That would have made the Indian contingent second in numbers only to the United States in the occupation force and give a more international texture to a coalition that consists primarily of American and British troops. It would also have relieved hard-pressed American troops, who could either go home or be redeployed to more volatile areas in the center of the country. India's refusal will not affect the scheduled rotation of forces, which will bring 17,000 allied troops to Iraq over the summer. Following several months of uncertainty and debate, the government's Cabinet Committee on Security in a two-hour meeting Monday afternoon voted not to send the troops. ''Our longer-term national interest, our concern for the people of Iraq, our long-standing ties with the Gulf region as a whole, as well as our growing dialogue and strengthened ties with the U.S. have been key elements in this consideration,'' India's foreign minister, Yashwant Sinha, said in a brief statement read to journalists after the meeting. The reasoning, Indian political observers said, was relatively simple: the war in Iraq is very unpopular here. Even as American troops were approaching Baghdad in early April, the Indian Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the war as unjust and calling on the United States to withdraw. Press reports spoke of antiwar demonstrations in hundreds of cities and towns. A poll in the current issue of the weekly news magazine Outlook showed 69 percent opposed to sending troops to Iraq. Other polls have put the figure as high as 87 percent. The political considerations loomed larger with elections coming up this fall for five state legislatures, four of them in the Hindi-speaking heartland that is controlled by the opposition Congress party. These elections are expected to set the tone for national elections in September of next year. ''Public opinion is sharply critical of the war,'' said Praful Bidwai, a prominent journalist. ''It just doesn't make sense for Indian soldiers to be basically used as cannon fodder when the U.S. is getting bogged down and taking casualties.'' The Americans had pressed hard to get India to send the troops. When the deputy prime minister, Lal Krishna Advani, visited Washington this spring he got a protocol upgrade that saw him greeted by Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and even President George W. Bush, press reports here said. They all urged India to participate in what the Americans described as a ''stabilization'' effort. The foreign secretary, Kanwal Sibal, received similar treatment in Washington, meeting with Rice and the deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, a main architect of the Iraq strategy. The Pentagon dispatched a special team here to assist in planning the Indian deployment. The Indians themselves dispatched emissaries to Iraq and neighboring countries to assess the situation. Some in the government argued for the deployment, contending that a closer relationship with the only superpower would strengthen India's international position ‹ particularly in relation to rival Pakistan, which has tied itself to Washington in the war on terrorism. The two countries have a bitter dispute over Kashmir that goes back to independence in 1947. Some also suggested that India could get a slice of lucrative postwar reconstruction contracts. A retired general, Satish Nambier, for example, argued in an essay in Outlook that sending a force to Iraq would in ''considerations of realpolitik'' give India a chance to be a major player on the world scene. Still, he hastened to begin the essay by underscoring his ''total opposition to the unilateral'' American operations in Iraq. Writing in the same magazine, a columnist, Prem Shankar Jha, expressed a more prevailing view, suggesting that the situation in Iraq was changing for the worse. ''To send Indian troops now ‹ without knowing what they will be called on to do, how long they will have to stay, and when and how their task will be completed ‹ would be to push many of them to a pointless death,'' he wrote. Some within the ruling Hindu nationalist coalition were strongly opposed, including the defense minister, George Fernandes, and other military and security officials. Two left-leaning former prime ministers, Indar Gujral and V.P. Singh, issued a statement against deployment of Indian forces to Iraq. ''We believe irreparable damage will be done to India's reputation and good name if Indian troops were sent to prop up the occupation of Iraq. Above all, it will be unwise and unfair to our army to send them on a mission to risk their lives where no national interest is at stake.'' The government statement said that ''careful thought'' had been given to the matter and that India ''remains ready to respond to the urgent needs of the Iraqi people for stability, security, political progress and economic reconstruction,'' adding that India was planning, with Jordan, to set up a hospital in An Najaf as a ''concrete gesture of our support to the Iraqi people.'' The statement added that, ''were there to be an explicit UN mandate for the purpose, the Government of India could consider the deployment of our troops in Iraq.'' MOPPING UP THE PAST http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=33588 9 * IRAQ CIVILIAN BODY COUNT PASSES 6,000 Reuters, 9th July LONDON (Reuters) - New information from remote locations of Iraq has pushed up the civilian death toll from the U.S.-led war by 500 in the last month to at least 6,000, an Anglo American research group says. The Iraq Body Count's (IBC) latest figures, based on media reports and more than a dozen counting projects from independent investigators in and outside Iraq, put the minimum number of civilians dead at 6,055 and the maximum at 7,706. "Both the U.S. & the U.K. said they were taking every effort to minimise civilian casualties and talked a lot about smart, precision weapons," IBC researcher John Sloboda told Reuters. "From that, one could have expected a clean war with very few casualties, but I don't call 5,000 to 7,000 very few. It is clear the coalition claims were political claptrap." The latest IBC toll has risen by about 500 after information arrived from areas that had not been reached before by outsiders. The group says its statistics are the most comprehensive collation of civilian deaths available. "If you look at a map of Iraq, there are still a lot of places, that you would imagine allied troops have gone through, where there have been no reports of killings yet, simply because no journalist or researcher has gone there," said Sloboda, a psychology professor from Britain's Keele University. The IBC, run by British and American academics and peace activists, has chastised London and Washington for not setting up an official investigation into civilian deaths. "Then there are the deaths by malnutrition and dehydration as a consequence of the war which we haven't even started talking about," Sloboda added. The United States and Britain have repeatedly stressed their tactics were designed to keep civilian casualties to a minimum. But they are declining to give estimates. "We made every effort to reduce civilian casualties by a careful targeting policy," a spokesman for Britain's Ministry of Defence said. NO URL OR TITLE * [Figures for US injured in war] The Associated Press, 10th July '[.....] The Pentagon said Wednesday 1,044 American servicemen and women have been wounded in action or injured since the war in Iraq began March 20. Of that total, 382 have been wounded or injured since Bush declared major combat over, according to the Pentagon's figures. Of the 212 U.S. troops who have died in Iraq since the war began, 74 died after May 1, not including Thursday's toll.' http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/030709/2003070916.html * KWAITI SAYS IT IDENTIFIED FOUR MISSING KUWAITIS DEAD IN IRAQ Arabic News, 10th July The spokesman for the search team for "misssing Kuwaitis and prisoners in Iraq" Fayez al Oneizi said yesterday that the remains of four Kuwaiti missing were found in a mass grave in al-Samawa area to the south of Iraq. In a statement to the Kuwaiti TV, al-Oneizi claimed that DNA tests on the remains of the bodies in the grave which four of them proved to be for Kuwaitis; three men and one woman, the Iraqi forces had detained in 1990 during its invasion of Kuwait. The team announced that discovered the bodies are for Nasser Hussein al-Anzi ( 64 year old), Anam al-Eidan ( 41 year old), Abdul Latif al-Wahim ( 41 year old) and Mahmoud Sayed Hassan ( 51 ) year old. The team also were able to recognize the identity of other three Kuwaitis in the said cemetery since the beginning of June. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/07/09/1057430281012.html * TWO HIGH OFFICIALS OF OUSTED SADDAM'S REGIME ARRESTED Sydney Morning Herald, from AP, 10th July Saddam Hussein's former interior minister and a top level member of his Baath party have been taken into custody, the latest arrests from a list of 55 most wanted fugitives from the ousted regime, the military said yesterday. Mizban Khadr Hadi, a high-ranking member of the Baath Party regional command and revolutionary command council and Mahmud Diab al-Ahmed, the former interior minister, were taken into custody on Tuesday, according to a statement from Tampa, Florida-based US Central Command. Hadi, number 23 on the US list of 55 most wanted Iraqis from Saddam's regime, turned himself in in the capital on yesterday. Al-Ahmed, number 29 on the list, was captured the same day, the Central Command statement said. It gave no further details. "Coalition forces will continue to work at apprehending former members of the Saddam Hussein regime," Central Command said. Thirty-four out of the 55 people on the most wanted list are now in custody, but none of the top three - Saddam Hussein and his sons Qusay and Uday. The most recent arrest came June 17, when Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, Saddam's top aide, surrendered after informants' tips led US forces to his hideout in Saddam's hometown, Tikrit. Just before the war began, al-Ahmed was named commander of one of four military regions for the defense of Iraq. He held a news conference just after the war began wearing a bulletproof vest in which he tucked a big knife and three ammunition magazines, and also brandished a Kalashnikov assault rifle. "Some of you may be wondering why I am dressed like this," he asked at the time. "Well, because we in Iraq have pledged not to relinquish our guns until the day we are victorious." [.....] RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC RFE/RL IRAQ REPORT Vol. 6, No. 30, 11 July 2003 * FORMER IRAQI SPY BOSS ANNOUNCES PERSONAL HUNT FOR HUSSEIN The former head of Iraq's Military Intelligence has launched a personal hunt for deposed Iraqi President Hussein, AFP reported on 1 July. Major General Wafiq al-Samarra'i, who defected in 1994 and joined the Iraqi opposition movement, told reporters on 29 June that he decided to embark on the hunt after an overnight attack on his home by what he identified as Hussein loyalists. "My house was attacked at 1:45 a.m. with an antitank rocket. There was only material damage," al-Samarra'i told reporters in his hometown of Samarra, located 125 kilometers north of Baghdad. Al-Samarra'i was surrounded by a number of local tribal chiefs when he made the announcement. "We have various pieces of information saying [Hussein is] present in the region, even if no one's seen him," Samarra'i said. "I'm leaving today to search for Saddam and his partisans.... We will share information we'll gather with the Americans." Al-Samarra'i is the founder and secretary-general of the National Salvation Movement. According to AFP, he has no military forces under his control except some personal security guards. (Kathleen Ridolfo) http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/story.jsp?story=424327 * PATRIARCH RAPHAEL I BIDAWID: LEADER OF IRAQ'S CHALDEAN CATHOLICS by Felix Corley The Independent, 12th July Raphael Bidawid, priest: born Mosul, Iraq 17 April 1922; ordained priest 1944; Patriarchal Vicar of Kirkuk 1956-57; Bishop of Amadya 1957-66; Bishop of Beirut 1966-89; Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans 1989-2003; died Beirut 7 July 2003. Calling Saddam Hussein a "real gentleman" was hardly likely to endear a clergyman to the outside world. But as head of Iraq's largest Christian church for 14 years - all but the last few months under Saddam's rule - Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid had to tread carefully to protect his 600,000-strong flock. It was not just the United States that believed he had overstepped the mark. The Vatican was highly concerned by his defence of Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait - the action that triggered the first Gulf war - and diplomatically distanced itself from his remarks, insisting that the invasion was a breach of international law and the UN Charter. The Chaldean Church - an offshoot of the Assyrian Church of the East - accepted the authority of the Pope in the 16th century and is the only Eastern-rite Catholic church to have grown larger than the church from which it sprang. Iraq's Chaldeans take pride in continuing to use Aramaic - the language Jesus spoke - among themselves and during the liturgy. While relations between the Assyrians and the Chaldeans are close, Patriarch Raphael failed to bring about the unity between the two he so desired. At the same time there were some Chaldeans who criticised his Latin style, believing he was drawing his church away from its Oriental roots. Born in British Mandate Iraq soon after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, Bidawid attended a Dominican-run primary school in Mosul (the Biblical Nineveh) and at the age of 11 entered the Chaldean junior seminary in the town. Identified as a promising student, he was sent to Rome three years later to study theology and philosophy. He remained in the city during the Second World War. Ordained a priest in October 1944, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy with a thesis on the Islamic theologian Al-Ghazali and a doctorate in theology on Patriarch Timothaos the Great. In 1947 he left Rome and returned to Mosul as vice-rector of the seminary, where he also taught French and moral theology. >From 1950 he served as chaplain to Chaldeans working in the field for the Iraq Petroleum Company. In 1956 he was appointed patriarchal vicar for the diocese of Kirkuk and a year later, at the age of just 35, was appointed Bishop of Amadya in northern Iraq, at the time the youngest Catholic bishop in the world. He attended sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome (1962-65). In 1966 he was transferred to the diocese of Beirut, where he stayed for 23 years, having the difficult task of leading his church through the bitter Lebanese civil war. A synod of the Chaldean Church elected Bidawid Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans in May 1989, following the death of Mar Pulus II Chekho the previous month. His installation in Baghdad's Chaldean cathedral was attended by 10,000 faithful. As economic and political conditions worsened in Iraq and across the Middle East, Chaldeans emigrated in droves, leaving a dwindling flock at home but a vibrant diaspora, with 170,000 in the United States (with two dioceses of their own) and communities in Europe, Canada, Australia and the Caucasus. Patriarch Raphael was a regular visitor to his scattered flock. But he is most likely to be remembered for his public endorsement of Saddam's regime. He attacked the Western coalition for launching the first Gulf war (though he was criticised for spending the war outside Iraq). "These nations should feel pretty guilty. It was a vendetta, a shame for humanity," he said. He also bitterly criticised the subsequent United Nations embargo: It is a tragedy, not to say a genocide, inadmissible in our times considered civilised. If this is the new world order that is talked about, then we rebel. On his trips abroad he campaigned vigorously for sanctions to be halted: You Westerners do not realise that an Arab can do without everything except his dignity. If you touch his dignity he will be as ferocious as a lion. Raphael had hoped to be able to welcome Pope John Paul to Iraq on his much-desired papal Millennium pilgrimage to Ur of the Chaldees and other Biblical sites. But the Vatican abandoned the visit as the Iraqi regime set too many unacceptable conditions. Patriarch Raphael faced a dilemma as leader of a Church that straddled the divide between its Oriental homeland and the diaspora in the West. It had to work with the Saddam regime, which initially followed a secularist model that kept Islamists at bay, while suffering in silence such encroachments on its rights as the confiscation of church-run schools. With its most prominent layman, Tariq Aziz, as deputy prime minister, the Chaldean Church had some state protection. "Christians here are privileged. Saddam gives us what we want, listens to us and protects us," he claimed, perhaps sincerely. But, as an educated man, Raphael was aware of the precarious state of his flock, divided between Saddam's regime, a self-ruled Kurdish zone and a Western diaspora. http://www.dawn.com/2003/07/16/int5.htm * MORE MASS GRAVES IN NORTHERN IRAQ Dawn, 16th July AL-HADAR, July 15: Dozens of bodies were exhumed Tuesday from a mass grave in the northern Iraqi region of Al-Hadar under the supervision of US experts. The remains of people who residents said were victims of the ousted regime of Saddam Hussein were dug up from a grave at Sahil Attaf, south of the northern capital of Mosul. The digs, which were undertaken by a team from the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, with the help of American troops and members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), will continue over the coming days. The US team said it put the remains unearthed on Tuesday in around 40 bags each containing the remains of two to four people. Pieces of Kurdish women's clothing and coloured headscarves were found in the grave. Several skulls appeared to have been pierced by bullets, indicating some victims had been shot in the head. According to residents, the exhumed bodies belong to Kurds from regions further north, including women and children, executed by Saddam's regime in 1988, the final year of an eight-year war between Iran and Iraq.-AFP _______________________________________________ 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 email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk