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[casi] News, 12-18/5/02 (titles)

News, 12-18/5/02 (titles)

Hopefully this news service is getting back to normal. The week saw the
passing of a very much watered down version of Œsmart sanctionsı. CASI put
out an excellent press statement explaining why it will do very little to
improve the lives of ordinary civilians. I didnıt see this reported anywhere
(but that doesnıt mean it wasnıt). There also seems to have been a
significant improvement in Iraqi/Sadi Arabia relations. Most recommended
articles are (under UN relations) ŒRevised Iraq sanctions still US policy
toolı and (under New World Order) ŒUS has little reason to feel triumphantı.


*  Iraq Sanctions Overhaul Postponed [Syria tries, unsuccessfully, to
establish the point that Iraq has a right, guaranteed by the UN Charter, to
defend itself.]
*  Iraq has been offered a chance to rejoin the international community
[Idiot level editorial from The Independent which has fallen hook, line and
sinker for the idea that a measure which continues to prevent Iraqi oil
money from being spent on Iraqi produced goods, thereby stimulating the
Iraqi economy, is good for Iraqi civilians. Of course theyıre all just Arabs
so The Independent probably thinks that living off foreign goods doled out
in handouts by the government is good enough for them. The Independent also
believes that, because a terrible evil has been slightly moderated, the
Iraqis are under a moral obligation to reciprocate by opening the entire
country up to minute inspection by enemy spies.]
*  U.N. panel votes to revise Iraq sanctions [It appears from this account
that the US has failed to secure the tougher enforcement of sanctions by
neighbours (Syria, Jordan, Iran) which at one point seemed to be the whole
raison dıêtre of the exercise, leaving us feeling that the Americans are
only going through the motions on this one. It isnıt necessarily a
comforting thought, since tougher measures against smuggling was touted as
Colin Powellıs alternative to war.]
*  Sanctions altered to aid Iraqi civilians [Extracts giving the views of
Ari Fleischer, Jack Straw and Richard Perle.]
*  Iraq Accepts U.N. Sanctions Reforms [Curious remark from the Arab League
Secretary General, Amr Moussa, that "the sanctions issue is gradually
heading toward being solved."]
*  Revised Iraq sanctions still US policy tool [Thoughtful review from MERIP
member of the latest initiatives.]

*  Iraq May Be Considering Inspections
The Associated Press, 16th May
[The article appeared in many guises over the week but its only an opinion
given by the Deputy US Ambassador to the UN, James Cunningham, without
anything to substantiate it. We should note however the assumption that its
only since the US threats began that Iraq has considered letting inspectors
in. In fact Iraq has always been willing to let inspectors in so long as
there are clear guarantees that they wonıt be US spies and that the process
will lead to a lifting of sanctions and not simply, like UNSCOM, function as
an excuse for prolonging them indefinitely.]


*  US has little reason to feel triumphant [Not much about Iraq but a useful
summary of the present state of the ŒWar against Terrorı, surprising from
the normally quite belligerent Bangkok Post. Thanks to Felicity for sending
it to me.]
*  A question of faith [Nick Cohen is a supporter of Œuniversal human
rightsı who believes that the US ­ after Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Korea,
Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, not to mention the road to Basra - has the
moral right to enforce them. Here he gives an account of a new book, a novel
about the Dome of the Rock by Kanan Makiya, who wrote The Republic of Fear,
a pre-Gulf War expose of the evils of the Iraqi regime. Cohen remarks that
although the Israelis (with US support) only destroyed 400 Palestinian
villages, Saddam (with US support) destroyed 3,000 Kurdish villages. A more
interesting comparison might be with the number of Kurdish villages
destroyed by the Turks (with US support). Difficult to see how it amounts to
an argument for a US right to intervene in Iraq ...Extract on Iraq, leaving
out Mr Cohenıs views on the foolishness of religion in general and Islam in
particular (Mr Cohen is also a believer in Œthe enlightenmentı.]
*  On Atta, Prague and Iraq [Mainly notable for D.Rumsfeldıs implicit
admission that there is no evidence for the Atta/al-Ani meeting in Prague.]
*  'Start Wars' poster aims to highlight opposition to Iraq attack


*  Iraq sends minister to S. Arabia
*  Iraq gives priority to Saudi Arabia to trade cooperation [The article
also refers to Iraq opening to the import of goods from Kuwait.]
*  Saudi importers allowed to re-export to Iraq
*  Spell out the goals for Iraq [Proposed constitutional arrangements for a
post Saddam Iraq aimed at the difficult job of reconciling the aspirations
of the Kurds and of the Turks.]

AND IN NEWS, 12-18/5/02 (2)


*  Inside Iraq [Guy Dinsmore on the difficulties of getting into the Kurdish
autonomous zone. In the article he refers to Œthe fighting that culminated
in the KDP inviting Saddamıs tanks to attack the PUK in Arbil in 1996, again
with no response from the westı. Actually, the West did respond - by a spate
of bombing in Southern Iraq, as far away from the conflict as possible. The
problem was that the West wanted Saddamıs intervention to succeed because
they didnıt want the area, through the good offices of the PUK, to fall
under the domination of Iran. Dinsmore quotes a PUK supporter as saying
Œprivatelyı that Ansar-el-Islam is more likely to be Iran-backed than
al-Qaida-, or, by implication, Saddam-, backed. Another kick in the teeth
for William Safireıs efforts to establish a Saddam-al-Qaida link?]
*  Iraqi Kurds treat Bush plans with suspicion [Guy Dinsmoreıs previous
article was on the difficulties of getting into the Kurdish autonomous zone
but this one, about KDP/PUK relations, is just a rehash of everything weıve
been reading for the past couple of years and could have been written
without leaving the office computer. The extract given here concerns
relations with the rest of Iraq and leaves us wondering why, considering all
weıve been reading about how much better life is in the Kurdish autonomous
zone, Kurds should want to go to the rest of Iraq for medical treatment.]
*  Saddam deploys tanks to avert Kurdish uprising [Interesting to learn that
the CIA wanted to establish bases in the Kurdish autonomous zone but have
been tuned down, for obvious reasons. The article also confirms what anyone
with any sense would already have figured out, that the main effect of all
the Bush-Blair sabre-rattling has been to tighten the repression in possible
centres of dissension within Iraq.]


*  Licking Their Wounds [Difficult to imagine the mentality of a journalist
who, finding himself surrounded by the victims of his own countryıs policy
of mass impoverishment and murder, would choose to write an amusing piece on
the Iraqi taste for ice cream. Maybe Slackman isnıt responsible for the
title but it is about as low in the taste stakes as you can get ...]
*   Little by Little, Iraq Shows Signs of Economic Life [Extracts. This has
provoked some controversy on our list. Some contributors argue that the
attempt to give the impression that life is improving in Iraq is a US
propaganda ploy. Since, however, the US propaganda line is that Saddam is
deliberately starving his people and has done nothing to improve their life,
I tend to think it isnıt. And the article as a whole gives more scope to the
anti-war argument than is usual for articles in the Washington Post.]
*  Mosque that thinks it's a missile site [on Saddamıs mosque building

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