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[casi] News, 25/5-1/6/02 (titles)

News, 25/5-1/6/02 (titles)

One could almost start feeling sorry for Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz,
William Safire et al. A month ago they seemed to have the ball at their
feet. The world was divided neatly into two camps: good guys and bad guys,
and the good guys were about to knock hell out of the bad guys. Now the
world in all its complexity has managed to upstage the simplicities of the
Œwar against terror¹, and the prospects for a final solution of the problem
of Evil are fading fast. We could derive satisfaction from this except that
it has involved the destruction of all the paltry gains the Palestinian
people thought they had made through the wretched Oslo agreement; and an
imminent prospect of nuclear war in the Indian subcontinent.

News, 25/5-1/6/02 (1)


*  Iraq's trade minister arrives in Damascus
*  Iraq, UAE signed joint cooperation agreements
*  Iraq Using Oil Pipeline To Sway U.S. Ally [Turkey]
*  Saudi- Iraqi border opened today
*  Iraq, Lebanon ink media cooperation protocol
*  Moroccan health minister expected Sunday in Iraq
*  Qatar's economy minister to visit Iraq in June
*  Iraq-Jordan pipeline work 'to start before year-end
*  Call for concerted GCC military efforts
*  American factor gains strength in Jordan
*  Iraq allowed to send ambassador to OIC (Organization of the Islamic
*  Saudis channel anger into charity [Short extract on the rather obscure
distinction to be drawn between Saudi aid for victims of Israeli aggression
and Iraqi aid for victims of Israeli aggression. The article seems to be
suggesting - but surely I¹ve misunderstood it - that the Saudis aren¹t
financing Hamas, well, not very much anyway ...]
*  Jenin families pocket Iraqi cash [Note that houses are being rebuilt in
Jenin with large sums of money from the United Arab Emirates. Has anyone
even suggested that Israel should pay - um - compensation?]

*  Cairo government cashes in on linchpin role in the Middle East
Hoover's/Financial Times (from Lloyds List), 31st May
[Interesting piece on Egypt¹s debt problems and relations with the IMF.]

[See also the Pepe Escobar supplement]

*  Iranian naval units trade fire with phony Iraqi fishermen [The article
claims that ŒIranian fishing boats have repeatedly been the target of Iraqi
aggressions in recent months.¹]
*  On the Occasion of 20th Anniversary of Liberation of Khorramshahr [The
incomplete paragraphs come from the original but I thought the article worth
presenting anyway for some interesting insights into Western support for
Iraq during the Gulf War - the real Gulf War, not the subsequent massacre
that goes by that name. Pity the apparently very interesting quote from
Kissinger ("If Iraq had won the war, there would have been no concern and
fear in the Persian Gulf ...²) is truncated.]
 *  Daily on UN inaction towards production of chemical weapons [Claims that
ŒSome 130,000 Iranians have been suffering from injuries caused by dangerous
chemicals used in the (Iran-Iraq) war.¹ Yet this is rarely cited as among
Saddam¹s crimes, perhaps because of course the Iranians too are known to be
*  Islamic republic¹s drive to develop ballistic missiles boosts regional
*  Iranian Abandons Push To Improve U.S. Ties [Predictable consequence of
the ŒAxis of Evil¹ rhetoric.]


*  Hesitant Hawks [I have a feeling that an article like this ­ positively
mocking the Bush/Blair warmongering rhetoric ­ couldn¹t have been published
in the Washington Post even a month ago.]
*  The confusion deepens over U.S. foreign policy [It is really very
encouraging, indeed heartwarming, to see articles appearing in the US press
which are beginning to treat the President and his war against terrorism
with the cool intellectual contempt that they deserve.]
*  U.S. fears Iraq could channel weapons into terrorist hands
*  Global Eye -- The Foggy Dew [If even the Moscow Times is publishing
cheeky articles about the US government things are really on the slippery
slope ...]    

*  Cold war won, can Nato fight terror?
by Peter Ford 
Dawn (from Christian Science Monitor), 29th May, 16 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1423
[ŒSince 1986, defence spending as a proportion of GDP has fallen from 5.3
per cent to 2.5 per cent in Britain, from 3.2 per cent to 1.5 per cent in
Germany and from 3.9 per cent to 2.7 per cent in France. The 48 billion
dollars increase in the Pentagon budget that Congress approved recently is
more than the total defence budgets of 12 Nato allies.¹ Savour this rare
opportunity to feel proud of being European.]

AND, IN NEWS, 25/5-1/6/02 (2)


*  US Drone Crashes in Return From Iraq
*  18 Iraqis Hurt in Allied Airstrike
*  US jets strike air defence sites in southern Iraq
*  Iraq says it 'Forced down' Spy drone
*  Wisdom of Aerial ŒGame¹ With Hussein Comes Into Question [Interesting to
note that the Turks too, like the Saudis, impose limitations on the
behaviour of US patrols from their territory.]
*  Iraq Says Over 1,140 Killed in US, British Air Raids
*  U.S. Planes Bomb Radar Site in Iraq


*  Report: Iraq Earned $6B Illegally [Best news of the week. We may be
getting back to the pre-September 11th pattern in which with painful
slowness and considerable skill on the part of the Iraqi administration
sanctions fall away of their own accord as Iraq¹s neighbours summon up the
political courage to break them discreetly. If only they could summon up the
political courage to break them openly ...]
*  Iraq-U.N. Oil Price Dispute Bankrupts UN Goods Plan [This was forwarded
to the list by Drew Hamre who tells us that the full text of the document
referred to can be found at]
*  U.N., Iraq to Focus on Inspections


*  Iraqis end hunger strike in Denmark


*  Battle of SAS Gulf patrol gets bloody [Battle over veracity or otherwise
of A.McNab.]
*  British MP predicts revolution in Middle East [Very outspoken views from
G.Galloway, who makes clear his belief that to a large extent the Arab
leaders are to blame for the present mess: ³Once you allow the elephant
through the door, you are no longer in a position to tell the elephant where
to sit.²] 
*  Navy frigate stops Iraqi smugglers [Mighty victory by Œcrack team¹ of
Œspecialist Royal Marines¹ over Œshabby tanker¹. And all in spite of the

URL ONLY:,,482-308681,00.html
*  The world can be grateful Bush is a quick learner
by William Rees-Mogg
Times, 27th May
ŒThe global dangers from terrorism are now a threat to our remarkable peace
and prosperity in Europe. The United States is the leader upon which we
depend for security. Some exaggerated US self-interest, a few rough edges of
diplomacy, a blunt Texan willingness to state uncomfortable truths, seem a
small price for Europe to pay.¹ The rest is in much the same vein.]


*  Indonesian, Indian cos to carry out gas exploration in Iraq

*  Caspian oil not seen to threaten Middle East
by N Janardhan
Asia Times, 28th May
[Mainly notable for the following amusing sentence: ŒOnce the Middle East is
no longer deemed important to meet the energy needs of the rest of the
world, there would no longer be a compelling reason for outsiders such as
the United States to ensure that most of it remains at peace.¹]


*  Saddam¹s men kill 40 in mosque fight [There has been some dispute about
this on the list, but it seems to me a perfectly possible consequence of the
state of paranoia which is being deliberately and irresponsibly fostered in
Iraq by the US and UK governments.]
*  Saddam cries victory [Further to the list dispute over whether the
Schneider (Washington Post, 17th May) is US propaganda or not. Schneider
quoted the CIA World Factbook as saying that Œper capita income  in Iraq now
stands at around $2,500 annually -- double that of Egypt¹. And here is
Saddam saying that that proves what a good government Iraq has got, to
achieve this under such difficult circumstances.]

*  Iraqi Kurds Worry About U.S. Action
ABC News, 27th May
[I haven¹t given this because it seems to me not very different from many
other accounts of Œthe Kurdish problem¹. It does however give the link to an
interesting, apparently basically Kurdish group called the Iraq Institute
for Democracy, accessible at: http://www.iraq]


(1)  Articles by Pepe Escobar on Iran [Extract from Part 4: ŒShariatmadari
uses Francis Fukuyama and his thesis of liberal democracy as the end of
history to challenge the concept of liberal democracy itself. "I believe
that today Bush, after the accident of September 11, killed liberal
democracy in the US. He says that one of the main principles of execution of
liberal democracy is the building up of dialogue. But when he was asked if
al-Qaeda had perpetrated September 11, he said this was a time for building
up war. If someone is not with us, then he is our enemy, and we go to war
against him. I'd like to know whether Western theoreticians consider this as
liberal democracy." In the current climate of ideological confusion,
"Western intellectuals and official authorities don't know what liberal
democracy is anymore. So how do they want to transfer it to the whole

(2)  Articles by Jon Sawyer on Iraq [INTRODUCTORY NOTE BY ST LOUIS POST
DISPATCH: Washington Bureau Chief Jon Sawyer returned last weekend from a
10-day trip through central and southern Iraq, the first extended trip in
that country by an American newspaper journalist since before the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11.
He traveled with two American groups opposed to the United Nations sanctions
against Iraq, the St. Louis-based Veterans for Peace and the Chicago group
Voices in the Wilderness. The two groups permitted Sawyer to accompany them
on trips to hospitals, water treatment plants, schools and markets. Iraqi
government officials were usually present but not always, reflecting an
apparent relaxation in control of foreign journalists.
Sawyer conducted independent interviews in Baghdad, Basra and Fallujah. He
also spent a day observing journalists from the al-Jazeera satellite
network, as they covered a story on demolitions experts collecting cluster
bombs dropped by U.S. and allied warplanes. ]

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