The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] News titles, 13-20/12/02

News titles, 13-20/12/02

Contrary to appearances, this has really been quite a good week. The
appearances have largely been determined by USUK's noisy, but oh so
predictable, response to the Iraqi dossier on its weapons of mass
destruction. The major complaint is that it contains little that is new. But
since the essence of the Iraqi argument is that they don't have very much
that is new, this is hardly surprising.

Elements in the press have informed us that this was Iraq's last chance and
they've just muffed it and so the countdown to war is beginning. The
impression is reinforced by Britain rather belatedly filling its soldiers
with what may turn out to be a Gulf War Syndrome cocktail of drugs and
sending them off to the Gulf. But all that was happening anyway and since
USUK has always insisted that it has the right to invade any time it wants
nothing much has changed. The Iraqi government declaration hasn't given it
anything it doesn't believe it already has.

Most importantly, it hasn't given it the consent of the 'international
community'. And in particular that part of the international community that
has a land border with Iraq. It is by no means certain that even Kuwait has
given permission to use its territory and the huge diplomatic effort that
has been put into securing the consent of Turkey has so far failed (see
'Hegemon faces a harried week' in the Iraqi/US relations section below).

At the same time it doesn't look as though the 'Opposition' conference in
London has done much to make the problem of the apres Saddam any easier. It
is in any case difficult to imagine how a conference that claims to
represent all the Iraqi opposition but does not include the Iraqi Communist
Party can be taken seriously. And how can the pro-Iranian Council for the
Islamic Revolution represent the Shi'i population when, overwhelmingly, that
population - through Arab solidarity, not through affection for Saddam -
supported Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war?

It may of course be that all this is just a matter of filling in the time
while we wait for February, the US' preferred time for the war. Quite a feat
keeping up the necessary tension of righteous indignation for all that time.
If there is any truth in the teachings of holistic medicine they should all
by now be suffering from severe problems of constipation.

Meanwhile the Iraqi government side are looking comparatively relaxed and
serene. And gaining in credibility throughout the world, especially, of
course, the Arab world. And if they pull off the democratisation stunt they
have in mind they may well (and it will be a quite remarkable political
feat) secure the moral high ground.

At present, it seems, they've found the right man for the job. The most
important document this week is the long interview with Abd al-Jabbar
al-Kubaysi sent to the list by Dirk Adriaensens. It really doesn't belong
here at all. Its too long and doesn't come from a newspaper, but it should
be circulated as widely as possible. I've given it a section to itself. It
is a remarkable piece of coherent and disinterested political analysis. It
indicates a possible way forward.

It could even prove to be important in the event of a US victory, since it
is impossible to believe that, after all they have undergone at the hands of
USUK, the Iraqi people will accept a collaborationist government. If the
confrontation over the future of Iraq were to be considered in purely
intellectual terms then the main protagonists would probably have to be
Kubaysi and Kanan Makiya, whose vision of a long US occupation aimed at
creating an Iraq based on citizenship not on sectarian or racial identity
seems to have been defeated at the London conference.

The Iraqi government's turning to Kubaysi to form a patriotic opposition may
well prove to be far too little far too late to save Iraq from a further
round of devastation and massacre but the current direction of events gives
us at least this much to hope for: that this Gulf War, unlike the last Gulf
War, will constitute a devastating blow to the international credibility of
the USA and Britain. And it that is the case then the suffering and
remarkable courage of the Iraqi people will not have been wholly in vain.

NEWS, 13-20/12/02 (1)


*  Key Exiles Agree U.S. Should Not Run Postwar Iraq
*  US cash squads 'buy' Iraqi tribes
*  Differences of Opinion Surface Between Khalilzad and Iraqi Opposition
['Khalilzad proposed that the Iraqi opposition introduce forty people for
the coordination council and then the Americans select ten from amongst them
*  Saddam's foes share a history of tragedy [Stories of two exiles on
margins of London conference]
*  U.S. Army to Train 1,000 Iraqi Exiles [From roster of names proposed by
the INC.]
*  Hungary Agrees to Allow Military Training for Iraqi Exiles ['According to
the Hungarian defense ministry, the Iraqis will be accompanied by about
2,000 U.S. military personnel. The ministry said that, at Hungary's
insistence, no combat training will take place at the base.' It seems as if
they will be allowed to carry the white man's baggage]
*  Iraqi exiles name panel to rule after Saddam falls


*  Scientists Hold Key To Iraqi Arms Search [Washington Post account of some
of the scientists involved in Iraq's weapons of mass destructrion programme,
with a brief list of names. One of them is Abdul Nassir Hindawi. Another
article I haven't given ('UN gives Saddam deadline to name weapons
scientists', The Times, 16th December,,,3-515419,00.html) says he tried to leave
the country and is now in prison. But that isn't mentioned here.]
*  UN Teams Hit Access Snag [Locked doors at the Communicable Disease
Control Center in Baghdad]
*  Analysis: Baring information on WMD carries risks [A feeling that if the
US administration really KNOW Saddam has weapons then the time has come to
share this knowledge. Includes the following interesting quote from the old
war monger Kenneth Pollack: '"I certainly hope the administration has some
smoking-gun evidence that they are holding back on all of us that will allow
them to prove things beyond a shadow of a doubt," said Pollack, a former CIA
and National Security Council analyst. "But I know that the body language
from the administration suggests otherwise."']
*  U.N. Inspectors Visit 4 Sites in Iraq [Al-Mutasim, al-Qa'qaa, al-Nasr
company, Um-Al Maarek (again)]
*  UN unease at taking Iraq's scientists away
*  List of sites visited by U.N. weapons inspectors, Nov 27-16 Dec [My title
- PB]
*  UN arms experts search academic facility in Iraq [One does rather feel
that, under the circumstances, Iraq could have benn spared from having to
have an 'Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering']

AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/12/02 (2)


 *  U.S. rejects Iraqi arms report [Richard Lugar, new chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says the inspections 'are more of "a
palliative for many countries who don't want to do anything. It's a
time-consumer in a way."']
*  Germany was 'key supplier' of Saddam supplier
*  Arms report names Western suppliers
*  Iraq: The countdown begins [Useful summary of the 'roadmap' from
*  Syria to return sanitized Iraqi weapons declaration
*  Syria to boycott U.N. talks [Is this the first time a non-permanent
member has refused to take up the humiliating role of a seat on the Security
Council? With any luck it might start a trend ...]
*  Inspectors say gaps found in Iraqi weapons report [Blix seems to have
given quite a detailed, useful, non-hysterical account of the shortcoming he
found in the Iraqi dossier]
*  The 'gaps' in Iraq's dossier [Official list put out by the US government]
*  Pakistani scientist 'offered Saddam nuclear designs' [The Times claims to
have obtained a copy of the Iraq declaration. Full version or 'sanitised'?
And is this not something that is worthy of regarded as scandalous, showing
that some member of the Sanhedrin is not to be trusted?]
*  Text of Colin Powell's remarks on Iraq [Powell's argument is surprisingly
weak. Twice he immediately translates UNSCOM estimates of what Iraq might
have produced into statements that they did produce it and have failed to
account for it. He states as a fact that in the late 1990s Iraq produced
mobile biological weapons laboratories. It seems very unlikely but if the US
knew for certain that they did I think we would have heard more about it.
And the aluminium tubes pop up again but these have surely already been
admitted and explained. Despite all the efforts that have been made to shift
the burden of proof on to the defence it remains fully and squarely with the
prosecution. Who aren't yet putting up a very convincing show.]

URL ONLY:,,3-518595,00.html
*  Iraqi lies will not be enough to trigger war
by Richard Beeston
The Times, 19th December
["You may hear the Americans use the word 'material breach' in the coming
days, but it will probably be used only in a rhetorical sense," one Western
diplomat at the UN said. "As far as the other 14 members of the Security
Council are concerned, lying or making omissions from the declaration is not
a trigger in itself, it is not a casus belli. The Americans know that as
well as anyone ‹ they wrote the document."]


*  US, British planes hit civilian sites in Iraq [near Al Kut, Qal'at Sukkar
and Al Amarah, Wasset, Missan and Zi Qar provinces, in Southern zone,
Saturday 14th December]
*  Coalition planes strike targets in Iraq [Near An Nasiriyah, Wasset,
Missan and Zi Qar provinces, Sunday 15th December]
*  Western jets attack southern Iraq air defences [Dhi Qar province in
South. Monday, 16th December]
*  U.S. Navy Says UAE Firm Smuggling Chemicals to Iraq [Some miserable
little snitch from the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet works himself up into an
impressive state of righteous indignation because a firm in the UAE is
selling industrial alcohol and material for making paints to Iraq. Is there
a term to express whatever is lower than whatever it is that is supposed to
be at the bottom of the barrel?]
*  Iraq opens fire on US, UK warplanes: Baghdad [Tuesday, 17th December]
*  Western jets fire on southern Iraq air defences [Wednesday 18th December.
Mobile radar station near al-Kut]
*  Western patrols choke off trade in illegal Iraq oil ['At some point over
the last year, the United States and its allies quietly decided to ignore
Iraq's sea border and drive their sanctions-busting patrols deep into Iraqi
territory ... The change in enforcement tactics, which would probably be
seen as illegal by some members of the U.N. Security Council, was never
formally announced and has not been widely reported.']

AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/12/02 (3)


*  US blocks Germany's bid to head key Security Council panel [The Iraqi
sanctions panel, no less]
*  Bulgaria Arrests Iraqi on Arms Suspicion
*  Tunisia prevents a demonstration against the war on Iraq
*  Russia's vote at UN cost Iraq oil deal: firm
*  Iraq: purchase of diesel train locomotive from Chinese company
*  Nearly two-thirds of Japanese oppose US attack on Iraq: Poll
*  Iraq for enhancing trade with Pakistan
*  Mandela Slams U.S. for Diplomatic 'Piracy'
*  US [ie Richard Perle] warns Germany against voting 'no' [to strikes
against Baghdad on the UN Security Council]
*  Vatican: Inspection in Iraq should cover Israel
*  Baghdad Orders 5,000 Volga Taxis From GAZ ['breathing new life into the
No. 2 automaker's best-known brand, the company said Thursday']

*  Now France may join a U.S. attack
by Joseph Fitchett
International Herald Tribune, 19th December
[Just a bunch of unnamed sources saying what the US want them to say]


 *  Iraq Kurds Now Siding With United States [Extracts giving quotes,
including one from C.Rowat ...]
*  Terrorist behind Amman killing 'in Kurdish Iraq'

*  Iraqi Kurds fear humanitarian disaster from war
News & Observer, 18th December
['The United Nations considers anyone who enters northern Iraq without an
Iraqi visa to be here illegally. The United Nations last year cut ties with
international aid organizations whose workers entered via Syria without
Iraqi visas.' If the law is an ass, what sort of creature is international


*  Moussa: A[rab] L[eague] recognizes Kuwaiti bitterness, but Iraq is in
*  Misunderstanding highlights US-Kuwaiti tensions [Kuwaitis want US
protection but otherwise have the same feelings about them as everyone else]
*  Saudi Arabia, Iraq restore phone lines
*  Syrian pipeline helps Iraq evade UN oil sanctions [Good for the Syrians.
Ah, if only it were being done openly and as a matter of principle!]
*  Fuleihan inaugurates Iraqi trade exhibition [in Lebanon]
*  Iraqi leader sends 40 truckloads of fertilizer to Palestinian peasants
*  Baghdad puts out the welcome rug for banks [Iraq's second international
banking conference]
*  Iraq, Iran agree on opening a border crossing for humanitarian stuffs
*  Jordan: human shields to protect the Iraqi establishments [Looking for
100,000 volunteers from Jordan to 'join the International human shields
around the Iraqi establishments']
*  Turkey ready to send 70,000 troops into Iraq
*  Yemen's president says America will lose anti-terror coalition in war on

*  Exclusive talk with Qatar's foreign minister
by Wolf Blitzer
CNN, 13th December
[How to throw the opportunity of an exclusive talk with Qatar's foreign
minister away in three easy lessons]

AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/12/02 (4)


*  Hussein's Obsession: An Empire of Mosques [New York Times effort to
understand the philosophy behind the Mother of All Battles mosque in
*  Iraq renovates its shelters, but few want to use them [A brief account
from The Times of what it was like to be in the al-Amariyah shelter on
February 13, 1991]
*  The Lion, On His Den: an Interview with Iraqi Dissident Ghazwan Al-Mukhti
*  Iraq to have multiparty and opposition system [sez the chairman of the
Iraqi national opposition coalition, Abdul Jabbar al-Kubeisi (see separate
section below)]
*  Iraq's Shortage of Medicine May Grow More Severe [Washington Post reports
on what the ban on products such as Cipro means in practice]
*  Inside the ice cream factory paralysed by import bans [Centrifuges it
seems are also used in making ice cream. So Iraqis aren't allowed ice cream.
Or paint: '"We don't make weapons here. We can't even make paint," said the
managing director [of the Babylon paint factory], Khalil Mustafa. "Our
speciality was making good things, paint that made things look refreshed and
new again. Now it's over."]


*  Iraqi exiles in Jordan fearful of regime change
*  Iraqis may not welcome invading U.S. troops as liberators [Another
account of Iraqi exiles in Jordan]
*  Iraqis board buses for long journey home [from Lebanon. "It is better to
die at home than to live in a cold country that has treated us as complete


*  Interview in Baghdad with Abd al-Jabbar al-Kubaysi, a leading member of
the patriotic Iraqi opposition ['All of humanity will one day discover that
they are indebted to the Iraqis for confronting American savagery. So we
must cause the "dictatorship card" to fall from America's hand, the way we
have made them drop the excuse of "mass destruction weapons".']

AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/12/02 (5)


*  2,000 protest war in Iraq, want proof [Interfaith demonstration in
*  Music used as protest against sanctions
*  Students Stage Hunger Strike Over Iraq Policy [outside of the federal
building in San Jose]


*  Actor Sean Penn Visits Baghdad
*  Revisiting 'The real roots of anti-Americanism' [Extracts referring to
apparently interesting group Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities and to
"The real roots of Arab anti Americanism." by Barry Rubin, which argues that
the problem with US policy is its been too pro-Arab]
*  Hegemon faces a harried week [Rather encouraging account of setbacks
suffered by the New World Order over the past week. It claims Turkey turned
down 'an aid package worth more than 20 billion dollars - twice the entire
annual US foreign-aid budget - in exchange for full Turkish co-operation
with Washington on a ground invasion of Iraq from Turkish soil' but might
have been willing to reconsider had the US managed to secure a speedy entry
into the European Union. But the US' efforts to pressure the EU on the
matter had the opposite to the desired effect. All very satisfying ...]
*  Pentagon Begins Airing Propaganda Broadcasts to Iraq
*  Smoke Screen? A new lawsuit says cigarette smugglers had a friend in R.J.
Reynolds [Iraq is a country reputedly addicted to tobacco and the sadistic
Mme Albright wanted to cut off the supply. You'd have to be an idiot or an
abject lackey of the 'International Community' not to recognise such a
wonderful business opportunity]
*  Iraqi statement on actor Sean Penn's comments called inaccurate
*  Weapon of the Week: ['Only in the land of the free would a woman be given
the opportunity to make the newest super-duper weapon‹the thermobaric bomb!'
But in Iraq, so we are told, a woman, Rihab Taha, was given the perhaps even
more exciting opportunity of making the newest super duper biological
weapons. Who says Iraq isn't a free country?]
*  Bush's trusty new Mideast point man [Detailed account of career of
Elliott Abrams, recently appointed as White House Middle East advisor. Not
strictly to do with Iraq but its relevance seems obvious enough]
*  Powell underestimates anti-US anger [Jordanian journalist Fahed Fanek
comments on Colin Powell's new program for the Middle East]
*  U.S. alleges ring sent cash to Iraq [Iraqis caught red-handed trying to
help their starving an impoverished relatives in Iraq. But then again 'Even
money sent in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act
to individuals living in Iraq indirectly aids Saddam Hussein's regime by
easing the financial pressure brought to bear by U.N. sanctions.']
*  Muslims in US urge Saddam to step down

AND, IN NEWS, 13-20/12/02 (6)


*  Iraq After D-Day: The Cordesman Memo [Account of Anthony Cordesman's
apparently interesting document: "Planning for a Self-Inflicted Wound: US
Policy to Shape a Post Saddam Iraq" Which says, in the words of the
reviewer: 'Why get deeper into this mess? Let Saddam keep his security
forces intact and butcher the Shiites. Offer protection to the Kurds and let
the place stew under the weight of sanctions.' It is a plea against
humanitarian intervention. But the humanitarianism is as much the target as
the intervention. Actually as summarised here it all seems rather
nonsensical. Part of the argument is that the oil industry is in a dreadful
state. Doesn't he see that that's part of the attraction? A huge investment
opportunity? With a resource which, once liberated from sanctions, could
tranform the gloomy situation very quickly (which is why its so important
that Mr Hussein isn't allowed to do it).]
*  Online Extra: Madeleine Albright on Democracy and Force [Madeleine
Albright comes over as a moderate favouring mass starvation and disease over
war. She thinks war could have unpredictable consequences: 'It strikes me
that a war by the infidels in this area doesn't help the democratic
*  Most Favor Nuclear Option Against Iraq [Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The Cup half full]
*  Poll: Most unconvinced on Iraq war [Los Angeles Times poll. The Cup half
*  How two US factions plan not to lose the peace: Post-Saddam strategy
[Conflict between the neo-cons and the state department establishment as
reflected in a 'new study by a 25- member task force released here on
Wednesday by the influential Council on Foreign Relations and the James
Baker III Institute for Public Policy'. The neo-cons want to assume the
responsibilities of a real Empire. The 'realists' want to smash everything
up then scuttle away as fast as they can. Given the choice my preference is
for the neo-cons.]
*  'Scorched Earth' Plans in Iraq Cited [So, when the US 'destroy his
country's oil fields, electrical power plants, food storage sites and other
facilities' it'll all be Mr Hussein's fault. This grotesque little bit of
fiction, incidentally, was published very widely]

URLs ONLY:,3604,860736,00.html
*  All reason is about to be gassed, poxed and nuked
by Simon Tisdall
The Guardian, 16th December
[Attack on the hawks who will use the Iraq dossier as the pretext for war. A
bit polemical for my liking.]
*  Projection on Fall Of Hussein Disputed
by Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post, 18th December
[Chief of the Army, Gen. Eric Shinseki, and the commandant of the Marine
Corps, Gen. James L. Jones say one should plan for the worst case scenario.
So what else is new?]


*  Troops start countdown to war [The main substance of this article is
that, unlike the US, the UK has made no or very little attempt to deploy
troops in the area and some army people think it mightn't be a bad idea to
start. But how can the dog go walkies before the master shows it the lead?]
*  British troops bound for Iraq conflict to be given suspect Gulf war
syndrome drugs
*  CND loses bid to prove Iraq war illegal [Thus with one blow the only
authority able to challenge international acts of any Permanent Security
Council member is destroyed; and with it any possibility of giving any real
moral credibility to the system of 'international law']
*  Has Blair got the nerve to back down over Iraq? [The Scotsman naively
affirms that 'in even meeting the Syrian leader, Mr Blair was defying his
close ally, United States President George W Bush' ... But no. That is
Britain's role: to do what the US thinks has to be done but can't for one
reason or another do for itself. The general argument is that Mr Blair is
getting cold feet over the prospect of war but is probably, and quite
reasonably, more scared of Mr Bush than he is of the British Parliament and
*  Scots to spearhead Iraq force

*  UK does flip-flop on UN resolution meaning regarding attacking Iraq
Arabic News, 14th December
[Arabic News account of Mike O'Brien's trip to Egypt and of the collection
of predictable cliches which he uttered on that occasion.]

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]