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Posted by andreas from p3EE3C5B3.dip.t-dialin.net ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 at 5:54AM :

Highly Recommended: CASI (Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq) + CASI news

On the CASI List, Peter Brooke is doing a fine job of compilating news.

Here only this week's title section as an appetizer with the news items to be found in his follow up postings at the URL given below:

News titles, 15-22/11/02

It seems that we are now in for a period of waiting for the Iraqi government
to slip on a banana skin, punctuated by an escalation in US provocations
(bombing raids on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday).

Most interesting has been the refusal of all the other permanent members of
the Security Council (including Britain) to accept that Iraqi firing against
the evil ravens constitutes a 'material breach' under para 8 of Resolution
1441. Which states: 'that Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts
directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or of
any Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution'.

If the US/British No Fly Zones are not being pursued as 'action to uphold
any Council resolution' then, surely, they are illegal. In which case the
bombing raids are then necessarily all the more illegal ( not that I wish
anyone to think I'm falling into the idiocy of imagining that it is possible
under the UN Charter to seriously challenge the legality of anything done by
any of the permanent members of the Security Council or of any of their

One little glimmer of hope appears in an article in the Arabic language
paper Al-Quds ('The delegation of the opposition' in the Inside Iraq
section), a news item that has not yet made it into the mainstream press and
which suggests that the Iraqi government is about to engage in a radical
constitutional reform which would allow the development of what might be
called a 'loyal opposition' (the phrase, and concept, is of course
British.), an opposition that is not tainted through contact with a brutal
and relentless Enemy.

It is difficult to imagine any initiative open to the Iraqi government that
would throw more confusion and discord into the enemy ranks than this. It is
of course very risky to the integrity of the Iraqi state but, faced with the
near certain prospect of imminent chaos and massacre surely this - the only
initiative that has any chance of success - must be worth a try.

News, 15-22/11/02 (1)


* UN Security Council will decide on Iraqi breach [says Hans Blix,
* Experts: Iraq hid vast chemical-biological stocks ['When the UNSCOM
inspectors left Iraq in 1998, they said they still did not know the full
extent of Iraq's chemical and biological programs but had collected both
hard and circumstantial evidence suggesting that the programs were far more
advanced and wider in scope than previously believed.' My memory has it that
'When the UNSCOM inspectors left Iraq' etc they issued a report saying their
job had almost been finished. It was only much later that they began to
claim that, on a re examination of their data, they found 'hard and
circumstantial evidence' etc. For the most part this article recicles
material that is familiar and dealt with in the Rangwalla/Simpson Dishonest
Case essay.]
* Iraqis 'infiltrated UK germ labs' [Beware of shifty-eyed foreign-looking
students, says the BBC.]
* Weapons inspector says spies will be dismissed [Blix, asked if there are
spies among his team, replies 'no, I don't think either the KGB or the CIA
can give that absolute assurance', which is a rather odd way of putting it
(rather like saying, no, I don't think the Iraqi government can give an
absolute assurance it doesn't have any chemical or biological weapons.]
* U.S., U.N. Differ on Arms Hunt [Extract from Washington Post article
which includes the admission that UNSCOM 'was shuttered in late 1999,
following revelations that the United States had used the inspection agency
to collect intelligence on the Iraqi government.' As well as what appears to
me a very important statement from Blix that 'the former inspection agency
had "lost its legitimacy by being too closely associated with intelligence
and with Western states."']
* Saddam hiding arms in mosques: U.S. spies
* Iraq has powder that carries poison [Aerosil, which could be used to
penetrate VX even through US army protective clothing.]
* Experts Weigh Smallpox Threat [The argument is that because the
Australians have found an even more deadly strain of smallpox the Iraqis
might have found it too, so we need to follow Israel's example and immunise
the entire population. Only trouble is 'Existing models predict that up to
1,400 Americans would die from the effects of the vaccination or by catching
the disease from others who were vaccinated if the entire population was
immunized. However, scientists at the conference said they thought that
figure was based on outdated information and far too low.']
* Blix offers prospect of ending Iraq sanctions ["we hope that opportunity
will be well utilised so that we can get out of [UN] sanctions." Though
there do not appear to be any possible grounds for his saying this.]
* Armed and dangerous? Spy antics helped derail U.N.'s last Iraq mission
[Account of "The United Nations and Iraq" by Yale University scholars Jean
Krasno and James Sutterlin, to be issued next month by Praeger Publishers.
Charles Duelfer, of all people is quoted as saying: 'he has "no doubt that a
lot of people went back and shared information" with their governments.'
(note the rather touching plural.)]
* As arms inspectors arrive, row erupts over US smears [Blix 'rounds on'
his enemies rather in the style of Sven Goran Ericsson: 'Asked whether he
thought US hawks were behind the smear campaign, Mr Blix said: "You can say
there's some truth in that judgment."' I find myself beginning to like him.]
* Iraqi aide puts limits on arms inspections
* Microbiologist on a mission [Account of German weapons inspector Gabriele
Kraatz Wadsack]


* U.S., Britain "Block" $7.5bn in Supplies for Iraq
* Allies seek to interdict Iraq's oil shipment ['"Our job is to stop the
bad guys from doing bad things and make sure the good guys can navigate
freely," Lt. Cmdr. Gilbert Hageman said recently as his Orion patrolled at
more than 20,000 feet.' It good to know they're up there doing their stuff
to quote the Lorenzo Semple Jr scripted Batman film.]
* More Must Be Done to Help Iraqis: Annan [Renewal of the Oil for Food

AND, IN NEWS, 15-22/11/02 (2)


* Saddam can be beaten in four days [Ex US army officer complains that the
proposed plan to take Iraq 'is a Bill Clinton special' (which, in case
readers don't know, is a Bad Thing) largely imposed by meanspirited Saudis:
'they have refused to allow us to use the multibillion-dollar air operations
command center we built on their territory, and they will not allow any U.S.
troop deployments in support of ousting Saddam. Without the use of Saudi
territory, our planners have serious real estate problems.']
* Rumsfeld Confesses U.S. Assisted Saddam Hussein [Rumsfeld blurts out a
little bit of truth but falls back into moralistic cliches at the earliest
possible opportunity.]
* Agencies Track Iraqis in U.S. Ahead of Possible War
* Invisible Woman [Account of what it could be like to be born in the USA
of an Iraqi family]
* Assyrians -- not just part of ancient history
* Are students apathetic? Not on Bush's turf, where they're scuffling over
Iraq [Account of trouble in the University of Texas campus at Austin. Our
own Roger Van Stroope doesn't get a mention, but we're sure he's in there
* US erred in shifting focus of war on terror to Iraq: Gore
* U.S. Politicians Back Group Labeled 'Terrorist' [Attempt to take the Iraq
based Mujahideen Khalq off the State Department's list of foreign terrorist

* Iraq on His Mind
by Bob Woodward
Washington Post, 19th November
[This is part of a series which seems to be trying to show that Bush is torn
between the hawks (Rumsfeld) and doves (Powell) in his entourage. Yawn. In
this episode Bob and George go for a walk on George's farm, see a strange
rock formation and throw stones at it.]

* Weapons of Mass Insurrection
by William Norman Grigg
The New American, Vol. 18, No. 24, 2nd December
[Intriguing vision of a revived Black Muslim/Black Panther movement
undermining the United States from within. Is there after all hope for the
rest of the world?]


* CND threatens court action over Iraq invasion plans [without 'United
Nations' backing, the magic wand that will make everything all right.]
* The tragedy of Kut [Nightmarish account of the fate of the British force
that attempted to take Baghdad in 1915.]
* Blair bows to pressure and grants MPs vote on Iraq
* Military warn Labour on Iraq [Army morale is being undermined by the
prospect of having to do something useful for a change, says Admiral Sir
Michael Boyce.]


* U.S. cool to Kurds on offer of war aid [We learn that the Washington
representative of the PUK is a nuclear physicist so perhaps the overthrow of
Mr Hussein won't be the end of the problem of WMDs in Iraq. The general
tenor of the article is that what is required if democracy is to be
installed in Iraq is a different people living there.]

AND, IN NEWS, 15-22/11/02 (3)


* Ex-Iraqi Generals Advise U.S. [Five Iraqi generals address a seminar
sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute.]
* Exiled Iraqi Groups Settle Feud
* Iraqi exiles throwing elbows [Extract from an article by David Isenberg
on the INC dealing with a report written by Kanan Makiya recommending a
post-war deBaathification of Iraqi society.]
* Iraqi Dissidents Move Unity Meeting [Possibly December 11, in London. The
Belgian government it seems was reluctant to host them because their
professed aim is to topple the Iraqi government. Why then do the Belgians
continue to have diplomatic relations with the US and Britain?.]
* War crimes arrest blow to Iraqi opposition [Arrest of General Nizar
Khazraji, perhaps depriving him of the chance to be our son of a bitch.]
* US forms Iraqi opposition army [Curious operation using Northern
Iraq/Southern Kurdistan to form what may well turn into an anti-Kurd army
(and since the Kurd leaders are quoted speaking against it why are they
allowing it to happen on their turf?)]


* 8 senior Iraqi officers executed: Daily
* UN Oil-for-Food Program Has Halved Child Malnutrition in Iraq [Meanwhile,
in the real world ...]
* Saddam shuts down newspaper run by his son Uday
* How Times barked and Saddam's son was bitten [The Times thinks Babil was
suppressed for publishing the story about President Hussein seeking a refuge
for his family in Libya. I propose as a hypothesis that it might have
something to do with the possibly very important last item in this section
('The delegation of the opposition ...')]
* Vibrant reminder of Iraq's rich history [Exhibition in London on the
history of the Jews in Mesopotamia. We learn that Miss Baghdad, 1947, was a
* Iraq Christians Hail Saint's Relics [St Therese of Lisieux, underscoring
the relatively recent alignment of an important part of Iraq's old Christian
community with the Roman Catholic Church]
* Iraqi women tell of Iraq oppression [News conference in London on
oppression of minorities in Iraq]
* The delegation of the opposition Iraqi National Alliance gets ready to
meet Saddam ['Committees to draft a new Iraqi constitution, and a law for
political multilateralism. Preparations continue for war and ten million
Iraqis armed']

AND, IN NEWS, 15-22/11/02 (4)


* Resolution 1441: what price Syria? [Detailed Lebanese account of Syria's
reasons for supporting Res 1441. It seems the chance to talk to an Important
American Personage is itself deemed to be a very tasty 'carrot'.]
* Hezbollah may strike Israel in case of US war on Iraq [sez the Israeli
army. Obviously what is needed is a bit of pre-emptive defence.]
* U.S. Discusses Aid for Turkey to Defray Costs of an Iraq War
* Syria and Iraq Tightening Their Ties [Appears to be a good account of
general Syrian/Iraqi relations.]
* Jordan shortlists three firms for oil pipeline from Iraq [From Oman,
Russia and, rather perversely, Britain.]
* Hammoud: Strike on Iraq is now inevitable [The Lebanese Foreign Minister
not only injects some sense into this discussion but he also seems to be
quite freely critical of Syria.]
* Iran to Export Goods to Jordan and Syria Via Iraq
* [Lebanese] Families demand news on detainees in Iraq ['He added that
since then Lebanese and Iraqi officials have exchanged several visits "with
an aroma of love and fuel oil in the air, but no one mentioned the
detainees, as if they were of no concern to anyone."']

* Iran 'Could Help U.S. Topple Saddam'
by Tom Kelly
The Scotsman, 15th November
[They might. But then again, they might not.]


* No power should enforce its will on Iraq: [Indian] PM [Atal Bihari
* NATO onslaught against Yugoslavia offers lessons for attack on Iraq [A
tribute to the skill and courage of the Yugoslav army. But what use is
military skill in the face of an enemy who goes straight for the lives and
livelihoods of civilians far behind the lines?]
* Eritrean port may become US base for Iraq attack
* Bosnian Serbs Seek Interpol Help in Iraq Arms Case
* In with Iraq, out of NATO [The leaders of Belarus and the Ukraine are
excluded from the meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (parallel
to the NATO meeting) in Prague because of suspicions that they helped the
Iraqi conventional weapons programme.]
* Germany confirms US asked it for Iraq support
* Russian 'Interests' In Iraq Recognized ['A high-ranking Russian foreign
ministry official involved in negotiations with the United States over the
U.N. resolution told an American visitor to Moscow this week that a
"gentleman's agreement" had been reached with Washington on Iraq'
principally on the need to keep up the price of oil which might collapse
when Iraqi oil falls into Western hands (but the interest of Western oil men
- Bush and Cheney - is surely to keep it up).]
* [Japanese] Govt eyes refugee aid for Iraq's neighbors
* Key allies baulk at support for US in Iraq war [One of the mysteries of
the United Nations Security Council is that it has a very clear procedure
for what happens when it decides to go to war. It involves assembling a
Military Staff Committee, consisting of 'the Chiefs of Staff of the
permanent members of the Security Council or their representatives.' (UN
Charter, Art 47.2). I seem to remember that some pretence that this was
being done was maintained at the time of the Gulf War but there doesn't seem
to be much talk of doing it this time round.]

AND, IN NEWS, 15-22/11/02 (5)


* Coalition resumes no-fly zone strikes [Najaf, Saturday 16th November]
* U.S. accuses Iraq of shooting at jets [Statement that the US consider
Iraq's targeting of aircraft violating Iraqi airspace a breach of Res 1441.]
* 7 civilians killed in US-British raids: Iraq [Najaf, Saturday 16th
November. Refers to another bombing on Friday 15th. Note that the general
account of the no-fly zones at the end contains, unusually, the admission
that they 'are not explicitly covered by any UN resolution.']
* No-fly zones: The legal position [This BBC article does stress that the
no fly zones are not authorised by any UN resolution. But it doesn't mention
the extension of the southern No Fly Zone in retaliation for Iraq's 1996
intervention - at the invitation of the KDP - to repel the Iranian invasion
of Southern Kurdistan.]
* Allies bomb air defenses in northern Iraq for second straight day;
leaflets dropped in southern Iraq [Near Mosul, Monday 18th November]
* US warplanes strike Iraqi air defence sites [Sunday 17th, Monday 18th,
both near Mosul.]
* U.N. opposes U.S. stand on Iraq no-fly zone violation [On the face of it
this is an extraordinary moment of toughness on the part of the world. It
even includes the UK. It seems obvious that para 8 is designed to be open to
this interpretation but: 'Britain's U.N. ambassador, Sir Jeremy Greenstock,
co-sponsor of the resolution, told the Security Council before the vote that
paragraph 8 referred to any personnel that the inspectors might ask to help
them and not the no-fly zones.']
* United States bombs three Iraqi air defense facilities [Southern Iraq,
Wednesday 20th November]
* Western Planes Bomb Targets in South [Thursday, 21st November, radar
sites near Ash Shuaybah and Tallil]


* Thousands rally against Iraq war [in Canada]
* Greeks Protest Against War in Nov 17 Rally
* Atlantan in Iraq on medical mission [James Jennings, of Conscience
International, going to Iraq]
* Testimony in Support of Baltimore's Anti-Iraq War Resolution [William
Hughes, speaking in favour of a bill apparently proposed in Baltimore City
Council to oppose war on Iraq (on the grounds that the general Bush
administration policy makes the proliferation and use of weapons of mass
destruction more not less likely).]

AND, IN NEWS, 15-22/11/02 (6)


* Pentagon Schools Reporters for Possible Iraq War [Teaching them among
much else how to avoid chemical and biological attacks. Since one of the
possible causes of Gulf War syndrome is the antidote to chemical attacks
perhaps we're going to see an outbreak of it among journalists?]
* Iraqi army is tougher than US believes [But since the main motive the
article adduces is self-interest (defence of a privileged position) it
doesn't seem to me to be totally convincing. People don't usually engage in
suicidal struggles out of sheer self interest.]
* International Law Has Failed to Lessen Horrors of War [Extract from
article in the Salt Lake Tribune which draws on Tom Nagy's research on the
targeting of civilian infrastructure and its defence by Lt Col Rizer.]
* Saddam's regime prepares for escape from Iraq
* US puts microwave bomb on Iraqi menu
* A Modest Proposal: Let Iran "Liberate" Iraq [by Noam Chomsky. 'nuff
* After Saddam [Sceptical analysis of the Japanese analogy]
* US again turns its back on Afghans
* Nasty surprise for US airmen [The Ukrainian Kolchuga passive detection
system which is able to track Stealth bombers. Somewhat unfair if they're
not allowed to sell it to the one country in the world that has most need of

* Iraq: The Economic Consequences of War
by William D. Nordhaus
The New York Review of Books, 5th December
[Lengthy attempt to analyse the costs of different war scenarios (its a
shorter version of a lengthier analysis available at www.econ
.yale.edu/~nordhaus/iraq.html.) It comes to the general conclusion that war
is a bad idea.]

-- andreas
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