Against World Empire Homepage
Index of Old Updates--For CURRENT UPDATES Please Scroll Down
Help out anti-war.com. This great site launched the information defense against Washington's War Party. It offers tremendous amounts of information and backgrounders and files on both Iraq and Kosovo bombing. For more information or send donations to: Antiwar.com, 520 S. Murphy Ave. #202 Sunnyvale, CA 94086
July 18 EUROPE TILTS TOWARD RUSSIA ON ENERGY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's repeated public statements about the creation of a
"common economic space with the European Union" is a conscious political choice,
according to Le
Temps, Geneva's leading daily. For a long period of time, according to the
newspaper, Russia was a student of the "American school," but political and
economic failures and estrangement between the two countries have prompted
it to turn towards the East and develop its ties with China. In turn,
China's demographic pressures on Russia's borders, coupled with the
pro-European orientation of the Russian elite, has forced Russia's leader to
commence a rapprochement with Europe. In doing so, Moscow will find many
attentive ears among European governments eager to trade high technologies
for Russia's inexpensive gas and oil, according to the newspaper.
- Victor J. Yasmann, Copyright (c) 2001, American Foreign Policy Council
MOSCOW AND BEIJING INK FRIENDSHIP TREATY. "In that last regard, the greatest success of the summit may have been an agreement that could ultimately bring up to 219 million barrels exports of Russian oil to China over the next decade...........................
"This week's summit talks in Moscow were the highlight of
visit to Russia and marked the eighth time that the Chinese leader has met
with Putin. Impetus for the friendship treaty--officially called the Treaty
on Good Neighborly Friendship and Cooperation--reportedly came from the
Chinese side, and reflects a host of recent international security
developments. The most important of these, of course, are U.S. plans to
deploy a ballistic missile defense system and, since the beginning of this
year, the Bush administration's harsher line toward Beijing. These
developments have driven Russia and China to make common cause, a result
that even the Bush administration's recent courtship of Moscow has done
little to reverse. Indeed, Washington's increasing aggressiveness on the
international stage appears to have hardened Moscow's determination to rally
international opposition to Bush administration security policies and even,
to some degree, to position itself as a defender of Chinese interests
against Washington's efforts to isolate Beijing.
"They speculated that Jiang, who both studied in Russia in the
1950s and speaks fluent Russia, is himself aware that a generational change is fast
approaching for the Chinese leadership and that the younger generation of leaders is
likely to be less interested in and knowledgeable about Russia. The friendship treaty,
these Russian sources suggest, is his effort to put relations between the two countries on
sound, long-term footing so as to guard against future neglect of Moscow by
emerging Chinese leaders." (Izvestia, Vremya MN, July 17; Rossiiskaya Gazeta,
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, July 14). Jamestown Monitor 18 July 2001 - Volume VII, Issue 137, Copyright (c) 1983-2001 The Jamestown Foundation
$12 Billion paid by UN from Iraq monies for 1990 War Damages
The Geneva-based UN Compensation Commission awarded a total of $513,483,088.40 to 22
governments and two international organizations for distribution to 484 successful
claimants. That brings to over $12 billion the overall amount of compensation awarded by
Money to pay the awards is drawn from the UN Compensation Fund, which presently receives 25 per cent of the proceeds under the "oil-for-food" mechanism, which allows Baghdad to sell its petroleum and use a portion of its revenues to purchase humanitarian relief.
According to the Commission, governments and international organizations are obligated to distribute funds to successful claimants expeditiously. Any funds that have not been distributed within 12 months must be returned.
© 2001 United Nations. This news item is distributed via Middle East News Online (MiddleEastWire.com).
June 16 U.S. Offers to Spy on Basques for Spain Making more enemies
June 15 NATO/US troops in Georgia --U.S. sends troops to Russian doorstep on eve of first meeting Bush-Putin
June 15 U.S. Offers Syria Money not to allow Iraq Oil Shipments
May 24 US Tries Convincing UN it's easing and Congress Hawks that it's tightening--Renewal of Expiring Sanctions--US & UK against the world
May 13: John
Bolton was approved by the Senate 57-43 as the new Under Secretary for Arms Control
and International Affairs. Bolton, a neo-conservative, is known for his writings
that international law is worthless. He argues, "It is a big mistake for us to
grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest
to do sobecause, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international
law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States." (quoted in INSIGHT) This view
isnt just neoconservative. Its shared by many isolationists on the Right as
April 23: The Commander of China¹s Navy Rear-Admiral Shi Yunsheng and
delegation began a three day official visit in France, hosted by French
Naval Chief Admiral Jean-Luc Delaunay, reports Agence France Presse. The
delegation will be hosted on the ³crown jewels² of the French Navy - the
aircraft carrier [CVN] Charles de Gaulle [a type of submarine which China is
currently trying to acquire], a La Fayette-class frigate, and a strategic
missile nuclear submarine [SSBN]. The French will also demonstrate their new
Rafale multi-role combat aircraft.
According to the Taipei Chung-Kuo Shih-Pao, Western military experts claim
that in recent years, many of the Chinese navy¹s new technologies and
equipment have come from France. The Stockholm International Peace research
Institute say that France has provided technology for China¹s Song-class
submarines, which are capable of firing C802 anti-ship guided missiles and
CY-1 anti-submarine guided missiles. This ship can also fire missiles into
the air. American Foreign Policy Council, Washington, DC
http://www.afpc.org, Editor: Al Santoli
4/26 U.S. Still Delaying $3.5 billion civilian supplies for Iraq
ON DIPLOMACY Vietnam promptly
expressed its condolences to the families of 7 American service people killed in a
helicopter accident on Friday. This message was conveyed by the Foreign Minister,
not the Premier. This is "symmetrical" to the expression of regret to
China offered by Colin Powell on Wednesday.
<<"On behalf of the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien has sent his deep condolences to the families of the Vietnamese victims and at the same time to the government, the people and the families of the United States," the statement said. >>
"Study that statement: I mention this because President Bush, on Saturday, only expressed his condolences to the American families and not to the families of the 9 dead Vietnamese, as well. It may be that the US is not being "considerate" enough in framing its responses. This may well be adding to the problem and extending the impasse. I also note that Mrs Wang "wrote" Bush, not having received a direct expression of regret from the US government --a courteous, preemptive step.
Perhaps our diplomatic standards need a little more brushing up. Mr. Bush, when making expression of regret should do it rapidly and as a stand-alone event, not as a tagged on aside to a speech to News Editors, as he did last week. This signals both courtesy and the respect for gravity of a "situation," without knuckling under with an apology. This half-way behavior, though, allows Beijing to remind the Chinese people of Mr. Clinton's first, irresponsible attempt to toss out an apology while he was casually dressed, inspecting tornado damage in Texas in an attempt to divert media attention from the mistake and the prolonged NATO air war..
Beijing's intractablity demonstrates that they are paying back GW Bush ("Bush-43") for sins of careless commission perpetrated by President Clinton after the US accidentally destroyed the Chinese Embassy in
Belgrade in May, 1999. (A college classmate was the State Department Desk Officer for China when our bombs hit their embassy; we've talked about the groveling he went through in 1999). The networks found their way to this angle only on Friday.
But it's more interesting. The Bush Administration and Congress continue to demand that President Kostunica and the Yugoslav government kow-tow and grovel before the US, NATO and the International Criminal Tribunal for (former) Yugoslavia, even as Bush (like Kostunica) dodges the act of groveling before Beijing for all the wrong reasons. The "Bush-43" government has chosen not to directly challenge the anti-Yugoslav bias and propaganda campaign in Washington, while seeking to advance its budget and tax relief agendas. It needs Congressional support from John McCain, Mitch McConnell and others who lent their reputations to the Balkan terrorists. The new Administration chose --for political considerations-- to exert pressure on Yugoslavia; and now has pressure exerted on itself by Beijing. Mr. Bush can now experience the same afflicted pain that Mr. Kostunica suffers. Neither should have to, and Secretary of State Colin Powell is among those who know why.
© Copyright 2001 by Benjamin C. Works - SIRIUS www.siri-us.com
Kuwait Supports Lifting Iraq Economic Sanctions
Neo-cons like Rumsfeld --United Press, 12/29/00
"On Feb. 19, 1998 Rumsfeld signed along with most of the Republican
Party's neo-conservative foreign policy brain trust a letter urging the president to among
other things recognize the INC as Iraq's government in exile. The letter says, "Iraq
today is ripe for a broad-based insurrection. We must exploit this opportunity," and
outlines a series of steps the government should take to aid the INC including positioning
"U.S. ground force equipment in the region so that, as a last resort, we have the
capacity to protect and assist the anti-Saddam forces in the northern and southern parts
11/6 EUROPE TURNS TO RUSSIA FOR ENERGY
"A series of environmental protests and fuel depot blockades in Europe has triggered
a chain of events that will transform economic and political relationships across Eurasia.
At its center will be a commercial partnership in which Russia will supply Europe
with massive amounts of natural gas. Europe will prevent an energy crisis, and Russia will
regain the leverage to reassert itself across the remnants of the former Soviet Union. The
European Union is facing an energy crisis, forcing it to seek out additional supplies of
natural gas in years ahead. The lions share of European demand can only be filled by
one state: Russia. European capital will secure Russian supplies and, in the process,
reshape both relations across the Union and domestic energy dynamics
in Russia." ---- see Stratfor.com for complete story. But easy money may undermine Russian economic reform--see Stratfor.com-2
Scott Ritter on Iraq--by Raimondo
"Ritter, previously demonized by the Iraqis as American arrogance incarnate a man who wanted to "kick down doors" to get the goods on Iraq's alleged weapons stockpile has done a complete about-face since stepping down from his official duties. Here is a man who was at the very core of the American effort to disarm Saddam Hussein saying that it is time to not only lift the sanctions, but to rethink our entire policy toward Iraq's disarmament, and his recent article in Arms Control Today has caused a sensation. Ritter exposes how the US-British insistence on Iraq's complete and utter prostration has led, ironically, to a period of completely unmonitored Iraqi rearmament setting up Saddam for another round of attacks. This is the self-perpetuating fraud at the very heart of the US-British policy: Iraq is a convenient punching bag, which is being pummeled more or less constantly, the punches coming faster and harder as Election Day 2000 approaches."
12/12 U.S. Hires (American) Merceneries . . . from the
private sector Series: THE WAR IN COLOMBIA; SPECIAL REPORT
St. Petersburg Times; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Dec 3, 2000; PAUL DE LA GARZA;DAVID ADAMS;
Although the hiring of MPRI was approved by Congress, it raises serious
questions about the propriety of U.S. intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state, of
American civilians participating in a foreign war, and whether the United States can
guarantee the Colombian military will not misuse the assistance it receives from MPRI.
In congressional testimony and in interviews, Pentagon and Colombian officials - including [Brian Sheridan]; the retired Southcom commander, Gen. Charles Wilhelm; and the Colombian ambassador to the United States, Luis Alberto Moreno - have characterized MPRI staff as "men in business suits" who assess problems within the Colombian Ministry of Defense and provide solutions through detailed analysis that Colombia can either accept or reject.
Moreno, the Colombian ambassador, said he saw no problem in the contract. The United States was paying MPRI, but Colombia was the recipient of its military expertise, he said. "Colombia tells MPRI that we need help or we need advice in this area."
I. WEST'S RECKLESS EMBRACE OF SADDAM (British Imperialist
The Guardian (U.K.)
November 5, 2000
West treads a reckless path to embrace Saddam
Britain and America still take a hard line against Iraq, but other
countries and large corporations can't keep away.
by Peter Beaumont
The vast marble halls of Saddam International Airport have not been so
busy in a decade. On Tuesday seven international flights touched down at
the massive complex on the outskirts of Baghdad including aircraft from
Turkey, Lebanon, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, all carrying
officials and business delegations for the opening of the annual Baghdad
trade fair, the biggest since it resumed business in 1995.
Among those who were greeted by Iraqi press and officials and walked
through the almost deserted arrivals area last Tuesday was an Irish MEP,
Niall Andrews, who had travelled on the first flight since 1991 from
His journey via Bucharest to Baghdad in an eight-seater aircraft,
carrying £10,000 worth of medicines for the children of Iraq was, he
admits, intended as a symbolic gesture against a sanctions regime he
believes is redundant and repellent.
Andrews could not ignore the most obvious evidence of the UN
Security Council's rapidly unravelling sanctions regime against Iraq--a
giant Tu-154 that arrived from Moscow with 50 parliamentarians and
businessmen led by Pyotr Romanov, Communist Deputy Speaker of the Duma.
The significance of the Russian plane was simple: a bold statement by
one of the five permanent members of the UN's Security Council that,
along with fellow members France and China, it has grown weary of
America's and Britain's continuing 'war' against Iraq. Iraq and Russia
have negotiated the resumption of 'charter flights' between Moscow and
Baghdad, which would be a violation of the flight ban and 'two no-fly
zones' established by the West after the invasion of Kuwait. Jordan--say
sources--is not be far behind.
It is not only businessmen and politicians who have been pouring
into Baghdad in recent weeks. Soccer players, entertainers,
intellectuals--all from the Arab world--have been visiting Baghdad to
show their solidarity with President Saddam Hussein for his support of
the Palestinian cause.
The decade-long international sanctions regime against Iraq appears
in danger of complete collapse. Since August more than 40 'humanitarian'
flights have flown into Iraq. An increasing number, Russian flights
among them, are refusing to seek explicit permission from Britain and
the US to fly, save to file their flight plans.
Even as US and British military aircraft last week launched their
latest attack on targets inside Iraq, Saddam was hosting the most senior
diplomatic figure to visit since the Gulf War, the Jordanian Prime
Minister, Ali Abu al-Ragheb, who flew to Baghdad last week with 100
journalists and officials to 'promote good relations between the two
countries'. This visit and that of the other international
parliamentarians came as officials in the US and the UK launched a
counter-offensive to maintain their hardline position against Iraq.
Last week the Foreign Office went into overdrive to remind the
British public of the continuing corruption and bestiality of Saddam's
regime, including reports of the beheading of 30 prostitutes in Basra
whose heads were allegedly hung outside their doors. The US, citing an
increased level of threat by Iraq against Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, has
put its troops on heightened alert. What they fear is that Iraq--and
Saddam--are being rehabilitated by stealth through selfish commercial
interests despite his refusal to readmit United Nations weapons
inspectors to Baghdad.
They believe Saddam has manipulated the Israeli crisis, and President
Bill Clinton's withdrawal from a wider stage in the run-up to the US
elections, to strengthen his hand in the Arab world and the wider
What is true is that what is driving the sudden renewed enthusiasm
for Iraq is the lure of lucrative contracts linked to the high oil
price. This year Iraq will pump $24 billion under the UN-administered
oil-for food programme imposed to prevent the country using its oil
receipts to fund the building of weapons of mass destruction. In
addition, on the basis of current estimates, Saddam's regime will also
earn more than $1 billion from oil illegally exported, which officials
say will be used to prop up Saddam's regime.
'The Baghdad trade fair last week was packed,' Niall Andrews told The
Observer. 'There were firms there from Germany, France, Spain, Finland.
There was even a company there from Ireland for the first time since the
Gulf War. What was most extraordinary was that there was a pavilion from
Iran [Iraq's long-term enemy from the first Gulf War].'
'It is simple,' says an Iraqi opponent of Saddam's regime. 'Saddam
knows that the best way to overturn the sanctions regime without making
any concessions over the arms inspections is to appeal to international
greed. That is where the real pressure will tell on Britain and the US -
from their own business interests.'
It is a claim borne out by the ambitions of some of the biggest
players in the oil business who have made clear they are waiting for the
end of sanctions to move in. A survey by Deutsche Bank showed that
Western companies interested in Iraq include the world's largest energy
companies: ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell and BP. 'Total, Repsol and ENI
have also kept in touch,' the bank's October 2000 industry review said.
France's TotalfinaElf has secured exclusive negotiating rights for the
huge Majnoon and Bin Umar fields and has been close to signing deals for
The position of Britain and the US has been undermined by the
recognition earlier this year by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the
'moral dilemma' posed by sanctions, in particular the impact on the
health of ordinary Iraqis, and children in particular.
Annan said the UN was in danger of losing the propaganda war-'if we
haven't already lost it'-about who is responsible for this situation.
'Is it Saddam Hussein or the United Nations?' he asked. Annan is
concerned by a report from Unicef that detailed the harm being done to
Iraqi children by UN sanctions.
Andrews has joined a chorus of protest against the sanctions which,
he believes, are in urgent need of reconsideration. Ironically, among
them are Iraqi opponents of Saddam. 'The sanctions regime is helping to
keep Saddam in power,' said one opposition analyst. 'They keep people
poor and dependent on the regime. There needs to be an urgent
II IRAQ RESUMES DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Sunday November 5 11:59 AM ET
Iraq Challenges No-Fly Zones, Chips at Sanctions
By Hassan Hafidh
BAGHDAD (Reuters) Iraq resumed domestic flights through Western-imposed
no-fly zones Sunday in its latest bid to bust out of a Western-imposed
straitjacket of post-Gulf War sanctions.
The two civilian flights from Baghdad to cities in the north and
south, while given a green light last week by the U.S. and Britain which
say their no-fly zones target military aircraft, fit into a carefully
orchestrated campaign by President Saddam Hussein to end his
The flights to Mosul and Basra came as Iraq hosted what it portrays
as its biggest sanctions-busting trade fair since the 1991 Gulf War,
attended by hundreds of companies from 45 countries, most of them
In a further move that appeared to put Iraq on a collision course
with the United Nations over sanctions, a Syrian oil source said an
Iraq-Syria oil pipeline out of action since 1982 would restart pumping
as soon as a technical inspection is done.
Iraq has been chipping away at the U.N. economic sanctions,
attracting a growing stream of "humanitarian" flights and agreeing
regular charter flights with Russia, although core sanctions imposed
after Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990 remain in force and only a U.N.
Security Council decision can remove them.
Iraq's Biggest Trade Fair
The fair is the biggest since it resumed in 1995 for the first time
since the Gulf War that drove Iraqi invasion forces out of Kuwait. A
total of 1,554 firms are taking part.
U.N. trade sanctions ban Iraq from trading freely with the rest of
the world. But under an oil-for-food agreement, Iraq is allowed to sell
unlimited quantities of oil over six months to buy food, medicine and
other goods for humanitarian purposes.
The oil deal is expected to generate more than $10 billion in its
current six-month phase because of soaring oil prices, opening the door
wide for more trade than previous years.
Word of the imminent re-opening of the Iraq-Syria oil pipeline raised
the prospect of a clash with the United Nations.
U.N. diplomats say Iraq needs permission from the world body to
implement an agreement with Damascus to export about 200,000 barrels per
day (bpd) of Basrah Light crude oil through the pipeline to Syria's
"Restarting the pipeline is just a technical matter--it is neither
political nor commercial," the Syrian oil source told Reuters by
telephone from Damascus. He stressed operation would commence "very
Detailing Baghdad's plans to develop the Iraqi Airways fleet, Khalil
said: "Negotiations with Airbus are on to renew a contract signed ten
Iraq said in September it was following up a deal with the European
consortium Airbus to modernize its fleet of airliners grounded since the
Gulf War. Baghdad says it wants to increase the number of its Airbus
aircraft to 20, purchasing modern Airbus 320s, 330s and 340s.
9/1/00 repeats from 2/13 Iraq says it will not allow UN Arms Inspectors to Return-- There's no advantage for Iraq in this, unless sanctions are removed. Chemical weapons can be made in a bathtub, so there's no way Iraq can "Prove" a negative, that is that it is not doing something bad. Also UN inspectors in the past were infiltrated by U.S. agents who than used information to find targets for U.S. Air Force to bomb. Washington also is on record as planning to destroy exisiting government of Iraq so its objectives are not those of the United Nations' resolutions. Washington (Secretary of State) has publicly stated that sanctions remain until Saddam gets overthrown in a revolution or voluntarily resigns. Reuters, 12/13/99, explains why other nations object----"The aim was to prevent the United States and Britain from imposing arms requirements that Iraq could not meet and thus keeping the sanctions in place for years to come."
8/27 Isreal's 200 nuclear bombs--New photos & analysis, less than the 400 expected
7/4 Iran Helps Iraq Evade U.S. Blockade of Direct Oil Exports
6/23 The Forgotten War--280,000 Sorties over Iraq--The American Giant at Work
6/9 UN to study effect of Iraqi Sanctions, Report expected.Nov. 26, U.S. agreed to go along with request for study after England agreed and it was isolated.
Washington to Ease Iraq Sanctions Under pressure from Allies and Congress, "Infanticide masquerading as policy," David Bonior (Dem. MI)
4/2 New Zealand Government now opposes Iraq Sanctions
2/14 3rd UN official resigns over misery in Iraq from Sanctions
2/1 U.S. Wants more time to Study civilian reconstruction supplies, e.g. irrigation, electricity generation, repairs to civilian infrastructure
1/16/00 Allocation of Iraq oil export
The `oil-for-food' programme is the best example of this. `oil-for-food' was the U.N.'s provision to relieve mass starvation in Iraq. However, 50 per cent of the escrowed proceeds from oil sales are never used for food. The money is paid to U.S./British oil companies, the Kuwaiti royal family and even Israeli El Al Airlines as war reparations. The remainder pays for the administration of the sanctions. This is the thin edge of the wedge of neo-colonialism.
"On June 25, the UN awarded almost $2.8 billion to several oil companies, including more than $500 million to a subsidiary of Texaco, Inc., for equipment and facilities that were damaged when the U.S. led a 43-day war against Iraq in 1991. These oil companies..... were paid out of the UN Compensation Commission (all funds from Iraq oil sales are controlled by UN)" (Brian Becker, IAC Report 12/99)
12/17/99 (from Reuters Report)
"The U.N. Security Council narrowly adopted a resolution that could send U.N. weapons inspectors back to Iraq and ease sanctions if it cooperates with them. (Washington has always tried to create situtations where cooperation is impossible as an excuse to continue sanctions, for example, demanding Iraq prove a negative, that it can't produce weapons, or demanding access to Bath Party memberships files and political information or demanding that Saddam Hussein agree to policies to get himself killed, Ed.) The vote was 11-0, with abstentions by permanent council members China, France and Russia, along with Malaysia. Despite the abstentions, the resolution, which required nine votes and no veto to be adopted, has the impact of international law.
The resolution lifts the cap on how much oil Iraq can sell under the 3-year-old U.N. "oil for food program,'' currently set at $5.26 billion every six months. The main issue of contention, and which brought the abstentions, was what Russia, China and France called the lack of clarity in spelling out exactly what disarmament tasks Iraq had to meet before a suspension of the sanctions. (This has been the standard tactic of Washington to prevent any suspension ever of sanctions or any long term investments or repairs of infrastructure destroyed by its bombing, Ed.)
.......Russian Ambassador Lavrov said one of the most important steps was to choose a new chairman of UNMOVIC and see what disarmament demands would be drawn up. In an indication of difficulties to come, he said it was ''unacceptable to allow the repetition of the situation where the fate of a whole country is in the hands of, or to put it mildly, the inadequate leadership of the former Special Commission.''
But Iraq's oil revenues will still be paid into a U.N. escrow account, from which suppliers will be paid and about one-third deducted to pay Gulf War reparations and meet other expenses. Parts and equipment to upgrade Iraq's oil industry will also be expedited on the basis of lists drawn up by a group of experts. A panel is to survey Iraq's oil industry and recommend long-term improvements that the Security Council would consider above the current limit of $300 million every six months."
(For detailed discussion of resolution see CASI from Cambridge and IAC detailed analysis of UN Resolution)
11/2/99 Washington want to get rid of the new United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Hans Von Sponeck, after he, like his predecessor, Halliday, expresses concerns for the suffering of Iraqi civilians from the blockade. He has echoed concerns expressed recently by Mr. Annan who sent a letter to the security council last week indirectly criticizing the US for holding up approval of hundreds of contracts for humanitarian goods under oil-for-food.....Mr. Von Sponeck has also been arguing that the UN should consider sanctions relief separately from disarmament issues......'I am not anti-UK or pro-Iraqi, I am for people,' he said recently. 'What may have been a harmless deprivation in the first two years, nine and a half years down the road has led to very serious cracks in the social fabric.....you cannot deprive people from their fundamental human rights. Iraqis have as much right for employment, education and health as anyone else, but oil-for-food has at best given them a minimum.'...a diplomat said,'...it was thought Von Sponeck, who is very calm would be different (from Halliday), but he too started to speak about sanctions." (The FINANCIAL TIMES 11/2/99)
11/2/99 "Over strong U.S. and British opposition, France and Germany are backing a European Union plan to aid Yugoslavia by building a temporary bridge over the Danube and clearing the wrecks of bridges bombed by NATO this year.....Blockage of the Danube is crippling shipping and trade along the 2,900 kilometer waterway, which links 10 countries.....there are also fears of flooding if ice piles up and forms a dam behind the wrecked bridges....losses in trade and shipping revenue are estimated at about $200 million. In Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, hundreds of barges lie idle and some shipping companies have laid off half their workers....moving cargo like coal, iron ore or wheat is four to five times cheaper by river.....there is almost no traffic on the Danube, normally bustling....Washington argues that Mr. Milosevic could use assistance to his advantage; the Europeans, led by France and Germany counter that a U.S. policy that envisages a cold and hungry population ousting Milosevic is too tough on ordinary people and unlikely to succeed......If approved, the aid is likely to cause new friction between Europe and the U.S., which has argues it would violate sanctions......" (from the International Herald Tribune, 11/2) (The Danube bridge destruction has been particularly devastating to the poorest nations of Eastern Europe--Bulgaria, Romania, and the Ukraine which used the Danube for much of their bulk trade with Europe. The Danube connects via canals to the Rhine and the Atlantic Ocean. Ed)
11/20/99 "the UN body in Geneva charged with compensating individuals for losses in Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait awarded $582.2 million to individuals and companies. This brings the total to $4.27 billion paid out by the United Nations Compensation Commission from revenues generated for the oil-for-food agreement that allows limited export of Iraqi petroleum." (New York Times 11/20)
5/5 NATO risks investigation by the International War Crimes tribunal if its bombing attacks are found to have caused unnecessary civilian deaths or injuries. Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a direct reference to recent attacks on bridges, water supplies and electricity stations, said yesterday that more should be done to avoid such casualties. (Mary Robinson was the former President of Ireland) For more...
UN on War Crimes
Gen. Clark in Washington spins AEI
5/4/99 WASHINGTON admits that Sudan factory bombing was a mistake. Meanwhile thousands have died from the lack of antibiotics that the factory made as well as animal losses. It was the only manufacturer of veterinary antibiotics. Also it had contracts to supply Iraq with medicines to counteract the deadly foot and mouth disease ravishing the nations livestock. Lawsuits pending.
DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR (3/30/99) reports that former inspector Scott Ritter said Iraq "has been disarmed" The former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq who quit his job last year, told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat that the disarmament of Iraq was completed sometime ago.
" In an interview in the international Arabic newspaper in New York, Ritter reiterated his criticism of the Washington which he accused of "killing" the U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) which was charged with dispossessing Iraq of its mass-destruction weapons after the 1991 Gulf war.
"Iraq has been disarmed, practically speaking...We have done all that could be done and it was time to move to the stage of long- distance surveillance," Ritter said, stressing that at this stage the sanctions, imposed on Iraq since 1990, should be lifted. But he added that Iraq was capable of manufacturing mass- destruction weapons within six months. "Iraq also has a ballistic missiles program ready for development," Ritter said.
"Referring to UNSCOMs work which came to a halt before the U.S.- British "Desert Fox" offensive against Iraq in December, Ritter said the committee had "died and ended and the return of the inspectors has become an impossible dream.
"What the U.S. is doing represents a violation of international law," he added, referring to U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albrights remarks in March last year that the international sanctions would remain in place as long as Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq. (Ed.italics)
"Ritter told the paper that overthrowing Saddam or assassinating him was an "impossible dream" and said that the "key to salvation" in Iraq remained in its presidents hand. Im not a friend of Saddams, he is a dictator, but he is Iraqs legitimate leader...it is impossible for the inspectors to return to Iraq," he said.
"Suggesting an outlet for the current deadlock, Ritter said the best solution would be resuming diplomatic efforts and he called on the U.S. government to send high-ranking envoys to Iraq to negotiate a solution. Ritter, who worked with the UNSCOM from its establishment in 1991 until August 1998, said he visited Israel 30 times during his term as an inspector. "Had it not been for the information Israel provided, UNSCOM would not have been able to execute effective inspection operations between 1995 and 1998," Ritter said. He revealed information about cooperation with Israeli intelligence in the fall of last year. This led Iraq to accuse the U.N. of working together with intelligence services of countries hostile to Baghdad.
Ritter was the longest serving American U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq when he resigned. Iraq tried to block many of the inspections he led and repeatedly accused him of being a U.S. spy."
The WASHINGTON TIMES 12/18/98 reports how it was all a set up for an excuse to bomb.....http://www.washtimes.com/news/news2.html#link
Analysis Below-- Courtesy of Howard Phillips'
ISSUES AND STRATEGY BULLETIN, 12/31
(450 Maple Avenue East, Vienna, VA 22180)
"The WASHINGTON TIMES (12/18/98, p. 1) reports "The White House orchestrated a plan to provoke Saddam Hussein into defying United Nations weapons inspectors so president Clinton could justify air strikes, former and current government officials charge.
"Scott Ritter, a former U.N. inspector who resigned this summer, said yesterday the U.N. Special Commission (Unscom) team led by Richard Butler deliberately chose sites it knew would provoke Iraqi defiance at the White House's urging.
"Mr. Ritter also said Mr. Butler, executive chairman of the Unscom, conferred with the Clinton administration's national security staff on how to write his report of noncompliance before submitting it to the U.N. Security Council Tuesday night.
"The former inspector said the White House wanted to ensure the report contained sufficiently tough language on which to justify its decision to bomb Iraq.
"'I'm telling you this was a preordained conclusion. This inspection was a total setup by the United States,' Mr. Ritter said. The U.S. was pressing [the U.N.] to carry out this test. The test was very provocative. They were designed to elicit Iraqi defiance.'..."
"The White House knew by Dec. 9, when U.N. inspectors were in Baghdad, that the House had planned to debate impeachment as early as Wednesday, Dec. 16. Air strikes began that day."
EVIDENCE CONFIRMS THAT UNCONSTITUTIONAL ATTACK ON IRAQ WAS A LONG-PLANNED POLITICAL PLOY
Robert Novak points out that (The Washington Post, 12/21/98) "As Clinton took Palestinian applause in Gaza last Monday (December 14], secret plans were underway for an air strike coinciding with the House impeachment vote. The president had time to consult with Congress and the U.N. Security Council but took no step that might stay his hand.
"As whenever a president pulls the trigger, Clinton's top national security advisers supported him. But majors and lieutenant colonels at the Pentagon, whose staff work undergirds any military intervention, are, in the words of a senior officer, '200 percent opposed. They disagree fundamentally.' They know the attack on Iraq was planned long before Butler's report and consider it politically motivated."
"According to Rowan Scarborough (The Washington Times, 12/17/98), 'The White House notified the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Sunday that President Clinton would order air strikes this week, 48 hours before he saw a United Nations report declaring Iraq in noncompliance with weapons inspectors, it was learned from authoritative sources last night....
"Pentagon sources said National Security Council aides told the Joint Chiefs to quickly update a bombing plan that was shelved in mid-November and were told that a strike would be ordered in a matter of days.'
"Israeli spokesman Aviv Bushinsky said yesterday in Jerusalem that President Clinton discussed preparations for an attack with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu just minutes before Mr. Clinton flew hom from Israels Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday, ending a three-day peace mission...."
U.S. MILITARY OFFICIALS WERE SKEPTICAL
"Nevertheless, a senior congressional source, who asked not to be named, said senior Pentagon officers expressed great skepticism to him about the raids. This source said that the White House eagerness to launch air strikes grew with intensity as a parade of centrist Republicans announced they would vote to impeach the president, in a vote originally scheduled for today.
"'I have had senior flag and general officers question the timing,' the congressional source said. 'I have had senior military officers laughing. I hate to say that....Why now? He hasn't built a coalition. He hasn't done anything. Why this timing?'...
GOP CONGRESS DID NOT OPPOSE POLITICALLY TIMED UNCONSTITUTIONAL RAIDS ON SUDAN AND AFGHANISTAN
"In August, as Miss Lewinsky finished testimony before a federal grand jury, Mr. Clinton ordered missile strikes against terrorism training camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa...."
"Said John Hillen, an analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, 'You know this is a "Wag the Dog".' He was referring to the movie about a fictitious U.S. president who stages a war in the Balkans to divert attention from a sex scandal.
"'The same conditions that existed yesterday will exist tomorrow, will exist next week,' Mr. Hillen said. 'The U.S. still lacks a strategic goal. We still only have a rudimentary military plan."'
RON PAUL AND PETER DeFAZIO CHALLENGED THE PREMISE
"Novak reported further that (The Washington Post, 12/21/98) "only two members flatly questioned going to war without war aims: Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a former Libertarian candidate for president who mostly votes conservative, and Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, a militant liberal.
"'We have granted too much authority to our president to wage war,' Paul told the House. DeFazio's remarks placed Bill Clinton in a succession of presidents who 'have run roughshod over weak-kneed congressional leaders.'
"DeFazio also raised a point hardly mentioned. After attending the closed-door briefing of Congress Thursday night, he concluded: 'I am not aware of any immediate threat that justifies this nearly unilateral action by U.S. forces.'
"Soft-spoken Gen. Brent Scowcroft, adviser to Republican presidents but no partisan battler, calls 'appalling' the timing of the attack just before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The real question, apart from impeachment and Ramadan, is raised by DeFazio: Should the attack have been launched at all?"
WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THE CONSTITUTION?
"As the Constitution makes clear, the President of the United States does have the authority to take defensive action against an aggressor nation, but he has no authority whatsoever to make war against a country which has neither attacked the United States or posed to do so.
LOTT, McCAIN, LUGAR. WARNER, AND HELMS BACK CLINTON'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL INITIATION OF WAR ON IRAQ
"The New York Times (12/18/98) reported that "Under criticism from both parties, Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the majority leader, backed away from his charge that the strikes were linked to impeachment. After overnight reflection, he said, 'I am satisfied this was a military decision. ...
"A parade of Republican Senators - including John McCain of Arizona, Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, John W. Warner of Virginia and Jesse Helms of North Carolina - voiced support for the president's decision to strike now. All are prominent party spokesmen on defense and foreign policy matter~."
CLINTON AND CONGRESS HAVE COMPROMISED U.S. DEFENSE ARSENAL MAKING WAR AGAINST A REGIME FAR LESS THREATENING THAN CHINA. RUSSIA. CUBA. OR KOREA
"Yesterday, they began launching the more expensive cruise missiles fired from the Air Force's B-52s. Those two-ton babies cost more than $2 million each....
"Last October, Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act, which provided $97 million in military aid to opposition groups in the country. Earlier this year, the U.S. set aside $5 million for the support of Iraqi political opposition1 and another $5 million for broadcasting by Radio Free Iraq. But all that is peanuts compared to the price tag for enforcing the no-fly zones. That project cost U.S. taxpayers $2 billion in 1999 alone, and that's far from the total cost. It doesn't include expenses involved in deploying forces in the region last February.
"That was the last big buildup by Clinton. It involved 34 ships, 440 planes, and 44,000 troops. In November, we went through a similar exercise involving 14 ships, 300 planes and 27,500 troops. Now we've got Desert Fox...."
EVEN IF THE WAR WERE MORALLY OR GEOSTRATEGICALLY WISE, IT IS A FAILURE
"Can anyone honestly say that the $5.5 billion we've invested in our Iraq policy over the last six years has proved worthwhile? Are we not exactly where we started six years ago?"
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: A Letter to Senator Lott
Following is a letter Jack Kemp sent to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott on December 18, urging Senate hearings on our military action in Iraq. It was subsequently distributed to the press, but got almost no attention until the Jewish newspaper FOREWARD attacked those who opposed force to "Rollback Saddam." In an interview Kemp argues with their editors, "We contain North Korea, we contain Syria, we contain Iran, we can contain Iraq."
The Honorable Trent Lott
United States Senate
Congratulations on your courage in questioning both the timing of President Clintons military attack on Iraq and the policy on which it is based. You have made the point that skepticism about the timing is justified because, in your words, the president had already "burned" us once by mistakenly bombing a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan, while deceptively representing to the American public and the world that he had conclusive proof that the plant was a facility for producing weapons of mass destruction.
Far from being attacked for speaking the truthas you are by Democrats and even some Republicans I believe you deserve praise and the gratitude of the American people and our party for your courageous act of questioning the bombing of Baghdad "at midnight."
During the past two days, reports coming out of the Pentagon and from a former U.N. weapons inspector raise a number of serious and troubling questions that, in my opinion, vindicate your skepticism. These questions are so troubling that I believe they warrant immediate congressional inquiries. Therefore, I urge you to convene congressional hearings to dig into these questions as soon as possible.
Let me list just of few of the troubling questions arising from President Clintons actions in Iraq during the past month.
--- Did the White House "orchestrate a plan to provoke Saddam Hussein into defying United Nations weapons inspectors so that the president could justify air strikes on Iraq" as reported on the front page of todays Washington Times?"
--- If the Administrations "ultimate aim was to remove those weapons [of mass destruction]," isnt it contradictory that "the strikes avoided the plants [suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons] out of fear of unleashing plumes of poisons and killing civilians," as reported in a front-page article in todays New York Times. Isnt this contradiction prima facie evidence that bombing Iraq is inappropriate if the objective is to eliminate hidden weapons of mass destruction and facilities to create them?
--- Did United States officials consort with Richard Butler and UNSCOM to devise inspection scenarios guaranteed to provoke Iraqi actions that could be portrayed as less than "totally cooperative"?
--- Did United States national security officials assist Richard Butler in any way, shape or fashion to author the U.N. report that found Iraq in violation of its pledge to give UNSCOM complete and total cooperation? Did U.S. officials have any communications with Richard Butler or his staff with respect to the inspections or the report relating to them between November 15 and December 13; and did any U.S. official play any role in shaping the text of Richard Butlers report?
--- Did the president set the Iraqi air strikes in motion on Sunday, December 13, 1998 even before Richard Butlers report was submitted to the Security Council, as reported by the Washington Times on December 17? If so, why, and why did the White House spokesman maintain that the president did not order the strikes until Wednesday, December 16, based on the U.N. finding of noncompliance?
--- How does the White House assertion that the president ordered the air strikes based on the U.N. finding of noncompliance square with the statement by Israeli spokesman Aviv Bushinsky that President Clinton discussed preparations for an attack with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just minutes before Mr. Clinton flew home from Israels Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday, December 15?
--- Why did Richard Butler take it upon himself, without telling his superiors at the U.N., to begin shutting down his inspection operations and removing his inspection team prior to Security Council consideration of his report? Did he have prior notice that the U.S. intended to initiate air strikes?
--- Is there a danger that the administration seeks to use the resolution of support for our troops passed by the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday as a Gulf-of-Tonkin-like resolution to justify continued, open-ended military engagement (including the introduction of ground forces) in Iraq?
--- Is it true, as U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan and Iraqi
Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon contend, that there were between 200 and 300 separate inspections
between November 15 and December 13 and only five cited instances of
"non-cooperation." Is there substance to the claim of Iraqi foreign minister
Mohammed Said Al-Sahaf that even the cited instances were contrived?
--- Is it plausible that the Iraqi government believes that nothing it can do will cause the United States to allow the economic sanctions to be lifted, given past statements of U.S. officials and the recently passed legislation appropriating $97 million specifically devoted to overthrowing the current Iraqi regime? (For example, as early as 1993, President Clinton said, "I have no intention of normalizing relations with him [Saddam Hussein]"; and on March 26, 1997, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said: "We do not agree with the nations who argue that if Iraq complies with its obligations concerning weapons of mass destruction, sanctions should be lifted.") Is it realistic to expect any regime to cooperate with U.N. inspectors if it believes the United States has de facto declared war on it and that nothing it can do will lead to a lifting of the sanctions?
--- Is it true that for seven years our government refused to have direct contact with Iraq? Is it true that our government refused to allow Iraq to state its case before the Security Council? Is it true that we even forbid our ambassador to the U.N. to talk to the Iraq ambassador? If so, why?
--- Is it true that, "Around 4,500 children under the age of five
are dying here every month from hunger and disease," as stated in a 1996 U.N. report
--- Finally, now that the UNSCOM inspectors have left Iraq and bombing has begun, what is the "end game"? What specific purpose is the bombing meant to achieve: to get the inspectors back into Iraq, to topple Saddam Hussein, to inflict punishment? Or does it have no more purpose beyond venting frustration from years of failed policy?
Trent, we stand at a crossroads on foreign policy, and there are
differing opinions on which path we should take. Before we make that choice, it is
important that Congress deliberate and chart the road ahead. I urge you again to hold
I am going to send Bob Livingston a copy of this letter and urge him to hold congressional hearings as well.
Your very good friend,
EUROPEANS BALK AT NATO FOR MIDEAST ATTACKS (NYT 12/7/98)
German and Canadian requests to NATO to abandon first use threat of nuclear bombs is being opposed by Washington which wants them for threatening Mid-East Moslems. "But the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states who have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty would violate that treaty," said Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment. (NEW YORK TIMES 12/7/98) "It's another reason for Europeans to worry about Washington trying to drag NATO into its disputes in North Africa or the Middle East. After all, where would these weapons be used? It's very difficult to identify a use of nuclear weapons today in the defense of NATO itself."
The NYT report goes on to explain that Europeans, absent an attack on NATO, want it to work under United Nations' Security Council resolutions while Washington want NATO to be able to go it alone. Furthemore Washington's high handed threats to bomb signatory nations in violation of the NNT treaty stimulate other nations to "get the bomb" and further feed accusations of American hypocrisy. Secretary of Defense William Cohen had said that "nuclear weapons could deter the use of biological and chemical weapons by those who might attack NATO." (But Arabs and Moslems have no quarrel with NATO, it's Washington that has become their enemy. ed.)
THEFT OF FISSIONABLE MATERIALS IN RUSSIA (Washington Post, 11/27/98)
"Specialists have long believed that obtaining weapons-grade fissile material is the hardest part of building a bomb. It was assumed that it would take a would-be nuclear state a decade or more......But this barrier could be leapfrogged by purchasing or diverting material from Russia's vast and vulnerable warehouses.....U.S. experts and specialists said they think the nuclear materials problem has become especially acute......an estimated 650 tons of weapons-usable material remains scattered across 11 time zones at civilian scientific centers and military research institutes.....guards have not been paid in months....many of these buildings have no perimeter fences, armed guards, vehicle barriers...failure to pay for electricity has lead to power shutoffs in some locations......"
STARVATION or BOMBS---AMERICA'S OFFER TO IRAQ 11/17/98
More starvation and disease or bombers and cruise missilesthat is the only actual choice Washington offers Iraq. No wonder Saddam will risk being bombed to end the economic blockade.
United Nations authorities have officially recognized Iraqs compliance with Resolution 687, (see SUBJECT How U.S. Demands Impossible Compliance) the basic cease fire resolution, for the destruction of all its weapons of mass destruction, but Washington now says the blockade must continue until Iraq complies with new demands. Also Washington demands "proving a negative," that Iraq has nothing hidden and will not in the future rebuild its weapons of mass destruction. At other times it says the blockade must remain until the starvation ridden Iraqis succeed in overthrowing their dictator. State Department spokesman James Rubin on 11/16 said "Iraq must demonstrate peaceful intentions" and then it "might be easier to resolve other issues like missing Kuwaiti civilians from the war and Kuwaiti property." Columnist Robert Novak writes (Washington Post,11/16) that Jack Kemp told Trent Lott that his staff "could find no evidence of UNSCOM (the United Nations inspecting organization) documentation" of any further weapons finds, since 1991. Novak quotes another source, "If they haven't found any in 7 years, how are they going to find any in 50." Novak calls the economic embargo "murderous."
The Washington Post, 11/14/98, reports, "At the insistence of the United States the United Nations' offer refused to make any promises that sanctions would end once the Council determines Iraq no longer has the prohibited weapons...........People interviewed in Baghdad typically agreed that Iraq has been left with little choice but to stand up against the embargo. With no perceived hope that sanctions would end soon if Iraq continues cooperating with the weapons inspectors, one Iraqi interviewed today, Kadum Ader, said Iraq's decision not to cooperate is logical."
Yet Iraq has only refused the continuation of inspections until the lifting of the blockade, one of the most severe in modern history, according to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The blockade prohibits almost all imports except food and medicines, and then oil sales' proceeds are allocated by a United Nations bureaucracy, after deducting reparations and UN expenses. Washington uses its veto in the United Nations to thwart the will of almost the whole world and is only supported by Kuwait, Israel and (limitedly) by England.
Washington keeps moving the goal posts demanding an interminable blockade for the nation where already in the last 8 years 1,200,000 have died from starvation and disease. Even now Washington prevents Iraq from obtaining repair parts for its oil production so it can sell enough oil for food imports and to repair its irrigation and sanitation systems. The real killing isnt done with explosives, its from the bombing of fresh water, sewage, and irrigation systems, electricity grids and factories machinery. "Since August 1990, 560,000 children in Iraq have died as a consequence of the sanctions." (THE LANCET, Volume 346 No. 8988. 12/2/95 and United Nations/FAO Report, 12/95. "Whatever the intent of these sanctions, the means violates the most basic tenets of Catholic Moral Theology. Moreover, they violate international law by targeting civilians and the infrastructure necessary for their existence," --statement of Catholic Bishops.
United Nations Relief Coordinator Dennis Halliday from England has now resigned saying he cant any longer be part of the cause of the misery upon so many innocent people. He said it was correct to draw attention to the 4 to 5,000 children dying unnecessarily every month due to the impact of sanctions. He said the crippling trade embargo was incompatible with the UN charter as well as UN conventions on human rights and the rights of the child (BBC News Online, 9/30). Speaking at the United Nations Msgr. James Reinert of the Vatican delegation condemned the blockade saying that Pope John Paul had made "innumerable appeals" on behalf of the people of Iraq.
Bombing will generate more hatred for America in the Moslem world and badly weaken our moral authority in the world as we are seen mainly as hypocrites, with selective defiance, and support for violations by other nations of UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions to kill in one nation, but not another. Also it will cause other nations terrorists to claim justification for killing American civilians anywhere and cause them to try to develop biological and chemical weapons as the only way to be able to fight back against us, possibly by bringing the battle to the American homeland. One of the first casualties will be our own freedoms, as the government chases threats of terrorism here. Already the FBI was just legislated "emergency" warrantless wiretap authority to cover whole regions. Two years ago the Clinton Crime Bill (supported by the Republican leadership) proposed gutting the 4th Amendment which prohibits warrantless searches of private homes. Iraq never harmed America and is no threat to America. As far as the defense of Israel, that nation has some 200 nuclear bombs (London Times, 9/25/98) and the most modern weapons in the Middle East. It has often proven that it can well defend itself.
Yet it is above all a moral question for Americans. Never before have we put such a blockade to leave millions of innocent people in starvation and misery for years on end. Publicly Washington calls on the Iraqi people to overthrow their dictator, Saddam Hussein, as the price of relieving sanctions. But they obviously cant. Yet Americas Secretary of State explained that "yes, we think the price is worth it" when asked on CBS 60 Minutes program (5/11/96) if maintaining the blockade was worth the death of half a million children. It is high time to question the cost of what we are doing to the Iraqi people.
ADDENDUM- Details of Washington's position (courtesy IAC)--
Among other demands, Washington now says Iraq also has to return stolen Kuwaiti property, account for missing Kuwaiti prisoners and compensate for environmental damage resulting from the Gulf War. Iraq, it says, also has to return stolen Kuwaiti property, account for missing Kuwaiti prisoners and compensate for its damage to the environment as a result of Baghdad's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, among other demands.
Consequently, there is no agreed position in the Security Council on how to interpret the April 1991 resolution 687 that set criteria for how sanctions would be lifted. The sanctions were imposed when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. A U.S.-led coalition drove Baghdad's troops from Kuwait in early 1991.The resolution, according to most U.N. members, splits requirements for lifting sanctions on imports from those of exports. Lifting the embargo on oil exports, they say, is clearly linked to compliance with weapons demands alone.
The document says in one paragraph that goods exported from Iraq ``shall have no further force or effect'' once the council agrees that demands relating to scrapping Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have been fulfilled. All other requirements, many U.N. diplomats argue, pertain to lifting sanctions on the import of goods to Iraq. But U.S. officials speak of sanctions as a package and say the oil embargo should not be considered in isolation.
``We believe we need to see a pattern of compliance with all relevant Security Council resolutions, which include more than weapons of mass destruction provisions,'' State Department spokesman James Rubin said earlier this year. Some Security Council members believe the vague U.S. threat of eternal sanctions -- particularly as long as Saddam is in power -- has handed Iraq a potent argument in claiming that no matter what it does, sanctions will not be eased.
Britain, which usually sides with the United States on Iraq in the Security Council has shifted its position somewhat. Addressing a Washington seminar on European-U.S. relations in January, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said London would ''take whatever action is necessary'' to ensure Iraqi compliance. But he said ``there is light at the end of the tunnel for Iraq. Once Saddam complies fully with the Security Council's requirements on weapons of mass destruction, then the council will need to take action on the oil embargo.''.
MIDDLE EAST BOMBING 8/25/98
We decry the new bombing of Arabs and Moslems in Afghanistan and Sudan as the last way to stop the terrorism against our Embassies and citizens. Continuation of the peace process started by Yitzak Rabin and ending the military blockade of Iraq is the way to conciliation and peace. The high cost of bombing will be paid by all Americans in further attacks against our interests, both abroad and eventually here at home, and further loss of our domestic freedoms as Washington mobilizes for world empire. The fact the President Clinton in his bombing speech felt constrained to say that Washington was not attacking Islam shows how much that view prevails in much of the world. It is Washington's arrogance to risk such perceptions.
IRAQ & MIDDLE EAST UPDATE 7/6/98
The big news during these last months are Washingtons measures to prepare a civil defense program in Americas cities against biological/chemical terrorism. Already underway is the training of quick response teams to analyze "bio-chem" elements , to quarantine sections of cities, and start a program to store antibiotics which can mitigate anthrax poisonings.
Hollywood and the American public are far ahead of the political leadership. The blockbuster movie, AIR FORCE ONE shows a scene where the terrorist (bad guy) tells the American Presidents daughter that Americans killed a hundred thousand Iraqis just to save a nickel a gallon on the price of gasoline. Then the host of the top rated TV show POLITICALLY INCORRECT asked his audience about the scene asking if anyone could deny or answer the accusation. There was only silence. Another much commented upon movie is THE PEACEMAKER, showing a Serb coming to New York City ready to die himself by blowing up a tactical atom bomb.
Especially are many Republican leaders silent as to the dangers, with such as Newt Gingrich and Steve Forbes even virtually complaining that the bombing of Iraq was called off. Then Gingrich helped to undermine the Mid-East peace negotiations when visiting Israel. Most Conservative journals and journalists are dominated by "neo-conservatives" who oppose any concessions in the Middle East, while pretending that there are no risks for American cities and that terrorists are just insane, irrational monsters who kill for no reason. Such, for example is the editorial page of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, brain dead when it comes to the Middle East. Today it is mainly conservative Republicans who have become the "war" Party, and in particular, some leaders of the "Religious Right." It is they who give major political support to the most militant settlers in Israels fundamentalist LIKUD Party.
However, Jack Kemp came out against the killing of innocents that would come from bombing Iraq, as also William F. Buckley, Tony Snow and author Tom Clancy. Buckley even proposed loosening the embargo which has already killed hundreds of thousands of the young and the weak. Among Democrats the powerful leftist elements have already established peace group all set to roll into action if any bombing should start. The INTERNET has been a major contributor to this making for unprecedented coordination between peace groups. These now have programs for anti-war demonstrations all in place to commence within hours of any new planned bombing attacks.
In summary it now appears doubtful that Washington will again start bombing Iraq. However, the economic blockade is still strangling the nation and resulting in tremendous human misery and the deaths of thousands every week. (see index).
New Reporting on Civil Defense Aspects of Chemical and Bacteriological Weapons (4/28/98)
Some of the media is now finally addressing questions of how to defend American cities from the new threats of terrorism using weapons of Mass Destruction. In particular the NEW YORK TIMES (4/27/98) front paged an article, "Exercise Finds US Unable to Handle Germ War Threat" with long details about new civil defense programs finally being examined in Washington. In particular there should be massive new spending and coordination between city, state, and military units all over the nation. On 4/23/98 senior officials told a joint Senate hearing that the Administration might create a national stockpile of vaccines, antibiotics and antidotes to save live in the event of a chemical or biological attack by terrorists. Medical teams should be in place and at the ready to discover the cause of any sudden mass illnesses. Anti-antibiotics can cure Anthrax poison victims, if applied very early after an attack.
These kinds of measures are a welcome attention to the new threat and many of our Board of Advisors have been urging such action now for years since the First Iraq War. However, we also argue that America should be less aggressive in making new enemies abroad. See Joseph Sobran column, "How Many Enemies Do We Want," and "The New Threats of Mass Destruction" on our Front Page.
New United Nations Debates This Week (4/28/98)
The United Nations will again debate the continuance of the economic blockade against Iraq. One report states that Iraq had destroyed its nuclear weapons program. Another report states that Iraq has still not proved that it has no chemical or biological weapons nor the ability to manufacture them. AMERICANS AGAINST WAR ON IRAQ argues that no person or nation can prove a negative, that they don't have something. And chemical weapons can be produced in a tent. Rather the United Nations' conditions are open ended and designed to be impossible to comply with; they are designed to continue in perpetuity until Washington wants them changed. The United States and England are the only two major nations in support of continued blockade of civilian goods.
Attacks on Cook from Likudnik journalists in America, particularly Amos Perlmutter, followed rapidly. They were answered by a letter in the WASHINGTON TIMES (3/30/98) from UK Ambassador Christopher Meyer. He stated that Cook definitely represented the "European Union which had issued a statement--drafted by Germany and France--reconfirming and stressing that Mr. Cook's visit to Har Homa fully reflected the EU's position on settlements." "The EU is firm that settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, including the areas of East Jerusalem that Israel claims it has annexed, are in breach of international law........Netanyahu's spokesman Moshe Fogel is quoted in the LONDON JEWISH CHRONICLE on Mar. 27th saying that the door is still open for an EU role in the Middle East."
Rapprochement of Arab States with Iran--Mutual Distrust of Washington
Martin Sieff reports in the WASHINGTON TIMES (3/15/98). "Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi paid a surprise visit to Saudi Arabia yesterday as part of Iran's rapidly warming relations with the oil-rich desert kingdom and key U.S. ally.
"Middle East diplomats and analysts say the new relationship reflects a consensus among Saudi leaders that current U.S. policy in the region is blundering, dangerously unpredictable, and unplanned, following the latest U.S. confrontation with Iraq.
" 'The Saudis disapprove of the situation that happened between the United States and Iraq,' said analyst Farid Senzai of the Brookings Institution. 'There is a lot of disapproval of such U.S. policies among Saudi leaders.'
"The Kharazi visit follows only a few days after former Iranian President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani completed a two-week visit to Saudi Arabia--his first ever...............
"These analysts (at the Center for Strategic and International Studies) said the Saudis were especially alarmed that a U.S. bombing offensive against Iraq would seriously destabilize their country by unleashing a wave of violent anti-American protests there.
" 'Crown Prince Abdullah and other Saudi leaders also believe they must forge reliable bilateral relations with both Iraq and Iran,' Miss Kipper of CSIS said.
" 'The Saudis believe there can be no real security in the Gulf until there is a detente that involves the two real regional powers there-Iraq and Iran,' she said......
"Mr. Rafsanjani told the London based Arabic language newspaper al-Hayat March 7th that Tehran sought close links with Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf states and that its advances had been warmly welcomed........
"On March 5 the Saudis sent the Iranian government 'a memorandum containing a detailed proposal for cooperation between the two countries in all fields,' Iran's ex-President said........Mr. Rafsanjani also sought to reassure the Saudis and their Gulf Arab allies that Iran would not seek to impose its Shi'ite religious faith on them or seek to topple their governments."
Iraq Government Allows More Free Press--learning to promote its interests.
The WASHINGTON POST (3/22/98) reports that Iraq is now allowing foreign journalists to have direct satellite links (before TV footage had to be hand delivered across 500 miles of desert to Jordan). This to promote coverage of the suffering of the Iraqi people from the economic sanctions. CNN, NBC and BBC (British Broadcasting-after 5 years prohibition) now have established offices with government blessing. Now there are 14 satellite uplinks in the country, none subject to government censorship.
The government is also allowing local Iraqi newspapers and tabloids the freedom to report on official corruption together with a new tolerance of criticism of the government itself, according to the POST. The change, reports the POST, came about with the threat of American bombing and the ascendancy of new, younger media savvy officials in the government.
At the time of the threatened American bombing, earlier news reports stated that the nation was full of European and independent camera crews waiting to film the bombing and consequent casualties. Their presence was surely another reason for Washington backing off its planned attack. The Iraqi learned the lesson. Arab nations in general have been very backward in understanding modern public relations and media staging, but theyre leaning. CNN is viewable all over the Middle East.
UN Inspections Update
The NEW YORK TIMES (3/22/98) reports that WMD (weapons of mass destruction) inspections are proceeding apace with complete cooperation from Iraqi authorities. Iraq is expecting that once inspections are completed it can call for the United Nations to end its embargo.
However, other questions remain. Iraq would still have the know how and equipment and possibly the chemical components to manufacture as much as 200 tons of VX, an extremely lethal chemical agent, reports the TIMES, "To fully verify the extent of Iraqs VX program Unscom needs to receive the production records and R&D reports including munitions trials for the entire period of VX activities," the team report said.
The above is the whole problem. There is no way to prevent Iraq from again manufacturing the chemicals short of continuing inspections and continually threatening bombing for years into the future. This happening while all the time other Arab and Moslem nations look at Washington as totally hypocritical for only choosing Iraq for such treatments while other Middle East nations are free to pursue any WMD they want. Even then its doubtful that production can be controlled because such weapons can be manufactured in easily hidden facilities. Also Iraq is reported to have exported know-how and facilities to other Arab nations including Sudan and Libya for "safekeeping" during the blockade.
Washington wants Iraq to remain denuded of any defenses against any other nation without any equivalent call upon its neighbors. This question was posed to Republican Presidential candidate Steve Forbes by EVANS & NOVAK on CNN. Forbes had no answer except to say that Iraq lost the war so tough luck. Other Arab nations don't see it that way.
© 1999 All rights reserved