Regime Change In Iraq
chronological overview 2002-2003

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was born April 28, 1937 and died December 30, 2006. He was the fifth President of Iraq, holding that position from July 16, 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was one of the leading members of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, and afterward, the Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and its regional organization Ba’ath Party, Iraq Region, which advocated ba’athism, an ideological marriage of Arab nationalism with Arab socialism. (Patricia Ramos, july 2013)

"The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders [..] become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries.
What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is.
They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America.
But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason..."

Saddam Hussein, INA 15-9-2002

"The despot thinks he is just as God... What a nadir and mean fate!
The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people..
But they were born free. They were freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." Saddam Hussein, Iraq Daily 4-3-2003

A person with a God Complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks.
The person is also highly dogmatic in their views, meaning the person speaks of their personal opinions as though they are unquestionably correct.
Someone with a god complex may exhibit no regard for the conventions and demands of society, and may request special consideration or privileges.

"There is only one antidote against propaganda, and that is a relevant sense of history and a strong collective memory." (Paul de Rooy, PalestineChronicle 1-4-2003)

"To be a realist person, is to be a successful one. Because with such quality in one's personality would give him the ability to see things as they are, not as his wishes are. Then such person will not get disappointed in people or the obstacle and hurdle it. It creates the real chance for success, not an imaginary one." (Jihan Abdul Aziz Ahmed, Iraq Daily 24-11-2002)

2002: Denis Halliday Interview

The former head of the U.N.'s humanitarian program in Iraq says an American invasion would be an international crime -- and would make the U.S. even less safe...

- Question: Saddam is a ruthless despot and remains a fundamental problem for the Iraqi people. In its condemnation of Saddam, the Bush administration certainly has a claim to the moral higher ground, doesn't it?
- DH: I don't think so. I mean, Saddam Hussein may not be a nice man, but neither was George Bush Sr. Anybody who oversaw the Gulf War is well aware of crimes against humanity and is responsible thereof. We don't have to like the president of Iraq. Did we like the president of Indonesia? Or the Congo? Or Chile -- Mr. Pinochet? I don't think so.
We have no justification to punish the innocent civilians of any country simply because we don't like, in this case, a man who was [once] a friend and ally to the United States. For example, Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq in 1983 -- spoke with Saddam Hussein, asked for an exchange of ambassadors. They know each other! Why can't Rumsfeld go back and reopen this dialogue...?

- Question: What do you feel might be a realistic way to end the current crisis between Iraq and the U.S.?
- DH: The great challenge today is to find a solution that is acceptable to those that have power in Washington and London and those on the Security Council and those in Baghdad. We have to get all of these elements lined up, and I daresay we have to include Israel as well. We need to look at what's viable under the charter and international law. We have to lift the economic embargo. We need to control arms and arms sales. And that means, in a sense, sanctioning ourselves, because we are the great problem: The five permanent members of the Security Council produce and sell something like 85 percent of the military weaponry in the world today. (Hadani Ditmars, 20-3-2002)

French sources: U.S. to attack Iraq `soon'

The U.S. operation to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will take place in the coming months, even before November's Congressional elections, according to high-level sources in the French government following talks with American decision-makers and professionals in Washington.
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian context, the establishment of a pro-Western government in Baghdad would loosen the stranglehold on Jordan, "which is, in effect, only a buffer-state between Iraq and Israel and is run with the inspiration of the IDF and Mossad," said one French source.
Without an Iraq hostile to Israel breathing down Jordan's neck, the Palestinians would have to sober up from their far-reaching illusions and chances would grow for an arrangement that suits the needs of all three sides - Jordan, the Palestinians and Israel. (By Amir Oren, Ha'aretz, 18-7-2002)

President Bush is serving Israel’s interests
by bringing all Arab countries to their knees

The coming weeks and months will present Arab leaders with some of the toughest challenges this part of the world has known in recent decades.
If the conspiracy to conquer, divide and rule Iraq succeeds then our generation will witness a new redrawing of the region’s political, economic and demographic maps, the likes of which were last imposed in the aftermath of the World War One.
It was then that the victorious colonial powers of the day, namely Britain and France, who were about to overcome Germany and its Ottoman ally, decided to share the spoils of war in the Middle East.
The Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 divided the Levant into areas under British and French rule (Palestine was mandated to Britain later under the San Remo agreement of 1922) and facilitated the creation of a federation of “independent Arab states” under both countries’ protection. We can easily trace the Middle East, as we know it today, to those historic events. The outcome of this disgraceful intervention by the supreme powers of the day in the fate of this region and its people is self-evident.
Today history is about to repeat itself. The United States is busy redrawing the map of this region to serve its interest and that of its Israeli ally.
President Bush is serving Israel’s interests by bringing all Arab countries to their knees. For all Arabs, the campaign against Iraq will herald a regional catastrophe. (By Osama El-Sherif, PalestineChronicle 19-7-2002)

Joe Biden: Creating a forum for advocates of war

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the chairmanship of Democratic Senator Joe Biden, organized two days of hearings, notable for the absence of critical voices. Such hearings are worse than nothing, creating a forum for advocates of war, fostering the illusion that no sensible dissent exists and thus serving mainly to raise the war fever a degree or two.
How different might the impact of such hearings be if respected and informed critics of a pre-emptive war, such as Hans von Sponeck and Denis Halliday, both former UN coordinators of humanitarian assistance to Iraq who resigned in protest a few years back, were given the opportunity to appear before the senators.
The media, too, have failed miserably in presenting to the American people the downside of war with Iraq. And the citizenry has been content to follow the White House on the warpath without demanding to know why the lives of young Americans should be put at risk, much less why the United States should go to war against a distant foreign country that has never attacked us and whose people have endured the most punishing sanctions in all of history for more than a decade. (Richard Falk, The Nation 1-8-2002)

Dr. Sadoun Hammadi, Speaker of Iraqi National Assembly,
sends a letter to speakers of U.S. Senates and Representatives

Sirs, One of the biggest problems that has existed since 1990 between our people and country, on the one hand, and the successive US administrations on the other, along with the stubborn injustice and incessant aggression and destruction inflicted upon our country and people, and the comprehensive blockade unjustly imposed on our population for twelve years now, has been the absence of all channels of dialogue between our two countries, the channels that might have helped develop a language of understanding between our respective representatives.
This has meant that your Congress and, hence, the American people, have unfortunately been deprived of any genuine opportunity to see the facts of the situation for what they really are, in order that your judgments and decisions, on behalf of your people, might have been based on sound assessments in both objective and practical terms.
This lack of communication has been the root cause of the actions taken against our country since 1990. Had the naked facts been put to you, and indeed to others, as they are; and had we been able to allow dialogue the chance it deserved both objectively and practically, then things might have taken a different course. (Iraqi News Agency, 5-8-2002)

France-Russia: The rule of law should prevail

Deep divisions exist at the UN, not only between the P-5 on the Security Council (France and Russia tend to be most sympathetic to Iraq, while Britain and the US are most critical), but also among member states more generally. Most fundamentally, though, there is a feeling among delegations that the rule of law should be made to prevail, but that one or two powerful states should not, on their own, become the world's policemen. ( 2002)

Richard Perle: Bush is not alone

President Bush is determined to help the Iraqi opposition - whose representatives are meeting in Washington today - liberate Iraq from one of the world's most brutal dictatorships; I have no doubt he would act alone if necessary.
But he will not be alone when the time comes. Tony Blair has shown extraordinary courage and leadership in defending Western values in the Balkans, in combating international terrorism and in the current confrontation with Saddam. The reservations in Cabinet and among backbenchers will not hold him back. Neither George W. Bush nor Mr Blair will be deflected by Saddam's diplomatic charm offensive, the feckless moralising of "peace" lobbies or the unsolicited advice of retired generals. (Daily Telegraph, 9-8-2002)

Sharon to Knesset panel: Iraq is our greatest threat

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that Iraq "is the greatest danger facing Israel."
Asked by Labor Party MK Ophir Pines-Paz and Shas MK Yitzhak Cohen if Israel plans to attack Iraq if Baghdad attacks Israel, Sharon said that "we don't know for certain if the U.S. will attack Iraq.
Iraq is a great danger. It could be said it is the greatest danger. We aren't intervening in U.S. decisions." But he said that "strategic coordination between Israel and the U.S. has reached unprecedented dimensions." (Ha'aretz 13-8-2002)

Interview Condoleezza Rice

"Do you have evidence that they have collaborated with Al-Qaeda or are part of the whole terrorist network... ?
The case with Iraq has to do with the weapons of mass destruction they're acquiring, the threat that they are to the region...
I would not be in the least surprised if they are supporting Al-Qaeda and we do know that in the Palestinian case, the Iraqis are offering $25,000 to parents... people whose children blow themselves up... a terrible thing to do. This is an awful regime... and we think the moral case against Iraq is very clear." (16-8-2002)

Rumsfeld's Crazy Foreign Policy Team

To understand American policy, it is worth probing the character of the policy makers who design Rumsfeld's foreign policy. The three architects of American foreign policy are Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle.
They will go down in Palestinian history as the true 'axis of evil'. Wolfowitz and Perle are card carrying individuals with a resume that entitles them to the highest ranks of the fanatical expansionist wing of the Likud party.
Their current strategy is to divert attention from the Palestinian struggle for freedom by beating the war drums for an assault against Iraq. Their real agenda is to allow Sharon more time to 'win' against Palestinian resistance to Israeli repression. Like Sharon, they believe that there is a level of repression that can be continually and permanently inflicted on the Palestinian people to force them to capitulate to every Likudnik real estate fantasy. (By Ahmed Amr for Palestine Chronicle, 17-8-2002)

Russia, Iraq to Sign $40B Deal

Saddam Hoessein Russia and Iraq are preparing to sign a $40 billion economic cooperation plan, the Iraqi ambassador to Moscow said Saturday. The pact was likely to strain Moscow's relations with Washington as the United States considers a military attack against Baghdad.
The five-year agreement envisions new cooperation in the fields of oil, irrigation, agriculture, railroads, other transportation sectors and electrical energy. It will most likely be signed in Baghdad in the beginning of September, Ambassador Abbas Khalaf told The Associated Press. (AP, 17-8-2002)

Tareq Aziz: "George Bush not as wise as his father"

Aziz, in an interview on CBS Evening News, said Iraq had not been intimidated by Bush's commitment to changing Iraq’s patriotic leadership and widespread expectations that Washington was planning a military strike. "We are defending our independence, we are defending our integrity...", he said.
Aziz said the younger Bush was not as wise as his father. "What Bush the father did in 1991 was in the interest of America, what his son is planning to do now is in the interests of (Israel) and the Zionists." (Iraq Daily News, 21-8-2002)

Jack Straw: regime change would be welcome

British Foreign Minister Jack Straw has declared that the best was to reduce the tension in the Gulf is for the UNMOVIC weapons inspection team to return to Iraq while claiming that any talk of a military strike on Iraq by the USA was “jumping the gun”.
He declared that the main aim of the British government was not to remove Saddam Hussein from power, although a change of regime in Baghdad would be welcome. (Pravda, 23-8-2002)

Rumsfeld: Russia deals with terrorist states

Donald Rumsfeld uttered the most direct broadside to Moscow during a press briefing, when he criticised Moscow’s policy to deal with Iraq. Rumsfeld’s usage of economic arguments to coerce states to follow Washington’s orders are well known.
“To the extent that Russia decides that it wants to parade its relationships with countries like Iraq and Libya and Syria and Cuba and North Korea, it sends a signal out across the globe that that is what Russia thinks is a good thing to do, to deal with terrorist states”, said Rumsfeld, referring to the trade deal soon to be signed between Moscow and Baghdad to upgrade transport, energy and communications systems. (Pravda, 23-8-2002)

Iraq & religious freedom

Freedom is indivisible. In every society, religious freedom is a link of a long series. The removal or separation of any link is an abuse of freedom as a whole. Therefore, the holy Quran has instructed the ruler to rule with absolute justice without discrimination between this and that one.
The holy verse reads as follows: “If you judge between people, you must judge with justice.” The holy Quran also reads as follows: “If you rule, you must rule with equity.”...
Iraq is the country of religions and religious tolerance. Many religious groups and sects have coexisted in this country and interacted to enrich the human heritage and strengthen the unity of the people of Iraq. However, this plurality has been exploited, during some periods of Iraq’s history, by foreign parties seeking to infringe on Iraq’s national unity and social interaction through the instigation of hateful religious and sectarian fundamentalism. ( 2002)

Corbyn: Giving a voice to the voiceless

Jeremy Corbyn is a dissenter whose mission is, as he likes to describe it, to give a voice to the voiceless.
He is a member of a group of Labour Party MPs who are leading the opposition to the British government's foreign policy, particularly on Iraq and Palestine. Al-Ahram Weekly met Corbyn in the territory with which he is most familiar: the British House of Commons in London, where he has represented the Islington North constituency since 1983.
In Corbyn's view, Israeli arrogance and aggression should be met by imposing sanctions on Israel.
"The international community should intervene to force Israel to implement the UN resolutions, or else it should impose sanctions -- economic, trade and even military," he told the Weekly...
The issue is causing a row within the Labour Party, and it also casts doubt on the so-called "ethical foreign policy" pursued by the Labour government. Corbyn agrees that British foreign policy at present, particularly with regard to the Middle East, is not "ethical". "I am very critical of the British government's foreign policy," he says, "particularly with regard to the Middle East, and including the continuing punitive sanctions against Iraq, the continued bombing campaigns, the refusal to initiate dialogue with the Iraqis, and above all allowing the Palestinian people to be murdered by the Israeli army."
"Bush's agenda is a terrifying one... What we are witnessing is a new form of colonialism. (Al-Ahram Weekly, 2002)

What kind of prime minister is Tony Blair?

While Blair has claimed that Iraq has rebuilt its arsenal of "weapons of mass destruction", those who advise him know full well this is nonsense. And if Blair himself is not aware of this, this begs the question: what kind of prime minister is he?
They have read the evidence of Scott Ritter, who as senior United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq for seven years, is uniquely placed to assess how much of a danger the Iraqi regime represents.
RITTER, an American and international authority on weapons disarmament, personally led the inspections, investigations and destruction of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programmes.
On July 23, he said: "There is no case for war. I say that, not as a pacifist, or someone who is afraid of war. I've been to war with the US Marine Corps. Moreover, I'm a card-carrying Republican, who voted for George W. Bush for president. More important, I believe in truth.
"The UN weapons inspectors enjoyed tremendous success in Iraq. By the end of our job, we ascertained a 90-95 per cent level of disarmament. Not because we took at face value what the Iraqis said. We went to Europe and scoured the countries that sold technology to Iraq until we found the company that had an invoice signed by an Iraqi official. We cross-checked every piece of equipment with serial numbers. That's why I can say that Iraq was 90-95 per cent disarmed. We confirmed that 96 per cent of Iraq's 98 missiles were destroyed. (John Pilger, 27-8-2002)

Belgium warns Blair over US relationship

Tony Blair got a fresh warning of trouble ahead from Europe yesterday when the Belgian foreign minister openly attacked him for "submissively" following the US lead on Iraq. Remarks by Louis Michel were shrugged off by British officials but found an echo in a wider Europe increasingly alarmed at signs of US determination to bring down Saddam Hussein.
Mr Michel told the Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws: "Morally and politically we could take charge in the world. But the British are blocking that. They still don't understand that they could play a pioneer role in Europe instead of submissively following the US." (Ian Black in Brussels and Jon Henley in Paris, The Guardian 28-8-2002)

France joins chorus urging United States to exercise restraint toward Iraq

France has joined the list of nations urging the United States to exercise restraint toward Iraq, with President Jacques Chirac insisting that any military action against Baghdad be decided by the U.N. Security Council.
In a speech to French ambassadors in Paris on Thursday, Chirac called the possibility of unilateral U.S. action "worrying" and said it would be contrary to "the cooperation of states, the respect of law and the authority of the Security Council."
Speaking during a visit to Baghdad Thursday, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, an opponent of U.N. sanctions against Iraq, said an American strike to topple Saddam would be the "most notorious, arrogant and contemptuous violation" of the U.N. charter.
"The United Nations must be able to restrain the United States from carrying out crimes against peace and humanity," Clark, a frequent critic of U.S. government policy, told reporters. (New Jersey, NewsFlash, 30-8-2002)

Return of the dinosaurs

How did the dinosaurs die out? There are many theories about this. I have a theory of my own: the dinosaurs suffered from a lack of proportion between body and brain. The tyrannosaurus, for example, had monstrous physical dimensions but his brain was the size of a pea.
Now we are witnessing the return of the dinosaurs. Human dinosaurs. People who control immense power structures and who have the brains of a bird. Take the American tyrannosaurus. He has power that no empire in the history of the world could even have dreamed of. The US military machine can take over the whole world, wage war anywhere, destroy any country, eliminate any people.
Over this immense body reigns the brain of George W. Bush, and around him a small group of people whose moral standard and intellectual capacity are like those of the caveman.
But why should we look down on others? After all, the Israeli tyrannosaurus is no different from his big brother. Compared to all his neighbors, he has immense military capacity, and over this huge power reigns the brain of a child. (Uri Avnery, PalestineChronicle 1-9-2002)

Talking Iraq With Richard Perle: "Make him a pauper"

What is the the Perle Plan?
"Forty thousand troops." he said. To take Baghdad? Nah, he replied. To take control of the north and the south, particularly the north, where the oil fields are. . "We don’t need anyone else," he said, in a distinctly imperial fashion. ( 2002)

"The Americans in raising this issue (a pre-emptive action in Iraq) are not wrong, they are right; and the reason why our place is beside them ... is not because of some misplaced allegiance or because of blind loyalty, it is because it's the right thing to do." Tony Blair, 3-9-2002

President Hussein addresses letter to Iraqi people

Arabs and all free-minded in the world: Once more we say that if you want to gain victory you should start with yourself. Yes with yourself first and before any step to use the materials in the environment you control or you think you control…
And before you start to convince others on the possibility of victory, convince yourself and have faith of your victory to the extent of the ultimate certainty that no wind could shake and no power, after you depend on God, could sway or eliminate from your heart.
Victory is faith inside the hearts, and when it becomes a faith it becomes immune to all confusion created by surrounding matter including the kinds of weapons and technical means that your enemy has. And the negative media and fabricated news and psychological confusion created by the enemy, not the weakness around you, nor the enemy’s negative propaganda… God will Bless your faith. Then a permanent feeling that God is near you, far from your enemy, strengthening your side, starting with yourself from within you and making your faith as a light that spreads to the hearts of others… Then the fire of your enemy will be extinguished and he will be in the dark unable to find his way to save himself from your victory upon him. (Iraqi Daily, 4-9-2002)

Open letter from Saddam Hussein

To concentrate not on what is important, but rather on what is the most important, we say again that after having seen that the flames of any fire can expand to cover all the world, it first and foremost, needs justice based on fairness. The best and most sublime expression of this is in what we have learned from what God the Al Mighty ordered to be, or not to be.
If we disagree in the essence of this, then our criteria should be, that we should not prevent others from getting or enjoying what we want for ourselves, and that we should not adopt double standards, by giving others what we do not want or refuse for ourselves. (Iraq News Agency, 5-9-2002)

Aziz meets Belgium Foreign Minister

Deputy Prime Minister, Head of Iraqi delegation to the Summit of Sustained Development Tariq Aziz on Wednesday received Belgium Foreign Minister Louis Michel.
The two sides discussed U.S threats against Iraq and the importance of adopting a fair stance by states of European Union to call for implementing the Security Council obligations towards Iraq and respecting international legitimacy.
For his part, the European Minister has underlined that his country and members of the EU would keep on exerting efforts to stop U.S threats against Iraq. (Iraq News Agency, 5-9-2002)

Arab foreign ministers conclude meetings on Iraq, Sudan and Palestine

The Syrian deputy prime minister and foreign minister Farouk al-Shara described the final decisions taken by the council of the Arab foreign ministers as positive and express the minimum for Arab solidarity "that we have been missing since a long time." He stressed that all Arab foreign ministers stressed their rejection to any aggression against any Arab state especially on Iraq.
The Arab foreign ministers called for lifting the sanctions imposed on Iraq, welcoming the Iraqi initiative to strengthen dialogue with the UN so as to reach a comprehensive settlement provides for implementing all requirements of the UN Security Council resolutions concerned.
The Arab ministers also called for evacuating the Middle East from mass destruction weapons especially the elimination of the Israeli mass destruction weapons in its being a grave threat to the Arab national security and security and peace in the region and the world.
The Arab foreign ministers called on the US and Britain to reconsider the policy of providing Israel with weapons which are used against civilians and civilian targets. (Arab News, 6-9-2002)

Schröder's anti-war stance

At a special press conference, Uwe-Karsten Heye, the German government spokes-man, insisted relations between Washington and Berlin were good despite protests by the US ambassador to Berlin over Mr Schröder's increasingly vociferous anti-war stance.
Mr Heye's remarks followed unusually sharp criticism of Mr Schröder's position on Iraq by Dan Coats, the US envoy to Berlin. Mr Coats claimed that Germany was "isolating itself even within Europe" because of its uncompromising attitude.
Mr Schröder hit back yesterday in an interview with The New York Times in which he insisted that Germany would not take part in such a conflict even if a United Nations mandate supported the idea. "I think it would be a big mistake if this feeling of needing one another were destroyed by excessive unilateral action," he said of America's stance.
A poll yesterday by the Forsa group found 85 per cent of Germans supported their government's position on Iraq. (By Tony Paterson, 7-9-2002)

Vladimir Putin says NO

Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed aside a joint charm offensive launched by US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday, dismissing their arguments for a military assault on Iraq.
The Kremlin said Bush and Blair had called Putin within minutes of each other as they pressed on with their campaign to win international support for a controversial strike to unseat Saddam. The Russian president had said no to both of them, it said. (India Times, 8-9-2002)

Growing European opposition to any unilateral attack

Belgium led a chorus of European disapproval yesterday by claiming Tony Blair's "unquestioning" support for America was the main reason for the lack of a unified EU policy on tackling Saddam Hussein.
Speaking on television, Louis Michel, the Belgian Foreign Minister, said the European Union was unable to state its opposition to President Bush's plans for the region with a single voice.
"It is in large part because Britain, through Tony Blair, gives unquestioned, unilateral support to the United States". (By Tony Paterson, 9-9-2002)

Iraq Denies It's Trying to Produce Nuclear Bomb

Iraq denied Monday fresh U.S. accusations it was trying to make a nuclear bomb and opened to reporters a former nuclear facility it said was now being used for agricultural and medical research.
The media tour was part of an Iraqi campaign to repudiate U.S. claims it is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and trying to make a nuclear bomb. Saeed al-Mousawi, a senior Foreign Ministry official, told foreign reporters at Tuweitha nuclear plant, 12 miles south of Baghdad, the new charges were a "distortion of facts."
He showed a satellite picture of the plant (largely destroyed in the 1991 Gulf War) which he said had been recently produced by the West to prove that Baghdad was developing a nuclear bomb. "The site was completely destroyed and it cannot be used (for any nuclear activity) any more," the head of the site, Fa'iz Hussein, said. "What Mr. Tony Blair and Mr. Bush are telling the international community is full distortion of facts...," Mousawi said.
After the 1991 Gulf War over Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) dismantled Tuweitha plant, Iraq's former main nuclear center, and other nuclear facilities. IAEA teams carry out annual inspections in Iraq, including inspecting radioactive material at Tuweitha plant. The last inspection was in January this year. (By Hassan Hafidh, Reuters 9-9-2002)

US must heed UN over Iraq, says Arab League

Amr Moussa, the head of the Arab League, said on Monday that the United States risked provoking lasting anger and frustration throughout the Arab world if it attacked Iraq. "No military action should take place outside the (UN) Security Council. We must work together to resolve the problem, if the problem exists, of weapons of mass destruction," Amr Moussa said.
The former Egyptian foreign minister, who flies on to New York to attend the UN General Assembly, reaffirmed that he was hopeful that Iraq would let the inspectors return. "The idea has not been rejected by Iraq. They are negotiating the modalities for the return," he said.
Moussa said that Arab countries wanted good relations with the United States but that Washington could not simply "push Arab states into corner after corner." (Iraqi Daily News, 11-9-2002)

Conflict with Iraq - An Israeli Perspective

I believe I speak for the overwhelming majority of Israelis in supporting a preemptive strike against Sadaam’s regime. We support this preemptive American action even though we stand on the frontlines, while others criticize it as they sit comfortably on the sidelines. But we know that their sense of comfort is an illusion. For if action is not taken now, we will all be threatened by a much greater peril.
If a preemptive action will be supported by a broad coalition of free countries and the United Nations, all the better. But if such support is not forthcoming, then the United States must be prepared to act without it.
International support for actions that are vital to a nation’s security is always desirable, but it must never constitute a precondition. If you can get it, fine. If not, act without it. (Benjamin Netanyahu, 12-9-2002)

Vatican says no Iraq attack without UN approval
“We can’t impose the law of the jungle”

The Vatican, breaking its silence on the international crisis over Iraq. The Vatican's position on the crisis was made clear in an interview by its foreign minister, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran.
"If the international community...judges it to be opportune to resort to a proportionate use of force, it must be part of a decision taken within the framework of the United Nations..." Tauran said any eventual decision by the international community to attack Iraq "must be inspired by international law and, in particular, resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations". Unless those steps were taken, Tauran said, it would be a case of "imposing the law of the strongest". (Reuters Foundation 12-9-2002)

Saddam: America should disengage itself from its evil alliance with Zionism

The national security of America and the security of the world could be attained if the American leaders and those who beat the drums for them among the rulers of the present time in the West or outside the West become rational, if America disengages itself from its evil alliance with Zionism, which has been scheming to exploit the world and plunge it in blood and darkness, by using America and some Western countries.
What the American peoples need mostly is someone who tells them the truth, courageously and honestly as it is. They don’t need fanfares and cheerleaders, if they want to take a lesson from the (sept. 11) event so as to reach a real awakening, in spite of the enormity of the event that hit America. But the world, including the rulers of America, should say all this to the American peoples, so as to have the courage to tell the truth and act according to what is right and not what to is wrong and unjust, to undertake their responsibilities in fairness and justice, and by recourse to reason, passion, according to the spirit of chance and capability. (Lettter to America, INA 15-9-2002)

Rules Of Law Are Universal

If we are going to fight terrorism, we have to fight it in all of its forms, whoever the perpetrators are, and in a way compatible with international law. These are the lessons that have to be learned, the most important of which is that double-standards don't work. They're in the interest of no one.
If you have a rule of law you apply it to everybody, then you have a safer world.
If you have a rule of law that you apply according to your whims, or according to whether A or B is your friend, or you dislike C, or you don't sympathise with E, then you will create chaos. We have learned that rules of law are universal. (Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher, Al-Ahram Weekly 12-18 sept. 2002)

Aziz meets US delegation

Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Tareq Aziz has met with US Congress member Mr. Nick Rahall, former Congress member Jems Abo Rizq and the accompanying delegation.
The US hostile threats against Iraq in addition to developments related to Iraq and Security Council were takled during the meeting. The Deputy Premier underscored that the US administration has taken its aggressive stance against Iraq for more than eleven years ago despite Iraq had recurrently declared its readiness to objective dialogue in a civilized style for resolving all binding problems between the two sides.(Iraqi Daily News, 14-9-2002)

UK: Rebel MPs to force Iraq vote

Rebel Labour MPs will defy the Prime Minister by forcing a Commons vote on Iraq next week in the hope that their public revolt will persuade him to soften his hawkish stance.
Alice Mahon, the MP for Halifax, said yesterday that she believed that up to 100 Labour backbenchers could join the rebellion. "There is no doubt that there will be a vote," she said. "It would send a powerful message."
She criticised Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, for making "warlike" comments, such as when he said the UN had to give President Saddam "a very clear choice ­ either he deals with those weapons of mass destruction or his regime will have to end".
Malcolm Savidge, the MP for Aberdeen North, accused Mr Straw of adopting the "strident language" of hawks in the US administration. (By Andrew Grice, Political Editor 16-9-2002)

Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President

A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.
The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff).
The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: 'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.'
The PNAC document supports a 'blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests'.
This 'American grand strategy' must be advanced for 'as far into the future as possible', the report says. It also calls for the US to 'fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars' as a 'core mission'.
The report describes American armed forces abroad as 'the cavalry on the new American frontier'. The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must 'discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role'. (By Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald 16-9-2002)

Larger aim in Iraq: alter Mideast

Underlying the campaign against Hussein is US goal to stabilize the region by planting the roots of democracy.
Any US effort to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein could end up changing much more than one nation's governing regime.
In fact, some administration officials believe that a successful anti-Hussein operation could tip the geopolitical balance of the entire Middle East in the US favor. It might spread democracy throughout a region that has seldom experienced it before, optimists say, while easing Israeli-Palestinian violence and lowering the price of oil, in the bargain.
In a speech in August, Vice President Dick Cheney argued that the removal of the threat posed by Saddam would lessen tensions throughout the Middle East, including those between Israel and surrounding hostile Arab states. Those interested in more freedom and democracy in the region would find their hand strengthened, Cheney argued before the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Iraq also has a generally well-educated urban population and a tradition of entrepreneurship. Optimists say that democracy and capitalism could thrive there if allowed to take root. (By Peter Grier, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, 18-9-2002)

President Saddam Hussein delivers a letter
to the UN and International Community

In a speech that was preceded and accompanied by media rattling and extensive preparation in expectation of what the new “ offspring” was going to be like, amidst the anticipation of those awaiting it, the American President stood to speak to the General Assembly.
But instead of giving voice to common issues of particular concern to humanity at large, such as the issues of security in its large and real sense, the freedom based on true independence, balanced economic development that puts an end to poverty, or mitigates its fatal impact and endows humanity with a life free of hatred, envy, and conflict, combating the scourge of epidemics and incurable disease with collective responsibility based on collective solidarity as well as enhancing development and the precedence of self-denial over selfishness by which greed reigns over man; instead of all this and other equally important issues, the American president narrow-mindedly presented the security problems of his own country, and the loss it has suffered from, since the events of September 11. (Iraqi News Agency, 20-9-2002)

Godfatherly Global Justice

"The politicisation of the system of global justice has reached new heights over the past decade. Today, by U.S. fiat, a U.S. target anywhere on the earth is almost automatically put under the siege of sanctions, bombing and/or invasion, and possible incarceration of the demonised leader (Manuel Noriega and Panama, Saddam Hussein and Iraq, Slobodan Milosevic and Yugoslavia).
On the other hand, a U.S. ally can commit really massive human rights violations and war crimes and be entirely free from penalty, receive economic and military aid and diplomatic support and be treated as an honoured leader (Suharto, until May 1998, Croatia's Franjo Tudjman till his death in 1999, Ariel Sharon today), and can retire in comfort (Haiti's Cedras, El Salvador's Guillermo Garcia, Indonesia's Suharto)." (Edward S. Herman)

We aided the war on al-Qa'ida, says Iraq

Iraq has accused the United States of spreading false propaganda by claiming Baghdad has links with al-Qa'ida, despite knowing that Saddam Hussein is helping in the fight against the Islamists.
The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, claimed that al-Qa'ida was given refuge in northern Iraq after the collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. But Tariq Aziz, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, said in Baghdad that his country had given arms and ammunition to Kurds who were attacked by al-Qa'ida.
Mr Aziz, who is Christian, insisted that the secular Iraqi government has always been against Islamists. He said that members of al-Qa'ida had attacked forces of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by Jalal Talibani, and the Kurds had then sought help from Baghdad.
"We gave Talibani weapons and ammunition, we helped as much as we could," said Mr Aziz. "We are not allowed of course to go into what is called the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan physically, but the help we gave helped Talibani in his fight for it.
"Talibani was among the opposition leaders who went to Washington and spoke to Dick Cheney [US Vice-President] and Rumsfeld. He told them what had happened, so they must know." (By Kim Sengupta,, 23-9-2002)

Fifty-three Labour MPs rebel

Tony Blair suffered a substantial protest vote from his own backbenchers last night over a possible war with Iraq, despite trying to reassure MPs that his goal was to remove Saddam Hussein's weapons and not to topple him.
Fifty-three Labour MPs voted against the Government at the end of an emergency one-day debate in the second biggest backbench rebellion since Labour came to power. ( 25-9-2002)

U.S. Lawmakers in Iraq to Probe War Consequences

Three U.S. congressmen arrived in Iraq Friday to assess the humanitarian situation after a decade of sanctions and urge Baghdad to give weapons inspectors unfettered access to avoid war.
"We came over here because we do not want war. We want to see what the circumstances are for the Iraqi people and to see what the consequences of another war might be," Washington Democratic Representative Jim McDermott told reporters at Saddam airport in Baghdad.
"Our desire is that Mr. (Saddam) Hussein allow unfettered inspections, we do not want any question about that because we want this to be peacefully and diplomatically resolved," McDermott added. (By Huda Majeed Saleh, 27-9-2002)

More than 150,000 march through London against Iraq invasion

Britons from all regions, ages and social backgrounds thronged central London Saturday, urging Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. President George W. Bush not to invade Iraq.
As they wound their way from Embankment on the River Thames to Hyde Park, many of the marchers stopped to shout through the gates of Blair's 10 Downing St. residence.
"Tony Blair, shame, shame, no more killing in my name," went one chant.
Info Streams of people poured out of Underground stations near the march's starting point and demonstrators at the back of the march were still setting off from Embankment after those at the front had reached Hyde Park, more than a mile (1.6 kms) away. Scotland Yard said more than 150,000 demonstrators took part in the march.
There were many families in the crowd. Parents pushed babies in strollers; the young, old and middle aged from all social backgrounds walked the route, some waving placards, some blowing whistles or banging drums.
"Don't be bullied by Bush," read one placard. "No war for oil. Stop the war machine," said another.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone said the wrong motivations were driving the confrontation with Iraq. "America retains its neocolonial hold on the oil producing regions of the world. It is a disgrace that once again Britain is running along like a little lapdog behind America's imperial interests," he told the crowd. (By Audrey Woods, Associated Press Writer, 28-9-2002)

Naji Sabri & The Axis of Evil

Foreign Minister Dr. Naji Sabri arrived in Iran on Saturday for talks between the two neighboring countries. “The real axis of evil is Washington and Tel Aviv,” Sabri told reporters on his arrival at Tehran’s international airport.
Responding to reporters’ question about Iraq’s view over proposed new UN resolution Sabri said, “permanent members of the UN Security Council oppose a new resolution. The aim behind this new resolution has nothing to do with weapons inspections.” (Iraq Daily, 28-9-2002)

Iraq's reply on Blair's report

UK prime minister Mr. Tony Blair on 24 Sept. 2002 released a report on the so-called acquisition by Iraq of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear , chemical and biological). The report was disputed by many governments as well as British sources for being a list of unsubstantiated assumptions and allegations or merely a propaganda sheet.
Blair's Report, long awaited by the world opinion, contains not so much but a series of lies and empty propaganda which are totally inconsistent with the facts and reports made by the Special Commission (UNSCOM) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) teams.
It has become quite clear why the British Prime Minister turned down Iraq's invitation to send a delegation of British experts, so that the British media and other international opinion get acquainted themselves with the facts as they really are. (Iraqi News Agency, 2-10-2002)

Blair's British Problem

When British Prime Minister Tony Blair presented his "dossier" on the threats that are supposedly posed to the world by Iraq, President Bush was delighted with what he heard from the man Europeans refer to as "Bush's poodle."
"Prime Minister Blair, first of all, is a very strong leader, and I admire his willingness to tell the truth. Secondly he continues to make the case, like we make the case, that Saddam Hussein is a threat to peace," the president said last week, after Blair went before the British Parliament to make the case for attacking Iraq. Much of the American media echoed the president's child-like glee at the release of the long-awaited dossier.
"Britain's Case: Iraqi Program to Amass Arms is ‘Up and Running," warned The New York Times. "UK Details Saddam's Thirst for Arms," boomed MSNBC. "Britain: Iraq ready to strike," announced the Atlanta Journal Constitution. "Blair spells out Iraq Threat," came the word from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
In Britain, where political leaders, reporters and citizens actually listened to Blair's speech to parliament – and then seriously analyzed its lack of content – the reaction was decidedly less enthusiastic.
"We said we wanted killer facts," read the editorial on Blair's speech in the mass-circulation Mirror newspaper. "Instead, these are marshmallow ones."
The staid Financial Times added that Blair presentation contained no "compelling evidence" for action against Iraq.
"This dossier is not serious," explained former Times of London editor Simon Jenkins, one of Britain's keener observers of politics and foreign affairs. (John Nichols, The Nation, 30-9-2002)

Britain and US block return of inspectors
Security Council split on rules for UN arms inspectors

America and Britain delayed the early return of United Nations weapons inspectors to Iraq. Tony Blair appealed to France, Russia and China to approve a new resolution on Iraq and warned them that failure to reach agreement would make a war more likely. The Prime Minister urged the international community not to play into President Saddam's hands by sending weapons inspectors back to Iraq under existing UN resolutions.
Insisting that a new mandate was needed, Mr Blair said the existing remit was "defective" because the presidential palaces were not fully covered.
"It is no good allowing inspectors access to 99 per cent of Iraq if the weapons of mass destruction are actually located and stored and worked on in the remaining 1 per cent of Iraq." He demanded "total, unfettered, unobstructed access" to the whole country. (By David Usborne and Andrew Grice, 4-10-2002)

US look for any pretext to wage military action on Iraq

“US administration and its ally Blair are looking for any pretext to wage military action on Iraq,” Iraqi ambassador to Ukraine Dr. Muzhar A-Dwori said.
During an interview with Ukrainian TV, Mr. Muzhar added that Bush administration’s refusal for the return inspectors aims to strike Iraq, interfere in Iraq’s interior affairs, control its riches and protect the Zionist entity.
“The world is against U.S,” he said. The world realized that US aggressive stance is unjustifiable, he pointed out. (Iraqi News Agency, 5-10-2002)

The United Nations Must Declare:
The President Of The United States Is Insane

Lyndon H. LaRouche today issued the following statement, for immediate international release:
"By their pattern of bizarre behavior, the President--and the Vice-President--of the United States, have shown themselves to be insane.
"They are conducting themselves in such as manner as to violate the most fundamental principles of international law that have existed since the formation of the United Nations at the end of World War II. No President of the United States could support such insane policies, unless he himself were clinically insane.
Therefore, the United Nations Security Council must recognize this fact, and it should suspend its current debate and negotiations over the insane demands being made by the President of the United States. Stop negotiating over the demands of a madman! The United Nations should declare that the President of the United States is insane, and then proceed from that standpoint." (Breaking News, 4-10-2002)

Bush: Saddam could be within a year of developing a nuclear weapon

President Bush seeking support for war against Iraq, called Saddam Hussein a "murderous tyrant" Monday night and said he may be plotting to attack the United States with biological and chemical weapons.
Bush also said Saddam could be within a year of developing a nuclear weapon, and he declared, "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
Facing skepticism at home and abroad, Bush portrayed an apocalyptic struggle between good an evil, saying the threat posed by Saddam could dwarf the damage done in the Sept. 11 attacks. He said Iraq must be the next front in the war on terrorism. "There is no refuge from our responsibilities," Bush said. If it comes to war, "We will prevail."
As he spoke, new polls revealed lingering unease among voters about going to war, particularly if casualties were high or fighting distracted attention from America's sagging economy." (By Ron Fournier, AP White House Correspondent, 7-10-2002)

Syria accuses US of eyeing Iraqi oil

Syria's official press accused Washington of trying to get its hands on Iraq's vast oil reserves by hampering the return of UN arms inspectors and pushing the UN Security Council to authorize a war.
"America's obstruction of the international arms inspectors' return to Iraq and its attempt to issue a new Security Council resolution that includes a threat of military force against Iraq lead to one end," said the state-owned al-Thawra newspaper.
"The Americans have long planned to destroy this Arab state and today are implementing their scenarios for the appropriation of its oil and wealth under one pretext or another, under the umbrella of the United Nations or not," it said in an editorial. (Iraq Daily, 9-10-2002)

Israel leads in ignoring Security Council resolutions

Israel holds the record for ignoring United Nations Security Council resolutions, according to a study by San Francisco University political science professor Steven Zunes.
On the eve of a possible U.S.-British assault on Iraq, Zunes decided to examine in depth one of the main arguments used by the Bush administration to justify changing the Baghdad regime - Iraq's deliberate refusal to implement UN Security Council resolutions. He systematically went through all the states given instructions by the security council to find out how common a phenomenon it was. His results were somewhat surprising:
Israel leads the list. Since 1968, Israel has violated 32 resolutions that included condemnation or criticism of the governments' policies and actions. Turkey is in second place, with 24 violations since 1974, and Morocco is third with 17 resolutions it ignored.
In response, Israel's deputy chief of mission at the UN, Aharon Yaakov, said yesterday that there are big differences between the decisions that refer to Israel and those that refer to Iraq. "Israel is the only democracy in the region and is fighting for its existence, while Iraq is a brutal dictatorship that attacked its neighbors and violates human rights, including the use of chemical weapons against its own citizens," he said. (By Shlomo Shamir, Ha'aretz Correspondent 10-10-2002)

Islam & The World Order

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has been working to fashion the rest of the world in its image. In particular, US support for authoritarian regimes, its lack of support for a fair solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the growing disparity between rich and poor in the world today are issues that continue to fuel discontent.
Two years of the second Intifada and the reoccupation of the West Bank by the Israeli army have also refocused Arab attention on Palestine.
Israel's hegemonic role in the region is a cause of great concern for Arabs on the eve of a possible US-led war on Iraq, since the blind support of the Bush Administration for the Sharon government in Israel is seen by many Muslims and Arabs as a virtual declaration of war upon them. George Giacaman (Al-Ahram Weekly, 10/16-10-2002)

Client state Israel is behaving like a superpower,
and the empire is behaving like an irresponsible client.

Since 11 September 2001, the region has witnessed an Americanisation of Israel's self perceptions and an Israelisation of America's strategic conceptions.
Increasingly, the client state is behaving like a superpower, and the empire is behaving like an irresponsible client. Israeli regional hegemony and America's world dominance are creating equally dangerous challenges.
The Israeli bombardment of Palestine and American threats to attack Iraq in the context of its new "axis of evil" policy are undermining international law, which should be a guarantor of international civility in the 21st century.
Israel has less than 5 per cent of the population of the US, makes up a quarter of the Middle East region's economy, and spends more than a third of the regional total military expenditure. Both Israel and the United States reserve to themselves the right to unilateral deterrence, preemptive attacks, developing weapons of mass destruction and limitless projection of force, while denying all this to their opponents. Both have military installations outside their internationally recognised borders.
For Israel, the aim is to build a Greater Israel, for the United States, a Greater Empire. (Marwan Bishara, Al-Ahram Weekly 10/16-10-2002)

Iraq Ready to Resolve All Inspection Issues

A top aide to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has sent the United Nations a letter saying Baghdad is ready to resolve all issues on U.N. weapons inspections. Saturday's letter to Chief U.N. Inspector Hans Blix and to the head of U.N. Atomic Energy Agency asserts Iraq's readiness to receive an advance team of U.N. inspectors on October 19.
Iraq's Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan said all sites will be open to inspection. "As far as we are concerned, the inspectors can search and inspect however and where ever they would like," Mr. Ramadan told the German Der Spiegel newsmagazine in response to a question as to whether inspectors could also visit the presidential palaces. Ramadan characterised Iraq's recent position on inspectors as one without any limitations.
The Vice-President praised the German government for opposing an attack on Iraq with or without a UN resolution. "For the first time, the political independence of Germany has become clear." (Iraq Daily, 12-10-2002)

Powell: We will rule Iraq

President Bush is considering plans for a postwar Iraq that could keep U.S. troops in the Middle Eastern country long after President Saddam Hussein's departure.
One model being reviewed is the post-World War II occupation of Japan by an American-led military government, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday. Another, he said in a National Public Radio interview, is the postwar occupation of Germany.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said "the United States will not cut and run" if Bush considers it necessary to disarm Iraq by force under authority granted by Congress. Administration policy is that Saddam must be removed from office.
"The administration is working to find ways to help achieve stability for Iraq and for the region," Fleischer said. "And we are considering a variety of ways to do so with our international partners, with the possibility of the United Nations being involved as well." (By Barry Schweid, AP Diplomatic Writer, 12-10-2002)

Sa'adon Hamadi renews Iraq’s acceptation for returning inspectors

Speaker of Iraqi National Assembly, Dr. Sa’adon Hamadi has received on Sunday Japanese parliamentary delegation heading by Yasuo Ogata who is visiting Iraq to supervise process of referendum.
He said that the US administration tries to confuse media with false pictures about Iraq and its leadership, reviewing Iraq’s relation with former inspection teams, which used modern technology and cameras to find weapons of mass destruction, but they proved nothing.
Speaker renewed Iraq’s readiness to return inspectors and serious cooperation with them to foil all pretexts that the US administration directed over Iraq by having weapons of mass destruction, referring to Iraq’s keenness to develop and enhance parliamentary ties with Japan.
For his part, Head of Japanese delegation expressed rejection to any aggression and threats on Iraq. (Iraq Daily, 13-10-2002)

Can George W. Bush be trusted as he further heats up the rhetoric on Iraq?

Two days after a horrific bomb blast in Bali, Indonesia, Bush, appearing at a Republican campaign rally in Michigan, cited the assault as yet another reason for vigorous prosecution of the war on terrorism. But as he rallied the GOP loyalists, he focused less on al Qaeda (which, naturally, is suspected of being associated with the Bali attack) and more on Saddam Hussein.
Bush maintained that the Iraqi dictator hopes to deploy al Qaeda as his own "forward army" against the West, that "we need to think about Saddam Hussein using al Qaeda to do his dirty work, to not leave fingerprints behind," and that "this is a man who we know has had connections with al Qaeda."
Bush and his administration have offered no proof of any of this. In fact, less than a week before the Michigan event, the CIA had released a letter noting that it had no evidence that Saddam intends to commit terrorism against the United States, absent a US strike against him. (David Corn, The Nation 15-10-2002)

Chirac: Stability is our responsibility

French President Jacques Chirac said in an interview published Wednesday he knew of no relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaeda and warned that a war on Baghdad could provoke terrorists to stage new attacks.
The president said that the feeling of injustice shared by many Arabs watching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could widen if Iraq was also brought into the fray.
"Our responsibility is to look after stability in the Middle East. With the Iraqi crisis, it's the whole region that is threatened," he said in the interview. (Teheran Times, 16-10-2002)

Annan Says Iraq Debate Could Strengthen the United Nations

Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a message to the Security Council's open debate on Iraq, said the Iraq crisis is one of the gravest and most serious facing the international community. But he added, "If we handle this properly, we may actually strengthen international cooperation, the rule of law, and the United Nations, enabling it to move forward in a purposeful way, not only in this immediate crisis but in the future as well."
He said new measures on UN weapons inspections for Iraq would be appropiate and must be "firm, effective, credible and reasonable." (United Nations Secretary General, 16-10-2002)

Methodist church: war only allowed as 'a defense thing'

Bush's own Methodist church has launched a scathing attack on his preparations for war against Iraq, saying they are 'without any justification according to the teachings of Christ'.
Jim Winkler, head of social policy for United Methodists, added that all attempts at a 'dialogue' between the President and his own church over the war had fallen on deaf ears at the White House. Winkler is general secretary of the Board of Church and Society for the United Methodist church, which counts the President and Dick Cheney, among its members.
The Methodist Church, he said, is not pacifist, but 'rejects war as a usual means of national policy'. Methodist scriptural doctrine, he added, specifies 'war as a last resort, primarily a defensive thing'. (Iraq Daily, 21-10-2002)

Former arms inspector admits of spying on Iraq

UN former arms inspector Bill Keri admitted spying on Iraq for the US. BBC said that former US inspector Bill Keri has confessed for the first time that he had worked as a spy for the US on some Iraqi targets.
"I leaked data that could help Washington to realize the victory in its conflict with Iraq", he said.
Former inspector Scott Ritter had confessed also of doing spy actions inside Iraq during his work in late inspection team. (Iraq Daily 24-10-2002)

Tens of Thousands Rally for Peace Around the World

Tens of thousands around the world took part in mass protests, rallying against war and demanding a lift of the crippling US-led UN sanctions on Iraq. Chanting demonstrators rallied in major world capitals and around the Arab world in one of the most organized day of anti war protests.
In Cairo, thousands of university students staged a large protest in support of the Iraqi people, denouncing the United States government’s foreign policy, its support of Israel and its plans to wage war against Iraq.
In Baghdad, scores of international peace and human rights activists staged their protest in front of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, asserting that Iraqis are in need for food and milk, not bombs.
In Sydney, Australia, thousands of people took to the streets with signs and banners, denouncing war and calling for a lift to a crippling sanctions imposed on Iraq, following the 1991 Gulf War.
Australians called on their government not to follow the American lead in its “war on terror.” Some of the banners read: “Sanctions are terrorism“, “No War for Oil,” and “George Bush, War Criminal.”
Meanwhile, Washington and San Francisco in the United States are gearing up for what are expected to be the largest anti war rallies as of yet. (PalestineChronicle, 26-10-2002)

Khatami Says Violence in Guise of Democracy Unacceptable

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said on Wednesday that violence cannot be accepted in the guise of democracy and human rights.
Addressing the Spanish Senate representatives, the president said that the international community does not accept promotion of military approach in the name of democracy and human rights or violence in the name of religion.
"We should look at the world's political situation vigilantly. If we condemn one group while ignoring the tyranny and oppression by the other, the prices of murders for revenge and vice versa will go on," President Khatami said.
He said that the Muslims are the messengers of peace, freedom, justice and security, adding that the big powers should not embark on propaganda campaign against Muslims by taking advantage of a terrorist act perpetrated by a certain group.
"Whoever plants wind, will harvest storm," he said. "Whoever commits terror in the name of Islam destroys the Islamic values and whoever commits violence in the name of democracy discredits democracy." (Teheran Times, 31-10-2002)

Hard-liner is Israel's new chief of defense

Shaul Mofaz, who as army chief of staff advocated aggressive measures against Palestinians, including exiling Yasser Arafat, has agreed to become Israel's next defense minister.
In marshaling the armed forces, Mofaz escalated the use against Palestinian militants of Israel's troops and arsenal, from fighter jets to wire-guided missiles. He also tightened military restrictions on Palestinian society in hopes of ending the conflict, which began roughly halfway through his four-year term. Even before he retired as chief of staff in July, he was seen as a rising star in rightist politics.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak, who was also a chief of General Staff who became defense minister, praised the appointment. "He is a good man who can do the job well," Barak told Israel Radio.
"With a confrontation in Iraq ahead, it makes sense to have someone [in the Defense Ministry] who is familiar with what's going on in the IDF on an daily basis." (Jerusalem Post, 1-11-2002)

Arab Solidarity Is The Key

After intense contacts in recent weeks with American and European players about the standoff between the US and Iraq, Cairo shifted its focus to developing a united Arab vision for the immediate future of the region.
In an interview with Moroccan television President Hosni Mubarak said, "the Arabs will only be able to strengthen their position through coordinating on their interests. Arab economic unity is the strongest bond for cementing Arab unity."
It appears that Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi's request to withdraw his country from the Arab League, because of the body's ineffectiveness in securing and protecting Arab rights, was a wake-up call for many in the region.
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told reporters, "The key to any serious work is Arab solidarity," and this should begin with economic integration and cooperation. (Al Ahram Weekly, 31-10-2002)

Iraq accepts UN resolution if it respects the UN Charter

President Saddam Hussein defied US claims concerning possessing weapons of mass destruction and called for immediate return for the inspectors according to Iraq’s agreement with the UN chief and Hans Blix away off US maneuvers and pressure.
“They have to clarify that the US had claimed that Iraq posses weapons of mass destruction, while the fact is that Iraq declares ‘inspectors can come and act according to agreement signed with the Security Council and Hans Blix’.
His Excellency supposed “If they ask ‘how would Iraq act?’, We say that Iraq would respect any act or resolution that comes according to the UN Charter and international law..."
This has come during receiving South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Ghulam Hussein Bahad who is visiting Iraq as presidential envoy from President Tabu Mbeiki.
The President clarified to his guest that the Iraqi people was poor because Iraq’s oil was under control of foreign oil companies... He addressed his guest that those companies were planning to limit Iraq’s economic activities for the aim of maintaining the situation of the country on behind.
The President unleashed that the US had started imposing sanctions on Iraq since 1989, before the 1990 events, in replay of US Congress call to the US President to impose an economic embargo, while no problems between Iraq and the US were reported until that time. (Iraqi News Agency, 4-11-2002)

Teheran Times: War Criminal Sharon Warns Against Danger

In an interview with London's Times newspaper on Tuesday, the Zionist Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claimed that Iran was seeking to acquire weapons of mass destruction. He added that following the conclusion of the Iraq situation, pressure should be brought to bear on Iran.
Sharon's threat is among one of the oldest propaganda gimmicks of Tel Aviv.
Whenever faced with internal crisis and political strife, the Zionist regime resorts to distraction tactics, in order to divert public attention from issues of immediate import. Sharon's remarks against Iran should be viewed in the same light. (Teheran Times, 6-11-2002)

Britain Says Targeting Iran Would Be "Gravest Possible Error"

Britain has dismissed Israeli calls to target Iran after any military action on Iraq, saying it would be the "gravest possible error" to threaten hostilities against Tehran.
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, responding to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's warning that Iran posed a threat to the Middle East and Europe, said on Tuesday that political engagement was better than confrontation.
Britain has strongly backed U.S. threats of military action against Iraq unless it allows weapons inspectors back into the country with wide powers to hunt down Baghdad's alleged weapons of mass destruction programs.
But unlike Washington, which has branded Iraq, Iran and North Korea as members of an "axis of evil", London has followed a policy of diplomacy with Iranian leaders. (Teheran TImes, 6-11-2002)

Hans Blix: "We remain independent"

UN's chief weapons inspector Hans Blix said last night that the security council would not tolerate any repetition of the harassment which foiled previous attempts to control Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. "This time there is no readiness to accept any cat and mouse play," Hans Blix told BBC's Newsnight.
An advance team will travel immediately to Baghdad, followed within a week by the first group of inspectors. The full team of 80-100 inspectors will be in Iraq within 45 days. They have a list of 700 sites previously visited by Unscom, as well as new sites, including Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces, which have been pinpointed in intelligence reports. Iraq will not be told beforehand which sites the teams will visit, he said. "Only when we get to the target will they be told 'this is the target'."
He said he would not tolerate any leaks from members of his team. "We have been independent for two and a half years and we remain independent. "I think the US recognises that. I have said if I find anyone with two hats I will toss them out.." (The Guardian, 9-11-2002)

Iraq accepts resolution on return of arms inspectors

Iraq has accepted a new UN resolution that will return UN weapons inspectors to the country after nearly four years, Iraq's UN ambassador said Wednesday.
"I delivered a letter to the secretary-general's office," Ambassador Mohammed Al-douri told reporters. "It was a positive reply." "The letter says that Iraq will deal with Security Council resolution 1441 despite its bad contents," Al-Douri said. "We are prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable. We are eager to see them perform their duties in accordance with international law as soon as possible." (Ha'aretz, 13-11-2002)

Tolerance forms basis of democracy, Annan says

An active engagement with human diversity is crucial to democracy, United Nations Secretary-General said in his message on the International Day of Tolerance, marked today.
“Already in this young century, we have witnessed how intolerance can manifest itself in extreme violence, causing widespread death and suffering,” he noted. “Only by fighting intolerance and exclusion at the grass-roots level can we hope to overcome it in the global arena.”
The Secretary-General pointed out that often, intolerance is caused by fear, which itself is rooted in ignorance.
“It is particularly vital that our children learn about tolerance so that they understand why human rights, human dignity and respect for human diversity are inseparable,” he said.
Open dialogue - both between individuals and among different cultures and civilizations - must be at the heart of all efforts to promote tolerance be. “Without dialogue, cultural diversity is threatened,” he said. “Without dialogue, we cannot have peace.” The work for tolerance, he added, “begins with each and every one of us.” (UN News Centre, 16-11-2002)

Mubarak Calls for Similar Iraqi Weapons Inspection on Israel

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has called for Israel to come under the same international pressure as Iraq to give up its weapons of mass destruction, and urged the United Nations to pass a resolution to ban the Jewish state from holding these weapons.
Speaking in a new parliamentary session Saturday, Mubarak accused Israel of lacking the political will to negotiate and reach a peace settlement with the Palestinians and end the ongoing vicious cycle of bloodshed in the region.
Despite several [peace] initiatives, plans and road maps, Israel does not have the political will to enter into serious negotiations to establish a sovereign Palestinian state and to withdrawal from Syrian and Lebanese territories,” Mubarak said.
In his speech before the People’s Assembly, Egypt’s President said that “one of the elements of comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East” is to have the region cleansed from weapons of mass destruction, starting with Israel.
The Egyptian leader pinpointed that UN Security Resolution 1441 passed unanimously on November 08, requiring Iraq to disarm its alleged weapons of mass destruction or “face serious consequences,” should be applied to Israel alike. (Palestine Chronicle, 17-11-2002)

Iraq is Ready for Blix

Iraq hails executive chairman of the UN Commission on monitoring, verification and inspections, Hans Blix who will arrive in Baghdad on Monday, and is ready for cooperation with the commission, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said.
Aziz’ comments were made Sunday at a news conference in Baghdad. The vice premier emphasized that UN inspectors should be convinced that Iraq is free from mass destruction weapons.
"The US has always doubted our honest intentions, since it is entertaining aggressive plans against Iraq," Aziz noted. "America raised the topic of mass destruction weapons, which is deliberately false and exploited only for unleashing war," the vice premier added. Palestine Chronicle 18-11-2002)

Blix Offers Iraq a "New Opportunity"

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix arrived in Baghdad on Monday to re-launch the process of disarming President Saddam Hussein's regime, saying he would offer Iraq "a new opportunity".
"The situation is tense at the moment but this is a new opportunity," AFP quoted Blix as telling reporters at Saddam International Airport. "We are here to provide an inspection that is credible, inspection that is in the interest of Iraq and the interest of the world," he said after arriving at the head of an advance party of two dozen experts.
Blix, who heads the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and Mohamed Elbaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were to meet senior Iraqi officials and lay the groundwork for the start of inspections set for November 27.
"What we are coming with offers an opportunity and we hope we can take that opportunity together," Blix said after being greeted by his Iraqi counterpart, Brigadier Hossam Amin, director of the National Monitoring Directorate.
"We are here to do a job and we will do that professionally and I hope competently," Blix said.
Asked what level of cooperation he expected from Iraq, Blix answered: "full". (Teheran Times, 19-11-2002)

As arms inspectors arrive, row erupts over US smears
Team leader says attacks by hawks 'unhelpful'

The United Nations chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, yesterday accused hawks in Washington, who are bent on going to war with Iraq, of conducting a smear campaign against him.
The extent of the tension between Mr Blix and elements of the US administration burst into the open on the day that he led UN weapons inspectors back to Baghdad for the first time in four years to renew their search for chemical, biological and nuclear-related weapons.
Key figures in the Bush administration have criticised Mr Blix in recent weeks, claiming he is too weak to stand up to the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, and that he may fail to find the weapons that the CIA claims have been hidden by the Iraqis.
In an interview with the Guardian in Cyprus, the last staging post before his flight to Baghdad, Mr Blix rounded on his critics. Asked whether he thought US hawks were behind the smear campaign, Mr Blix said: "You can say there's some truth in that judgment." (Helena Smith in Larnaca and Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian 19-11-2002)

Weapons Inspectors Return to Iraq

A working team of U.N. weapons inspectors returned to Iraq on Monday for the first time in four years to begin searching for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Iraq says it does not possess such arms, but the United States alleges it retains some and may be producing others.
A spokeswoman for the inspectors urged both cooperation from the Iraqis and patience from other countries - an apparent reference to the United States which has threatened military action if President Saddam Hussein's government tries to obstruct the inspections.
"We have a huge mandate," spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters. "It's going to take time, and we require a lot of patience from our member states as well as transparency and cooperation from the Iraqis." (By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press Writer, 25-11-2002)

Nuke watchdog says new UN mission to Iraq will not repeat "abuses"

"The Security Council dissolved UNSCOM and formed UNMOVIC to avoid abuses. Its members are UN civil servants and it asked them to be objective and neutral," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei told Al-Ahram newspaper.
In December 1999, UNMOVIC replaced UNSCOM, which withdrew from Iraq a year earlier ahead of US and British air strikes over Iraq's alleged obstruction of its work. Iraq accused UNSCOM members of spying for Israel or the United States.
"There were certain abuses by UNSCOM. It was discovered that some inspectors had sent reports to their countries, which means that UNSCOM lost a large amount of its credibility," ElBaradei said.
"That forced the UN to form UNMOVIC, and there are many guarantees to ensure its neutrality and its independence and prevent a repeat of the absues committed by UNSCOM," he said.
ElBaradei, who was interviewed while in Cairo Monday to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other Egyptian and Arab officials, said the inspectors would demonstrate neutrality and objectivity. (Syria Times, 27-11-2002)

Iraq Says It Has No Weapons of Mass Destruction

Iraq declared it had no weapons of mass destruction on Saturday as it showed international journalists a massive dossier on its arms programs due to be delivered to UN inspectors.
The dossier, which could spell the difference between war and peace, was shown to reporters at the Iraqi National Monitoring Directorate in central Baghdad. It was contained in 11,807 pages, 352 pages of supplements and CD-ROMs with a total 529 megabytes of data, according to a sign at the directorate headquarters.
The weapons declaration comes a month after a tough UN resolution gave Baghdad a chance to disarm or face possible U.S.-led military action. Hussam Mohammed Amin, head of the directorate, told a news conference the documents would be handed to UN inspectors in the next few hours.
"We declared that Iraq is empty of weapons of mass destruction. I reiterate Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction," he said.
The declaration detailed "some activities that are dual-use" Amin said, referring to technology which has both peaceful and military applications. "If the U.S. has minimum levels of fairness and bravery it should accept the report."
U.S. President George W. Bush said Washington would take some time to judge the declaration, but repeated warnings it would disarm Iraq by force if necessary. (Teheran Times, 7-12-2002)

Regional States Should Explore Ways
Out of Current Crisis: Khatami

President Mohammad Khatami said on Sunday that the regional states are expected to explore ways out of the current crisis in the region and the Iraqi government should prove that it is fully complying with United Nations Security Council resolution.
In a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara, President Khatami said that Iran opposes any unilateral war on Iraq and supports Iraqi territorial integrity.
The president said that the Zionist regime is taking advantage of the current situation in the region by intensifying its attacks against Palestinians, adding that the international community should not forget what is going on in Palestine.
He said that a real peace will be achieved in the Middle East only by helping the Palestinians attain their own rights. (Theheran Times, 20-1-2003)

U.S. Guilty of 'Double Standards' on Iraq

Former U.N. arms inspector Richard Butler said Tuesday that Washington was promoting "shocking double standards" in considering taking unilateral military action to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction...
A U.S. attack, without United Nations backing, and without any effort to curb the possession of weapons of mass destruction globally, would be a contravention of international law and sharpen the divide between Arabs and the West.
"The spectacle of the United States, armed with its weapons of mass destruction, acting without Security Council authority to invade a country in the heartland of Arabia and, if necessary, use its weapons of mass destruction to win that battle, is something that will so deeply violate any notion of fairness in this world that I strongly suspect it could set loose forces that we would deeply live to regret," Butler said. (Reuters-Yahoo, 29-1-2003)

Barak: 'Using force will end the conflict quickly'

Former prime minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that if the United States opts to disarm Iraq by using force, the conflict would end quickly.
Barak, who was appearing at a synagogue to speak with 700 Israeli supporters, said at a news conference before the event that proof exists Iraqi president Saddam Hussein continually broke UN sanctions against manufacturing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. That proof, Barak said, would be found as soon as Hussein is removed from power.
Barak was a decorated general in the Israeli military before entering politics. He was elected prime minister in 1999, but left office two years later after losing to Ariel Sharon in a special election. He has previously said that terrorists have two objectives - to see the U.S. stop pursuing all interests in the Middle East and to destroy Israel. "Whoever hesitated to support the war will appear to be a clumsy appeaser," Barak said. (Ha'aretz, 3-2-2003)

Former Top Iraqi Scientist Says Iraq Has No Nukes

A former high-level Iraqi nuclear scientist, now living in Canada, said on Monday there is no way Iraq could possess nuclear weapons and the United States is exaggerating the potential threat for its own purposes.
Dr. Imad Khadduri, who joined the Iraqi nuclear program in 1968 and was part of a team trying to develop a nuclear bomb in the 1980s, said Iraq's weapons program fell into shambles after the Gulf War and could not possibly have been resurrected.
"All we had after the war from that nuclear power program were ruins, memoirs, and reports of what we had done...on the nuclear weapon side I am more than definitely sure nothing has been done," he told Reuters in an interview.
"For (U.S. President George W.) Bush to continue brandishing this image of a superhuman Iraqi nuclear power program is a great fallacious misinformation." (By Jeffrey Hodgson, Reuters 3-2-2003)

In Praise of the Bush Doctrine, by John Podhoretz

"Having previously been unsure as to why he should have been chosen to become President of the United States, George W. Bush now knew that the God to whom, as a born-again Christian, he had earlier committed himself had put him in the Oval Office for a purpose. He had put him there to lead a war against the evil of terrorism.
'Bush officially declared this war in an address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001, in which he first enunciated the general terms and spirit of a new "Bush Doctrine"...
George W. Bush intends to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. He won't give veto power over his constitutional responsibility to preserve, protect and defend this country to some know-nothing rabbis or greying ex-hippies awash in 1960s nostalgia. Hawks need not fear. The biggest hawk of all is in the Oval Office. (New York Post 29-1-2003)

Amir al-Saadi: "A typical American show"

"This was a typical American show, complete with stunts and special effects," scoffed Lieutenant General Amir al-Saadi, Iraq's point man on the weapons inspections regime.
The general, a British-educated chemist, is one of Saddam Hussein's most trusted advisers, and was deeply involved in Iraq's weapons programme.
He went on to deliver a blistering critique of Mr Powell's offerings of fresh intelligence on Baghdad's arsenal of prohibited weapons.
General Saadi dismissed the satellite pictures of a suspected chemical site north of Baghdad as "cartoons", and said the UN itself had found that accounts from defectors - the human sources Mr Powell cited - were notoriously unreliable.
He went even further, accusing Washington of seeking to undermine the inspection regime by withholding evidence, only to air it before the security council.
"What we heard today was for the general public and mainly the uninformed to influence their opinion and to initiate aggression on Iraq," he said. (The Guardian, 6-2-2003)

Saddam Hussein branded 'an infidel' by Bin Laden

A taped message believed to be from fugitive militant Osama bin Laden warned Arab nations against supporting a war against Iraq as threatened by the United States -- but branded Saddam Hussein an infidel. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the tape corroborated the allegations that Secretary of State Colin Powell made to the U.N. Security Council last week to justify U.S. threats to go to war against Iraq -- that al Qaeda and the Iraqis were in contact and cooperating. (By Samia Nakhoul, Reuters 11-2-2003 Reuters)

Hans Blix: Doubt on the significance of intelligence offered by Colin Powell

The UN's chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, today cast doubt on the significance of some intelligence offered by the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, in last week's speech on Iraq's weapons.
In Mr Blix's crucial report, which the US and Britain may use as a launchpad for military action, he told the UN security council that his team have not found any weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq...
Speaking at the UN's headquarters in New York, Mr Blix said that two satellite images Mr Powell showed to the council on February 5 did not prove that Iraq was clearing the site of forbidden munitions.
He added that there was no evidence that Iraq had advance knowledge that inspectors were coming to any particular site, as Mr Powell had alleged in his presentation. (The Guardian, 14-2-2003)

Israel & The Salvation War

The Israeli government is vying with the American administration in its eagerness to see the war plan put into action.
And if President Bush seems to be acting out of a sense of religious mission - as if God has charged him with the task of uprooting the axis of evil, starting with Saddam Hussein - Ariel Sharon is awaiting the American operation in the desperate hope that salvation will follow in its wake.
Sharon isn't alone; the entire ruling establishment - the political echelon and the senior echelon of the public sector, the top military and intelligence officials, business leaders and the politicians who are trying to put together a coalition - all are waiting for the war in the expectation that it will bring about a yearned-for turning point in Israel's grim situation (Palestinian intifada).
One could say that Israel is looking for Ares, the ancient Greek god of war, to play the part of the deus ex machina in this drama. An almost pagan faith has been placed in the potential blessings of the American war on Iraq. (By Uzi Benziman, Ha'aretz 14-2-2003)

Western policy is radicalizing Arab and Muslim students.
I’ve been warning them from this for many years in Parliament. You can go back and see what I said in the 1980s in Parliament; that by your double standards, by your support for Israeli crimes, by your embrace of the corrupt kings and the puppet presidents, you rule against the interest of your own people. You are radicalizing the Arab and Muslim students in a way which in the end will not be in your interest. (George Galloway, 19-2-2003)

President Saddam Hussein: Iraq wants peace but not at any cost

"The Iraqi people don't want war, but not at any cost. We don't compromise on our independence, dignity and right to live as free men acting freely," President Hussein was quoted as saying during a meeting with visiting leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennady Zyuganov.
"At the same time as our people need their freedom, dignity and sovereignty, they respect the freedom, sovereignty and dignity of others, including America if it respected the freedom and sovereignty of Iraq and Arabs," he said.
Present at the audience was Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Sa’doun Hammadi. (Iraq Daily, 20-2-2003)

"You Westerners do not realize that an Arab can do without everything except his dignity. If you touch his dignity he will be as ferocious as a lion."
Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid, Iraqi Catholic Leader, 20-2-2003

Iraq could cost US its leadership — former security adviser

To avoid risking its global leadership the United States should avoid "demeaning and destructive" polemics with its important allies," wrote former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served in the Carter administration in the 1970s.
Washington's definition of its war on terrorism, he added, is seen by many abroad as "excessively theological ('evildoers who hate freedom') and unrelated to any political context."
Brzezinski cited the Bush administration's "reluctance to see a connection between Middle Eastern terrorists and the political problems of the Middle East;" its "unsubstantiated efforts to connect Iraq with Al Qaeda;" and its "evident, if unstated, endorsement... of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's notions of how to deal with both the Palestinians and the region as a whole." (Jordan Times, 20-2-2003)

Russia condemns Washington for piling pressure on inspectors

Tensions between veto-holding members of the UN Security Council grew yesterday after Russia said pressure was being exerted on weapons inspectors to give a negative assessment of Iraqi compliance or to accept they will have to leave the country soon.
Russia's outburst, which appeared to be directed at the United States, came as Washington and London continued to agonise over the timing and content of a new resolution to authorise disarming Iraq by military means. It is expected to surface early next week.
"Inspectors are being subjected to very strong pressure in order to provoke their departure from Iraq, or to present to the Security Council assessments which could be used as a pretext for the use of force against Iraq," said Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister. (By David Usborne in New York, 21-2-2003)

Iraqi VP Offers 'Dialogue' With U.S.

Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan offered a "dialogue" with the United States, saying in an interview broadcast Friday night that his country was ready to talk if Washington abandons "aggression" and ceases "interference in internal affairs."
"We are ready for a dialogue with the American administration and ready to build economic relations," he said. "We are for a dialogue and normal relations with all the countries of the world, except for Israel."
"If they abandon aggression, and there is a dialogue that leads to normal relations, achieves mutual interests far away from interference in internal affairs, then we have no objection," he said. (AP, 21-2-2003)

Sharon Poses Bigger Regional Threat Than Saddam: Moussa

Right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon poses a far greater regional threat than Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa warned in an interview published on Friday, AFP reported.
"The serious and chronic danger for this region comes from the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the irresponsible, aggressive policies of the Sharon government," he said, in comments translated into Spanish.
"Israel is allowed to carry out violent acts with complete impuntiy that no other country in the world could get away with. Israel can ignore Security Council resolutions," the Arab leader said.
"All Arabs are outraged by what's happening in the occupied Palestinian territories. War against Iraq would add insult to injury, or injury to insult," he added. (Teheran Times, 21-2-2003)

Khamenei Underlines Administration of Justice in Society

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei here on Thursday underlined the need for administration of justice in the society, IRNA reported.
The (Spiritual) Leader made the remark while addressing a group of the country's officials and a large number of ordinary people on the occasion of Eid-ul-Ghadir, which marks Prophet Mohammad's (Peace Be Upon Him) appointment of first imam of Shiite Muslims, Imam Ali (AS),as his spiritual heir.
Men in today's world, in spite of significant scientific progress, are in need of justice more than any other time, Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated. (Teheran Times, 22-2-2003)

British newspaper attack Chirac

A British tabloid newspaper (The Sun) opened a new front in a war of words with France over Iraq on Thursday by attacking Jacques Chirac on his own turf in an edition handed out free in Paris that depicted the president as a giant worm.
"Chirac Est Un Ver" (Chirac Is A Worm) blared the Sun's special front-page headline in French above a photomontage of an earthworm bearing his head and crawling out of a map of France.
"We think your president, Jacques Chirac, is a disgrace to Europe by constantly threatening to veto military action to enforce the will of the United Nations in Iraq," the Sun said on the front page of the Paris version, written in French.
Chirac is resisting US and British pressure for a war on Baghdad, irritating US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair but winning strong support from the overwhelming majority of his own electorate in France. (Hindustan Times, 22-2-2003)

Information Warfare

Senior Iraqi military officers and members of the regime's inner circle have been receiving e-mails and telephone messages from American "psy-ops" experts, urging them to break with Saddam Hussein.
Specially selected members of Iraq's economic and political elite have been getting the messages on their personal cellphones and private e-mail addresses, claiming that they do not need to tie their futures to the Iraqi leader.
The electronic and cyber assault on the upper echelons of the Iraqi leadership is the latest twist in American and British efforts to undermine President Saddam's support in advance of any military strike.
"The goal of the information warfare is to win without ever firing a shot," said James Wilkinson, a spokesman for America's Central Command, based in Tampa, Florida. "If action does begin, information warfare is used to make the conflict as short as possible." (By Andrew Buncombe,, 25-2-2003)

Bush: Removing Saddam Would Help Peace

President Bush, offering new justification for war in Iraq, said Wednesday that "ending this direct and growing threat" from Saddam Hussein would pave way for peace in the Middle East and inspire democracy throughout the Arab world.
Answering critics who say war would destabilize the region, Bush predicted there would be a "new stage for Middle East peace" once Saddam loses power. Iraq would no longer threaten to dominate the region with weapons of mass destruction, Bush said, and he accused Saddam of financing suicide bombers, a charge Iraq has denied.
"A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress to the lives of millions," Bush said. (By Ron Fournier, AP White House Correspondent, 26-2-2003)

Veteran U.S. diplomat resigns to protest Iraq policy

J. Brady Kiesling, a veteran U.S. diplomat has resigned to protest President George W. Bush policies on Iraq.
In a resignation letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, Kiesling reportedly said he had left the diplomatic service because of his disagreement over the Bush administration's "fervent pursuit of war."
"Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson," Kiesling wrote, according to The New York Times. (AP World News 27-2-2003)

Fleischer Laughed Off Stage By White House Reporters

After taking Bush stenography for more than 2 years, White House reporters may be finally awakening from their collective coma.
This week's most important story is Bush's efforts to buy a majority of votes on the U.N. Security Council. But when reporters pressed Ari about the terms of these deals, Ari feigned pure unadulterated outrage.
"I haven't seen the story. And you already have the answer, about what this will be decided on. But think about the implications of what you're saying. You're saying that the leaders of other nations are buyable. And that is not an acceptable proposition."
Suddenly, a remarkable thing happened - the reporters LAUGHED. They laughed LOUD. And they laughed so loud that Ari turned on his heels and marched right off the stage. (Kerry Hart, Rense.Com 27-2-2003)

The Answers of President Sadddam Hussein
to the Questions put to him by Mr. Dan Rather of CBS

- Dan Rather: Mr. President, US Vice-President Richard Cheney has stated that when the Us forces enter Iraq, they will be welcomed with greetings and music as an army of liberation. Do you think the American people should believe this sort of thing?
- Saddam Hussein: If the Iraqi army, or any other army for that matter, were to cross the Atlantic and occupy America, will the people of America receive this army with music. I don’t think any man in a position of responsibility should say this, because when he does say this sort of thing, it’s as if he is preparing his own people to welcome any occupying force invading their country with music and festivities.
I don’t believe that. In fact I am absolutely certain that not a single Iraqi citizen will welcome any American, if the latter comes as an invader. But all Iraqis will welcome any American citizen who comes as a friend.
So you see yourself that you, who have come from a country threatening to destroy Iraq, have been received with the respect and warmth to which you are entitled from all officials and people who know where you come from. What does this mean?
Our citizen knows that you come as a guest and should be able to wonder about in Iraq in freedom. But if you had come as a trooper in an occupying force, you would not have been able to move freely in the country.
So, as long as you are here, moving about in freedom, this means that you are here as a guest, and it is the duty of the people of Iraq to host you in welcome as a guest, because they are committed to such a duty. (INA - Baghdad, on 24 Feb. 2003)

Krauthammer: Undermining the United States should be punished

We need to demonstrate that there is a price to be paid for undermining the United States on a matter of supreme national interest.
• First, as soon as the dust settles in Iraq, we should push for an expansion of the Security Council--with India and Japan as new permanent members--to dilute France's disproportionate and anachronistic influence.
• Second, there should be no role for France in Iraq, either during the war, should France change its mind, or postwar. No peacekeeping. No oil contracts. And France should be last in line for loan repayment, after Russia... Russia, after all, simply has opposed our policy. It did not try to mobilize the world against us.
• Third, we should begin laying the foundation for a new alliance to replace the now obsolete Cold War alliances. Its nucleus should be the coalition of the willing now forming around us. No need to abolish NATO. The grotesque performance of France, Germany and Belgium marks the end of NATO's useful life. Like the U.N., it will simply wither of its own irrelevance.
We should be thinking now about building the new alliance structure around the United States, Britain, Australia, Turkey, such willing and supportive Old Europe countries as Spain and Italy, and the New Europe of deeply pro-American ex-communist states (Charles Krauthammer, For Love For Israel, febr. 2003)

The Wolfowitz Cabal

Whatever comes next in the battle against Saddam Hussein, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz has achieved a life-long aim. He has diverted the search for a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem onto the back burner while turning up the heat on the problem of Saddam Hussein.
The “Wolfowitz Cabal” is now determined to push the US in the same direction as Israel’s most dangerous right-wing policy and take on as an enemy every Islamic nation Israel perceives as a threat.
In this Wolfowitz and his colleague, Richard Perle, seem to have succeeded beyond their wildest and most fevered dreams. (By Richard H. Curtiss, Palestine Chronicle 28-2-2003)

Arab states paralysed by fear of their people and the US

All Arabs, regimes and peoples, agree on one thing: war on Iraq may affect the entire world, but they and their region will pay far the highest price.
The Arab League's secretary general, Amr Moussa, warns that war will "open the gates of hell", and President Mubarak of Egypt says that it will light a "gigantic fire" of violence and terror.
An Arab world deeply conscious of its history of humiliation by foreigners' affairs is about to see one of its member states conquered and occupied; and the Bush administration does not hide its ambition to make this the first step in a "reshaping" of the region at least as much in the interest of the Arabs' historic adversary, Israel, as its own. (By David Hirst, The Guardian 1-3-2003)

Qaddafi criticized Saudi Arabia

Qaddafi criticized Saudi Arabia, in an impromptu speech, for the presence of US forces in the Kingdom.
He said when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, American forces started flowing into the Kingdom. “I told King Fahd that American forces are moving into Saudi Arabia. He then replied ‘America is a big country and we cannot prevent it and it can come.’
I told him: ‘How can this happen to Saudi Arabia, which is an independent country?’ After that in a telephone conversation, the king told me that Iraq had intention to invade the Kingdom.
I asked him how he knew. He said: ‘We have seen the Iraqi forces deployed on the front. That means the Iraqi threat was a source of concern and threat for the Kingdom and all the Gulf states. America has pledged to protect this region because it is an important source of energy.’”
Here Prince Abdullah intercepted Qaddafi’s speech and said: “Saudi Arabia is a front line country for the Muslim nation. It is not a colonial agent. Colonialists are for you and others. Who brought you to power? Don’t say anything and don’t interfere in matters in which you don’t have any role. You are a liar. Your grave awaits you.” (Arab News, 2-3-2003)

George Bush is being manipulated by a handful of people

The senior people, traditional people, think that our present foreign policy is insane. They think that George Bush is being manipulated by a handful of people. They think that George doesn't know what he's really doing.
He's been manipulated by a few people, around Dick Cheney, carrying out a policy that Cheney cooked up at the end of the first Bush Administration. When senior George Bush, and Scowcroft and company, turned it down. But Cheney, as Vice President, has revived that policy, and has put us on this course, into these present new wars.
Most of the senior intelligent ranks in the United States - that is, the military ranks - think this is insane. But they will be obedient to the sitting President.
And therefore, they're in the position of being asked to go to fight a war, which they know should not be started, all because the President is being misled by his Vice President, and his Vice President's cronies.
Young Bush has become a captive of this crowd around Cheney.... (Lyndon LaRouche, 26-2-2003)

Ivanov continues to follow the right path

Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, today brought to the United Kingdom the message of his government with a loud and clear NO to war against Iraq.
Jack Straw, the British Foreign Secretary, who has followed the belligerent and bullying path blazed by the Bush administration, stated after his meeting with Igor Ivanov that he hoped the two countries would be able to reach agreement on how to manage the crisis in the Gulf.
However, there are fundamental differences of principle between the two positions.
The Russian Federation supports the notion that the Third Millennium must begin necessarily with a viewpoint that war must be avoided at all costs, while the United Kingdom unfortunately follows a medieval, imperialistic and fascist stance, dictated by the USA, which considers that from time to time, a war is positive for national industries, to create jobs and to allocate contracts to crucial areas of the economy. (John Ashtead, Pravda, 4-3-2003)

Saddam Hussein: "The despot thinks he is, just as God"

“The despot thinks he is, just as God.. What a nadir and mean fate! The despot, as represented in this age, in our day, imagines he can enslave the people, confiscate their decision, and legitimate freedom and choices given that they were born free. They were indeed freed by God’s will through prophets and messengers, to be slaves only to Him and not to anyone of the people." (Iraq Daily 4-3-2003)

Annan Presses U.N. to Find Iraq Solution

Secretary-General Kofi Annan pressed the bitterly divided U.N. Security Council to find a way to strip Saddam Hussein of his banned weapons without going to war. But key council powers are polarized over whether Iraq should be given more time to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction, and they've shown no sign of moving toward a compromise.
France, Russia and Germany, who want U.N. weapons inspections to continue, issued a joint statement saying they will not allow the Security Council to approve a U.S.-backed resolution that "authorizes resorting to force" against Iraq. (By Edith M. Lederer, AP 5-3-2003)

Arab delegation to meet UN chief

Lebanon will join a delegation of Arab foreign ministers in conveying to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan Arab opposition to a US war on Iraq.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud said he will fly Wednesday to New York and join his Bahraini, Egyptian, Syrian and Tunisian counterparts along with Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa. The delegation will also meet UN inspection chiefs Hans Blix and Mohammed al-Baradei, Hammoud said.
The Arab foreign ministers’ mission to New York precedes the submitting of a key report to the Security Council by Blix and Baradei regarding Iraqi disarmament.
Arab heads of state set up the ad-hoc committee of foreign ministers at the Arab summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The summit’s final resolution “completely rejected” military action against Iraq and the active participation of any Arab state in military campaign against Iraq. (Khalil Fleihan, Daily Star 5-3-2003)

Pentagon: attack will be short but awesome

President Bush and his top military and civilian advisers fine-tuned plans yesterday for the impending and seemingly inevitable attack on Iraq, which the Pentagon says would be overwhelmingly massive, designed to stun the Iraqis into speedy submission.
After reviewing his plans with senior field commanders at his regional headquarters in Qatar, General Tommy Franks, who would be in direct charge of the war, briefed Mr Bush at the White House. Also present were Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, and General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon's most senior uniformed officer.
Confirming that the US and Britain envisaged a blitzkrieg-style onslaught against Saddam Hussein, General Myers told American reporters the goal was "a short conflict".
That could be achieved by "such a shock to the system that the Iraqi regime would have to assume early on that the end was inevitable". In words which seemed to foreshadow a massive air and ground assault on Baghdad itself, General Myers said a new war would be very different from Operation Desert Storm in 1991, which began with a 40-day bombing campaign. This time, Pentagon officials say, 10 times the quantity of precision-guided bombs and missiles will be delivered. (By Rupert Cornwell, 6-3-2003)

U.S. Diplomat John Brady Kiesling: Letter of Resignation

"The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests.
Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson.
We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security..."
"The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam." (, 27 February 2003)

China Opposes New Resolution on Iraq

Chinese leader Jiang Zemin gave his support to European-led opposition to a war on Iraq, telling the French president that a new U.N. resolution on Iraq is not necessary.
"The Chinese side still supports using political means to resolve the Iraq issue. The door of peace should not be closed," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Jiang as telling President Jacques Chirac in a phone call.
Jiang told Chirac that Beijing agrees with a statement made by the foreign ministers of France, Russia and Germany, who said they would "not allow" passage of the U.S.-backed resolution. (By Audra Ang, Associated Press 6-3-2003)

Lies With a Purpose

It baffles the mind that the real reasons for invading Iraq are not imagined by mainstream media nor by the unwittingly complicit American public. Does no one bother to ask why some things are never mentioned? Why, we are talking about Israel, of course!
Does no one bother to ask why White House officials have said Iraq is only the beginning and that Iran, Syria, and Libya will follow?
Does no one bother to ponder that these are precisely the countries that refuse to make peace with Israel unless the inalienable rights of the Palestinians are first recognized and Israel withdraws from the West Bank?
The American public is not informed that one of the reasons for going after Iraq is Israeli security, and to scare other "non-compliants" into making hasty concessions to Israel.
We will liberate the people of Iraq, we are told in a manner that insults integrity. Does no one remember the promise in 1990, when Bush Sr. sought to convince the American public that he would bring democracy to a liberated Kuwait?
Thirteen years on, women are barred from gaining equal representation in parliament; the Al Sabah family rules with an iron hand; every bastard child of the Al Sabah is in every ministry, every government office. There are no elections in Kuwait. Saddam enters Kuwait, Al Sabah escape; Saddam is ejected from Kuwait, Al Sabah is reinstated. No one elected him. No referendum. Nothing. (By Firas Al-Atraqchi, Palestine Chronicle 9-3-2003)

Tehran: Logic and Wisdom

President Mohammad Khatami here Monday stressed Iran's principal policy of detente in its relations with all world countries, particularly regional states.
"Tehran welcomes expansion of ties with its neighbors based on mutual respect, safeguarding common interests and promotion of cooperation," Khatami said in a meeting with his Turkmen counterpart Saparmurat Niyazov.
He stressed that any damage to regional stability would have negative impacts on the world, saying if a war breaks out in the Persian Gulf, it would damage the world's major energy source and route as well as world economy as a whole.
Khatami reiterated that no power in the world has the right to dominate the regional sources through use of force and violation and added that Tehran opposes war, terror and violation and seeks peace for all countries. He expressed hope the Iraqi crisis would be settled peacefully through logic and wisdom within the framework of UN resolutions. (Teheran Times, 10-3-2003)

Bush Senor. Warning Over Unilateral Action

George Bush sr (the first President Bush) has told his son that hopes of peace in the Middle East would be ruined if a war with Iraq were not backed by international unity.
Drawing on his own experiences before and after the 1991 Gulf War, Mr Bush Sr said that the brief flowering of hope for Arab-Israeli relations a decade ago would never have happened if America had ignored the will of the United Nations.
The former President's comments reflect unease among the Bush family and its entourage at the way that George W. Bush is ignoring international opinion and overriding the institutions that his father sought to uphold.
In an ominous warning for his son, Mr Bush Sr said that he would have been able to achieve nothing if he had jeopardised future relations by ignoring the UN.
"The Madrid conference would never have happened if the international coalition that fought together in Desert Storm had exceeded the UN mandate and gone on its own into Baghdad after Saddam and his forces." (By Roland Watson, 10-3-2003)

Russia vows to block resolution

Russia has said for the first time it will vote against a new resolution on Iraq at the U.N. Security Council, a move that could veto the U.S.-sponsored measure.
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Monday that Russia had not heard any reason for using force against Iraq and that there was no need for another resolution.
The U.S. and British-backed amendment gives Iraqi President Saddam Hussein a March 17 deadline to disarm.
In Washington, where the government had spent the weekend lobbying in support of the measure, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said: "The president would indeed be disappointed if Russia were to veto.
"President Bush would look at this as a missed opportunity for Russia to take an important moral stand to defend freedom, and to prevent the risk of a massive catastrophe taking place as a result of Saddam Husseins' weapons of mass destruction."
Ivanov did not use the word "veto" but a Foreign Ministry spokesman told Reuters: "By voting against a resolution, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council exercises its veto right." (CNN, 10-3-2003)

Annan appeals for Security Council unity

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appealed for a peaceful solution to ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, stressing that war must "always be a last resort" and that the UN has "a duty to search till the very end for the peaceful resolution of conflicts."
Speaking at a news conference in The Hague, where he held talks on the situation in Cyprus, Mr. Annan said: "The members of the Security Council now face a great choice. If they fail to agree on a common position, and action is taken without the authority of the Security Council, the legitimacy and support of any such action will be seriously impaired."
Asked specifically whether an attack on Iraq without Council authorization would violate the UN charter, Mr. Annan said: "If the US and others were to go outside the Council and take military action, it would not be in conformity with the Charter." (UN News Centre, 10-3-2003)

Saddam Hussein receives State Duma Speaker

President Saddam Hussein met on Monday State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov as presidential envoy from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Duma Speaker was accompanied by Ambassador Alexander Kaloghin and Head of Duma Speaker’s office Anatoli Osov.
During the audience, the Russian presidential envoy extended President Putin’s compliments to President Hussein. He informed him a verbal letter from the Russian President who affirmed Russia’s stance towards bolstering ties with Iraq in various domains.
Present at the audience were Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Sadoun Hamadi Foreign Minister Dr. Naji Sabri and Iraq’s Ambassador to Russia. (Iraq Daily, 11-3-2003)

Palestinians get Saddam funds

Saddam Hussein has paid out thousands of dollars to families of Palestinians killed in fighting with Israel. Relatives of at least one suicide attacker as well as other militants and civilians gathered in a hall in Gaza City to receive cheques.
"Iraq and Palestine are in one trench. Saddam is a hero," read a banner over a picture of the Iraqi leader and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the ceremony. Israel condemned the Iraqi handouts as funding for terrorism. "It shows that Saddam is involved in every activity that is terrorism and murderous and leads to instability in the Middle East," said Amira Oron, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry.
However, families at this week's ceremony said the money would be used to rebuild homes destroyed by Israel and bring up orphaned children.
"Saddam supports the families of the martyrs, not terrorism," said Ahmed Sabah, 69, whose son was killed by an Israeli missile strike in December. "It is a shame that Arabs stand silent as America prepares to occupy Iraq." (BBC News 13-3-2003)

Iraq Invites U.N. Inspectors to Baghdad

Iraq on Saturday invited chief U.N. weapons inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei to visit Baghdad at the "earliest suitable date" to speed up joint cooperation on outstanding disarmament issues, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry said in a statement that the invitation was made by Saddam Hussein's science adviser Lt. Gen. Amer al-Saadi, Iraq's pointman on disarmament. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement said al-Saadi wanted the two chief inspectors to come to Baghdad to discuss "means to speed up joint cooperation... in all fields, especially facilitating the verification process of issues considered outstanding by Blix and ElBaradei." (AP, 15-3-2003)

UN, Capable of Leadership of Human Community: Khatami

In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in response to his felicitation to the president on 24th anniversary of victory of the Islamic Revolution, President Mohammad Khatami said, "I believe that the United Nations is capable of leadership of the human community toward peace and justice more than any other time."
President Khatami said that the current challenges to peace, security and justice have put human prosperity in jeopardy in the third millennium requiring multilateral approach to deal with them, adding that the United Nations is responsible for tackling such challenges through international consensus and cooperation.
"This road is clear, but, difficult. We and you saw the ugly face of terrorism in the year of dialogue of civilizations and cultures and, on the other hand, how the international campaign against terrorism has turned to violence, unilateralism and warmongering," he said.
"We should go ahead with efforts to bring about human prosperity. The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the member countries which supports the United Nations and administration of your excellency to attain the lofty goals of human being," President Khatami said. (Teheran Times, 16-3-2003)

Tony Blair's ultimatum

Tony Blair held an emergency 'war Cabinet' meeting yesterday to finalise plans for military action against Iraq and demand that the United Nations comes to a decision on the vital second resolution against Saddam Hussein within 24 hours.
As Number 10 made clear that the chances of a diplomatic breakthrough in the Security Council were now 'bleak' and American bombers for the first time struck at targets in Iraq, the UN was given until tomorrow evening to come to a final choice on whether to back a second resolution or see America and Britain launch military action alone. (Kamal Ahmed, Observer 16-3-2003)

U.N. Chief Orders Inspectors to Leave Iraq

Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today he will withdraw United Nations staff from Iraq following the failure of efforts to achieve united action in the Security Council in ridding the country of weapons of mass destruction.
“I have just informed the Council that we will withdraw the UNMOVIC and atomic agency inspectors, we will withdraw the UN humanitarian workers, we will withdraw the UNIKOM troops on the Iraq-Kuwaiti border who are also not able to operate,” Mr. Annan said in a statement to reporters after he informed a closed-door meeting of the Security Council of his plans.
The Secretary-General said US authorities had informed him, as well as the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), yesterday “that it would be prudent not to leave our staff in the region.”
In reply to questions Mr. Annan repeated his view that if action against Iraq were to take place without the support of the Council “its legitimacy will be questioned and the support of it diminished.”
Asked whether today was a very sad day for the UN and the world, he said: “In the sense that we are not able to do it peacefully, obviously it is a disappointment and a sad day for everybody. War is always a catastrophe. (UN News Centre, 17-3-2003)

Chirac attacks US war plans

The French president, Jacques Chirac, said today that a war in Iraq without the support of the United Nations would undermine future efforts at peaceful disarmament.
"This is a serious decision," Mr Chirac said, that "jeopardises future methods of peaceful disarmament in crises linked to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." "Inspections showed that they are a credible alternative for disarming" Iraq, Mr Chirac said.
"To act without the legitimacy of the United Nations, to favour the use of force over law, is taking a heavy responsibility."
France has long maintained that efforts to solve the Iraq crisis by peaceful, diplomatic means must be exhausted before considering any recourse to force. (The Guardian, 18-3-2003)

We are being treated like idiots

There is no longer any doubt that the rush to military action is one of the most sordid episodes since the Second World War. Mr Bush is only interested in blitzing Iraq.
What makes it so much more terrible for the people of Britain is that our government is being dragged in and plumbing disgraceful depths to justify involvement.
The concerted attack on France is shameful and degrading. Cabinet ministers yesterday toured TV and radio studios to condemn President Chirac and accuse the French of being responsible for war.
This is hypocrisy run riot and double-think of scandalous proportions. You expect it from newspapers with no principles or morality, but we are entitled to something better from Tony Blair's government.
Tony Blair still fails to understand that one reason the British are so opposed to this war and so cynical about the motives for it is that we are being treated like idiots.
We don't want fake dossiers of "evidence". We don't want lies about the dangers we face. We don't want attacks on people and countries who prefer peace to war. We don't want farcical summits whose only aim is to speed the rush to military action. When war starts, we will be very clear about who is responsible. (The Mirror, 17-3-2003)

Prepare: Messiah is at the door

Deadline for the evil dictator of Iraq is March 17th, which is Ta'anith Esther, the eve of the holy festival PURIM.
The central theme of Purim is the eradication of evil and wickedness, which is characterized by uncontrolled evil behavior and irrational hatred for Israel and the jews.
Is it a mere coincidence or would we be witnessing the manifestation of God's war against 'Amalek', the historic enemy of Israel? ( 2003)

Saddam Defies U.S. Demand to Leave Iraq

Saddam Hussein defied a U.S. ultimatum to leave Iraq with his sons or face war, appearing on television Tuesday in military uniform for the first time since the 1991 Gulf War and warning his commanders to prepare for battle. (By Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press Writer 18-3-2003)

"In the new totalitarian system, people can say whatever they like, and it makes absolutely no difference. The impending war on Iraq is only one example among many of a supposedly sovereign public completely powerless in the face of a government bent on a course of action." (Nicolas Buchele, Arab News 19-3-2003)

Unnecessary, Unwise and Illegal

The Bush Administration has launched a war against Iraq, a war that is unnecessary, unwise and illegal.
By attacking a nation that has not attacked us and that does not pose an immediate threat to international peace and security, the Administration has violated the United Nations Charter and opened a new and shameful chapter in US history.
Moreover, by abandoning a UN inspection and disarmament process that was working, it has chosen a path that is an affront not only to America's most cherished values but to the world community.
The UN did not fail; rather, Washington sought a UN imprimatur for a war it had already decided to wage and scorned it when the Administration couldn't get its way.
To justify the war, the President has invoked the doctrine of "preventive" war, under which the United States is to be the sole judge of that doctrine's legitimacy and application.
Thus, the war is about more than Iraq; it is about the character of our society and the international order in which we live. The Administration hopes that a quick victory will not only silence critics and confer an ex post facto legitimacy on the war but also give momentum to its larger political agenda. But even if there are minimal casualties and devastation, that will not justify overturning international norms developed over sixty years. (The Nation, Editorial 20-3-2003)

Putin calls on US to stop Iraq war

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the United States to stop the war against Iraq, calling the campaign a "serious political mistake."
"If we install the rule of force in place of international security structures, no country in the world will feel secure," he said. "That is why Russia insists on a quick end to military operations."
The Russian leader, in his first comments on the US decision to launch a war to disarm Iraq and overthrow its president Saddam Hussein, said "there was no need" for military strikes because UN-led weapons inspections in the country were taking their course.
"I would like to underline that military action is happening in contradiction of international public opinion and in despite of principles of international law," said Putin. "This military action is unjustified," he said.
"Iraq has presented no danger - not for neighboring countries nor for any region in the world." (Wold-AfP 20-3-2003)

Neoconservatives: Show Power.

For the neo-conservatives Iraq must not only be de-Ba'athized, but Washington must also be accorded the opportunity to show the world, (especially other Muslim states) just how powerful and determined the United States is to both wage war and enforce political reform.
The neoconservatives view "Saddamism without Saddam" as the worst possible outcome of the present crisis. In the past months, they have excoriated the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for encouraging coups d'etat or enlisting the participation of even former senior Ba'ath officials in any post-invasion administration.
For the same reasons, they have voiced – albeit, far more tactfully due to their interest in preserving the strategic alliance – concern about Cheney's and Rumsfeld's calls for Hussein's exile and suggestions that U.S.-backed purges of the Iraqi regime will be carefully targeted and limited.
The neo-conservatives have long favored a far-reaching purge that would bring to power the core of the exiled Iraqi National Congress (INC) led by Ahmed Chalabi, an old friend of Perle and Wolfowitz.
Chalabi would be ideally suited to co-operate with U.S. efforts to knock over the other "dominoes" in the region who are perceived as hostile to the U.S. or Israel. (Jim Lobe, Alternet 21-3-2003)

Brian J. Foley: Why are we so passive?

Out of curiosity, when President Bush and his war council spoke from the Azores last Sunday, I flipped channels. Every network but CNN doled out motor racing, basketball, info-mercials, movies. Apparently, these things are more important to us.
We need better "job training" as citizens. We need education. History books will flog us for doing so little to understand the world. We have had unprecedented, enormous opportunities to learn and inquire.
I will teach my class as the bombs kill and maim innocent people in Baghdad. I will teach my class in the hope that the skills my students learn will make them better citizens, who will ask questions and demand answers before they let their country be led into war. It's the most patriotic protest I can make. (CounterPunch, 22-3-2003)

U.S. War Commander Vows Historic Campaign

U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, in his first comments on the U.S.-led war with Iraq, said Saturday that allied forces were encountering resistance from Saddam Hussein's troops but had not seen evidence of weapons of mass destruction.
Franks, who runs the war from a command post in Qatar, also told a news briefing he had "no idea" where Saddam was or whether he was alive.
The general declared the assault on Iraq would be one of "shock, surprise, flexibility," using munitions on a "scale never before seen."
The general had no clarification of reports that Saddam was injured or killed in bombardments on the night the war started. "But interestingly," he said, "the way we're undertaking this military operation" would not change regardless of what happens to Saddam, because its intent was to bring down the Iraqi regime — not just topple its president. (By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press Writer 22-3-2003)

Iraq Asks United Nations to Halt Invasion

Iraq has asked the United Nations to condemn and halt the U.S. and British invasion and ask them to withdraw their forces outside its borders.
In a statement sent to the U.N. Security Council and read on Iraqi television on Saturday, Foreign Minister Naji Sabri described the invasion as a threat to international and regional peace.
"Since the Anglo-American colonial military aggression against Iraq is a threat to international and regional peace and security, we call on the United Nations to condemn this invasion and aggression, move to stop it immediately and unconditionally, and ask U.S. and British aggressors to withdraw their forces immediately outside the borders of the Republic of Iraq." (Reuters, 22-3-2003)

France won’t let US run post-war Iraq

French President Jacques Chirac said Friday that France would oppose a new United Nations resolution that would allow the United States and Britain to administer postwar Iraq, as the United States met resistance to its call for countries to sever ties with Saddam Hussein’s regime.
At a European Union summit, Chirac said he would “not accept” a resolution that “would legitimize the military intervention (and) would give the belligerents the powers to administer Iraq.” “That would justify the war after the event,” Chirac said.
At the summit, British Premier Tony Blair had urged his 14 colleagues to support a new UN resolution to authorize a post-Saddam Hussein “civil authority in Iraq.”
Chirac said he had blocked any discussion with the British on the costs of Iraqi reconstruction, saying it was premature at this point. Blair suggested reconstruction funds could come from the sale of Iraqi oil. “We are at the moment destroying. Let us wait to see what has happened before we start reconstruction,” Chirac said. (The Daily Star, 23-3-2003)

Law Groups Say U.S. Invasion Illegal

The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq violates the basic rules of the United Nations Charter, requiring countries to exhaust all peaceful means of maintaining global security before taking military action, and permitting the use of force in self-defense only in response to actual or imminent attack, two U.S. legal groups said Thursday.
The U.N. Security Council's refusal to approve a resolution proposed by the United States, Britain and Spain clarified that the weapons inspection process initiated by Security Council Resolution 1441 last November should have been permitted to continue before military action could be authorized, added The Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) and the Western States Legal Foundation (WSLF).
The two groups supported an open letter signed by 31 Canadian international law professors released Wednesday that called a U.S. attack against Iraq "a fundamental breach of international law, (that) would seriously threaten the integrity of the international legal order that has been in place since the end of the Second World War."
Such an action "would simply return us to an international order based on imperial ambition and coercive force," they added. (by Jim Lobe, 21-3-2003)

'Blair out', demand Londoners

Protesters massed in London on Saturday to denounce British involvement in the Iraq invasion, as emotional demonstrators filled city streets across Europe, the Middle East and the rest of Asia.
Demanding "Blair Out!" and "Bring Our Boys Home!", placard waving demonstrators gathered peacefully in central London's Hyde Park to put pressure on British Prime Minister Tony Blair's government.
"I think Blair has gone totally against the wishes of the British people," said protester Rick Edwards, out with his eight-year-old daughter for a rally that organizers said swelled to at least 700,000 people.
Mr Blair's commitment of 45,000 British troops alongside nearly a quarter of a million American forces for an attack without U.N. blessing has divided Britain and put the premier in political peril. ( 22-3-2003)

British Troops Forced Out Of Basra Amid Fierce Resistance

Under attacks by mortars and guerrillas disguised in civilian clothes, Britain's Seventh Armored Brigade, the Desert Rats, was forced to withdraw, March 24, from the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Iraq's second largest.
U.S.-led military commanders admitted they had vastly underestimated the strength of Iraqi resistance and the loyalty of Basra's population to the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, according to Agence-France Presse (AFP).
U.S. and British forces had a tough time taming Iraqi resistance in the country's southeast, outside Basra and the key deep-water port of Umm Qasr, reported AFP.
Military planners had expected little resistance in the region because they thought the Shiite Muslim majority would be glad to be rid of Saddam. "We always had the idea that everyone in this area hated Saddam. Clearly, there are a number who don't." (Palestine Chronicle 24-3-2003)

Under attacks by mortars and guerrillas disguised in civilian clothes, Britain's Seventh Armored Brigade, the Desert Rats, was forced to withdraw, March 24, from the southern Iraqi city of Basra, Iraq's second largest.
U.S.-led military commanders admitted they had vastly underestimated the strength of Iraqi resistance and the loyalty of Basra's population to the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, according to Agence-France Presse (AFP). (Palestine Chronicle 24-3-2003)

UN doing 'whatever it can' to bring aid
to Iraqi people, Annan says

Pledging again that the United Nations will do whatever it can to aid the Iraqi people, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for urgent measures to restore water and electricity to Basra following reports that the southern city may face a humanitarian disaster and urged the parties to the Iraqi conflict to treat prisoners of war humanely.
Asked whether the United States and its allies have behaved so far fully in accord with their responsibilities under humanitarian obligations, Mr. Annan replied: “I don’t have all the facts but I’ve heard a report from the Red Cross that the people in Basra may be facing a humanitarian disaster in that they have no water and they have no electricity and I think a city that size cannot afford to go without electricity or water for long. (UN News Centre, 24-3-2003)

Lies And Greed Behind Illegal War

With every passing day it becomes clear that the muddled thinking behind this illegal assault on Iraq is based on lies, greed and ignorance.
That the argument for the invasion is so morally weak and the objectives so vague, that the only justification left is that it has to be right because Our Boys are there. How patronising and incalculably dangerous that logic seems, especially if your loved one is now scrambling through the desert...
The Allies are telling us they have taken towns and cities, then having to go back and re-take them. And you wonder how well this bodes for any peace. How easy it will be for guerrillas to wage a constant war for many years to come, with our soldiers having to take these bombs and bullets. And for what?
In the south of Iraq the coalition says it is suffering major setbacks due to the unforeseen level of resistance among soldiers and civilians. Why didn't their intelligence predict this?
This is the mess you end up in when your cause is neither just nor legal. When contemptuous arrogance and blind stupidity makes a superpower believe that because it has the technology, the fire-power and the dollars to buy off the little guys, its might will prevail. (By Brian Reade, The Mirror 24-3-2003)

U.S. Ready to Rebuild Iraq Without U.N.

The United States will pay most of the cost to rebuild Iraq if it sticks to its plans to set up a joint military-civilian occupation run solely by Americans and Iraqi collaborators.
The tab will be billion of dollars higher if the U.N. Security Council forces Washington to act alone by refusing to endorse the U.S.-installed administration or allow U.N. agencies to contribute to reconstruction.
Important members of the Security Council, including France and Germany, have said they would oppose any post-facto approval of the U.S. and British invasion and believe that the United Nationsshould be at the center of reconstruction.
A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said: "If we must, we will do it (reconstruction) among the coalition of the willing that we have formed for this military action."
The official said the United States was still planning to install retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner as civil administrator in Iraq, and Barbara Bodine, a former ambassador to Yemen, as his coordinator for civil administrator.
Garner might not be welcome among some Iraqis because of his support for Israel, expressed in a 2000 letter saying that a strong Jewish state is an asset to the United States. The letter was sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the hard-line lobbying group linked to the idea that invading Iraq and overthrowing President Saddam Hussein in good for both Israel and the United States. (By Jonathan Wright, 25-3-2003)

The 'Palestinization' of Iraq, By Pepe Escobar

American tanks are now ripping at the heart of Mesopotamia, the "land between the rivers" and the cradle of civilization; the US 5th Corps is already engaging the Medina division of the Republican Guards as B52s increase their bombing raids of the "red line" in the outer ring of defenses of Baghdad, over which hangs a surreal, dust-induced dark orange cloud.
For 280 million Arabs, the symbolic effect of the tanks in the country is as devastating as a lethal sandstorm.
The most crucial development in the Middle East for decades is the fact that from Amman to Cairo, from Beirut to Riyadh, the bulk of the Arab nation is now "Palestinized".
The widespread anger directed at Arab leaders is overwhelming - from taxi drivers to art students, from construction workers to businessmen. For around half a century, the anger in a way channeled by the Palestinians - who by practical experience have learned not to trust Arab leaders.
Now the loss of legitimacy is total - a long decaying process that originated in the early 1990s.
The street knows that all Arab regimes - from reactionary Saudi Arabia to relatively progressive Jordan - have failed. They have been incapable of achieving Arab unity and independence.
They have been incapable of providing social, economic and technological development. They have been impotent in their promises to try to help liberate Gaza and the West Bank. And they have been shamefully incapable of uniting against what their populations unanimously consider a neocolonialist war in Iraq. (Asia Times, 26-3-2003)

U.S. Ambassador Leaves Iraq War Debate

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations walked out of a debate on the Iraqi war Thursday after Iraq's ambassador accused the United States of trying to exterminate the Iraqi people.
Iraq's U.N. envoy Mohammed Al-Douri claimed the United States had arranged contracts to rebuild Iraq in 1997, six years before the U.S.-led war began last week. Negroponte got up and walked out as Al-Douri continued speaking, accusing the United States of a military campaign to wipe out the Iraqi people. Al-Douri said the United States had even planned the carving up of Iraq before Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.
The U.S. ambassador rejected charges by the majority of speakers that the U.S.-led campaign in Iraq was illegal and unilateral, saying Iraq brought the war on by not complying with U.N. resolutions that ended the first Gulf War in 1991.
"The coalition's response is legitimate and not unilateral," Negroponte said. The military actions to disarm Iraq, he said, are "an appropriate response." (By Edith Lederer, Associated Press Writer, 27-3-2003)

U.S. to Add 100,000 Troops to Iraq Force

The U.S. military plans to double its forces on the ground in Iraq to about 200,000 in the next month as the United States and Britain press to oust Iraq's President Saddam Hussein, U.S. officials said on Thursday. There are currently about 125,000 U.S. and British soldiers and Marines fighting in Iraq in a week-old war against Baghdad.
The U.S. officials, who asked not to be identified, said plans call for inserting as many as 100,000 more U.S. soldiers into Iraq by the end of April, bringing the total U.S.-led force there to about 225,000. (By Charles Aldinger, Reuters 27-3-2003)

U.S. can't use war to cure world's ills

I fear we are going to suffer a great defeat in our war in Iraq. Not a military defeat; I assume we shall have our military victory. I mean a defeat of the America we might have been, the America of our ideals.
Dwight Eisenhower's prophecy of the "military-industrial complex" running the country has come abundantly true. The danger before us is not control by the military, but the militarization of our own thinking and of the way our whole system is organized.
All of us -- the executive branch, Congress, the press, public opinion -- are prisoners of military thinking. Look at the Pentagon budget and shiver. We turn away from moral issues to issues we can address in battle.
I fear that the war with Iraq will prove to be not only a detour from the path of wisdom, but also a turn onto another road entirely, a way that supposes military victory is the answer to everything. I fear we are going to win the war and suffer a great defeat. ( By Jack Perry, Atlanta Journal 27-3-2003)

My Brother Marines Are Dying For Nothing - AGAIN!

As the illegal war in Iraq bogs down and the body bags start coming home to the accompaniment of images of American POW's on CNN, the mood worldwide is one of shocked disbelief that events have been allowed to go this far.
What happed to the lessons supposedly learned in Vietnam?
Are we as a nation doomed to repeat past mistakes over and over again until finally the American people have had enough and attempt to call a halt to this slaughter?
On a very personal level, I have to say that I am sick of hearing average Americans parroting the lies of the administration. (By Robert S. Finnegan, 27-3-2003)

Conflict sapping forces' morale

Marines are contending with tough conditions. Here on the frontline this conflict is taking its toll on morale. I can see the signs in the US marines I am with outside Nasiriyah.
Quite a few of the troops have said to me that this isn't what they were expecting. They have had a tiring week of guerrilla-style fighting and it continues. They are frustrated that their political masters gave the American public the impression that it would be easier than it's turned out to be. But, also that they should have given them more expectation about Iraqi resistance like this.
They don't want to admit they can't deal with it, but I think there is definitely a sense that it is not the kind of fighting that they were really trained for. One Marine told me: "I've had enough of being fired at from all directions, I just want to go home". (Bij Andrew North, BBC 28-3-2003)

Former CIA analyst: US ‘conned into war’
Robert Baer charges that the American-led invasion is a ‘dire mistake’

Middle East expert and former Central Intelligence Agency officer Robert Baer has charged that the American-led war in Iraq is a dire mistake based on false assumptions and faulty information.
“The American people, Congress, government and president were conned into this war, in the full sense of the word, by neo-conservatives and hawks in Washington who sold a false bill of goods. The president was lied to and given erroneous information that was filtered through Iraqi exiles who had not lived in Iraq for 20 or 30 years and had no clear idea of realities inside Iraq. The exiles had no intention of fighting themselves, but wanted the US to fight for them,” he told The Daily Star Thursday in an interview.
He fears that this will increase the bitterness felt against the US by Arabs and Muslims, who increasingly see Americans as hostile to them. He is also concerned “that young Americans now are fighting and dying in Iraq based on faulty analyses from questionable sources,” but he cannot see Bush stopping the war now.
“President Bush spent nine months working the American population into a frenzy of fear and anger about Saddam Hussein, and he cannot now tell them that it was not so serious after all, that he has to stop the war and leave Saddam in power.” (Daily Star, 29-3-2003)

200 killed in coalition attack on Baath party meeting

Some 200 members of Iraq's ruling Baath party were killed in a coalition attack at a gathering in the Basra region, US generals said.
"It was an attack against a Baath party assembly northeast of Basra yesterday (Friday) evening," Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, deputy director of operations at US central command, told a daily briefing here. "It had about 200 members of the Baath party in attendance."
Brooks followed the remarks with footage showing a missile or bomb dropped on the building, which appeared to be blown to smithereens.
Major General Victor Renuart told journalists it was thought that all those in attendance had been killed. "We believe ... about 200 leaders of these -- of these irregular squads, and key leaders -- we believe were destroyed last night," Major General Victor Renuart said. (AFP 29-3-2003)

Tariq Aziz: No flowers

Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister, said he was surprised to hear that American troops expected to be welcomed with flowers. “The Iraqi people are going to receive the Americans with bullets,” he said.
The political dangers of a protracted military conflict were meanwhile bought home to Tony Blair when his former Cabinet colleague Robin Cook wrote an article saying that he had had enough “of this bloody and unnecessary war”, which was supposed to have been quick and easy.
“I want our troops home and I want them home before more of them are killed,” he wrote. But Cabinet ministers condemned the former Foreign Secretary, and David Blunkett said that Mr Cook had squandered the dignity of his resignation. (TimesOnLine, 31-3-2003)

Iran, Syria get grave warning

While American and British forces are battling for victory against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the next targets are already flickering across the diplomatic radar.
Israeli strategists are hoping that one of the first will be Iran, and they are urging the United States to take measures to rein in Tehran's nuclear ambitions and its sponsorship of militants hostile to Israel.
The Pentagon is drawing up a blacklist of foreign companies that invested in Iran's energy sector, with a view to cutting them off from post-war reconstruction contracts for Iraq.
Powell warned Iran to halt its quest for weapons of mass destruction and reaffirmed the Bush administration's determination to oust Saddam. His remarks drew strong applause from thousands of American Jews attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's policy conference.
Turning to Iran — which Bush has denounced as a member of an "axis of evil" — Powell said it must stop its support of terrorism against Israel. (Olivia Ward, Toronto Star 31-3-2003)

Tommy Franks & Rumsfeld, 'the old blabbermouth'

Certain available information points to a serious conflict between the coalition command and the US political and military leadership. The [US] Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - the main planner and lobbyist of the military operation against Iraq - accuses the coalition command and Gen. Tommy Franks personally of being passive and indecisive, which [in Rumsfeld's opinion] led to the lengthening of the conflict and the current dead end situation.
In his turn Franks in front of his subordinates calls the Secretary of Defense the "old blabbermouth" and an "adventurist" who dragged the army into the war on the most unfavorable terms possible.
It is entirely possible that the future of this war will see the departure of one of these two commanders. Some reports suggest that Rumsfeld has already proposed to President Bush a change in the coalition command. However, Bush declined this proposal calling it untimely and damaging to the morale of the troops and that of the American people. ( 31-3-2003)

Shock But Not Awe... The Days Of The Militarists

I write with a heavy heart. Our cause has shifted from trying to prevent a needless war to seeking to end an illegal war. The audacity of the Bush administration takes one's breath away. The United States is bombing Baghdad, engaged in its 'shock and awe' strategy. Shock yes, but there is no awe. To suggest awe reflects only the arrogance of the Bush militarists. US attacks on Iraq are shocking and awful...
• Shocking that we are at war in violation of international law and our Constitution.
• Shocking that our government is committing aggressive warfare, which is a crime.
• Shocking that a large majority of the US Congress has been compliant and cowardly, handing over their responsibility to declare war to the president. By giving up their Constitutional powers, Congress is putting the future of our Republic in jeopardy.
• Shocking that the United States has attacked Iraq in defiance of the United Nations Security Council and with disregard for US obligations under the Charter of the United Nations.
• Shocking that the United States has acted in bad faith, having assured the other members of the Security Council at the time of passage of Resolution 1441 that it does not provide for an automatic recourse to war.
John Negroponte, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, assured other members of the Security Council on the day that Resolution 1441 was passed: "Whatever violation there is, or is judged to exist, will be dealt with in the Council, and the Council will have an opportunity to consider the matter before any other action is taken." (By David Kreiger, 31-3-2003)

In the name of peace and democracy, go

My constituency Labour party has just voted to recommend that Tony Blair reconsider his position as party leader because he gave British backing to a war against Iraq without clearly expressed support from the UN.
I agree with this motion. I also believe that since Mr Blair is going ahead with his support for a US attack without unambiguous UN authorisation, he should be branded as a war criminal and sent to The Hague.
I have served in the House of Commons as a Labour member for 41 years, and I would never have dreamed of saying this about any one of my previous leaders. But Blair is a man who has disdain for both the House of Commons and international law.
The overwhelming majority of international lawyers, including several who advise the government (such as Rabinder Singh, a partner in Cherie Booth's Matrix Chambers), have concluded that military action in Iraq without proper UN security council authorisation is illegal under international law. The Foreign Office's deputy legal adviser, Elizabeth Wilmhurst, resigned on precisely this point after 30 years' service. This puts the prime minister and those who will be fighting in his and President Bush's name in a vulnerable legal position. ( By Tam Dalyell - Red Pepper, april 2003)

Arrogant Propaganda

Propaganda will attempt to direct your focus to the glamorous aspects of battle. Above all, propaganda papers over the fact that this is a war of aggression, that there are home team losses, and that the results are massively bloody.
Propaganda hides the fact that there are virtually no painkillers left in Iraqi hospitals, and that the hundreds or thousands of Iraqi wounded will be operated on without anesthetics. The screams of the Iraqi victims as their limbs are amputated without anesthetics are what propaganda tries with all fervor to drown out.
The propagandists must be pleased, as they have made it possible to demolish a country and to exact on the Iraqi people a horrendous toll – without the American public even noticing.
There is only one antidote against propaganda, and that is a relevant sense of history and a strong collective memory.
When we remember the lessons from the past, and when we remember what happened even a few days ago, then the job of the propagandists and their warmongering bosses, becomes much more difficult. (Paul de Rooij, PalestineChronicle 1-4-2003)

"Dangerous" US wants to take over Arab world

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, whose country is fiercely opposed to the war on Iraq, slammed the United States as "very dangerous" Sunday, saying it wanted to take over the whole Arab world, the Belga news agency said.
Verhofstadt, in an address in Antwerp to his party which is preparing for legislative elections, reiterated his disagreement with the "logic" of the US administration.
"America is a deeply hurt power which has...become very dangerous (and) which thinks that it must take over the whole Arab world," he told a meeting of his liberal VLD party, Belga said...
He added that, however the war on Iraq turns out, everything must be done to restore the international legal framework which has been shaken by the crisis which preceded the conflict, Belga said. But he also called for efforts to bridge the transatlantic gulf opened up by the Iraq crisis, saying that NATO should be built on two equal pillars, America and Europe. (SyriaTimes, 31-3-2003)

US Draws Up Secret Plan To Impose New Regime On Iraq

A disagreement has broken out at a senior level within the Bush administration over a new government that the US is secretly planning in Kuwait to rule Iraq in the immediate period after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Under the plan, the government will consist of 23 ministries, each headed by an American. Every ministry will also have four Iraqi advisers appointed by the Americans.
The government will take over Iraq city by city. Areas declared "liberated" by General Tommy Franks will be transferred to the temporary government under the overall control of Jay Garner, the former US general appointed to head a military occupation of Iraq.
Decisions on the government's composition appear to be entirely in US hands, particularly those of Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence.
The most controversial of Mr Wolfowitz's proposed appointees is Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the opposition Iraqi National Congress, together with his close associates, including his nephew.
During his years in exile, Mr Chalabi has cultivated links with Congress to raise funds, and has become the Pentagon's darling among the Iraqi opposition. The defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, is one of his strongest supporters. (By Brian Whitaker and Luke Harding, 1-4-2003)

U.S. may suffer 'a lot of casualties' in toppling Saddam

As furious street fighting drew closer to Baghdad, a senior official with the U.S. military command here insisted the United States is willing to suffer "a lot of casualties," if necessary, to achieve its goal of toppling Saddam Hussein's regime.
"We're prepared to pay a very high price," said the Central Command official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Because we are not going to do anything other than ensure that this regime goes away...
And if that means there will be a lot of casualties, then there will be a lot of casualties." (By Craig Gordon, 1-4-2003)

It's Everyone's Duty to Stop This Devastating War
Arab League Has Failed

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa has said that while the chances to end the war on Iraq are meager, working to stop this devastating war was everybody's political duty.
In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat daily, a sister publication of Arab News, he said despite the strong and surprising Iraqi resistance, US and British forces were continuing their push toward Baghdad.
"If Arabs had taken a unified stand, this war would not have taken place. They could have stopped it on the first day if they had stood united," Moussa told the Arabic daily.
He expected that the Arab stand would definitely change if the war continues. "When we have a joint Arab stand at government level, not only at the public level, believe me, the Arabs will have an effective position, quite different from what is happening now," he said.
Moussa said growing Arab weakness was hampering his organization's mission.
"As long as the Arab stand remains weak it will reflect on the Arab League and the future of the Arab community," he added. He stressed the need for restructuring the Arab system.
"The Arab League will not be able to continue in the present form. The Arab system as a whole must be reviewed and this requires consensus of opinion."
Moussa hoped that the war would help bring about a new and stronger Arab organization, just as World War II had seen the launch of the United Nations. (Abdullatif Al-Mannawi, Arab News 2-4-2003)

Annan Says All Sides Will Lose In Iraq War

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday that that he saw no chance of an immediate cease-fire in the U.S.-led war in Iraq and warned all sides that they would end up as losers.
"I have always said that war is a human catastrophe and everyone will emerge a loser. I am pained by all that has happened," he said.
Annan said he could not say how long the war would last and reiterated that the legitimacy of the U.S.-led war was questionable. Washington and London failed to persuade the Security Council last month to sanction an invasion.
"I have made it clear that we would have preferred a peaceful solution and not to be forced to see what we see happening today," he said. ( 2-4-2003)

Baath Will Survive’ Saddam’s Downfall

The Jordanian Baath Party is alive and well in Amman, and has ties to all Baath parties in the region — including Iraq.
Arab News spoke to Tayseer Al-Himsei, the party’s secretary general, at the Amman basement office of the party.
“We are a branch of the Baath Party which was founded in 1947, and we were here long before it was ever established in Iraq,” he said.
The Baath Party grew from an underground movement and was officially established in Damascus in the 1940s.
Al-Himsei said the Jordanian Baath Party is tied to its counterpart in Iraq by the same ideology and vision. “But there are no official exchanges with our Iraqi counterparts, and we do not have any influence on their decision-making process. The Jordanian Baath Party is only a political party and is not involved in any military operations,” he added.
Arab News asked the big question: What will happen to the party if Saddam is removed?
“This party is bigger than one individual,” Al-Himsei insisted. (Arab News, 3-4-2003)

A corrupt plutocracy - George McGovern

Thanks to the most crudely partisan decision in the history of the Supreme Court, the nation has been given a President of painfully limited wisdom and compassion and lacking any sense of the nation's true greatness.
Appearing to enjoy his role as Commander in Chief of the armed forces above all other functions of his office, and unchecked by a seemingly timid Congress, a compliant Supreme Court, a largely subservient press and a corrupt corporate plutocracy, George W. Bush has set the nation on a course for one-man rule.
He treads carelessly on the Bill of Rights, the United Nations and international law while creating a costly but largely useless new federal bureaucracy loosely called "Homeland Security."
Meanwhile, such fundamental building blocks of national security as full employment and a strong labor movement are of no concern. The nearly $1.5 trillion tax giveaway, largely for the further enrichment of those already rich, will have to be made up by cutting government services and shifting a larger share of the tax burden to workers and the elderly.
The invasion of Iraq and other costly wars now being planned in secret are fattening the ever-growing military-industrial complex of which President Eisenhower warned in his great farewell address.
War profits are booming, as is the case in all wars. While young Americans die, profits go up. But our economy is not booming, and our stock market is not booming. Our wages and incomes are not booming.
While waging a war against Iraq, the Bush Administration is waging another war against the well-being of America. (The Nation 3-4-2003)

US Bans France, Germany From Rebuilding Iraq

The House of Representatives has passed a supplementary budget amendment excluding France, Germany, Russia and Syria from taking part in US-funded reconstruction bids in Iraq, because they opposed the US-led war in Iraq.
Proposed by Minnesota congressman Mark Kennedy, a Republican unrelated to the famous Kennedy clan, and passed by show of hands late on Thursday, the measure would even bar access by the four countries to information on reconstruction bids in Iraq.
The Kennedy amendment stipulated "that none of the funds made available in the bill for reconstruction efforts in Iraq may be used to procure goods or services from any entity that includes information on a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) that indicates that such entity is organised under the laws of France, Germany, the Russian Federation, or Syria."
A similar amendment from Washington state congressman George Nethercutt, also Republican, that included China, was voted down.
"This amendment sends a signal to our allies that we appreciate those who support us in our time of need and remember those that have sought to thwart coalition efforts to defeat Saddam Hussein's regime," Nethercutt said of his measure.
"The coalition of the unwilling should not participate in reconstruction with US tax dollars," he added. (By Hassan Hafidh, 4-4-2003)

450 U.S., 4,000 Iraqi Troops Killed

The Iraqi Army has shot down 11 aircraft and 14 helicopters and destroyed 165 tanks and armored vehicles of the invading forces, killing 450 and wounding 730, said a high-ranking Iranian military spokesman on Sunday, quoting sources in Iraq.
"U.S. forces are not in Baghdad and invading forces have not managed to complete their siege of the Iraqi capital," General Alireza Afshar, the deputy for information of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, told the Fars News Agency. "In the south and west, U.S. forces are on the 8-10 kms perimeter of Baghdad. They have not approached the city from the north."
Afshar added that forty percent of the Iraqi Army has become ineffective. "It has lost 600 tanks, 150 cannon, and 4,000 Iraqi troops have been killed, 6,000 injured, and 5,500 have been captured or have surrendered."
He added that U.S. and British officials were misinformed and had mistakenly believed that they were going to be welcomed by Iraqis. Afshar warned that escalation of the war would have terrible results, saying, "Considering the current condition of Iraqi cities, there will be a massive humanitarian catastrophe." (Teheran Times 6-4-2003)

Dictatorship exchanged for occupation,

If it appears to Iraqis that they have exchanged dictatorship for occupation, no amount of prosperity will soften their bitterness and anger. On the wider Arab front, there will be similar anger.
Nothing raises Arab hackles more furiously than occupation. It is the dirty word in the Arab political dictionary. Arabs have had to fight it for centuries.
Occupation is what Israel is all about, which is why the average Arab on the street is so implacably opposed to anything to do with Israel. Arabs will not tolerate the return of occupation elsewhere. Washington must accept Iraqi faces in the running of the country very quickly or reap the dire consequences of Iraq and an Arab world united in joint, implacable hostility toward it.
There has to be an interim Iraqi-run administration at the soonest. It may be that American forces stay on in Iraq for a couple of years, as suggested by Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the exiled opposition National Iraq Congress leader and the man tipped to succeed Saddam Hussein; that is a different matter. But a US military administration will not do. It will backfire. It will provide the best recruitment drive anti-US terrorists have ever hand. In which case, there will be no winners to this war at all. Thousands of lives will have been wasted for nothing. That will only make Arabs even more bitter. (Arab News, 8-4-2003)

9 april 2003: Baghdad Falls
Iraqi ambassador to United Nations: 'The game is over'

"The game is over," Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations said Wednesday, and expressed hope that the Iraqi people will be able to live in peace.
Mohammed Al-Douri's comments to reporters outside his residence were the first admission by an Iraqi official that U.S.-led forces had overwhelmed Iraqi forces after a three-week campaign.
"My work now is peace," he said. "The game is over and I hope the peace will prevail. I hope the Iraqi people will have a happy life." (Haaretz 9-4-2003)

Saddam Hussein 1997: "An Arab should realize that
his belongingness to the Arab nation is a great honour"

"It is essential for an Arab to realize and feel that he is an integral part of his nation and that this nation is a great nation.
He should realize that any Arab country, large or small, is an integral part of this nation and not the entire nation.
An Arab should also realize that his belongingness to the Arab nation is a great honour because this belongingness confirms his roots. This belongingness is not a defect of him, but an ability, effective and deep capability. It is not a burden.

The unity in which we believe, about which we talk and for which we call, is not a passive, inevitable integration of the Arab countries which eliminate their cherished and necessary characteristics, but rather it is a glorious and ample framework for interaction and great becoming which expresses the nation's capabilities, destiny and its looking for what is higher, superior and the best.
The Arabs may agree, within the framework of their Unity, to establish different economic systems, but those systems will not contradict each other in terms of the objective and outcome. They will supplement each other by their steps and actions. All of them will contribute to the growth of capabilities within the society of unity in which tranquillity and justice will prevail. (Saddam Hussein, 10-9-1997)

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