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Big Oil pushes the White House for a war with Iraq
greenpeace.org - Never has there been a better time to be an oil baron. The car-owning masses of the world pay whatever it takes to fill their tanks. The money flows so freely it can buy and sell even the most destructive environmental policy. And if interests are threatened, just ask your old friend George to rally the troops and march into war. We'd just like to ask: after US$200 billion and unknown military and civilian casualties, will the world be a safer place? Or just an even better place to be an oil baron?
Sticky oil connections
Ever since former oil-man George W. Bush came to the White House, well before September 11th, his administration was announcing that the US faced an energy-supply crisis. Although there is little evidence to support this, Bush made it a cornerstone of his policies.
Coincidentally, Iraq has the second largest proven reserves of oil in the world, but its production has been severely reduced since the Gulf War, due to effects of economic sanctions and the destruction of infrastructure. Rebuilding that infrastructure and increasing production will take years. Oil executives hungrily eyeing those reserves are enthusiastic to take on that work.
And they've never had such close ties to the White House. For Vice President Dick Cheney, this may well be round two for his post-war dealings with Iraq. Cheney is a former head of Halliburton, the world's largest oil service contractor. In August 2000 Cheney publicly stated that, as the head of Halliburton, "I had a firm policy that I wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal." And yet, as the Financial Times eventually proved, Cheney oversaw $23.8 million in sales to Iraq in 1998 and 1999.
President George W. Bush's oil company ties go back to his grandfather. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice sat on the board of Chevron, and recently had a tanker named after her. (Find out about more "Big Oil" links to the White house from Salon.com.)
Top oil analyst Dr. JJ Traynor of Deutsche Bank sees the US's largest and undoubtedly most politically influential company, ExxonMobil, as being in "pole position" to take full advantage of a regime change in Iraq. (Find out more from www.stopesso.com. )
ExxonMobil has worked hard to ensure demand for oil by pressuring the US government into abandoning its commitments to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. During the 2000 election cycle, ExxonMobil gave $1,375,250 to political campaigns - second only to Enron among oil and gas company campaign contributions. Of this total, 89 percent went to Republican candidates. By undermining efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ExxonMobil prolongs US's oil dependence and prolongs its entanglements with often politically unstable oil producing countries.
However, unlike its French, Russian and Chinese counterparts, ExxonMobil, the world's biggest oil company, has had to stay away from Iraq due to the US political situation in the last ten years. Exxon previously owned 25 percent of Iraqi oil fields and a new war with Iraq would again open up access to Iraq?s large oil reserves.
Holes in Bush's cover story for the war
Though it's no secret that the White House cozies up to oil executives, declaring war on Iraq required a bit of a cover story. The "War on Terror" launched in the wake of September 11th was the perfect vehicle. With the world reeling from the threat of more chaos and destruction, Iraq was quietly slipped into key speeches. Bush quickly diverted attention from Osama Bin Laden to Saddam Hussein and now the hunt is on for his weapons of mass destruction.
The US is prepared to negotiate with North Korea, which has a known capacity to develop nuclear weapons, domestic sources of enriched uranium and production capability for plutonium. But the US is preparing to invade Iraq -- despite the absence of evidence of any nuclear weapons program.
Bush calls them both "evildoer" states, so why the double standard?
A quick look at the US's own policies on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) quickly dispels their argument for using WMD as a determining factor for a war with Iraq.
As a signer of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the US has a legal obligation to reduce it's nuclear arsenal, stop nuclear testing, and negotiate a binding a treaty on nuclear disarmament under strict international control. However, the current US administration is increasing its budget to build nuclear weapons, scrapping existing disarmament treaties, and restarting nuclear tests.
One of the first acts of the Bush administration was to slash funding for programs safeguarding and destroying nuclear weapons and materials in the countries of the former Soviet Union almost 21 percent while increasing nuclear weapons funding by almost 5 percent.
The Bush administration's prevalent tendency to ignore, abandon, or destroy international treaties is especially evident with regard to arms-limitation agreements:
-- In December 2001, President Bush torpedoed talks to give the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) real force. A last minute refusal after five years of negotiations infuriated negotiating countries.
-- At the NPT review conference in 2000, the US and the other signatories agreed to end nuclear weapons testing by bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force as the first of 13 specific disarmament commitments. Shortly thereafter, the US Senate announced disapproval of the treaty. Last year the US said it no longer agreed with the additional commitments, putting the Non-Proliferation Treaty's future in jeopardy.
-- The Bush administration has also reneged on an additional commitment to strengthen the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty by pursuing its Star Wars missile defence programme. The programme is one of the primary reasons that international talks to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction have not progressed for the last three years. It also provides an excuse for other nations to improve and increase their nuclear arsenals.
Overall, Bush's weapons of mass destruction policy is arbitrary, hypocritical, and inconsistent. The world desperately needs a multinational and fair approach to the elimination of weapons of mass destruction. A war with Iraq will only serve to strengthen the existing hypocrisy.
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posted by West 10:17 PM
Pakistan Rejects U.S. Military Claim to Cross-Border Raid Rights
ISLAMABAD, January 3 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) - Pakistan's Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat Friday, January 3, rejected the U.S. military's statement that it was allowed to pursue attackers of its forces in Afghanistan into neighboring Pakistan. "There is no room or legal sanctions for any cross-border operation by U.S. forces to pursue fugitives into Pakistani territory. We have no such policy," Hayat told Agence France-Presse (AFP). "There is no question of allowing any hot pursuit into our territory," he said. Another senior Pakistani official, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid, also reacted sharply to the hot pursuit claims. "We would like to remind them (U.S. military) that we are perfectly capable of securing our borders and the question of allowing any foreign troops into Pakistani territory does not even arise," Rashid told AFP.
U.S. Says It Could Pursue Attackers into Pakistan
On Thursday, January 2, the U.S. military said its troops may pursue attackers into war-on-terror ally Pakistan from within Afghanistan if they come under fire from "hostile forces" along the border. "U.S. forces acknowledge the internationally recognized boundaries of Afghanistan, but may pursue attackers who attempt to escape into Pakistan to evade capture or retaliation," the U.S. military said in a press statement. "This is done with the express consent of the Pakistani government... We continue to operate, and have the freedom to operate where we choose." The revelation came as the U.S. military sought to clarify events surrounding a December 29 clash between its soldiers in Afghanistan and a Pakistani border guard that led to a U.S. warplane bombing a religious school which Islamabad says is in Pakistani territory. The statement said last weekend's operation, in which a U.S. soldier was wounded when he was shot in the head by a Pakistani border guard [[[wait a minute...wasn't it reported in the mass-media news here that he was shot by Afghanie resistance fighters??? No one mentioned Pakistani border guards, did they???]]], was "in response to attacks made by hostile forces."
"In view of the close cooperation [between US and Pakistani forces], there is no question of allowing any hot pursuit into our territory."
*****Now lets stop for a moment and get a grip...SOMEONE is lying.*****
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 8:11 AM
Leaflets Urging War On U.S. Forces Flood Pakistani Border Town
CHAMAN, Pakistan, January 31 (IslamOnline & News Agencies) -
Hand-written leaflets urging attacks against U.S. troops and their local supporters have been distributed in this Pakistani town on the borders with Afghanistan, witnesses said Friday, January 31. "God willing, guerrilla attacks will soon be launched on Americans and their lackeys," said one of the photocopied Pashtu-language pamphlets obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP). Witnesses saw “bearded” men handing out the leaflets in mosques around Chaman on Wednesday and Thursday, AFP said. "The time is very critical, so all Muslims should forge unity and extend their support to us by joining the jihad (holy war)," the pamphlets urged. Addressed to "our Pashtun brothers" and signed by a group calling itself 'Al-Qaeda-Al-Jahad', they made direct threats against Afghans providing the U.S. troops with intelligence on remnant al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. "We warn the lackeys of Americans that they should give up their support and stop cruelties on young Taliban, who were arrested to please the lackeys' (American) fathers," the pamphlets said.
****If the US/Allied Commands are vexed by these developments, they should consider what this type of resistence is going to be like in a region (Iraq) where there is considerably more direct financial support for the resistance fighters. Viet Nam is going to seem like a Sunday school picnic compared to this. How does Dubya think he is going to contain and placate a billion pissed off Muslims? And how many of those PO'd Muslims are now living within the borders of the US? INS has no idea... Add to that the report from the BBC that British forces have found proof that Al-Qaeda built a dirty-bomb...(but they don't know where it is now...) I've lived in FLorida for a while now but am thinking that northern Canada is looking mighty fine right about now...But, that's just this old Curmudgeon's opinion...******
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 7:58 AM
An engineered crisis
(Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, January 27, 2003)
How has it come about? And why now? . . . In 1990 at least, the issue was clear: Iraq had invaded a sovereign state (Kuwait) and could not be allowed to get away with it. . . . Since then, Iraq has done little to cause offence, though there are many things that it might have done to redeem itself. . . . Overall, whatever military threat Iraq presents, it is no greater now than it was when UN weapons inspectors first started their work in the early 1990s and is almost certainly a great deal less. Essentially, the weapons at the centre of the current furore are the relatively small number of items that were still unaccounted for when the inspectors pulled out under pressure from Iraq in 1998. On the nuclear front, the best that the White House website can come up with is a one-line statement that Iraq's declaration to the UN last month "ignores efforts to procure uranium from abroad". . . . Until quite recently the prevailing view in Washington was that any danger from Iraq could be effectively contained - as, indeed, it has been for the last decade or so. . . . What this amounts to is an engineered crisis that is driven from Washington rather than Baghdad. It began with the election of George Bush and a noticeably harder line on Iraq almost from the moment he took office. Since then it has hardened further as the neo-conservative hawks have gained predominance . . . Those who say that oil lies at the root of it are right up to a point, but it is not simply a matter of grabbing Iraqi oil. The neo-conservatives see Iraqi oil as a political weapon which can be used to undermine Saudi Arabia's influence and thus promote their grand design for reshaping the entire Middle East. . . . "I don't see how this administration thinks it can build a policy for war, preventive war, that would be accepted by our allies and by American citizens on the basis of 'We've got the info; we can't tell you how we got it or where we got it; we've got it, trust us.' And isn't that a foolish and ultimately self-destructive way for this administration to proceed?" . Mr Wolfowitz answered: "I must say I sort of find it astonishing that the issue is whether you can trust the US government. The real issue is, can you trust Saddam Hussein?" . . . Certainly no one in their right mind would trust the Iraqi leader. But that does not mean they have to trust Mr Wolfowitz and the US government either.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:20 PM
U.S. Intends to Plunder Iraqi Oil Reserves
(Larry Elliott, The Guardian, January 27, 2003)
Despite what Colin Powell might say, it takes a trusting, nay naive, soul to imagine that the White House would be making all this fuss were it not that Iraq has something the US needs. There are plenty of small, repressive states in the world - Zimbabwe for one - where the regimes are being allowed to quietly kill and torture their people. There are plenty of small, repressive states with weapons of mass destruction - North Korea, for example - which appear to pose a larger and more immediate threat to international security. But only with Iraq do you get a small, repressive country with weapons of mass destruction that also happens to be floating on oil. . . . Moreover, the realities of oil dependency are catching up with the world's biggest economy. The US has long ceased to be self-sufficient in oil and, as the recent shutdown of Venezuela's refineries has proved, is therefore vulnerable to its imported supplies being cut off. The growing imbalance between the global demand for oil and discoveries of fresh supplies means that the outlook for the US is even more troubling than it appears. As the director of ExxonMobil, Harry Longwell, admitted in an article for World Energy last year, the discovery of oil peaked in the mid-1960s but demand is expected to continue growing by 2% a year - or the world is sucking oil out of the ground faster than corporations are finding it. . . . The seizure intact of Iraqi oil fields is a prime war aim of the US in any conflict, and it is likely that once Saddam has been toppled and an army of occupation has control of the country, the big oil companies will be called in to modernise the country's decrepit oil infrastructure. There have been reports in the Wall Street Journal, denied by the administration, that Dick Cheney held discussions last October with ExxonMobil and other firms about the rehabilitation of Iraq's oil industry. It stretches credulity somewhat to imagine that the subject has never been broached. . . . But while the Bush strategy has its rationale, it is fraught with risks. One is that the war will not lead to the collapse in oil prices that is predicted by the hawks in Washington. Should the conflict follow the example of 1991, crude could fall quickly to around $20 a barrel. Or prices could hit $50 a barrel if Saddam torches the Iraqi fields and manages to land a couple of Scuds on refineries in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. . . . Worryingly for Bush, there have already been signs that investors in the Gulf states have been withdrawing their assets from the US, helping to keep shares on Wall Street depressed and contributing in no small measure to the dollar's recent fall. This would turn into a rout should the oil-producing states decide that crude should be denominated in euros rather than greenbacks, a development that has already been canvassed publicly by Opec. . . . The real lesson of the struggle against Iraq is that the depletion of non-renewable energy resources is a problem that will be persist long after the butcher of Baghdad is dead and buried.
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posted by Lorenzo 1:22 PM
Inspectors fail to find smoking gun
(Sarah Left and Mark Oliver, The Guardian, January 27, 2003)
In a plain-speaking and detailed speech, the head of the UN weapons inspection team, Hans Blix, today provided no "smoking gun" that would indicate Iraq has built up an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, but said that obstructions, inconsistencies and unanswered questions showed Iraq was not fully cooperating with inspectors. . . . "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it," he told the security council. . . . The US ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, immediately responded that he saw no evidence that Iraq will comply with UN resolutions. . . . Mr Blix's findings will probably not be enough to provide security council members China, France and Russia with a casus belli. They have all publicly favoured allowing more time for weapons inspections. . . . Making a diplomatic plea to continue his work, Mr Blix noted that the previous inspection regime destroyed more weapons of mass destruction than the first Gulf war. . . . "Our work is steadily progressing and should be allowed to continue its natural course," Mr El Baradei told the council. "With our verification system now in place, barring exceptional circumstances and providing there is sustained, proactive cooperation by Iraq, we should be able in the next few months to provide credible assurance that Iraq has no nuclear weapon programme. . . . "These few months in my view would be a valuable investment in peace because it would help us avoid a war," he said.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:47 PM
Germany To Oppose Iraq War in U.N.
Distancing himself further from his American allies, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder ended all doubts late Tuesday about his views on a possible U.N. resolution authorizing a war against Iraq and asserted that his country would definitely vote against any such measure in the U.N. Security Council. . . . Schröder said he had told the government of French President Jacques Chirac: "Do not expect Germany to vote in favor of a U.N. resolution that legitimizes a war against Iraq. Just do not expect it." . . . At Wednesday´s ceremonies, Chirac also indicated that he also opposed a war, saying France and Germany shared the same position on the issue. The statement raised the possibility that France could use its veto in the Security Council to block a resolution on the issue, a power that Germany as one of the rotating members does not have. . . . Schröder´s position is likely to further upset members of the Bush administration, who were angered by the German chancellor last summer as he used his anti-war stance as a cornerstone of his re-election campaign. But his position seems to reflect views held by the nation´s citizens. According to one survey, 69 percent of Germans say the country should vote against any Security Council resolution authorizing a war against Iraq.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:08 PM
Blair Urges Bush to Put Iraq War on Hold
(Bill Jacobs, Edinburg News, 9 January 2003)
TONY BLAIR is urging US President George W Bush to delay any war against Iraq until the autumn to give UN weapons inspectors more time to obtain clear evidence of Saddam Hussein's secret attempt to build up an illegal arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. . . . The Prime Minister believes a spring offensive would be premature and would not get the support of the United Nations Security Council. . . . Up to 100 Labour backbenchers are ready to rebel and vote against the Government if the war starts without UN backing. And some junior ministers are understood to be ready to resign if that is the case. . . . It has been expected that if the UK and US do go to war, they would do it in the spring before the heat makes military action impossible. . . . But now Mr Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw are urging Washington to hold off till the autumn. They feel that with the weapons inspectors in Iraq and the massive military build-up in the Gulf, Saddam can pose little threat over the summer. . . . One Cabinet minister underlined the growing case for delay, saying: "At the moment there is no justification for going to war and the whole Cabinet feels that way." . . . "Labour MPs don't trust George Bush and wonder why Tony is so close to him."
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posted by Lorenzo 1:10 PM
US set to win battle over Iraqi scientists, Interviews in Cyprus could provide trigger for war
(Helena Smith and Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, January 10, 2003)
Iraqi scientists whose evidence could provide Washington with a trigger for war are to be whisked out of the country soon to a neutral venue, Cyprus. . . . The dilemma for the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, is that if he allows a scientist out to blow the whistle on a banned weapons programme, it could lead to war, but if Iraq were to block their departure, that too could be the cause of all-out conflict. . . . Ominously, the Iraqi government, which claims it has destroyed all banned weapons, insisted yesterday it did not expect any scientist would volunteer to leave. . . . That time, he said, was likely to be soon. "If Mr Blix is to be fully debriefed in time to write up his report by January 27, then it is our guess the Iraqi scientists will arrive in Cyprus in the coming days." . . . The US has offered the equivalent of a witness protection programme, in which scientists and their families would be given new identities and a new life in the US in return for giving evidence. Iraq has accused the US of trying to bribe scientists into giving false evidence.
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posted by Lorenzo 7:12 PM
U.S. Says Knows 'For a Fact' Iraq Has Weapons...because the U.S. Reagan/Bush administration delivered them (biological and chemical weapons and nuclear components) to Iraq in the 1980s!
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posted by Hal 3:48 PM
Leave Iraq Alone
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Yes, Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator, but despite more than 10 years of sanctions and bombing that have kept Iraqis on the verge of starvation and killed multitudes of them, he still has refrained from employing weapons of mass destruction against the United States. Even the CIA, which the elder Bush once headed, holds that Saddam is not an immediate threat to the United States.
Among the many possible justifications the president has presented for invading Iraq is that Saddam Hussein intends to use weapons of mass destruction on the United States in the immediate future because he hates America for its “freedom and values.” That appears to be the most popularly accepted reason among the American masses and the mainstream press for supporting an invasion of Iraq.
As the mainstream media is now reporting, the Reagan-Bush regime delivered biological and chemical weapons and nuclear components to Saddam during the 1980s, including anthrax.
Ask yourself: Would Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush really have delivered such weapons to a person who hated America for its “freedom and values” and who intended to employ them against the United States? Not very likely.
If the elder Bush had truly believed that there was even a remote possibility that Saddam would utilize the biological and chemical weaponry against the United States that he and Reagan had delivered to him, don’t you think that he would have ordered U.S. troops to march all the way to Baghdad to capture or kill Saddam after ousting Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991? After all, he had the perfect excuse to do so, since the United Nations (and the United States) was already at war against Iraq.
But instead, he left Saddam in power. Is that something a U.S. president would do with someone who intended to bomb American cities with biological, chemical, or nuclear weaponry? How likely is that?
The truth is that despite the fact that all during the Gulf War (and before) Saddam obviously had the biological and chemical weaponry that Reagan and the elder Bush had provided him, he has never employed it against Americans, either against U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf War or here domestically through terrorist agents.
Keep in mind: Assuming that he still has biological and chemical weaponry, as the current President Bush maintains, Saddam has had more than 15 years to get those weapons into the hands of a terrorist agent to deliver to the United States and employ them against the American people. Yet he obviously has not done that. Why not, given the president’s claim that Saddam hates the United States for its “freedom and values” and intends to use his weaponry at any moment? Could President Bush’s current judgment about Saddam be wrong?
That’s not to say that Saddam Hussein and, for that matter, all Iraqis don’t have good reason to hate the United States. They do, but it has nothing to do with America’s “freedom and values.” Instead, it has everything to do with the U.S. government’s bombs, embargoes, and interventions which are distinguishable from the “freedom and values” that most people think about when they think about America.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Gulf War never actually ended. It never ended because the U.S. government never stopped waging war against Iraq and has, in fact, continued waging war against that nation for more than 10 years.
First, there were the UN sanctions against Iraq, which were promulgated, pushed, and enforced at the instigation of the U.S. government. The impact of sanctions has fallen most heavily on the civilian population. While there are disputes over the numbers of Iraqi children who have died because of the sanctions, the estimates range from 500,000 to more than a million. What we do know is that at least three high UN officials resigned their posts because of a crisis of conscience over the large number of deaths resulting from the sanctions.
The truth is that both Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial rule and the sanctions have worked in concert to kill all those Iraqi children. While there wasn’t a formal partnership between the U.S. government and Saddam to kill the children. Both the U.S. government and Saddam Hussein, jointly and separately, bear moral responsibility for the deaths and for the impoverishment of the Iraqi people since the technical end of the Gulf War.
Unfortunately, the American people, by and large, have yet to confront and come to grips with the moral implications of their own government’s furnishing anthrax and other biological and chemical weapons, nuclear components, and cluster bombs to Saddam Hussein for the express purpose of using them to kill others. If it’s evil to use such weapons against others, why isn’t it equally evil to furnish them with the intent that they be used in that manner?
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posted by Hal 7:23 AM
The Lies We Are Told About Iraq
Pentagon propaganda got us into the first Gulf War. Will we be fooled a second time?
The Bush administration's confrontation with Iraq is as much a contest of credibility as it is of military force. Washington claims that Baghdad harbors ambitions of aggression, continues to develop and stockpile weapons of mass destruction and maintains ties to Al Qaeda. Lacking solid evidence, the public must weigh Saddam Hussein's penchant for lies against the administration's own record.
The first Bush administration, which featured Dick Cheney, Paul D. Wolfowitz and Colin L. Powell at the Pentagon, systematically misrepresented the cause of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the nature of Iraq's conduct in Kuwait and the cost of the Persian Gulf War. Like the second Bush administration, it cynically used the confrontation to justify a more expansive and militaristic foreign policy in the post-Vietnam era.
The administration leaked reports that tens of thousands of Iraqi troops were massing on the border of Saudi Arabia in preparation for an invasion of the world's major oil fields. The globe's industrial economies would be held hostage if Iraq succeeded.
The reality was different. Two Soviet satellite photos obtained by the St. Petersburg Times raised questions about such a buildup of Iraqi troops. Neither the CIA nor the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency viewed an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia as probable. The administration's estimate of Iraqi troop strength was also grossly exaggerated. After the war, Newsday's Susan Sachs called Iraq the "phantom enemy": "The bulk of the mighty Iraqi army, said to number more than 500,000 in Kuwait and southern Iraq, couldn't be found."
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posted by Hal 7:06 AM
UN Prepares for Huge Iraqi Casualties
(7 January 2003)
Humanitarian Effects of War Could be Grave
Up to 500,000 people could suffer serious injuries during the first phase of an attack on Iraq, a confidential United Nations report says. . . . That includes up to 100,000 wounded in combat, and another 400,000 hurt in the devastation expected during any US-led attack on Iraq. . . . The BBC UN correspondent says the United Nations has been somewhat embarrassed by the revelation of the details of its contingency planning, given that the exercise could be interpreted as an assumption that military action against Iraq is almost inevitable. . . . Almost a million might flee Iraq, says the report . . . They portray the Iraqi population of just over 26 million people as highly vulnerable to any action that would disrupt basic services, such as water, and electricity supplies and damage transport by road or rail. . . . Unlike the situation prior to military intervention in Iraq in 1991, the reports says that in the present day many Iraqi people have exhausted their reserves of cash and material assets. . . . The normal safety nets have disappeared and this relatively sophisticated and urbanised population could struggle to cope in the face of a major military attack. . . . The UN reports suggests that up to 10 million Iraqis may require assistance in the immediate aftermath of military intervention. . . . There are also concerns that military action would cause a huge refugee problem, with almost a million likely to flee to neighbouring countries. . . . Of these, 100,000 would need immediate assistance, the UN estimates. . . . There could be another two million internally displaced people. Relief agencies would find it very hard to offer them aid, if fighting was continuing, UN planners say. . . . "The outbreak of diseases in epidemic if not pandemic proportions is very likely," the report warns.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:35 PM
Some administration officials expressing misgivings on Iraq
(Warren P. Strobel and Jonathan S. Landay, Knight-Rider Tribune News, October 8, 2002)
While President Bush marshals congressional and international support for invading Iraq, a growing number of military officers, intelligence professionals and diplomats in his own government privately have deep misgivings about the administration's double-time march toward war. . . . These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses -- including distorting his links to the al-Qaida terrorist network -- have overstated the amount of international support for attacking Iraq and have downplayed the potential repercussions of a new war in the Middle East. . . . "Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books," said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity. A dozen other officials echoed his views in interviews. No one who was interviewed disagreed. . . . In fact, the officials said, there's no ironclad evidence that the Iraqi regime and the terrorist network are working together or that Saddam has ever contemplated giving chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaida, with whom he has deep ideological differences. . . . None of the dissenting officials, who work in a number of different agencies, would agree to speak publicly, out of fear of retribution. . . . they say, the U.S. government has no dramatic new knowledge about the Iraqi leader that justifies Bush's urgent call to arms.
[NOTE: Sweden is now offering asylum and financial assistance to U.S. officials (and their families) who are willing to expose the Big Lie that the Bush-Cheney junta is forcing down the throats of the American public. See Sweden offers free speech refuge to U.S. officials for details.]
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posted by Lorenzo 10:02 AM
Jan. 18 NATIONAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON to demand:
NO WAR AGAINST IRAQ ELIMINATE U.S. WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
When Congress rejects the will of the people, the people must act themselves. Congress has rubber-stamped Bush's criminal war that seeks to conquer the oil, land and resources of the Middle East. Bush and Congress have shown that they represent the interests of Corporate America rather than the people of the United States. . . . A people's movement is growing to stop them. Tens of thousands of people will participate in mass protest activities on the Martin Luther King Jr. anniversary weekend. . . . Dr. King publicly condemned the U.S. war in Vietnam, provid-ing a powerful connection between the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement. In his “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Church in 1967, he stated, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government. ...[F]or the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.” . . . Dr. King believed that it was impossible to successfully wage a war on poverty at home while waging a war of aggression in Vietnam. The same can be said today about George W. Bush's global war drive. Social programs and services are being looted as Bush and Congress provide record-breaking sums for weapons of mass destruction and war. . . . The thousands of people who are coming to Washington, D.C., honor Dr. King and his legacy by opposing another criminal war--this time in the Middle East--and by demanding instead that these hundreds of billions of dollars be spent on jobs, education, housing, healthcare and to meet human needs.
[Click on link above for full SCENARIO & POLITICS OF JAN. 18]
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posted by Lorenzo 1:33 PM
Undercover war begins as US forces enter Iraq - smh.com.au
(John Donnelly and Tom Allard, smh.com, January 6, 2003)
About 100 United States special forces personnel and more than 50 CIA officers have been inside Iraq for at least four months, looking for missile-launchers, monitoring oil fields, marking minefields and helping their pilots target air-defence systems. . . . This is despite the Bush Administration agreeing to the schedule of United Nations weapons inspections. . . . The action by US and British special forces in Iraq breaches international law because it is not sanctioned by the UN. . . . War preparations have been in full swing for months. The Pentagon says 60,000 troops are in the Gulf region, and that number could double in coming weeks. . . . We're bombing practically every day as we patrol the no-fly zones, taking out air defence batteries, and there are all kinds of CIA and special forces operations going on," said Timur Eads, a former US special operations officer. "I would call it the beginning of a war." . . . "Certainly, the Arab world and the Islamic world would see it as being inconsistent with the weapons inspections, as well as an infringement on Iraq's sovereignty."
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posted by Lorenzo 7:14 AM
If only he would listen, this could be Blair's finest hour
(Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian, January 6, 2003)
Telegrams from British embassies and missions around the world are urging Tony Blair to step up pressure on President Bush to pull back from a war against Iraq. In what amounts to a collective cri de coeur, our envoys are warning of the potentially devastating consequences of such an adventure, including its impact on a greater threat than Saddam Hussein: al-Qaida-inspired terrorism. . . . This, our diplomats suggest, could be one of Blair's - and Britain's - finest hours, a unique opportunity to make a constructive contribution to world affairs. They also know, not least from American opinion polls, that the Bush administration needs Britain onside. Our contribution would be a token one in military terms, but significant politically. That gives Britain leverage. . . . It is hard to find anyone in Whitehall who supports a war against Iraq and who is not deeply concerned about the influence of the hawks around Bush. . . . The US is corrupting the security council by bribing its permanent members - Russia with dollars, China with trade concessions, France and Britain (if it needs any carrots) with the prospect of oil concessions. And Turkey will be amply rewarded if it allows the US to use its bases for an assault on Iraq. Is this how international relations are going to be conducted among the world's most powerful countries in future? . . . So we come to double standards. While the US demands that Baghdad abide by UN resolutions, it ignores Israel's refusal to do so over the occupied territories. While the US pursues a diplomatic course towards North Korea - a country which has thrown out UN nuclear inspectors - it threatens military action against Iraq, where UN inspectors are busy on the ground. And while the US says international inspectors must investigate the rest of the world to ensure they are not producing chemical or biological weapons, Washington rejects such inspections in the US.
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posted by Lorenzo 12:33 PM
Baghdad's uncensored report to UN names Western companies alleged to have developed its weapons of mass destruction
By Tony Paterson in Berlin - 18 December 2002
Iraq's 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council lists 150 foreign companies, including some from America, Britain, Germany and France, that supported Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme, a German newspaper said yesterday. Berlin's left-wing Die Tageszeitung newspaper said it had seen a copy of the original Iraqi dossier which was vetted for sensitive information by US officials before being handed to the five permanent Security Council members two weeks ago. An edited version was passed to the remaining 10 members of the Security Council last night. British officials said the list of companies appeared to be accurate. Eighty German firms and 24 US companies are reported to have supplied Iraq with equipment and know-how for its weapons programmes from 1975 onwards and in some cases support for Baghdad's conventional arms programme had continued until last year.
The list includes:
A = nuclear weapon program
B = biological weapon program
C = chemical weapon program
R = rocket program
K = conventional weapons, military logistics, supplies at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, and building of military plants
USA - 1. Honeywell (R, K), 2. Spectra Physics (K), 3. Semetex (R), 4. TI Coating (A, K), 5. Unisys (A, K), 6. Sperry Corp. (R, K), 7. Tektronix (R, A), 8. Rockwell (K), 9. Leybold Vacuum Systems (A), 10. Finnigan-MAT-US (A), 11. Hewlett-Packard (A, R, K), 12. Dupont (A), 13. Eastman Kodak (R), 14. American Type Culture Collection (B), 15. Alcolac International (C), 16. Consarc (A), 17. Carl Zeiss - U.S (K), 18. Cerberus (LTD) (A), 19. Electronic Associates (R), 20. International Computer Systems (A, R, K), 21. Bechtel (K), 22. EZ Logic Data Systems, Inc. (R), 23. Canberra Industries Inc. (A), 24. Axel Electronics Inc. (A)
"In addition to these 24 companies home-based in the USA are 50 subsidiaries of foreign enterprises which conducted their arms business with Iraq from within the US. Also designated as suppliers for Iraq's arms programs (A, B, C & R) are the US Ministries of Defense, Energy, Trade and Agriculture as well as the Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories."
China - 1. China Wanbao Engineering Company (A, C, K), 2. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (K), 3. China State Missile Company (R)
France - 1. Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (A), 2. Sciaky (A), 3. Thomson CSF (A, K), 4. Aerospatiale and Matra Espace (R), 5. Cerbag (A), 6. Protec SA (C), 7. Thales Group (A), 8. Societé Général pour les Techniques Nouvelles (A)
Great Britain - 1. Euromac Ltd-Uk (A), 2. C. Plath-Nuclear (A), 3. Endshire Export Marketing (A), 4. International Computer Systems (A, R, K), 5. MEED International (A, C), 6. Walter Somers Ltd. (R), 7. International Computer Limited (A, K), 8. Matrix Churchill Corp. (A), 9. Ali Ashour Daghir (A), 10. International Military Services (R) (part of the UK Ministry of Defence), 11. Sheffield Forgemasters (R), 12. Technology Development Group (R), 13. International Signal and Control (R), 14. Terex Corporation (R), 15. Inwako (A), 16. TMG Engineering (K), 17. XYY Options, Inc (A)
USSR/Russia - 1. Soviet State Missile Co. (R), 2. Niikhism (R), 3. Mars Rotor (R), 4. Livinvest (R), 5. Russia Aviatin Trading House (K), 6. Amsar Trading (K)
Japan - 1. Fanuc (A), 2. Hammamatsu Photonics KK (A), 3. NEC (A), 4. Osaka (A), 5. Waida (A)
The Netherlands - 1.Melchemie B.V. (C), 2. KBS Holland B.V. (C), 3. Delft Instruments N.V. (K)
Belgium - 1. Boehler Edelstahl (A), 2. NU Kraft Mercantile Corporation (C), 3. OIP Instrubel (K), 4. Phillips Petroleum (C), 5. Poudries Réunies Belge SA (R), 6. Sebatra (A), 7. Space Research Corp. (R)
Spain - 1. Donabat (R), 2. Treblam (C), 3. Zayer (A)
Sweden - 1. ABB (A), 2. Saab-Scania (R)
. . . Read more!
posted by An Old Curmudgeon 5:32 AM
By Kéllia Ramares - Online Journal Contributing Editor
While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country . . . —The National Security Strategy of the United States of America
January 4, 2002—"We sentenced Nazi leaders to death for waging a war of aggression," says International Law Professor Francis A. Boyle of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. By contrast, Prof. Boyle wants merely to impeach George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft for their plans to invade Iraq and create a police state in America. Boyle is offering his services as counsel, free of charge, to any member of the House of Representatives willing to sponsor articles of impeachment. He is experienced in this work, having undertaken it in 1991 for the late Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-TX), in an effort to stop the first Persian Gulf War. It takes only one member to introduce articles of impeachment. Of course, it will take many more than that to vote for impeachment, which will culminate in a trial in the Senate. Boyle is confident that, once the articles are introduced, others, including Republicans, will co-sponsor them. But we have to convince our Representatives that impeachment is necessary for the country and politically safe for them. This non-violent, constitutional process may be our best way of stopping World War III and saving our civil rights.
Grounds for Impeachment
Article II Sec. 4 of the Constitution states that: "The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Boyle says that waging a war of aggression is a crime under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles. "It's very clear," he adds, "if you read all the press reports, they are going to devastate Baghdad, a metropolitan area of 5 million people. The Nuremberg Charter clearly says the wanton devastation of a city is a Nuremberg war crime."
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posted by An Old Curmudgeon 4:14 AM