Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Feb 1998 - Special issue

There are 10 messages totalling 1308 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. SOCCER NEWS - United States stuns Brazil in Gold Cup semifinal
2. Selling Violence And Death
3. U S vs I r a q: A S T U D Y I N H Y P O C R I S Y
4. Iraq bombing may lead to shockwave of Arab nationalism
5. End game of a failed and immoral policy
6. Amnesty blasts US denial of due process for executed woman
7. Rights Group Demands Iran Free or Retry Editor
8. The Middle East comic strip
9. Boutros-Ghali speaks out
10. The myths of the Gulf War

SOCCER NEWS - United States stuns Brazil in Gold Cup semifinal

United States stuns Brazil in Gold Cup semifinal

By Steve James

LOS ANGELES, Feb 10<Picture: 1rtrs.gif (289 bytes)> - The United States
beat Brazil for the first time ever on Tuesday, shutting out the world
champions 1-0 in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Serbian-born Preki Radosavijevic hit the winning goal in the 65th minute
after coming on as a substitute in a match that Brazil dominated so much in
the first half they could have had six goals but for the brilliance of
goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

Receiving the ball 25 yards out, the striker known as Preki, fooled
Brazil's Flavio with a sudden turn, then whipped in a vicious shot that
beat a leaping Taffarel into the top right-hand corner of the net.

A first for the U.S.

The goal not only put the Americans in the final of the 10-nation
tournament, but was the first by a U.S. player against Brazil in 68 years.

The Americans had never beaten Brazil in eight matches since 1930. It was
also a morale-booster for the team preparing to take part in its third
consecutive World Cup finals.

A stunned U.S. coach Steve Sampson compared the result to the Americans
beating Colombia in the 1994 World Cup and defeating Argentina in the 1995
Copa America.

"This is a historic moment for the United States," he told reporters. "We
recognize this, but the guys want more.

"It was a phenomenal performance by Kasey Keller and a great strike by
Preki," a beaming Sampson said.

The victory had to be especially sweet for Sampson, whose job was in
jeopardy after the U.S. played to a 1-1 tie against Jamaica in October,
capping a seven-match run marred by inconsistent performances by his team.

U.S. Soccer Federation President Alan Rothenberg effectively put put
Sampson on probation. But he re-hired Sampson in December to coach the team
through the end of the World Cup on July 12.

Keller's saves

The home team will play the winners of Thursday's Mexico- Jamaica match in
the final Sunday of the Gold Cup which is organized by CONCACAF, the
governing body for soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Tuesday's match in front of only 12,298 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum
was a frustrating night for Brazil, which was invited to compete in the
competition, but came up against a red-hot Keller in losing for only the
third time since winning the 1994 World Cup.

In the first half it was all Brazil and the world champions could have
scored six goals, while the Americans struggled to contain them and hardly
threatened Taffarel's goal.

Four times Keller denied Romario -- diving to his right to tip a
close-range shot round the post, smothering a low, angled shot and coming
out to block a close-range volley.

In the 42nd minute an incredulous Romario himself congratulated Keller when
the 'keeper dived to hold a point- blank header that was a certain goal. It
triggered memories of Pele congratulating English goalkeeper Gordon Banks
who made a save from a similar header in the 1970 World Cup.

Keller, who flew in from England on Monday after playing for Leicester City
in the English Premier League on Saturday, also punched out a long-range
rocket from defender Ze Maria and held a 20-yard bullet from Edmundo.

He continued his heroics in the second half after Preki had scored and the
Brazilians swarmed around his goal.

Again the main victim was Romario, who saw Keller block his toe-poke in the
79th minute. Two minutes later, the striker ran on to a through-ball from
Edmundo and actually beat the advancing Keller, but his low shot slithered
inches wide of the post.

It was clearly not to be Brazil's night when three minutes from the end,
substitute Elber's 20-yard shot was tipped round the post by the U.S.

Brazil: Taffarel, Ze Maria, Junior Baiano, Marcelo Goncalves, Mauro da
Silva (Doriva 7th minute), Junior, Edmundo, Flavio (Marcos Santos 71st),
Zinho, Romario, Sergio (Elber 76th)

United States: Kasey Keller, Mike Burns, Eddie Pope, Alexi Lalas, Jeff
Agoos, Frankie Hejduk, John Harkes, Cobi Jones, Joe- Max Moore, Roy Wegerle
(Preki Radosavijevic 60th), Eric Wynalda (Brian McBride 81st)

Selling Violence And Death

Selling Violence And Death

By Colman McCarthy
January 25, 1998; Page X04=20

SPOILS OF WAR The Human Cost of America's Arms Trade
By John Tirman
Free Press. 310 pp. $25

CRITICS of American militarism distinguish between hot violence and cold
violence. Hot is the slaughtering of human beings close up, as in Vietnam
when peasants were shot -- "greased" was the term -- because they may
have been hiding Vietcong. Weapons fire, bloodied bodies drop. Cold
violence occurs when policy or boardroom decisions mean death and
suffering to people well removed by time and geography.

In Spoils of War John Tirman examines with dispassionate resolve and
clarity the mechanics of cold violence -- the specialty of arms
lobbyists, corporate weapons-exporters, pro-military politicians,
Washington policymakers and think-tank rationalizers who are remote from
the gore and madness than can result when America's technology of death
-- fighter jets, attack helicopters, missiles, land mines, tanks, guns --
is profitably sold to client states.

Tirman's reporting, which is rich with historical allusions and
fair-minded analysis of what he calls "the ingrained habits and
shibboleths of the arms business," aligns well with the thought of the
French worker-philosopher Simone Weil in 1945: "Whether the mask is
labeled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great
adversary remains the Apparatus -- the
bureaucracy, the police, the military . . . No matter what the
circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves
to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human
values in ourselves and in others."

In Tirman's mind, such subordination prevails today in the United States:
"In a country now in the grip of a debate over 'values,' it is astounding
that so little heed is given to the values underlying the promiscuous
provision of lethal weaponry."

Tirman, executive director of the Winston Foundation for World Peace in
Washington for the past 10 years, reports that in the mid-1990s the U.S.
weapons industry had a 70 percent market share of sales to Third World

More than $200 billion worth of arms will have been exported by the end
of the decade. With Spoils of War, Tirman joins a worthy list of
independent analysts who, in season and out, keep assembling the facts of
America's modern arms trade. Among them are Seymour Melman, author of The
Permanent War Economy; William Hartung of the World Policy Institute;
Sanford Gottlieb, author of Defense Addiction: Can America Kick the
Habit?; Ruth Sivard and her annual report, World Military and Social
Expenditures; and A. Ernest Fitzgerald, author of High Priests of Waste.

Spoils of War differs journalistically from the toil of those authors by
reporting from the field on how cold violence in the United States
becomes hot violence in the villages of southeastern Turkey. In the name
of quashing Kurdish dissent and guerrillas by military force, which meant
avoiding any compromising to gain political solutions, in recent years
Turkey's military has killed thousands of villagers and displaced 2.5
million. By Tirman's numbers, Ankara's military might as well be a
satellite army of the United States.

>From 1984 to 1993, Turkey received $6 billion in military aid. During
1991 to 1995, Washington supplied four-fifths of Turkey's military

AS A PARTISAN whose moral and political preferences unmistakably favor
nonviolent means of conflict resolution, Tirman is obviously at odds with
the ideas and actions of people in the arms industry and their
legislative backers. His challenge as a writer is to lay out the facts
non-ideologically so that his conclusion -- that the human suffering in
one war zone or another "is a symptom of a systematic malfunction in a
decrepit and morally vacuous American foreign policy" -- cannot be idly
dismissed as just more liberal grousing against militarists.

Seasoned by his many years of work in Washington, Tirman ably meets the
challenge. Strong sentiments are voiced but no shrillness. The impact of
factual and credible information carries his arguments. One of these is
that president after president has not allowed the grisly results of the
arms-export business to dampen support for arms corporations -- Lockheed
Martin, United=
Technologies, Sikorsky, General Dynamics and others -- that sell abroad.

It may surprise some readers that Jimmy Carter was one of the=20
enthusiasts. As a candidate in June 1976, Tirman reports, Carter
preached: "We cannot be both the world's leading champion of peace and
the world's leading supplier of the weapons of war." Once he was elected,
however, the fervor vanished. Early in his presidency, Tirman writes,
Carter "approved the largest sale of U.S. hardware in the decade -- 200
advanced fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel." Later he
recommended sending the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), the
"flying radar," an exceptionally advanced technology, to Iran and Saudi
Tirman quotes George Kennan's statement near the end of Carter's term:
"Never since World War II has there been so far-reaching a militarization
of thought and discourse in the capital. An
unsuspecting stranger, plunged into its midst, could only conclude that
the last hope of peaceful, nonmilitary solutions had been exhausted --
that from now only weapons, however used, could count."

Tirman could have written a book three or four times as large as this
one. He tells us little about the lives and personal histories of
America's arms peddlers. What are their ethics? Which schools shaped
their thinking? Which churches or synagogues? Do they visit the world's
bloodied war zones to meet the families of people killed by their
weapons? Tirman mentions Norman Augustine, the former chief executive of
Lockheed Martin, America's largest weapons company, only once, and gives
Ron Brown, the late secretary of commerce, glancing treatment. Tirman
describes Brown as "the king of promoters" in his boosting the U.S. arms
industry on his countless trips abroad. Whole chapters on Augustine and
Brown might have fleshed out Tirman's thesis that the weapons trade is
run by human beings at the expense of other human beings.

Tirman's invaluable criticism -- also on display in his earlier books,
The Fallacy of Star Wars and Empty Promise -- isn't likely to run out of
ideas and deeds worthy of scorn. In addition to the overall excellence of
the reporting in Spoils of War, it will remain topical for some time. The
hot violence goes on.

Colman McCarthy directs the Center for Teaching Peace and teaches courses
on nonviolence at four Washington-area schools.

U S vs I r a q: A S T U D Y I N H Y P O C R I S Y

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

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www.MiddleEast.Org M E R E X C L U S I V E :
M I D - E A S T R E A L I T I E S
News, Information, & Analysis That Governments, Interest Groups,
and the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know from Independent
Middle East Experts Around the World.


T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S V S . I R A Q


By William Blum*
Author of - Killing Hope: U.S. Military and
CIA Interventions Since World War II

"Far and away the best book on the topic" - Noam Chomsky
"I enjoyed it immensely" - Gore Vidal

"We have heard that a half million children have died," said
"60 Minutes" reporter Lesley Stahl, speaking of US sanctions
against Iraq. "I mean, that's more children than died in
Hiroshima. And -- and you know, is the price worth it?"
Her guest, in May 1996, U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright,
responded: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price --
we think the price is worth it."
Today, Secretary of State Albright travels around the world
to gather support for yet more bombing of Iraq. The price,
apparently, is still worth it. The price is of course being paid
solely by the Iraqi people -- a million or so men, women and
children, dead from the previous bombings and seven years of
sanctions. The plight of the living in Iraq, plagued by
malnutrition and a severe shortage of medicines, is as well
terrible to behold.
Their crime? They have a leader who refuses to cede all
sovereignty to the United States (acting under its usual United
Nations cover) which demands that every structure in Iraq,
including the presidential palaces, be available for
inspection for "weapons of mass destruction". After more than
six years of these inspections, and significant destruction of
stocks of forbidden chemical, biological, and nuclear weapon
material, as well as weapons research and development programs,
the UN team still refuses to certify that Iraq is clean enough.
Inasmuch as the country is larger than California, it's
understandable that the inspectors can not be certain that all
prohibited weapons have been uncovered. It's equally
understandable that Iraq claims that the United States can, and
will, continue to find some excuse not to give Iraq the
certification needed to end the sanctions. It can be said that
the United States has inflicted more vindictive punishment and
ostracism upon Iraq than upon Germany or Japan after World War 2.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"In the not too distant future, when Iran
begins to flex its muscles a bit more, in
ways not to Washington's pleasure, it may
then be their turn for some good ol'
American "diplomacy"."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Saddam Hussein regime must wonder at the high (double)
standard set by Washington. Less than a year ago, the U.S.
Senate passed an act to implement the "Convention on the
Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use
of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction" (Short title:
Chemical Weapons Convention), an international treaty which has
been ratified by more than 100 nations in its five-year life.
The Senate act, Section 307, stipulates that "the President
may deny a request to inspect any facility in the United States
in cases where the President determines that the inspection may
pose a threat to the national security interests of the United
States." Saddam has asked for no more than this for Iraq.
Presumably, under the Senate act, the White House, Pentagon, etc.
would be off limits, as Saddam insists his presidential palaces
should be, as well as the military unit responsible for Saddam's
personal security, which an American colonel demanded to visit.
Section 303 further states that "Any objection by the
President to an individual serving as an inspector ... shall not
be reviewable in any court." Again, this echoes a repeated
complaint from the Iraqis -- a recent team of 16 inspectors
included 14 from the US and Britain, Saddam's two principal
adversaries, who are -- even as you read this -- busily planning
new bombing raids on Iraq. The team was led by a U.S. Marine
Corps captain, a veteran of the Gulf War, who has been accused of
spying by Iraq. But the Iraqis do not have a corresponding right
of exclusion. The same section of the Senate act provides,
moreover, that an FBI agent "accompanies each inspection team
The wishes of the Iraqi government to place certain sites
off limits and to have less partisan inspectors have been
dismissed out of hand by U.S. government spokespersons and the
American media. "What do they have to hide?" has been the
prevailing attitude.
The hypocrisy runs deeper yet. In his recent State of the
Union address, President Clinton, in the context of Iraq, spoke
of how we must "confront the new hazards of chemical and
biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and
organized criminals seeking to acquire them." He castigated
Saddam Hussein for "developing nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons" and called for strengthening the Biological Weapons
Convention. Who among his listeners knew, who among the media
reported, that the United States had been the supplier to Iraq of
much of the source biological materials Saddam's scientists would
require to create a biological warfare program?
According to a Senate Report of 1994: From 1985, if not
earlier, through 1989, a veritable witch's brew of biological
materials were exported to Iraq by private American suppliers
pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of
Commerce. Amongst these materials, which often produce slow and
agonizing deaths, were:
Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax.
Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin.
Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs,
brain, spinal cord and heart.
Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major organs.
Clotsridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing
systemic illness.
Clostridium tetani, highly toxigenic.
Also, Escherichia Coli (E.Coli); genetic materials; human
and bacterial DNA.
Dozens of other pathogenic biological agents were shipped to
Iraq during the 1980s. The Senate Report pointed out: "These
biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were
capable of reproduction."
The United Nations inspectors have uncovered evidence that
Iraq was conducting research on pathogen enhancement and
biological warfare-related stimulant research on many of the
identical types of biological agents shipped to the country from
the United States. These shipments continued to at least
November 28, 1989 despite the fact that Iraq had been reported
to be engaging in chemical warfare and possibly biological
warfare against Iranians, Kurds, and Shiites since the early 80s.
During the Iraq-Iran war of 1980-88, the United States gave
military aid and intelligence information to both sides, hoping
that each would inflict severe damage on the other, in line
perhaps with what Noam Chomsky has postulated:

It's been a leading, driving doctrine of U.S. foreign policy
since the 1940s that the vast and unparalleled energy
resources of the Gulf region will be effectively dominated
by the United States and its clients, and, crucially, that
no independent, indigenous force will be permitted to have a
substantial influence on the administration of oil
production and price.

Indeed, there is evidence that Washington encouraged Iraq to
attack Iran and ignite the war in the first place. This policy,
as well as financial considerations, were likely the motivating
forces behind providing Iraq with the biological materials.
(Iran was at that time regarded as the greater threat to the
seemingly always threatened U.S. national security.)
As the American public and media are being prepared to
accept and cheerlead the next bombing of the people of Iraq, the
stated rationale, the official party line, is that Iraq is an
"outlaw" state (or "rogue" state, or "pariah" state -- the media
obediently repeats all the White House and State Department buzz
words), which is ignoring a United Nations Security Council
resolution. Israel, however, has ignored many such resolutions
without the U.S. bombing Tel Aviv, imposing sanctions, or even
cutting back military aid. But by some arcane ideological
alchemy, Israel is not deemed an "outlaw" state by Washington.
Neither does the United States regard itself so for turning its
back on a ruling of the U.N.'s World Court in 1984 to cease its
hostile military actions against Nicaragua, nor for the numerous
times the U.S. has totally ignored overwhelming General Assembly
resolutions, or for its repeated use of chemical and biological
agents against Cuba since the 1960s.
The bombing looks to be inevitable. The boys are busy
moving all their toys into position; they can already see the
battle decorations hanging from their chests. Of course, no one
knows what it will accomplish besides more death and destruction.
Saddam will remain in power. He'll be more stubborn than ever
about the inspections. There may be one consolation for the
Iraqi people. The Washington Post has reported that Secretary of
Defense William Cohen has indicated that "U.S. officials remain
wary of doing so much military damage to Iraq as to weaken its
regional role as a counterweight to Iran." In the not too
distant future, when Iran begins to flex its muscles a bit more,
in ways not to Washington's pleasure, it may then be their turn
for some good ol' American "diplomacy".

* William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: U.S. Military
and CIA Interventions Since World War II. See:

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Iraq bombing may lead to shockwave of Arab nationalism

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

The Guardian

Mubarak fears shockwave of nationalism in Arab world

By Julian Borger in Cairo

Wednesday February 11, 1998

The bombing of Iraq could trigger a shock wave of Islamic
militancy and Arab nationalism across the region,
destabilising secular Arab governments and overturning the
Middle East process, Egyptian officials and commentators
said yesterday.

One government official said a possible side-effect of US
and British air strikes could be the cessation of the
tenuous links established in recent years between Egypt and
Israel, such as air links and limited trade, under pressure
from a rising wave of Arab outrage.

He said President Hosni Mubarak expressed these concerns to
Madeleine Albright, the US secretary of state, when she
came to Cairo last week to rally Egyptian support for, or
at least understanding of, the US threat of force to impose
UN weapons inspections on Iraq. The official said Ms
Albright had no response.

"It was as if the decision had already been taken, and she
was simply informing us," he said.

The Egyptian government is backing a diplomatic initiative
spearheaded by the Cairo-based Arab League, in conjunction
with France and Russia. Under proposals set out on Monday
by Esmat Abdel-Meguid, the organisation's
secretary-general, Saddam Hussein would open his
controversial palace to UN inspectors looking for
biological and chemical weapons.

The conditions imposed on the inspections, stipulating when
they could take place and who would carry them out, were
quickly rejected by US and British officials. But Arab
League and Egyptian representatives say that it is too
early to abandon the initiative, which is due to be
presented to the United Nations Security Council in days.

Osama El-Ghazali Harb, the editor of the Al-Siassa
Al-Dawlya political journal, said: "This is a first step in
a bargain. You must allow time for bargaining."

The 22-member Arab League was the perfect vehicle to
deliver a face-saving compromise. "It allows Saddam to tell
his people 'I would not give in to America, but my Arab
brothers pleaded with me, and out of respect for Arab
brotherhood, I agreed'," Mr Harb said.

The Cairo media has unanimously condemned the US-British
threat of force, mostly portraying it as an attempt by
President Bill Clinton to distract attention from the
Washington sex scandal. The Al-Ahram newspaper also
appeared to allude to Robin Cook's domestic problems: "The
similarity between the scandals in Britain and the US may
explain the circumstances behind decisions of London and

Hani Shukrallah, the editor of Al-Ahram's English-language
weekly edition, said most Egyptians believed Israel should
be subjected to the same inspections and sanctions as Iraq.

"For Egyptian public opinion, Israel is the threat. It has
a huge stockpile of weapons, and one of the best military
machines in the world," Mr Shukrallah said.

"If the bombing starts, you will get a reaction. You will
get people rising up across the Arab world, and this may
get out of hand. If Israel shoots back, you can imagine
what effect that will have."

Egypt is struggling to control Islamic fundamentalism,
after Egyptian extremists killed 58 foreign tourists at
Luxor in November. Hala Mostafa, a political analyst and
expert on Islamic militancy, said that an attack on Iraq
would cause the tide of radicalism to burst its banks.

"It could bring an alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood
(an Islamic radical group) and nationalists," Ms Mostafa
said. The pressure would force moderate, secular Arab
regimes like Egypt and Jordan to rethink their tentative
steps towards normalising ties with Israel, she said.

Mohamed El-Awa, a lawyer and Islamic activist, said: "I
don't think regimes like Jordan and Egypt will remain for
long. Their fall will come quickly within one or two years,
as a direct effect of the bombing of Iraq."

Copyright Guardian Media Group plc 1998

End game of a failed and immoral policy

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]


The following opinion piece was submitted to The
Progressive Response by Roger Normand (
of the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR).

America's steady march towards military action in Iraq is
the end game of a failed and immoral policy. In a stunning
example of Orwellian double-speak, U.S. "diplomacy" to
resolve the current crisis has consisted of arm-twisting
efforts by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to cajole
reluctant world leaders into acquiescing to an open-ended
bombing campaign that includes the threat to use tactical
nuclear weapons. Russian and French moves to engage the
Iraqi regime in some sort of dialogue-diplomacy in most
languages-are dismissed out of hand as motivated by
weakness or greed.

Washington spin doctors do not appear alarmed by the
potential release of chemical or biological weapons in Iraq
as a result of U.S. air strikes, even though preventing
their release by Saddam Hussein is the main justification
given for imposing a sanctions regime that has claimed the
lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqi civilians.
Nor does Washington appear concerned that the bombing is
likely set back UN inspections and divide the pro-sanctions

Is the latest confrontation simply a cynical "wag the dog"
scenario designed to boost the President's approval
ratings? What exactly is the United States doing in Iraq?

U.S. policy since the 1950s has aimed to control the
region's oil wealth by protecting our allies in the Gulf
states and Israel while putting down nationalist threats.
When Iraq served those interests in the 1980s by fighting
revolutionary Iran, the U.S. rewarded Saddam Hussein with
massive supplies of weapons and technology, including
covert intelligence at a time when Iraqi human rights
abuses (including chemical attacks against Kurdish
villages) were at their peak. When Saddam Hussein became a
threat by invading Kuwait in 1990, the U.S. punished the
nation by destroying its infrastructure through war and its
economy through sanctions.

America's unprecedented global power after the Soviet
collapse has enabled it to bully and coax a reluctant
coalition into maintaining comprehensive sanctions against
Iraq for over seven years. Human rights rhetoric aside, the
main U.S. interest is to cripple Iraq's military-industrial
capacity and prevent it from threatening the Gulf states.
Having a strongman like Saddam Hussein (or any likely
successor) to hold the country together in its weakened
state and counterbalance Iran is essential to this policy.

The Clinton Administration's unrelenting focus on Iraq's
biological and chemical weapons is merely a smokescreen to
justify maintaining sanctions. Certainly weapons of mass
destruction should be eliminated in Iraq as well as
throughout the region (as called for in Security Council
resolution 687), but the possibility that some Iraqi
capacity has escaped seven years of UN inspections does not
warrant the current public hysteria and doomsday
predictions. After all, Iraq did not need these weapons to
claim almost one million Iranian casualties over ten years
or to occupy Kuwait in a matter of hours. And even if
UNSCOM succeeded in eliminating every such weapon from
Iraqi soil, the know-how and political will to rebuild
these programs would remain.

With its formidable human and natural resources, Iraq will
be able to reclaim a leadership role in the Arab world soon
after sanctions are lifted. The Iraqi people-known for
their tenacity, perseverance, and achievement-will not have
warm, fuzzy feelings for the United States and its regional
allies. With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a
standstill and American prestige diminishing in the Middle
East, the prospect of Iraq re-entering regional politics is
more terrifying to U.S. policymakers than a hypothetical
store of chemical agents.

This is why the real U.S. position is to maintain sanctions
indefinitely, even though this is not feasible over the
long term and has little support beyond our own borders.
Putting it in diplomatic language, Albright has insisted
publicly that sanctions will not be lifted until Saddam
Hussein is removed from power and Iraq no longer poses a
threat to regional "peace and security"-as defined by the
United States.

There are two significant problems with this position.
First, it leaves the Iraqi regime, which is now more firmly
entrenched in power than ever, no incentive to comply with
UN inspections and every incentive to provoke a new crisis
that gives Russia, France, China, Turkey, Egypt, and others
opposed to America's hard line a chance to break down
Iraq's diplomatic, and eventually economic, isolation. A
major crack in the fraying coalition appeared last December
when, having failed to garner international support for air
strikes, the U.S. was forced to accept a Russian initiative
that highlighted Iraq's demand for an end to sanctions.

Second, the policy of maintaining sanctions indefinitely is
illegal and inhumane. UN sanctions have devastated Iraq's
economy and plunged large sectors of this previously
well-off nation into poverty and despair, leading to a
vicious cycle of disease and death. This constitutes a
basic violation of human rights by the Security Council
that cannot be justified by Saddam Hussein's intransigence.
The 4,500 Iraqi children dying every month (according to
UNICEF) do not forfeit their right to life because their
government is behaving badly . Their lives are not currency
for the Security Council to spend as leverage to pry open
the gates of Saddam Hussein's palaces. Perhaps if those
policymakers forcefully advocating for sanctions and
renewed air strikes could witness their own families being
sacrificed as a means to influence an unaccountable
leadership, they might better understand why the principle
of collective punishment is illegal under international

So what should be done in Iraq? An immediate step would be
to scrap the arbitrarily low limit on the food-for-oil deal
and allow for all necessary humanitarian purchases and
repairs, such as rebuilding Iraq's electrical and
sanitation facilities. The next step could be to replace
comprehensive trade sanctions with targeted sanctions such
as an arms and technology embargo, which would be lifted
according to Iraqi compliance with a set of transparent
conditions and procedures. And the key long-term step is to
enforce restrictions on weapons of mass destruction across
the region as a whole, imposing the costs of compliance on
those who peddle these technologies for profit rather than
on a defenseless population.

The tragic legacy of U.S. policy is that when sanctions are
ultimately lifted-as they must someday be-the high price
paid by Iraqi civilians will have purchased no additional
peace and security in the region.

The Progressive Response 6 February 1998 Vol. 2, No. 4
Editor: Tom Barry
The Progressive Response is a publication of Foreign Policy
In Focus, a joint project of the Interhemispheric Resource
Center and the Institute for Policy Studies. The project
produces Foreign Policy In Focus (FPIF) briefs on various
areas of current foreign policy debate. Electronic mail
versions are available free of charge for subscribers. The
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We encourage comments to the FPIF briefs and to opinions
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Amnesty blasts US denial of due process for executed woman

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]


New York - Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) said today
that the decision to carry out the execution of Karla Faye
Tucker has put the state of Texas and the United States
squarely in the dark ages. Not only has Texas once again
engaged in state-sanctioned murder, said Sam Jordan,
AIUSA's Director of the Program to Abolish the Death
Penalty, but they have done so without the slightest
attempt to allow Ms. Tucker to state her case before the
Board of Pardons and Paroles. This most recent execution
places Texas firmly in the company of such countries as
China, Iran and Iraq in leading the world in executing its
own citizens and in the denial of due process.

Rather than opt to consider rehabilitation, redemption, and
the fact that Ms. Tucker was no longer a threat to society,
Texas opted for the archaic measure of vengeance and brutal
punishment that the majority of the developed world has
abandoned. The application of the death penalty is
arbitrary, not just. In Texas particularly, where death row
inmates are routinely denied due process, the justice
system is bankrupt because of a failed commutation process.
Shrouded in secrecy, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has
never recommended clemency since the reinstatement of the
death penalty in the United States in 1976. Governor Bush,
like Texas governors before him, elected to go with
political expediency rather than humanitarian concern in
allowing this execution to go forward, said Jordan.

The Karla Faye Tucker case has re-ignited the debate over
the use of the death penalty in this country, said Mr.
Jordan, and this execution by Texas must be used to stir
national discussion and action on abolition of this
horrible lottery that is the death penalty. \END

Amnesty International USA
322 Eighth Avenue
New York, 10001

February 3, 1998

Contacts: Roger Rathman (212) 633-4208
Lurma Rackley (202) 675-8575
Ann Burroughs (310) 815-0450

Rights Group Demands Iran Free or Retry Editor

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

Rights Group Demands Iran Free or Retry Editor

Reuters 11-FEB-98

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) - An international human rights
group urged Iran on Tuesday to free a prominent newspaper
editor or give him a fair trial after Tehran press reports
said he had been condemned to death at a secret trial for

The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, in an open letter
addressed to the head of Iranian Judiciary Ayatollah
Mohammed Yazdi, said it was deeply concerned about the fate
of the former editor-in-chief of the English daily Iran
News, Morteza Firoozi.

``Human Rights Watch calls for Firoozi's immediate release,
unless credible evidence is produced to support the serious
charges against him,'' the letter said.

It said that if legal proceedings were to continue against
Firoozi, ``he should be retried and we seek assurance that
the trial will be open to the public and will comply with
safeguards established under international law for a fair

Iranian news organisations have said Firoozi, held since
May on spying charges, had been condemned to death and that
the country's Supreme Court recently ratified the sentence
and handed it down to relevant authorities.

Iran has not named any country for which Firoozi was
alleged to have spied. But Iranian newspapers, which last
year briefly reported Firoozi's arrest, said he was accused
of spying for the United States.

Human Rights Watch demanded clarifications on Firoozi's
status and condition.

``We would appreciate learning from your excellency the
true status of Mr Firoozi, as contradictory statements have
been issued in recent weeks and the secret nature of the
proceedings has made independent verification impossible,''
the letter said.

``Human Rights Watch opposes the infliction of capital
punishment in all circumstances because of its inherent
cruelty,'' it added.

``Furthermore in this case, where due process of law was
disregarded, our concern over the death sentence is only

Iran News, which Firoozi helped establish in 1994, has been
attacked by hardline newspapers as being too soft on the
United States.

Firoozi, a frequent commentator on Iranian politics, had
earlier served as editor-in-chief of the Tehran Times, a
major English language newspaper set up after the 1979
Islamic revolution.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.

The Middle East comic strip

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

The Independent
February 12, 1998

Bombs are not the way to peace - Robert Fisk on the drums
of war

I have been reminded of some familiar odours these past few
days. The first is the terrible, nauseous stench I endured
for hours on the overnight train from Ahwaz to Tehran back
in the Eighties, as I shared a carriage with dozens of
young Iranian soldiers. All of them were coughing up Saddam
Hussein's poisons from their lungs into blood-red swabs and
bandages. And the mustard gas that was slowly killing them
permeated the whole great 20-carriage train as it thundered
up from the desert battlefields of the first Gulf War,
through the mountains to the city where almost all these
men would soon die and be buried. After only an hour into
the journey, I was forced to throw open the carriage window
to avoid vomiting.

No sooner had I filed a series of reports to London on this
new and terrible war crime of Saddam Hussein than a British
diplomat, lunching with one of my editors in London,
remarked that "Bob doesn't seem to understand the
situation." True, he said, gas was a terrible weapon. But
Saddam was fighting the West's war against Iranian
fundamentalism - a danger which might set the whole Middle
East ablaze and which could threaten the entire world.
Wasn't The Times - the paper for which I then worked -
putting a little too much emphasis on Saddam's sins?

So the other smell I recall this week is the stink of
hypocrisy when - in 1990 - the world's statesmen began to
whip their people into line for war against the man they
had supported in his conflict against Iran. The French had
sold Saddam Mirage jets. The Germans had provided him with
the gas that had me almost wretching on the train from
Ahwaz. The Americans had sold him helicopters for spraying
crops with pesticide (the "crops", of course, being human
beings). The British gave Saddam bailey bridges. And I
later met the Cologne arms dealer who flew from the
Pentagon to Baghdad with US satellite photos of the Iranian
front lines - to help Saddam kill more Iranians.

And oddly enough, whenever I mentioned this back in 1990,
after Saddam had invaded Kuwait, I was admonished by
diplomats. There's no point in dwelling on the past, I was
told. The only way to deal with Saddam now was war. Did I
have any better ideas? And within a few weeks, Saddam - and
yes, he is a venal, cruel, wicked, evil man - was being
transformed into the Hitler of Iraq, just as the Israelis
had called Yasser Arafat the Hitler of Beirut in 1982, and
just as Eden has called Nasser the Mussolini of the Nile in
1956. Normally quite rational individuals became
cheerleaders for war, shouting hysterically when I
suggested that the results of this war might not quite
match the expectations. Serious newspapers began to
advocate the occupation of Baghdad and a war crimes trial
for Saddam.

And once that battle was over and Saddam was expelled from
Kuwait, we were told by our leaders that Saddam had been
"defanged". Our smart bombs and guided missiles had
destroyed his army, our Patriot missiles had protected us
from his Scuds - and at little cost to the Western
alliance. Then it turned out that all this was untrue. But
at least we never claimed then that he was capable of
harming more than the Middle East.

So what madness is seizing Messrs Clinton and Blair today?
After seven years of inspections - seven years, for
heaven's sake - UN arms inspectors have not been able to
find all of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Thousands
were dying of malnutrition and lack of medicine, a million
if you believe some UN officials. Mass funerals for babies
(70 in one cortege on the last count) made their way
through Baghdad. Propaganda for the odious Saddam, of
course; but few thought the coffins were empty. And then
Saddam - shrewdly appreciating that America's craven
surrender to Israel's settlement building had convinced
Arab leaders that the "peace process" was a betrayal of the
Palestinians - decided to ban the UN inspectors from his

And what happened? Our masters informed us that Saddam was
even worse than he was before we beat him the first time.
Far from just threatening the oil rich Gulf, the chief UN
inspector informed us that the Iraqis had enough anthrax
"to wipe out Tel Aviv" (note the city he chose - not
Dhahran or Riyadh but Tel Aviv, although all three had been
rocketed in 1991). And then our own trustworthy Foreign
Office announced that Saddam now posed a threat to "the
whole world". In Washington, Mr Blair repeated this, saying
that he had enough weapons "to wipe out the world's

The whole world? Is this true? In Beirut these past few
days, I have been trying to remember where I last heard
these words. It took me some time before I recalled where.
I last read them when I was at school, reading the Eagle
comic, wherein a space hero called Dan Dare - a kind of
1950s version of Tom Cruise - would regularly do battle
with the Mekon, a green and ectoplasmic alien creature who
had the ability to wipe out the entire world (unless he was
first destroyed/defanged/put back into his box or
whatever). Has it really descended to this? The Middle
East, with all its complexities and dangers and religious
tension - yes, and its evils - is being turned into a comic
strip in which Dan Dare will launch his space-age high-tech
at the Mekon of Baghdad.

Perhaps the American public and its pro-Israeli
representatives in Congress and the Senate accept this
nonsense? But do we, whose Prime Minister is chanting all
this at Bill Clinton's side? British readers should be
aware of what US columnists are demanding. In The New York
Times, William Safire has been recommending "sustained
bombing of all suspected weaponry sites, including palaces
occupied by civilians used as hostages", while in The
Washington Post, Richard Cohen has been saying of Saddam:
"He is not . a mole but a rat. It would be best to
exterminate him ." And last weekend, when I recalled the
1991 war and its rhetoric to an American radio commentator,
I heard the same weary response. "Let's not talk about the
past, Bob. What do we do now?"

Well, the world might, after all, demand that all Middle
Eastern states apply all UN security council resolutions -
which include an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab land
as well as the disarming of Saddam Hussein. It could insist
that within five years, all weapons of mass destruction in
the region - not just Iraqi weapons but Syrian missiles and
Israeli nuclear weapons and possible Iranian rockets - be
destroyed. It could offer a real peace in the Middle East,
based on human rights, justice and a Palestinian homeland.

But no, like Dan Dare we prefer to do battle with monsters.
And we are beating the old 1991 drums of war, our claims so
preposterous that they bury the real viciousness of the
real Saddam. For war is not primarily about victory or
defeat. It is about death. It represents the total failure
of the human spirit. And if we really are going to
participate in this obscenity again, is it not possible to
do so with the humility of men who know what we are doing?

Boutros-Ghali speaks out

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

The Independent
February 12, 1998

Boutros-Ghali condemns US role over Iraq

The former UN chief tells Robert Fisk in Paris that he
fears the worst as the allies prepare for yet more bombing

Boutros Boutros-Ghali looked at us with something between
world-weariness and despair, his old hound-dog face
registering astonishment at the West's folly in the Middle
East. "What is certain in any kind of strike against Iraq
is that it will reinforce the position of the
fundamentalists," he said. "There is no doubt about this.
Fundamentalism is a basic anti-Western attitude. So here
again, the Westerners are preparing to bomb an Arab country
- and it is the Iraqi people who will be killed."

Vain, arrogant, haughty; the descriptions of the former
United Nations secretary-general and Egyptian ex-foreign
minister have made Mr Boutros-Ghali as famous as his old
job. Vanity there is but in Paris yesterday, it was weighed
down with a sense of cynicism and fear. It was he, after
all, who ran the UN in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War
when thousands - perhaps a million - Iraqi civilians died
under UN sanctions, originally imposed when Saddam Hussein
invaded Kuwait.

"I cannot say I am against sanctions, no - because
sanctions exist in the UN Charter, and I was a member of
the UN Cabinet in 1990. We had had an invasion of a member
country [Kuwait]. It was an 'Anschluss'."

It was obvious, however, that Mr Boutros-Ghali's scorn was
reserved for a UN Security Council which allowed the
Americans to use its resolutions in any way they saw fit.
"What nobody mentions today is what happened in August
1996," he said. "The Americans bombed Iraq when their
Kurdish operation collapsed. Why? Because it was August?
No, the American point of view was exactly the same as it
is going to be today: that their interpretation [of staging
air strikes] was according to the terms of the UN
resolutions [on non-compliance with arms destruction]. But
what are the points of view of the other members of the
Security Council? Why cannot 15 member states give their
own interpretation - after all, they participated in the
adoption of these resolutions."

He continued: "I am astonished that with the exception of
just one newspaper, nobody today has mentioned the
principal actors who are suffering - the Iraqi people. And
the UN, remember, was an institution created to protect the
people." Of US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright - the
nemesis which destroyed Mr Boutros-Ghali's hopes of a
further term as UN Secretary General - there was studied
discretion. "Gentlemen don't talk," Mr Boutros-Ghali
muttered. But this did not apply to the United States.

"You have had a drastic change in American public opinion
in the last three years. They were looking at the UN in
1992 as the new super-organisation that will manage the
world. Mrs Albright was talking about 'active
multi-lateralism'. Then suddenly you have a fundamental
change. It followed the accident [sic] of Somalia."

If America lost its trust in Mr Boutros-Ghali's UN when its
dead soldiers were dragged naked through the streets of an
African city, why has the UN nevertheless imposed sanctions
against America's enemies rather than its friends? Mr
Boutros-Ghali wished us to understand what happened when UN
Secretary Generals tried to implement UN resolutions
against Israel.

"After the Israelis put hundreds of [Palestinian] religious
leaders [sic] on a Lebanese mountain in the early 1990s,
they were ordered by the UN to take them back. I sent a
report to the Security Council, saying that Israel had not
complied with the Security Council. One week later began
the attacks on me, saying I was arrogant, that I was a bad
manager, that there were scandals in the UN's financial

We should have no illusions, Mr Boutros-Ghali insisted.
"The UN will act according to pressure from the major
actors. Why was resolution 242 [calling for Israeli
withdrawal from occupied Arab land] never implemented? And
why are resolutions concerning Libya and Iraq always
implemented? Because the UN is a political body; it's not a
kind of tribunal. It is not a council of wise men trying to
solve problems according to equity or natural law. It's a
purely political order."

The myths of the Gulf War

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

The Independent
February 12, 1998

Bombs are not the way to peace - Patrick Cockburn on the
myth of air power

The justification for an air attack on Iraq is very like
that for the strategic bombing of Germany by Britain and
the US in 1942-45. It was easy then to make the claim that
Hitler deserved whatever punishment he got. Post-war
investigation showed that, in fact, the bombing did little
to harm his regime, or to shorten the war despite the
deaths of hundreds of thousands of Germans it caused.

A similar political and military failure may await the
impending bombardment of Iraq. As with the Gulf War,
hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqi civilians will
certainly die. But this will not "punish", or even damage,
Saddam Hussein. There is no reason why it should make him
more willing to cooperate with UN inspectors. General Brent
Scowcroft, the US National Security Adviser in the Gulf
War, warns: "We bombed him heavily [in 1991], more heavily
than we can now; and he didn't change his mind about

The objective of the allied air offensive during the Gulf
War was clear: to force Iraqi troops to leave Kuwait which
they had invaded the previous year. Eight years later the
aim of the airstrikes is much less easily attainable. It is
to force Saddam Hussein to cooperate with UN inspectors
looking for his non-conventional weapons. All the Iraqi
leader needs to do to frustrate American and British war
aims is to refuse to change his policy.

It is not enough for President Clinton and Tony Blair to
say that all they want is the implementation of the UN
resolutions on inspection and destruction of
non-conventional weapons agreed by Iraq in 1991. Ever
since, Iraq has systematically tried to conceal them. But
it is also clearly true - and Madeleine Albright, the US
Secretary of State, said as much soon after she took office
last year - that for seven years the US has been determined
not to lift sanctions on Iraq so long as Saddam Hussein was
in power.

It is this policy that is no longer sustainable. Iraq is
not going to cooperate with weapons inspectors for any
length of time if there is no real prospect of sanctions
being lifted. The only way to resolve the crisis in the
long term is to bring to an end the immediate consequences
of the Gulf War. In other words, an end to the embargo and
the isolation of Iraq should be discussed at the same time
as a final accounting of Iraq's non-conventional weapons:
in the same negotiations.

The process of UN inspections was always bizarre. No
sovereign state, whether it is run by Saddam Hussein or
Nelson Mandela, is going to agree, if it can possibly help
it, to foreign observers - often former intelligence
officers - having free run of its military, intelligence
and government offices. Iraq only agreed to this in 1991
under the threat of invasion by an army of half a million

This army no longer exists. The Gulf War alliance has
fragmented. Saddam Hussein's grip on his own country is
probably stronger than at any time since the invasion of
Kuwait. Allied planes still over-fly Iraqi Kurdistan, but
on the ground the Iraqi leader is now largely in control.

There is a growing acceptance on the far right in the
United States that air power alone will not damage Saddam
Hussein. They put forward the alternatives of ground attack
or external subversion. Supporters of these neo-colonial
ventures show a dangerous ignorance of what really happened
in the Gulf War as well as the political history of Iraq
over the last seven years.

The Gulf War was much less of an all-out military conflict
than appeared at the time. Given the disparity of forces
the Allies were bound to win. But the Iraqis had a large
army with long experience in the eight-year-long war with
Iran. Allied casualties were so low because at the last
minute the Iraqi leader ordered his men to withdraw from

An Iraqi brigadier, now in exile in London, told The
Independent that his unit received "three separate messages
- from the army, party and military intelligence - telling
us to withdraw. This was to show us that the orders were
real and not a fake sent by the Allies." He says that if
the Iraqi army had not pulled out of their prepared
positions, protected by vast minefields in Kuwait, it could
have inflicted heavy casualties on the Allies.

Saddam Hussein evidently calculated that if he withdrew
voluntarily from Kuwait - and Allied casualties were low -
that he would not be pursued to Baghdad. He may even have
been covertly told so by Washington. These historical
points are important today because the ease with which
Kuwait was reconquered in 1991 has gives the impression
that any new invasion would succeed with equal ease.

The option of externally directed internal subversion is
equally flawed. The CIA made repeated efforts between 1991
and 1996 to subvert the regime in Baghdad, based first in
Iraqi Kurdistan and then in Jordan. In 1995 it became
involved through its operatives in Kurdistan - though not
fully backed by Washington - in a plan to build up an
opposition army in the Kurdish provinces. It hoped that
this would ignite revolts in the Iraqi army.

It never happened. In 1996 a military conspiracy in Baghdad
was bloodily crushed. This appears to have given Saddam
Hussein the confidence to capture the Kurdish capital Arbil
with his tanks. Over 100 members of the Iraqi opposition
were captured and killed. The CIA was forced to evacuate
its vast operation from Kurdistan.

A further problem for President Clinton is that that the
Gulf War created exaggerated expectations. It may also have
dissipated a healthy scepticism in the US about the use of
airpower which followed its failure in Vietnam. General
Norman Schwartzkopf, the commander of Desert Storm, says:
"We run the risk of doing the same thing we did to North
Vietnam." He explained that in Vietnam the airforce,
frustrated at its failure to achieve its political or
military goals, continually escalated its air attacks.

Air power has a sorry history in the Middle East as a means
of political coercion. Ironically, it was pioneered in Iraq
where Winston Churchill as Colonial Secretary in 1922
withdrew most of the British army on the grounds that it
could be held by the RAF. Arthur "Bomber" Harris, later
head of bomber command, served his apprenticeship dropping
bombs on Kurdish villages.

One of the myths of the Gulf War is that "smart" weapons
have revolutionised warfare. This has done no end of good
to the budgets of airforces around the world. Airforces
need to argue for perfect accuracy to justify the expense
of the new weapons. Although only 7 per cent of the
munitions dropped during the Gulf War were "smart", they
made up 84 per cent of the cost. At times these weapons
were very accurate. They hit bridges, ministries and
telecommunications towers in the heart of Baghdad.

But the Iraqi government went on functioning. Even the
uprising in the south of Iraq never spread to Baghdad,
which is the key to political power in Iraq (eight million
Iraqis out of a total population of 20 million live in the
metropolitan area of the capital). There is little chance
of this recurring. Ordinary Iraqis are deeply cynical about
the motives of the US and Britain. And even if they did
rise up any revolt would be crushed in blood.

It is reasonable for the US and Britain to ask for the
final destruction of Iraqi non-conventional weapons. But
the last six months have shown that this is not going to
happen through the present UN inspection process, even
buttressed by air attacks. The only possible way to secure
destruction of biological or chemical weapons, if ground
invasion is ruled out, is to offer an immediate end to the
embargo as a direct quid pro quo.

End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 11 Feb 1998 - Special issue