Date: Feb 25, 1998 [ 11: 29: 31]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Feb 1998 to 25 Feb 1998 - Special issue

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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Feb 1998 to 25 Feb 1998 - Special issue
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There are 19 messages totalling 1332 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Sal Tahvil 1377
2. Soroush, FMI, don't believe in religious rule
3. New newspaper: 'Sobh-e Khanevadeh'
4. Powers of Expediency Council excessive, says journalist
5. Khatami is all talk and no action, says paper
6. Students object to parliamentary candidate's exclusion
7. Editor says charges against him baseless
8. Khatami brought outstanding political changes, says journalist
9. Peyman says no dramatic change after Khatami election
10. Party calls for separation of religion from politics
11. U.S. study slams Dual Containment
12. Iran-Europe Rapprochement Challenges U.S. Policy
13. Public hanging draws crowd of 70,000
14. Sanctions contradict UN's human rights charter
15. Surrender not enough, need humiliation
16. Saddam maneuvers his way out of the box
17. A strange day in barefoot Baghdad
18. Psychopaths with no conscience :)
19. A rank mixture of adrenaline and aviation fuel

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 15:42:57 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Sal Tahvil 1377

ba salAm,
This years Sal-tahvil:

March 21 Saturday 00:24:31 Iran

March 20 Friday 20:54:31 CET
19:54:31 England
14:54:31 Eastern-US
11:54:31 LA time

There is only 23 days left to norooz :-)
bA ehterAm,
Farhad A.
#====================================================#
# Farhad Abdolian, farhad.abdolian@rsa.ericsson.se #
# HW Design Engineer @ Ericsson Radio Access AB #
# Dept. B/UF, Box 11, S-164 93 Stockholm, Sweden #
# Phone +46-8-404 82 91 Fax: +46-8-764 18 58 #
#====================================================#

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:44:19 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Soroush, FMI, don't believe in religious rule

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 24, 1998

Press Watch

Kayhan-e-Havaie printed assertions made by a Majlis deputy
from Kerman, Seyyed Hussein Marashi, who said that the
Freedom Movement of Iran (FMI) and Dr. Abdulkarim
Suroush don't believe in religious rule. Marashi, who is a member of
Kargozaran-e-Sazandeghi, in response to a question regarding the
likeness between this group and the groups he affiliates with the West
such as FMI, said that contrary to the FMI and Suroush, we believe
that religion has presented a comprehensive program by which the
nation can be governed.

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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:46:46 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: New newspaper: 'Sobh-e Khanevadeh'

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 24, 1998

New newspaper published

Tehran - The morning daily 'Sobh-e Khanevadeh', a
family-oriented publication, appeared on newsstands Monday.

Managing director of the newspaper, Hossein Ferdows, told
IRNA that the paper aims to elevate the social knowledge of
Iranian families.

"We seek to inform families of their social rights which
distin-guishes us from most papers in the country which aim
to elevate the political knowledge in the society," he
said.

The newspaper does not have any political affiliations, he
stressed, adding, " the paper views positively any
progres-sive trend in society indepen-dent of its political
orientation."

Khanevadeh (family) Cultural Institute, the publisher of
the new daily, started its operations in 1991 with
Khanevadeh mag-azine.

The monthly 'Javan-e Khanevadeh' is another publica-tion of
the institute.


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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:50:03 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Powers of Expediency Council excessive, says journalist

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 24, 1998

What's Up?



If the case regarding the Tehran Municipality, which has
turned into a appalling issue, had occurred in a civil
society it would cer-tainly have resulted in the collapse
of the government, a journalist said. Addressing a
gathering of the Islamic Association of University Students
in the province of Yazd, the publisher of the daily Farda
(Tomorrow) Ahmad Tavakkoli said that Tehran's mayor remains
at his post despite the fact that several of his district
mayors, who were arrested and have confessed to committing
wrongdoings, have implied he collaborated in some of their
breaches. Tavakkoli further asserted that in several
articles he had addressed the issue of financial wrong
doing in the Tehran Municipality, but that both Mayor
Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi and the judiciary had not
responded. Answering a question on the authority of the
Expediency Council, Tavakolli said he opposed to an
increase in the authority of the coun-cil. He urged
students to send their opinions to the daily on the
'exces-sive activities' of the council.

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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:52:40 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Khatami is all talk and no action, says paper

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 23, 1998

Press Watch

Aban wrote that President Khatami's desire to be involved
in daily routines prevents him from making substantial
deci-sions. Repeating monotonous statements just converts
them into a series of slogans which merely end up
disappointing the peo-ple. People expect to observe major
developments in cultural and political fields within
society. This can be done by implementing reforms in laws
and regulations. In a democratic system, when a party's
candidate succeeds in the elections, other parties'
political, economic, social and cultural committees make
their plans available to the winner. This is done in order
to support the president and improve the system, concluded
the paper.

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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:56:54 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Students object to parliamentary candidate's exclusion

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 19, 1998

What's Up?

An association of university students objected to the
decision by a screening panel that declared its candidates
incompetent for participating in the parliamentary
by-elections. In a commu-nique released Tuesday, the
Islamic Association of University Students and Graduates
called the decision "incompatible with the laws and civil
rights of individuals". The panel has not provided any
reason for its decision, it read. Seyyed Javad Emami,
Parviz Safari, Seyyed Mohammad Mir-Ebrahimi and Mohammad
Salamati were the candidates supported by the association.
They said they would submit written complaints to the
executive body of the Guardian Council. Rejected aspirants
could lodge their complaints within four days after the
decision is announced. Tehran has two vacant seats in the
Parliament (Majlis) after two deputies were assigned with
minis-terial posts in President Mohammad Khatami's cabinet.


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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 10:59:59 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Editor says charges against him baseless

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 18, 1998

Press Watch

Jame'eh in its 'private correspondent' column wrote that
the man-aging editor of Rah-e-Nou, Akbar Ganji, in a letter
sent from Evin Prison to judiciary authorities, defended
himself and termed all charges aginst him as baseless. He
objected to the charges by refer-ring to a clause of the
article 130 of the relevant law. He has also sent copies of
the letter to president, head of the judiciary and head of
Islamic Human Rights Commission. The daily on another issue
in the same column wrote that the commander-in-chief of the
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier
General Rahim Safavi, delivered a speech at a ceremony in
commemoration of mar-tyr Mohsen Safavi in Isfahan. There he
answered to a question raised by Isfahan's Ansar-e-Velayat
(Kaveh) regarding getting a permission for continuation of
its activities and said that the leader of the Islamic
Revolution is against the unlawful act carried out by Ansar
and "I am on the same opinion". In the same column, there
was also a news that editor-in-chief of Nameh-e-Mofid
publication, Hojj. Seyyed Abulfazl-e-Mousavian, was
sentenced to one year imprisonment on charges of insulting
clerics and spreading rumors and lies.


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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:03:24 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Khatami brought outstanding political changes, says journalist

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 18, 1998

What's Up?


Carrying out the mandate of the people by President
Mohammad Khatami has brought about outstanding changes in
the politi-cal climate of the country. Introduced as an
Iranian journalist, Iraj Jamshidi told the France Radio
Sunday that the president met his election campaign
promises concerning the promotion of cultural and political
issues when he appointed the Culture and Interior
Ministers. The society is now experiencing some sort of
democracy or freedom which is not widely accepted, Jamshidi
said about the differences between the current situation
and the past. Since Iranians managed to introduce changes
in the government with their massive turnout in the
presidential election, he said, nobody can force them to
stop from tak-ing part in political activities. Although I
am in the opposition camp, I do not believe in an insincere
struggle against the Islamic regime, he told the radio.
According to Jamshidi, dishonest campaigning is the main
factor that could jeopardize limited and conditional
free-doms in Iran.

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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:05:45 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Peyman says no dramatic change after Khatami election

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 18, 1998

What's Up?


An activist told the radio of Iranian repatriates in Los
Angeles that the situation in the judiciary has
deteriorated since President Mohammad Khatami stepped into
office last August. According to the Israeli state radio,
Habibollah Peyman told the Seda-ye Iran (Voice of Iran)
radio that President Khatami has not put into action his
election promises and that the Islamic Republic has not
undergone any dramatic change after his election. The
activist also denied release of a communique by the Iranian
opposition, which has allegedly threatened Ansar-e
Hezbollah with dire consequences if it did not stop its
activities against the opposition groups.

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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 11:08:50 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Party calls for separation of religion from politics

Iran Daily (IRNA)
February 16, 1998

Press Watch

Abrar in its 'Media World' column wrote that a group
calling themselves 'Iran Peoples' Party' in a statement on
the occasion of the victory of the Islamic Revolution
insisted on the sepa-ration of religion from politics. The
group lacks necessary permis-sion from the interior
ministry. However, the said group together with three other
groups form a bigger bloc called 'The Association of
Iranian National Parties and Forces'. In another
communique, they announced that within the framework of the
constitution, useful steps can be taken to improve the
status quo. The association also invited other groups to
join them.

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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:09:31 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: U.S. study slams Dual Containment

Gulf Peace Process Recommended in U.S. Study

Reuters
25-FEB-98

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - A study released on Tuesday
by the U.S. Army War College recommended the United States
consider launching a regional peace process for the Gulf
region and phase out its current policy of ``dual
containment.''

The study, prepared by Kenneth Katzman, an Iraq expert at
the Congressional Research Service, concludes that pursuing
a regional dialogue would offer Iran and Iraq a lessening
of tensions with the United States in exchange for
cooperation on regional security issues.

At the same time, pursuing such a strategy might ultimately
allow the United States to lower its costly military
presence in the Gulf, and lessen differences between the
United States and its allies over sanctions against both
countries.

The report was released a day after U.N. Secretary General
Kofi Annan signed an agreement with Iraq over U.N. weapons
inspections, averting at least for now costly and
potentially deadly air strikes by the United States and
Britain.

Entitled ``Searching for Stable Peace in the Persian
Gulf,'' the report was sent to policymakers in the U.S.
defense and state departments, the National Security
Council, the Central Intelligence Agency and other senior
officials.

The report recognizes that key U.S. security concerns about
Iraq and Iran -- which has sent out cautious feelers for a
rapprochement with the United States -- must be addressed.

It recommends that a Gulf working group on arms control try
to establish a body like the U.N. Special Commission
(UNSCOM) that would conduct weapons of mass destruction
inspections in Iraq and other Gulf states.

UNSCOM is charged with scrapping Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction.

The working group should also try to establish a mutually
agreeable mechanism for conventional weapons control,
according to a summary of the report.

The report concluded that the current strategy of dual
containment, a policy based on military and economic
punishment of both Iran and Iraq, had led to disastrous
consequences, including the fall of the Shah of Iran and
the buildup of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's weapons of
mass destruction programs.

``Dual containment represents only a temporary fix, has
large accompanying costs and risks, and is probably
unsustainable over the long term,'' a report summary said.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.


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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:10:29 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Iran-Europe Rapprochement Challenges U.S. Policy

Iran-Europe Rapprochement Challenges U.S. Policy

Reuters
25-FEB-98
By Paul Taylor, Diplomatic Editor

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Almost unnoticed in the shadow
of the Iraq crisis, the European Union decided this week to
normalise relations with Iran in an indirect challenge to a
U.S. policy of containment of the Islamic Republic.

The 15-nation EU dropped the adjective ``critical'' from
its official designation of dialogue with Tehran, although
ministers were keen to stress the new high-level contacts
would not be uncritical.

They still plan to raise alleged Iranian support for
terrorism, efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction
and hostility to the Middle East peace process in their
talks with Iran, but they also want to encourage signs of
moderation in Tehran's international behaviour.

European companies are also keen to pursue business
opportunities in this strategically located oil-producing
state with a potential market of 60 million citizens.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi welcomed the step
as ``a realisation of a better understanding by the EU of
the important position of Iran and the role Iran can play
as a country and chairman of the Organisation of the
Islamic Conference.''

But the European move could be the prelude to a new
transatlantic rift over relations with Iran.

The State Department is due to announce soon whether a $2
billion gas development deal signed by France's Total SA is
``sanctionable'' under a U.S. law that seeks to punish
foreign firms that invest more than $20 million a year in
Iran's oil and gas sector.

Although British Petroleum and Royal Dutch/Shell have
opened offices in Tehran, both have bigger interests in the
United States than Total and seem less likely to risk U.S.
retribution by making major investments in Iran in the
short term, oil analysts say.

The Total decision, which does not automatically trigger
sanctions, had been expected by mid-February but diplomats
said it was delayed to avoid triggering a West-West crisis
while Washington sought European support in the standoff
with Iraq over U.N. arms inspections.

``Now that the Iraq crisis is over for the moment, I would
expect Washington to announce that the Total deal is
sanctionable but defer a decision on what sanctions it will
impose,'' a senior European diplomat said.

The EU is united in rejecting any American attempt to
impose its national law on European firms trading in third
countries, setting the stage for a potential trade war
unless transatlantic problem management gains the upper
hand.

U.S. officials say the real issue is not
``extraterritoriality'' but containing a ``rogue state''
which they assert is undermining Arab-Israeli peace efforts
and working to develop nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons and the missiles to deliver them.

EU officials are hoping that the debate in the United
States about policy towards Iran, spurred by the election
last May of the relatively conciliatory Mohammad Khatami as
president and his opening to dialogue with the West, will
lead to a rethinking of the containment policy.

They also believe the lessons of the crisis with Baghdad,
in which key U.S. ally Saudi Arabia pursued a rapprochement
with Tehran while refusing facilities for an American
strike on Iraq, may hasten a change of heart in Washington.

U.S. officials say there is now serious debate in the
Clinton administration about how to deal with Iran, with
doves in the State Department confronting hawks in the
Defence Department and the intelligence community.

Israel, which strongly influences Washington's view of the
Middle East, has stepped up public warnings that Iran is a
greater threat to regional security than Iraq.

Analysts say the European rapprochement with Tehran can
still be stymied by hardliners in the Iranian justice
system, security services and parliament who have taken or
threatened action against Europeans.

Hardliners used the ninth anniversary of the late Ayatollah
Ruhollah Khomeini's ``fatwa'' against British writer Salman
Rushdie this month to reassert their determination to see
him killed, causing indignation in Britain, which holds the
EU's rotating presidency.

German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel said on Tuesday that
improved relations with Tehran depended strongly on the
fate of a German sentenced to death in Iran for having
sexual relations out of wedlock with a Moslem woman.

And any repetition of the attacks on Iranian dissidents in
Europe, which led to the suspension of the EU dialogue with
Iran last year and a temporary recall of European envoys
from Tehran, would be bound to deal a blow to the new
relationship.


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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:08:09 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Public hanging draws crowd of 70,000

Iran Hangs Four Men for Rape, Murder of Girl

Reuters
25-FEB-98

TEHRAN, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Four Iranian men who raped and
killed a nine-year-old girl by cutting her throat were
hanged before a crowd of 70,000 people on Tuesday at the
scene of their crimes in the western city of Kermanshah.

The Persian-language Qods newspaper on Wednesday quoted the
head of the Kermanshah judiciary, Zekrollah Ahmadi, as
saying:

``Around two months ago, Saeed, Majid and Shahriar Nazari
kidnapped Hosna Mansourpou, the victim, with aid from
Sassan Hajishoureh, a night guard.

``After raping the girl, they cut her throat with a saw and
hid the body...After 48 days of investigation, the
murderers were identified and arrested. They confessed to
their crimes.''

Three of the men were from the same family. Iran's Supreme
Court upheld the verdict handed down by a lower court.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.

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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:11:29 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Sanctions contradict UN's human rights charter

The Independent
25 February 1998


Iraq - Misery and hardship: the darker side of UN sanctions


Children are dying as doctors find it impossible to buy
drugs to cure them. By Robert Fisk in Baghdad

Not long before Christmas last year, UN Assistant Secretary
General Denis Halliday - the bearded and balding Irishman
who heads the UN's oil-for-food programme in Iraq - paid a
visit to four small Iraqi children suffering from leukaemia
in the Saddam Hussein City Hospital.

"The doctors told me they couldn't get the drugs to treat
them and I got involved with them," Mr Halliday says in his
cramped Baghdad office, the walls hanging with cheap Arab
rugs. "With a World Health Organisation colleague, I
managed to get the drugs they required - some from Jordan,
one from northern Iraq, which means it was probably
smuggled in from Turkey. Then I dropped in on Christmas Eve
to see the children in their ward. Two were already dead.
You know, the doctors who look after these children are
incredible characters - you can imagine the effect on them
of not having what they need to heal their patients."

Mr Halliday is palpably torn by his task of distributing
food and medicine to 23 million Iraqis, all of whom are
being punished and some of whom are being left to die in
appalling hospital conditions because of Iraq's refusal to
submit to full UN arms inspections. At the same time as he
was seeking drugs for the leukaemia children, Halliday
wrote an impassioned letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, complaining that what the UN was doing in Iraq was
causing untold suffering to innocent people.

"I wrote that what we were doing was undermining the moral
credibility of the UN," he says. "I found myself in a moral
dilemma. It seemed to me that what we were doing was in
contradiction to the human rights provision in the UN's own
charter." It was Halliday's idea to permit Iraq to export
more oil - to increase it from US $2bn every six months to
$4bn. "I started selling the idea to the Russian, Chinese
and French ambassadors here and they were quick to take it
up and convey it to their capitals. The fact that this was
accomplished makes my conscience a bit easier."

But Iraq, whose UN sales are strictly monitored - 30 per
cent goes to compensate individuals, companies and
countries which suffered from Saddam Hussein's 1990
invasion of Kuwait - has not been allowed to use its oil
income to repair or maintain the decrepit and war-damaged
machinery in its oil fields. Allowed to export more oil -
it might have been permitted to sell more than $5bn every
six months - it is deprived of the means of doing so. When
Mr Halliday accompanied Mr Annan to see the Iraqi Vice
President Taha Yassin Ramadan at the weekend, Mr Ramadan
complained bitterly that he had no spare parts to increase
the oil flow.

Now a commission of experts is to enter Iraq to see how
much it will cost to restore Iraq's pumping and refining
facilities. But a far more terrible fate awaits the Iraqi
people. With its electrical power stations producing less
than 40 per cent of capacity, water and sanitation systems
are on the point of breakdown. Hospitals in Basra are
filthy, their doctors forced to re-use rubber gloves during
operations, their wards without air conditioning or clean
water. Without electrical pumps, water is falling in the
pipes and sewage is being sucked into the vacuum. To
restore full electrical current will cost a further minimum
$6bn.

"The government here used to encourage the use of infant
formula, and infant formula with contaminated water is a
real killer," Mr Halliday says. "In the south, water and
sanitation have broken down. Some of the damage was done by
American bombing [in 1991], probably other damage during
the Iran-Iraq war. The reason the Iraqis were slow to move
on the oil-for-food programme [it was almost two years
before Iraq agreed to the system] is because they see this
as a national humiliation. They're being given handouts,
and it's their own money."

Mr Halliday is a Dublin-born Quaker who worked in Kenya and
Iran before joining the UN's bureaucracy in New York; and
he is a man who has no great trust in the sanctions which
he is helping to impose. "I think the international
community has got to find some alternative to sanctions,"
he says. ". we need to find a way of separating the
leadership from the people. One way is to stop arms sales.
If there could really be control on sales of arms, there
could really be controls."

Most of the rejected Iraqi industrial requests are turned
down by the UN because of possible dual purpose use. "The
Iraqi director general of railways was telling me the other
day that he ordered some spare parts for his diesel locos
in 1988 and paid 4 million French francs for them. Because
of the sanctions, he hasn't got them yet. It's a typical
dual purpose problem - trains can be used to transport
soldiers." Area electric power generators in Iraq are
desperately in deed of turbine parts, each of which has to
be custom-manufactured. The UN has been delaying supplies.

But Mr Halliday worries more about the long-term future of
Iraqis, those who survive the UN's punishing sanctions.
"There are men and women now in their 20s and 30s and 40s
who have known little more than the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf
war and the sanctions. They see themselves as surrounded by
unfriendly people, and a very unsympathetic America and
Britain. They are out of touch . They have no access to
Western television. And these are the people who are going
to have to run this country in the future. They are feeling
alienated and very Iraqi-introverted. Their next-door
neighbours are going to have a tough time dealing with
these people."

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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:12:36 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Surrender not enough, need humiliation

The Guardian
Wednesday February 25, 1998

Comment

Saddam games


"Fight fight fight fight FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT." Louder
and more excitable the chant became as the two combatants
marched towards the playground. Then suddenly: "Uh-oh,
here's do-gooder Mr Annan", who strides to the centre, and
gets the first year kid to give his dinner money to the
older boy without a fight at all.

The trouble is, some spectators have got so worked up at
the prospect of a bundle, that they've become a cauldron of
unfulfilled expectation, victims of warrus interruptus.

For example the Sun's political editor said: "Within months
Saddam will be playing cat and mouse again", arguing that
the deal should make no difference because Saddam is likely
to break it. In other words countries should be bombed in
advance, in case they upset us in the future.

So the Pentagon should employ an astrologer. Then America
can launch Cruise missiles at Baghdad and say: "Well, you
should see what he was going to do next Monday". And
Madeleine Albright could announce "With the Moon descending
through his Saturn he was going to have a difficult day for
romance, making it a good time to cut off oil supplies to
an old friend."

CNN must be gutted: like the BBC on days that a Test Match
is rained off. "Well, we were hoping to bring you coverage
of the second match between America and Iraq, but as play
has been abandoned in Baghdad we're showing you highlights
from an earlier match in Bosnia".

Simon Henderson, a biographer of Saddam Hussein, popped up
on various radio programmes to warn us that Saddam's
climbdown is worthless. He grumbled that "During the press
conference Tariq Aziz said 'This is a victory for Iraq' in
Arabic." This is what happens when you don't include a
clause that stops the crafty sods speaking in their own
language.

Henderson also informed us that the chemical weapons Saddam
bought from the West were sold to him for agricultural
research purposes, but the devious dictator converted them
for his evil ends. And I suppose the Supergun was sold to
him as a high speed hedge-trimmer.

Most disappointed of all must be Margaret Thatcher, who'd
prepared to fly off to Kuwait to 'boost morale' with the
troops. She must be thinking: "Surely the Iraqis have got a
boat floating about somewhere near South America that we
can torpedo to get the whole thing kicked off again".

And George Robertson had the face of an Olympic sprinter
disqualified for a false start. Asked whether the deal
meant there'd be no war he grimaced: "We'll have to wait to
see the final details." As if there'll be a footnote no-one
else has noticed that says: "And Saddam is given full
jurisdiction over the Sudetenland".

Up and ready for a scrap, they all seem to have been caught
off guard by Saddam backing down on everything America
demanded. So they're all saying a version of: "Well that's
typical of such a wily dictator, to craftily surrender like
that".

For surrender isn't enough. To look really tough they need
humiliation. During the Russian civil war, the British
devised a plan to make Lenin and Trotsky walk through
Moscow with no trousers or pants. The discussion during
those phone calls between Blair and Clinton is probably
concerned with finding a modern version. Bill says: "Can't
we add a clause that the fleet stays until he goes into a
chemists and asks for 50 raspberry flavoured condoms?" And
Blair suggests that Saddam is made to do a turn as Jimmy
Osmond on Stars In Their Eyes.

Yet the irony is that Blair looks as if he's trying to
learn from Saddam's tactics. Faced with the overwhelming
force of retired colonels in red jackets and the Daily
Telegraph, he's preparing to bow to the inevitable and
scrap his lethal plans for a bill on fox-hunting.

Indeed, he'll probably have to allow any member of the
aristocracy to inspect any policy they like without prior
notice, to ensure he retains no facilities for annoying the
nobility in the future. But, being the cunning sort he is,
as he signs the deal, he'll say "Victory to the fox" in
Arabic.



Copyright Guardian Media Group plc 1998

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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:15:43 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Saddam maneuvers his way out of the box

The Independent
February 24, 1998


Patrick Cockburn - How the Iraqi mouse made the West's
elephant dance


The United States and Britain have achieved their narrow
aim of obtaining unfettered access for UN weapons
inspectors with no time limit on their activities imposed
by Baghdad. By every other measure Saddam Hussein has
succeeded through skilful management of the present crisis
in escaping the political and economic isolation that
defeat in the Gulf war placed Iraq seven years ago. "Saddam
has certainly out-thought the Clinton administration," says
Laith Kubba, an Iraqi opposition intellectual. "The US has
behaved like an elephant with no brain, so even a mouse
like Saddam can make it dance to his tune."

The very presence of Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General,
in Baghdad this weekend marks the return of Iraq as a
player in the Middle East. It showed that President Saddam
is still in business and likely to remain so. It also
underlines his success in using the dependence of the UN
weapons inspection team (Unscom) on his co-operation to
work in Iraq, a dependence which enables him to switch
crises on and off at his own convenience.

Yesterday the Iraqi leader chose to switch off the crisis,
probably well pleased with the gains he has made. This is
masked by international focus on his biological and
chemical weapons as a measure of his power. In fact Unscom
is only one of three methods employed by the US to contain
Iraq since 1991 and probably the least effective. The other
two are economic sanctions and the military alliance of the
US, Britain and the south Gulf states created to fight the
Gulf war. Both have been significantly weakened by the
present crisis.

Economic sanctions have been partially lifted by the
decision of the UN Security Council to increase the value
of oil Iraq is allowed to export every six months from
$2.1bn (1.3bn) to $5.2bn. The Iraqi response is to object
to the whole arrangement, saying that it cannot export more
than $4bn without repairing oil equipment damaged in the
first Gulf war. But the Security Council can hardly will
the end without willing the means. Presumably spare parts
will be allowed through. In effect Iraq will be able to
export about two million barrels a day of crude oil, which
is two-thirds of its export level before sanctions were
imposed in August 1990.

The most important method of containing Iraq is the
military alliance against it. The core of this is the US,
Britain and the south Gulf states, notably Saudi Arabia.
The alliance now looks much more ragged than could have
been expected even six months ago. The Gulf states, and
above all Saudi Arabia, have shown an extreme lack of
enthusiasm in lining up with the US and Britain. Crown
Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is said to have told
Madeleine Albright, the US Secretary of State, that his
country is finding its guard dogs (presumably the US and
Britain) more expensive to feed than the wolf (Iraq) whom
they were supposed to guard it against.

If Arab rulers had any doubts about the sympathies of their
subjects, then these were probably put to rest by the riots
in M'An in Jordan over the weekend. Suddenly, television
screens across the Arab world were showing rioters
showering police with stones and wounding four of them with
machine gun fire after a pro-Iraqi demonstrator was killed.

For President Clinton it has not been a good crisis. He has
paid for his neglect of the Middle East since he took
office in 1993. He inherited the legacy of President Bush's
victory in the Gulf War which established American
predominance in the Middle East. In 1993 the Oslo accords
seemed to make it possible that the Israeli - Palestinian
conflict would be defused by the Palestinians winning the
right to establish a national state in Gaza and on the West
Bank.

It never happened. President Clinton's pro-Israeli bias
helped undermine Oslo. At the same time, two other legs of
his Middle East policy were in trouble. These were the
"dual containment" of Iraq and Iran. Both countries were to
be isolated politically, militarily and economically.
Against Iraq failure was partial, but against Iran it was
almost total. One result of the outcome of the latest
crisis with Iraq may be that the US will cultivate Iran,
which is a traditional enemy of Saddam Hussein.

Washington does not seem to perceive that its whole Middle
East policy is in trouble. Last week Mrs Albright, who
talks tough but has proved ineffective during the present
crisis, said there was no connection between the
confrontation between the US and Saddam Hussein and the
Arab-Israeli conflict. What this means is that there is no
connection in terms of State Department policy, but in
reality the US failure to broker an agreement between
Israel and the Palestinians has contributed significantly
to its inability to rally support in the Arab world against
Iraq.

In retrospect the US might have been wiser to rely more on
the traditional methods of economic embargo rather than
weapons inspections to contain Iraq. After all President
Saddam had far more chemical and biological weapons and the
means to deliver them in 1991 but the threat of retaliation
deterred him from using them. The inhibition should apply
more forcibly today.

President Clinton and Tony Blair can fairly say that they
have saved Unscom and allowed it to operate freely for as
long as it wants. They will add that Iraq blinked at the
last moment in the face of bombing. In reality, the White
House was always more nervous that it appeared at
committing itself to an air offensive without a clear
political or military objective. Otherwise, it would
scarcely have mandated Mr Annan to go to Baghdad. The
weapons inspections will go ahead, but the real
significance of the outcome of the crisis is that Saddam
Hussein is well and truly out of the box where Washington
kept him after his defeat in Kuwait.


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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:16:42 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: A strange day in barefoot Baghdad

The Independent
23 February 1998


A strange day in barefoot Baghdad

By Robert Fisk in Baghdad


HE CAME at us through the traffic, banging his tiny fist on
the side of our car. He could have been no more than four
years old, barefoot and dressed in a worn oversize leather
jacket with a dozen holes ripped in- to it. "Give me
money," he shrieked, banging the door again, staring at me
through the glass and wrinkling his eyes to imitate tears.
Or was it imitation?

On the pavement an hour later, almost on the banks of the
Tigris, three more children attacked, older this time,
grabbing at our coats, screaming "money" until we gave them
half a dollar; they grabbed our bags for more until we
physically pushed them from us, cursing them - heaven help
us - for their assault.

Would Madeleine Albright, I wonder, have given them a cent?
Or would she have lectured them on the iniquities of their
leader and the need for UN sanctions, the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait and the immorality of weapons of mass destruction
(those, at least, in Iraqi hands, the others being
apparently less dangerous).

It was a strange old day in Baghdad yesterday, one of those
mild winter afternoons along the Tigris - dark
Mediterranean blue under the February sun - that should
presage peace rather than war. Kofi Annan appeared to be
promising us the earth, or promising Saddam a clearer
definition of UN resolution 687 in return for letting the
UN's inspectors into his palaces, but the Iraqis, almost
wearily, accepted the possibility of yet another "Allied"
attack. The anti-aircraft guns were back on the usual
ministry roofs and a bunch of old American-made Kuwaiti
armour - rusting relics from the 1990 attempt to turn the
emirate into Iraq's 13th province - was being trucked up a
highway out of town.

Just outside Abu Ghoraib, groups of young men - 30 or 40
strong but thin and ungainly figures in old jeans and
ill-fitting shirts - stood to attention in front of smartly
dressed soldiers in khaki and black berets.

Saddam's would-be volunteers were being taught how to dress
to attention, but they were no Dad's army, more like Dad's
kids, a rag-tag bunch of youths listening earnestly to
their military commanders in case Iraq's third major war in
two decades was to begin in a few days' time.

What the West can do from the air can still be seen on the
highway west of Baghdad. If the bridges have been repaired,
the road surface is still slashed with shrapnel scars where
American and British aircrews thought they were bombing
Scud missile trucks in 1991. In fact, they were attacking
petrol tankers, often driven by Jordanians. It is still a
lonely journey to Baghdad over the desert highway - I
passed no more than 20 old lorries in four hours' driving -
and Baghdad presents an odd picture of a capital supposedly
threatening "the whole world".

Indeed, as I drove past the miles of abandoned trains in
the great railway yards outside Baghdad and the empty
stations, the words of Messrs Clinton and Blair kept coming
back to me. President Clinton called Saddam a "predator of
the 21st century" at the Pentagon last week - few Kuwaitis
would disagree - but Baghdad is a city gone to seed, its
people impoverished, its children begging in the streets,
grass growing through cracks in its underpasses and
pavements. Even the giant street paintings of Saddam
Hussein, the great father-figure himself, have faded in the
sun of seven summers.

It is a place of lost wealth, courtesy of UN sanctions. And
the Iraqis are people living in the ruins of empire, the
only palaces still fit for kings owned by the man who has
compared himself to Nebuchadnezzar and who objects - very
strongly indeed, as we all know - to the UN inspectors
turning up at midnight in their jeans and baseball hats to
check beneath the four-posters.

Even the old marble entrance floor of the Al-Rashid hotel -
which depicts President George Bush in a mosaic - has been
partly worn away.

So, as we drove through the cold grey-brown Iraqi desert
yesterday, it was difficult to decide which world we were
living in. As our four-wheel-drive hummed along the
highway, Radio Monte Carlo informed us of the latest New
York Times prediction of "massive raids" in the event of
Saddam's non-compliance with weapons inspection teams, or a
possible 1,500 dead.

So who would be making up the "collateral damage" next
time? The Iraqi peasant in his red chequered headdress
trying to kick-start his battered Nissan on the edge of
Baghdad, not far from an anti-aircraft battery? The kids
who begged us for Iraqi dinars?

Or would it include the moustachioed waiter who served us
Cola last night and who smiled weakly at us, partly I
suspect in embarrassment, and admitted: "I would like to go
to America."


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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:17:41 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Psychopaths with no conscience :)

The Independent
23 February 1998



Miles Kington - Your cut-out-and-keep guide to the week
ahead, whether there's a war or not

As we wait to hear whether the balloon is going up in the
Middle East, it would make it all a lot easier for us if we
knew what exactly is going on, which is why today I have
scrapped the column which was originally intended for this
space (a fitness feature called "Get In Shape The John
Prescott Way") and am bringing you instead a basic briefing
for the week ahead.

If, at all times, you can bear the following facts in mind,
everything else will seem clear by comparison.

1. Saddam Hussein, the President of Iraq, is a psychopath
without a conscience.

2. Do not take my word for this. I am quoting from what
John Major, ex-Prime Minister, said in Parliament last
week. And he should know.

3. He worked closely with Margaret Thatcher.

4. So, Saddam Hussein is a psychopath without a conscience.

5. He is the sort of man who not only develops chemical
weapons but uses them, not just on the Kurds, but on his
own people.

6. This is psychopathic, conscience-free behaviour all
right.

7. I mean, what sort of man would encourage the use of
death-dealing chemicals on his own people?

8. For instance, encourage his own farmers to use
organo-phosphates until they were driven to death, disease
and suicide?

9. Well, John Major, actually.

10. But I digress.

11. It is established that Saddam Hussein is a psychopath
with no conscience, and if we have ever watched a Hollywood
film, we know what to do with that kind of psychopathic
killer.

12. You ruthlessly hunt him down and kill him without
hurting anyone else.

13. Unfortunately, the Americans can't do that, because
their weapons system can only hunt down and kill everyone
else without hurting Saddam Hussein.

14. So instead, they are trying every diplomatic move
possible.

15. Unfortunately, diplomacy is probably the worst possible
approach to a psychopath, as anyone who has ever tried
pacifying an armed and desperate serial killer by offering
him a five-year wheat and iron ore trade agreement will
testify.

16. In the long run Bill Clinton may have to listen to his
military advisers.

17. What counsel will his advisers offer?

18. They will say: "Mr President, sir, we have an awful lot
of military capability which is getting obsolete and which
we need to update. Instead of scrapping it, why don't we
drop it on Saddam ? Then we can modernise our arms AND keep
the military-industrial complex in work. We NEED a small
war, sir. You owe it to us."

19. Bill Clinton may not take this advice.

20. He may examine his other options.

21. These other options include: sending in American planes
to destroy Iraq's cable cars and cripple their skiing
industry, which we know from test runs in Italy they can do
with pinpoint accuracy;

22. Sending in the US ice hockey team to trash the place.

23. Forcing Saddam Hussein to stage the next Olympics and
thus bankrupt Iraq.

24. Bombing Saddam's millennium Dome.

25. Incidentally, a man was arrested in the US last week on
suspicion of possessing anthrax and being about to start
biological terrorism.

26. He has now been released because the "anthrax" was in
fact identified as a harmless vaccine used on cows.

27. So maybe the Americans have got it wrong and Saddam is
making cow vaccine.

28. But if they are right, Saddam Hussein must be stopped,
because no one nation should be allowed to stockpile such a
vast store of weapons.

29. Except of course the United States.

30. Who do actually need a vast stockpile of weapons in
order to be able to bomb other nations who have a vast
stockpile of arms to which they are not entitled.

31. That's it, really.

32. World opinion is so outraged by Saddam Hussein that the
US's stand is being unanimously supported by the rest of
the world, though only Britain has said so.

33. We are ready to go in and bomb this psychopath to
kingdom come.

34. Unless, of course, Kofi Annan can hammer out an
agreement with him, in which case Saddam Hussein is not a
psychopath at all, but a great and responsible statesman,
and we shall all breathe a lot easier until the next time
this farce is played out.

35. No, I don't think he is any relation to Lord Annan.


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Date: Wed, 25 Feb 1998 13:18:51 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: A rank mixture of adrenaline and aviation fuel

The Independent
23 February 1998


Andrew Marshall - Tony and Bill: stop war-mongering, it's
time to start living with Saddam


A policy on the verge of a nervous breakdown is never a
pretty sight. Circles won't square any more; sums won't add
up; and, by the by, people get killed. We saw it in Bosnia
three years ago, and we are seeing it today. Whatever
happens in Baghdad or Washington or New York this week,
policy towards Iraq has broken down, irretrievably, and the
pieces won't fit back together. So let's start again.

America will, if there is a deal with Iraq, doubtless
protest that this is only the result of its firmness. That
is a deeply dubious proposition; in reality, Kofi Annan and
his skillful diplomacy will have saved the day. If force is
used, the failure will be all the worse: the result will
not be the end of Saddam, nor of his weapons, nor of any of
the basic problems that make this the most likely venue for
a major conflict.

Can we really persist with this style of confrontation? Is
it worth it, to put the world on the brink of a catastrophe
in order to enforce UN resolutions when scant attention is
paid to so many others? Have we no other way of achieving
our goal - which is, after all, supposed to be regional
security, peace and the avoidance of war?

There have been two Gulf wars in the last 20 years, and
there's still time to fit in a third if we all want to. For
the last month, that has apparently been the intention of
the Americans, with Tony Blair ably following up the rear.
We have assembled aircraft and ships enough to blow the
most expensive holes in the desert ever seen. The result of
the first Gulf War - a long, drawn-out and unspeakably
violent clash between Iraq and Iran - was a bloody
stalemate. For a short time, Iraq was still regarded as the
bulwark of Western security against the mad mullahs of
Tehran, and Saddam and his representatives were once more
welcomed to the tents of the arms salesmen. Iraq felt it
had received too little recompense for its role in
protecting the Arab nation against the Shia onslaught from
the East; it pushed things too far, invaded Kuwait, and the
rest is history.

But it's unfinished history, because the solution put in
place in 1991 resulted in just another stalemate. The
framework of western policy after the Gulf War, set by
America, was to contain both states, to enforce disarmament
of Iraq, and to bring together the Arab states of the
"coalition" into as permanent an alliance as possible. All
this is crumbling into dust.

Whatever happens this week, there cannot be a second Desert
Thunder. Once this confrontation is ended, the threat of
force will never be as credible again. Just as America
realised, in time, that the constant threat of air power in
Bosnia was degrading its most valuable asset - credibility
- so it must, surely, realise that the same thing is
happening again in the Gulf.

There are plenty of other reasons why this policy must be
ditched. It commands little or no support from the Arab
"allies" in the Gulf; the latest crisis has served merely
to underline the cracks in the "coalition". Nor are these
states inclined to go along for much longer with the
containment of Iran. Saudi Arabia, the linchpin of any
regional security arrangement, would not agree to host any
attacks on Iraq, and it is also cosying up to Tehran once
again. Europe wants to get back into the Iraqi markets
again, and it also wants to reap the benefits of oil and
gas in central Asia, which means co-operating with Iran.
Containment is, for all practical purposes, bankrupt.

It is also morally bankrupt. Since 1990, we have been
blockading Iraq in the futile belief that this would
encourage political change. It hasn't. The policy has
failed, and the cost has been to the Iraqi people. This
can't continue: it is morally wrong, and politically
futile.

There are, realistically, only two options now. One is to
insist that Iraq is a permanent and lasting threat to the
security of the world, and treat it as such. That means
military action on a much grander scale even than 1991; and
no one is prepared to countenance that. The sons and
daughters of America and Britain will not be allowed to die
in a futile and bloody conflict to clear the way to
Baghdad.

Short of war, of course, is "disruptive action," or "covert
operations," or whatever other weaselly term one wishes to
attach to the dirty little secrets of the intelligence
agencies. But the evidence is that attempts to overthrow or
undermine Saddam are doomed to failure before they start -
bloody failures that blow up in the faces of those who plan
and implement them.

So what else? The only other option is to start to deal
with Iraq, to bring it out of the corner and start to treat
it as a "normal" state. That will seem abhorrent to those
who see it as a uniquely abnormal state, one bent on
destroying what passes for peace in the Middle East, which
tortures and kills its own people, actively prepares for
war, and invades its neighbours.

But we aren't dealing with Iraq because it's nice; we're
dealing with it because there's no other option. Short of
turning it into a car park with those wonderful
precision-guided munitions, we don't have any other
reasonable course of action. That doesn't mean we have to
learn to love Iraq, or its ruler: we simply have to deal
with it, instead of shutting it in a box and pretending we
can make it go away.

Over the last month, the threat of military action has been
substituted for policy: a rank mixture of adrenaline and
aviation fuel has taken the place of thinking. Military
force has its place; but it can't solve political problems,
and the Iraqi imbroglio is fundamentally a political
question.

America will find it hard to think itself out of the
current policy, defunct though it is. While the US was
threatening military action, Britain followed along,
gallantly bringing up the rear despite the increasingly
evident strains within the Government. If confrontation is
now off the agenda, Britain should (for once) take up the
lead. We can, and should point the way towards a new way of
tackling Saddam - one that does not require the threat of
an annual Armageddon to be effective.



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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 24 Feb 1998 to 25 Feb 1998 - Special issue
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