Date: Mar 4, 1998 [ 17: 33: 45]

Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Mar 1998 to 4 Mar 1998 - Special issue

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There are 12 messages totalling 1239 lines in this issue.

Topics in this special issue:

1. Hamshahri's article on student demonstration
2. Nouri press conference
3. Nouri Blasts Judiciary Chief at Press Conference
4. Mohajerani: Religion not a tool for dominating, governing society
5. MKO unsuccessful in winnig support
6. Paper calls for "Speaker's Corner" in Iran
7. Mixing religion with politics contradicts freedom
8. Probing people's ideologies contradicts the constitution
9. US Encourages Nuclear Proliferation, Scoffs Treaty
10. Iran Calls for Freeing Mideast from Weapons of Mass Destruction
11. Cancer epidemic legacy of 1991 Iraq war
12. US vengeance falls short of its target


Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 09:21:10 +0100
From: Farhad Abdolian <farhad.abdolian@RSA.ERICSSON.SE>
Subject: Hamshahri's article on student demonstration

bA salAm,
A very interesting article about the student demonstration, their
statement, how the IRI officials at the site react to the clash between
these groups and "demonstrators left the univercity area and went on to
"enqlean" street where some people joined them in their demonstration".
According to Hamshahri estimates the number of student demonstrators to
2500 and the number of "pressure group" demonstrators as 50-60. They are
also very critical to how the special forces at the site reacted and the
fact they were against the students demonstrators instead of helping them
in their legal peacefull action.

One of the students leaders said that "it is amazing that the voote of
milions of people is worth less than the vote of few people".

Farhad A.
# Farhad Abdolian, #
# 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, 4 Mar 1998 19:07:46 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Nouri press conference

nouri-press conference

interior minister on hottest issues facing nation tehran,
march 4, irna -- iran's interior minister, abdullah nouri,
here on tuesday attended a press conference, fielding a
number of questions by domestic and foreign reporters on
the hottest issues facing the nation.

in response to a question regarding the ministry's
authorization of the recent student rally protesting the
rejection of some majlis by-election candidates, nouri
explained that article 27 of the iranian constitution
permits rallies as long as they do not violate islamic
principles and the participants do not carry arms.

however, he added, any violation of laws by the
demonstrators should be prosecuted in a court of law.

in response to the japanese tv correspondent's question
regarding the recent clashes with the terrorist mujahedin
khalq organization (mko), nouri said ''as far as i know,
nine mko members were killed during clashes with iran's
security forces at the iran-iraq border region and that's
the extent of the event.''

in response to irna's question on existence of political
organizations in iran and whether cultural institutes can
embark on political activities, the minister said ''there
is no statistics on the number of active political parties
in the country, however, there is no obstacle in the way of
issuing permits for formation of parties.''

he added that the current government attaches great
importance to the political development in the country, and
thus has adopted a policy encouraging formation of
political parties.

however, nouri stressed, cultural institutes cannot enter
politics because the activites of any organization is
dictated by its articles of association. the spanish news
agency reporter asked whether the iranian law enforcement
corps report to the country's supreme leader or to the
government. nouri clarified that article 110 of the
constitution places the armed forces including the law
enforcement corps under the command of the supreme leader.

however, he added, providing security in the country
mandates close cooperation between the law enforcement
corps and the interior ministry.

responding to a quesiton on his contacts with ayatollah
hossein ali montazeri, nouri said to be in touch with all
segments of the society is amongst the responsibilites of
the interior minister. however, he stressed, the contacts
in no way translate to convergence of opinions between the
two sides.

according to nouri, the national security council has made
the decision to continuously monitor the situation relevent
to montazeri.

the reporter from the daily 'hamshahri' asked about the
nature of talks between nouri and some 12 high ranking
ulema in qom.

in order to be informed of the ulema's points of view as a
source of guidance for the ministry, he responded, the
interior minister should stay in touch with the ulema.

''i have had two such meetings with the qom ulema in the
past year during which i relayed regards from the president
and sought guidance from them for the ministry.''

the meetings focused on religious tenets, attending to the
deprived segment of the society, budget cuts, preventing
excesses in state agencies and the highly promoted
institutionalization of laws in the society, nouri
elaborated. answering a question by persian daily iran on
how the interior ministry enforces the law while it has no
authority over the law enforcement corps, nouri said, ''the
law enforcement corps should act to enforce the law and i
do not think that any problem may appear in this regard.''

the interior minister said the law enforcement personnel
are required to fulfill their responsibility in accordance
with the approvals of the supreme national security council
(snsc) and the provincial security bodies.

tehran times asked that protection of the border security
is the responsibility of the interior ministry, what action
has been taken to protect the security of the persian gulf
given the current crisis caused by the presence of foreign

he said the border security falls within scope of the
interior ministry's duty. ''border is something and the
persian gulf is something else. we do not see any threat
under the status quo of the persian gulf. iranian islands
in the persian gulf are undr full protection.''

another reporter asked whether any legal action will be
taken to prosecute those involved in the violence in front
of tehran university on monday, he said no one has been
arrested yet, but, movies have been taken from the scene
and a special panel in the interior ministry is following
up the case to identify those who caused clashes there.
answering a question put by afp reporter on social status
of tehran and unemployment problems, the interior minister
stated that the government should take necessary step to
solve such problems through economic commissions.

the persian `resalat' daily reporter asked nouri why he had
appointed some members of the islamic revolution mujahedeen
organization as his deputies and why the interior ministry
issued some permits which resulted in tension in front of
tehran university.

the interior minister stated that he saw no relation
between the granting of permits for the students to gather
in front of tehran university and his appointment of some
member of the islamic revolution mujahedeen organization.

referring to the slogans used by the university students
during their gathering, nouri said that the application
form for the permits did not contain special spacing to
indicate the kinds of slogan to be used during the meetings
as the forms belonged to some eight years ago.

he added that permits had been issued based on legal rights
of the citizens according to article number 27 of the
constitution, pointing out that if any person who violates
the set conditions would be answerable before the court of

on infringement of the law by the tehran's city council and
the remarks of the judiciary chief ayatollah yazdi in his
second sermon of last friday prayers in tehran, the
interior minister pointed out that he deems it as his duty
to thank the tehran municipality for their valuable
contribution during the past eight years which helped
completely transform the profile of iran's center.

nouri concluded that if any violations are observed in
municipality, government organizations, interior ministry,
judicial units and elsewhere the matter should be probed.

::irna 04/03/98 22:46

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:09:03 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Nouri Blasts Judiciary Chief at Press Conference

Iranian Interior Minister Criticizes Judiciary

Xinhua 04-MAR-98

TEHRAN (March 4) XINHUA - Iranian Interior Minister
Abdollah Nouri Wednesday criticized head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi for making "illogical, harsh and
angry speeches" over certain issues.

"I suggest Mr. Yazdi, as the highest judicial official in
the country, to speak with dignity, caution and to base his
speeches on laws," Nouri said at a press conference.

It was the first time in Iran that a government minister
launched open criticism against a senior official like head
of the Judiciary, particularly after the new government of
President Mohammad Khatami came to power last August.

Nouri stressed that an ordinary judge should not make
"emotional, harsh and angry speeches."

Earlier reports said that Yazdi showed harsh attitude to
and even threatened local reporters when they asked
questions about some judicial issues.

Nouri expressed hope that Yazdi would keep the dignity of
his post with "self-restraint" and pay more attentions to
the country's judicial issues to defend the people's rights
instead of concentrating on certain cases, such as the
embezzlement case related to the Tehran Municipality.

The embezzlement case of Tehran Municipality became a hot
issue between the two rival political factions. The
left-wing faction attacked the judicial bodies for
politicizing the case in order to weaken the government of
President Khatami while the right-wing faction even called
for arrest of Tehran Mayor Gholamhussein Karbaschi who was
allegedly involved in the case.

The interior minister praised the Tehran Municipality for
its achievements in the city's reconstruction during the
past eight years, though he stressed that any one who
violated the country's laws should be punished.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:12:33 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Mohajerani: Religion not a tool for dominating, governing society

Iran Daily (IRNA)
March 5, 1998

Religion should not be a tool to hold power

Shiraz - The first conference on Civil Society and
Religious Thought was inaugurated here Wednesday by the
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ata'ollah

In his inaugural speech, Mohajerani said that violence in a
civil society is not accept-able particularly when the
society has been formed on religious lines. The prophets,
he said, were annointed to establish civil society and the
focal point of their mission was to renounce violence in
autocratic societies.

The minister stated that unfortunately Iran had a tradition
of dictatorships in the past and this ancient structure has
been considered the basis for identifying Iran's history.

He noted that the autocratic structure was destroyed in the
country by the late Imam Khomeini. However the destruction
of an autocratic system does not mean the destruc-tion of
cultural despotism.

Mohajerani added, "in a religious society, one should not
allow religion to be used as a tool for dominating and
governing the soci-ety. People should accept religion from
with-in and if violence is imposed, this will not be the

He emphasized that accepting religion will-ingly is
something quite different from imposing it. Religion is
always accepted through pleasantness, Mohajerani remarked.

Some 60 researchers are taking part in the two-day
conference which is being held in Shiraz University.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:13:52 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: MKO unsuccessful in winnig support

Iran Daily (IRNA)
March 5, 1998

What's Up?

BBC's Farsi service said that despite great efforts made by
a radio and television station belonging to the Iranian
opposition group, MKO, to gain the support of those people
discontent with the present situation in the country, the
group has been unsuc-cessful. Although the MKO had
previously alleged that the 20m votes given to President
Khatami were fraudulent, it has not been able to convince
the Iranian public of this fact. According to the radio,
the recent assertions made by the opposition group are
coming at a time when Iran and Iraq are trying to improve
their ties. However, the pres-ence of armed MKO forces in
Iraq is still a bottleneck to better rela-tions between the
two countries as it allows the MKO and its sup-porters to
continue to take military action against innocent Iranians
living in cities along the Iraqi border.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:14:52 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Paper calls for "Speaker's Corner" in Iran

Iran Daily (IRNA)
March 5, 1998

Press Watch

Jame'eh in its editorial commented on the clashes between
two groups of students in front of Tehran University and
suggested that a forum like "Speaker's Corner" in London's
Hyde Park be established in Iran for political gatherings,
especially those arranged by university students. Jame'eh
termed the specifications of the plan as follows;

1- To make it possible for law enforcement officers to
control rallies and demonstrations.

2- To prevent harm from being inflicted on ordinary people.

3- To prepare the grounds for civil behavior and
interaction between political parties.

4- To show that rallies by political parties are natural.

5- And eventually to show that tolerance in Islamic systems
towards the beliefs of opponents exists. However, it noted
that the incident which occurred at Tehran University,
regardless of its violent nature, was the first test of
Khatami's government with regard to its commitment to
creating a civil society.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:15:49 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Mixing religion with politics contradicts freedom

Iran Daily (IRNA)
March 5, 1998

Press Watch

Abrar quoted Abbas Tavakol, a member of one branch of the
Fadaian Organization (those who sacrifice themselves), as
saying that President Khatami and those who support him
believe that religion and politics are intertwined. Those
who believe in this doctrine are thus not supporters of
political freedom nor can they respond to the legitimate
needs of the people, he asserted. Tavakoli added that while
"President Khatami's victory in the presi-dential elections
was due to people's support," he claimed that the president
and his supporters are now trying to "obstruct people from
achieving their goals."

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:17:11 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Probing people's ideologies contradicts the constitution

Iran Daily (IRNA)
March 5, 1998

Press Watch

Iran interviewed a law expert who is also a member of the
Islamic Republic of Iran's Academy for Sciences, Dr. Seyyed
Mostafa Mohagheghdamad. It quoted him as saying that
questioning peo-ple's ideologies contradicts the
constitution. "If you see that young-sters are greatly
suffering at the moment it is in large part due to the fact
that there have been many breaches of the constitution,"
Mohagheghdamad said. "Until the constitution is rightfully
imple-mented, their sufferings will not end," he further
noted. On other con-stitutional issues he went on to say
that it is the duty of the govern-ment to provide jobs for
all members of society and that all citizens are innocent
unless it is otherwise proven.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:19:14 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: US Encourages Nuclear Proliferation, Scoffs Treaty


Nuclear Futures: Proliferation of Weapons of Mass
Destruction and US Nuclear Strategy

Research Report 98.2

March 1998

Executive Summary

In November 1997, President Clinton issued a highly
classified Presidential Decision Directive (PDD), giving
new guidelines to the military on targeting nuclear
weapons. According to reports, the new PDD allows for the
use of nuclear weapons against "rogue" states – those
suspected of having access to weapons of mass destruction.

The use of nuclear weapons to deter attack by weapons of
mass destruction, other than nuclear weapons, remains
controversial. General Lee Butler, former
Commander-in-Chief of US Strategic Command, now describes
using nuclear weapons as a solution to chemical or
biological attack as an "outmoded idea." Conventional
retaliation would be far more proportionate, less damaging
to neighboring states and less horrific for innocent
civilians, he says. "There are no rogue nations, only rogue

In 1995, President Clinton issued a "negative security
assurance," pledging that the United States would not use
nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states parties
to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However, the
current US nuclear posture conflicts with that pledge.

Non-nuclear-weapon states parties to the NPT have long
demanded legally binding "negative security assurances,"
guaranteeing that nuclear weapons will not be used against
them. The issue is on the agenda for the 1998 NPT
Preparatory Committee meeting in Geneva in April 1998.

However, Special Assistant to the President Robert Bell has
already stated that negative security assurances will not
tie the hands of US decision-makers faced with a chemical
or biological attack. "It’s not difficult to define a
scenario in which a rogue state would use chemical weapons
or biological weapons and not be afforded protection under
our negative security assurance," he noted.

Documents obtained through the US Freedom of Information
Act also reveal criticism of the negative security
assurance from within the US military. These documents show
how US planning for the use of nuclear weapons against
Third World proliferators has developed in the 1990s. The
concept of targeting Third World proliferators is
relatively new to US nuclear doctrine. However, since the
end of the Cold War the US military has seen "increasingly
capable Third World threats" as a new justification for
maintaining US strategic and non-strategic nuclear weapons.

The extensive focus on proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction has resulted in "fewer but more widespread
targets" for the remaining US nuclear weapons. The US
nuclear arsenal is in the middle of a multi-billion dollar
upgrade that will make it capable of quickly shifting
between a greater number of limited contingencies all over
the world.

Additionally, new modifications of a number of US nuclear
weapons are currently underway in order to provide new
capabilities suitable for targeting potential
proliferators. In 1996, the B61-11 modification was
identified by the Department of Defense as the "weapon of
choice" for targeting Libya’s alleged underground chemical
weapons plant at Tarhunah. Other weapons "modifications"
are in the pipeline.

However, given the overwhelming US conventional capability,
there is no need to draw up plans for nuclear war in the
Third World. Using nuclear weapons to deter states armed
with other weapons of mass destruction is
counterproductive, undermining the nuclear
non-proliferation regime.

By using nuclear weapons in this way, the United States is
sending a message that nuclear weapons are important for
achieving prestige in world affairs and for accomplishing
military and political objectives. Pointing nuclear weapons
at regional troublemakers will provide them with a
justification to acquire nuclear weapons themselves.
Encouraging nuclear proliferation can only increase the
risk to US security in the long term.

A reaffirmation of the commitments to non-proliferation and
nuclear disarmament by removing chemical, biological, and
radiological weapons and facilities from US war planning
would be a more fitting post-Cold War measure.

Nevertheless, as the documents researched as the basis for
this paper demonstrate, planning for nuclear war in the
Third World has progressed virtually unopposed. With little
informed opposition and public debate, the result is a
nuclear doctrine that borrows heavily from Cold War nuclear
thinking. President Clinton’s Decision Directive of
November 1997 permits this planning to continue.


1 March1998

US Nuclear Strategy and the Third World

For further information, please contact:

Stephen Young at +1-202-785-1266; Nicola Butler at
+44-171-925-0862; or Hans Kristensen at +1-510-215 9356

A new report, published on Monday, 2 March 1998, reveals
that the the United States has actively sought to increase
its ability to target non-nuclear countries around the
globe for almost a decade. The new guidelines, issued by
President Clinton in November 1997, which reportedly call
for the use of US nuclear weapons against "rogue" states
armed with chemical and biological weapons, merely
formalize seven years of expansion of nuclear doctrine.

The report documents how the military now routinely plans
for nuclear contingencies against such countries. Nuclear
planners are extending targeting data technologies from
their Cold War configuration of "Northern Hemisphere only"
to obtain a "global capability". (p. 9 of the report)

This development highlights the disharmony between US
nuclear doctrine and the "negative security assurances"
issued by President Clinton in 1995. (p. 6) The assurances
pledge that the United States will not use nuclear weapons
against non-nuclear states party to the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Non-nuclear states are
expected to demand that these assurances are strengthened
at an NPT meeting in April. Yet under the new guidelines,
non-nuclear NPT countries which possess biological or
chemical weapons could be subject to nuclear strike.

The report, based on documents obtained through the US
Freedom of Information Act, shows that despite the Clinton
Administration's rhetorical support for nuclear
non-proliferation and disarmament, the US military sees
"increasingly capable Third World threats" as an important
justification for maintaining an "enduring" US nuclear
arsenal. (p. 7) The documents reveal harsh criticism of the
Administration's negative security assurance from within
the military: "(I)t is not in the nation's interest to
forswear the uncertainty as to how we would respond to
clear and dangerous threats of other weapons of mass
destruction." (p. 14)

The US nuclear arsenal is in the middle of a multi-billion
dollar upgrade to make it capable of "adaptive planning",
quickly shifting between a greater number of limited
contingencies all over the world. (p. 9) New modifications
of a number of US nuclear weapons are underway, which will
add new capabilities suitable for targeting potential
weapons of mass destruction proliferators. (p. 18)

Daniel Plesch, BASIC's Director, stated: "This report
highlights a disturbing trend. As demonstrated time and
again, nuclear weapons are unusable in today's world.
Planning for their use is dangerously irrelevant, and
prevents the creation of an effective non-proliferation

Author Hans Kristensen added: "Third World contingencies
have become prominent drivers in US nuclear planning during
the post-Cold War era. This threatens to hamper the
disarmament process and grant nuclear weapons an enduring
role. Our nuclear policy ought to be to reduce the role of
nuclear weapons, not extend it, and limit the nuclear
contingencies to fewer regions of the world, not expand

Full report at:

Pentagon study: 'Irrational' nuclear policy a deterrent

March 1, 1998 Web posted at: 8:35 p.m. EST (0135 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States should maintain the
threat of nuclear retaliation with an "irrational and
vindictive" streak to intimidate would-be attackers such as
Iraq, according to an internal military study made public

The study, "Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence," was
written by the Defense Department's Strategic Command, a
multiservice organization responsible for the nation's
strategic nuclear arsenal. It was obtained under the
Freedom of Information Act by an arms control group and
published Sunday in a report on U.S. strategies for
deterring attacks by antagonistic nations using chemical,
biological or nuclear weapons.

"Because of the value that comes from the ambiguity of what
the U.S. may do to an adversary if the acts we seek to
deter are carried out, it hurts to portray ourselves as too
fully rational and cool-headed," the 1995 Strategic Command
study says.

The British-American Security Information Council, a
London-based think tank, cited the STRATCOM document in its
report as an example of the Pentagon's push to maintain a
mission for its nuclear arsenal long after the Soviet
threat disappeared.

The report portrays the command as fighting and winning an
internal bureaucratic battle against liberal Clinton
administration officials who lean in favor of dramatic
nuclear weapons reductions.

Citing a range of formerly classified documents obtained
through the Freedom of Information Act, the report shows
how the United States shifted its nuclear deterrent
strategy from the defunct Soviet Union to so-called rogue
states: Iraq, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and the like.

Idea dates back to early 1960s

In its study, the Strategic Command uses Cold War language
in defending the relevance of nuclear weapons in deterring
such potential adversaries.

"The fact that some elements (of the U.S. government) may
appear to be potentially 'out of control' can be beneficial
to creating and reinforcing fears and doubts within the
minds of an adversary's decision makers," its report said.
"That the U.S. may become irrational and vindictive if its
vital interests are attacked should be a part of the
national persona we project to all adversaries."

The idea of projecting an aura of irrationality was not
original to STRATCOM. It dates at least as far back as the
early 1960s, when Harvard professor Thomas Schelling was
writing his ground-breaking works on game theory and
nuclear bargaining.

"It is not a universal advantage in situations of conflict
to be inalienably and manifestly rational in decision and
motivation," Schelling wrote. These were ideas later
adopted by Henry Kissinger and President Nixon in using
coercive air strikes on North Vietnam as a way of forcing
Hanoi to the bargaining table in the latter stages of the
Vietnam War.

In 1997, two years after STRATCOM advanced its latter-day
version of this theory, President Clinton approved a
directive on U.S. nuclear policy that upheld the "negative
security assurance" that the United States will refrain
from first-use of nuclear weapons against signatories to
the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a list that includes
Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Effects on Non-Proliferation Treaty

The policy, however, includes exceptions that presidential
adviser Robert Bell said have been "refined" in recent
years. They would allow responding with nuclear weapons to
attacks by nuclear-capable states, countries that are not
in good standing under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
or states allied with nuclear powers.

Iraq, which the United States regards as violating
international atomic weapons restrictions, could be one
such exception.

Arms control advocates are concerned that signatories to
the Non-Proliferation Treaty who possess no nuclear weapons
will abandon the pact if they see the existing nuclear
powers preserving their nuclear arsenals and finding
missions for their weapons -- particularly if those
missions include scenarios that involve attacks on them.

Bell, President Clinton's senior adviser on nuclear weapons
and arms control matters, disputed that argument in an
interview Friday.

"I don't think there's a disconnect in principle between
some level of general planning at STRATCOM and the negative
security assurance and our goals relative to the
Non-Proliferation Treaty," Bell said.

Treaty signatories are more worried about their neighbors
than the United States, Bell said, and they support the
nuclear weapons reductions the treaty imposes on
nuclear-armed states.

Of the 1995 Strategic Command document, Bell said, "That
sounds like an internal STRATCOM paper which certainly does
not rise to the level of national policy."

Strategic Command worried about its role

Navy Lt. Laurel Tingley, spokeswoman for the Omaha,
Nebraska-based command, said she could not comment on the
council's report until it could be reviewed in detail. She
restated the command's basic policy guidance that
deterrence of attacks involving nuclear, chemical or
biological weapons is "the fundamental purpose of U.S.
nuclear forces."

Worried that the Clinton administration wanted to end the
command's role, an internal memo referred in 1993 to
then-Assistant Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who was
in charge of proliferation and arms control issues, as
having "negative feelings" toward nuclear weapons.

Background information on Carter, the command document
said, indicated "a less than favorable long-term outlook
for nuclear weapons" and long-term visions of "complete

Carter, now at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of
Government, said in a telephone interview the Strategic
Command saw its influence within the Pentagon waning as
budgets for nuclear weapons were slashed after the Cold

At the Pentagon, Carter was trying to develop nonnuclear
options for retaliating against rogue attackers who used
weapons of mass destruction, he said, "because any
president would surely prefer to have nonnuclear options."

"It doesn't surprise me at all that those who were
responsible for nuclear weapons budgets would find that
threatening," Carter said. But at the time, he said, the
real threat to the Strategic Command's mission came not
from civilian Pentagon officials but from within the
uniformed military.

Copyright 1997 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:20:38 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Iran Calls for Freeing Mideast from Weapons of Mass Destruction

Iran Calls for Freeing Mideast from Mass Destruction

Xinhua 04-MAR-98

TEHRAN (March 4) XINHUA - Iran Wednesday called for freeing
the Middle East from weapons of mass destruction in order
to contain Israel, the Iranian official news agency IRNA

The agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud
Mohammadi as saying that making the Middle East free from
weapons of mass destruction would be a measure able to
control Israel.

He made the remark in response to Israel's denial of its
access to atomic bomb, saying that Israel was cherishing
the idea of becoming a nuclear power in the Middle East.

A very dangerous and gloomy future is awaiting the regional
states if they fail to control Israel's weapons of mass
destruction through international organizations, the
spokesman said.

He stressed that the free of the Middle East from weapons
of mass destruction was a vital security measure for the
survival of the region, urging the regional states not to
be indifferent towards their destiny now threatened by
Israel's adventurism.

Mohammadi criticized the double-standard policy of the
United States in dealing with Israel and Iraq. Both were
accused of possessing dangerous weapons.

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:22:48 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Cancer epidemic legacy of 1991 Iraq war

The Independent
4 March 1998

Allies blamed for Iraq cancer torment

Exclusive by Robert Fisk in Baghdad

Seven years after the end of the Gulf war, a nightmare
"epidemic" of leukemia and stomach cancer is claiming the
lives of thousands of Iraqi civilians who live near the
former war zone, including children so young that they were
not even born when hostilities ended. Iraqi doctors in the
southern city of Basra have recorded a fourfold increase in
cancer - especially among young children - since 1991.

Doctors fear that farms which produce most of the city's
food have been contaminated by depleted uranium shells used
by the Allies during the last tank battles of the war. But
some Iraqis suspect that American and British bombing of
Saddam Hussein's chemical warfare factories may be to blame
- or that US aircraft may themselves have used some form of
chemicals in their attacks.

The mother of Ali Hillal, an eight-year-old child, who lay
dying in the al-Mansur hospital in Baghdad last week, told
me that after Allied aircraft had bombed a broadcasting
station near their family home in Diala in 1991, she smelt
"a burning, choking smell, something like insecticide". Two
doctors interviewed by The Independent believe that the
fumes from burning oil refineries may have contained
carcinogens; another spoke of "radiation" from bombs during
the war.

Even child cancer patients who might survive, however, are
in some cases dying for lack of vital medicines that could
save their lives. At the al-Mansur hospital - which has
treated hundreds of children in the past three years - Dr
Yasser Raouf, the chief resident doctor, told me of the
desperate need for Vincristine and Methortrexate for
leukemia patients. Some children are receiving the
left-over medicines of infants who have already died.

Five-year-old Latif Abdul Sattar, from Babylon, also bald
from chemotherapy - he looks like a Chernobyl victim - was
diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma three months ago but
has been given only a 60 per cent chance of survival
because he is being treated with a substitute for

Dr Jawad Khadim al-Ali, a member of the Royal College of
Physicians who is a cancer specialist at Basra's largest
hospital, says that in 1997 he treated 380 cancer patients
in his own clinic - compared to scarcely 80 per year before

In a country which is disintegrating under the effect of
sanctions, there are no official government statistics on
the startling increase in cancer reported by doctors.
Perhaps fearing that cities may have been polluted by
bio-chemical warfare products from bombed factories, the
Iraqi health ministry has made no effort to publicise the
tragedy. And since most of the victims are Shiites - the
Muslim sect which rebelled against Saddam Hussein's rule in
the aftermath of the war - there is little incentive for
the Iraqi regime to care.

In his hospital oncology department, Dr al-Ali has pinned
to the wall a set of maps of Basra governorate and
Nasiriyah city, showing that most new cancer cases come
from areas immediately to the east of the tank battles
between US and Iraqi forces in February of 1991.

"There are canals as well as farms throughout this area,"
Dr al-Ali said. "There are rivers there. And always the
wind comes from the west, towards Basra." When Dr al-Ali
finished showing me his maps, we walked into the hallway
outside to find a mass of young women and several old men
waiting to see him, all of whom had developed cancer in the
past five years.

A woman with a crutch had a bone tumour in her thigh. A
young woman in a black chador - a non-smoker with no
history of cancer in her family - was suffering from lung
cancer; a woman of 51 wearing an Islamic scarf, a
schoolteacher and mother of five children, suddenly pulled
up her blouse to reveal a missing right breast. "I have
breast cancer," she sobbed. "Four years ago, they removed
my right breast. Then I had a re-occurrence on my neck. Now
I have pain in my left breast. Please help us. We are human
beings like you." Like most cancer patients in Iraq, she is
likely to die. "Cancer isn't contagious," Dr Raouf says.
"But it's moving from south to the north of the country as
if it was an infectious disease."

- This was a joint investigation with Channel 4, whose
report on Iraq's cancer "epidemic" will be screened at 7pm

- See also the story 'Slow death of the war children'

Slow death of the war children

Are the air raids of the Gulf war still claiming victims?
Robert Fisk reports from the cancer ward of a Basra

MATAR ABBAS is dying. In the corner of the cancer ward at
the Basra teaching hospital, the wreckage of his emaciated
body seems to mock the broad, pale blue Shatt al-Arab river
outside the window. He has already lost an eye and is
hawking mucus into a handkerchief, his scarf slipping from
his head to reveal the baldness of chemotherapy treatment,
part of his face horribly deformed by the cancer that is
now eating into his brain. He comes from Nasiriyah, the
city whose outskirts were shelled and bombed by the Allied
forces in the last days of the 1991 Gulf war, the conflict
that drove Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

His wife, Ghaniyeh, wears an elaborate black chador. She is
a peasant woman with tattoos on her face, and stayed
throughout the war with Matar - a 60-year-old former
taxi-driver with nine children - on the road between Amara
and Misan. "We saw the flashes of the bombs but nothing was
bombed near us," she recalled, speaking carefully as if her
memory might somehow save her doomed husband. "We were
safe." But Dr Jawad Khadim al-Alia begs to disagree. "We
rarely saw these types of tumours before the war," he said,
gently touching Matar's right ear.

Dr al-Ali smiles a lot, although - from time to time - you
notice tears in his eyes and realise that he might also be
a spiritually broken man. He looks a little like Peter
Sellers, physically small with thinning hair and a drooping
moustache. But there is nothing funny about his commentary.

"Because of the tumour in his ear, Matar Abbas is now
unable to talk or take food and is deaf," he said
matter-of-factly. "He came for his first treatment only on
January 16th, with a swelling and an inability to talk or
drink. The biopsy showed cancer. I am giving him cytotoxic
chemotherapy - but later on, the cancer will go to his
brain and his lungs. He will probably live one year - not

The doctor led me across the room to where Zubeida Mohamed
Ali lay, chadored, on her bed. She comes from Zubayr -
close to the Iraqi air base that was saturated with allied
bombs in a series of raids that started on the night of 13
February, 1998. "She has tumours of the lymph nodes and
they have infiltrated her chest," Dr al-Ali said. "She is
suffering shortness of breath." Zubeida is 70.

Opposite lay 55-year old Jawad Hassan, diagnosed with
cancer of the stomach two years ago. He lived almost next
to the Basra television station that was the target of
Allied bombing. "He was exposed to fumes and bombs at his
home," Dr al-Ali continued. "He was also close to the river
bridges that were bombed. He is losing weight despite our
treatment, which makes his prognosis very bad."

The man, prematurely aged, looked at me with a blank
expression. "Ever since I was exposed to the fumes of the
bombings, I complained about pains in my abdomen," he said.
The implications of what these cancer victims were saying
was so terrible that I almost wished my visit had been a
feeble attempt to set up a visiting journalist with an
easy-to-expose lie, a crude attempt by Saddam's regime to
raise a grave moral question over the entire Gulf war.

But Dr al-Ali had no idea that we were visiting him until
the moment we walked into his office. His patients did not
expect visitors. And if some of them were - like so many
cancer victims elsewhere in the world - elderly, what was
to be made of the flock of men and women, young and old,
who were waiting outside Dr l-Ali's oncology department?

"It's a tragedy for me," Dr al-Ali said, pointing to a
tall, handsome youth standing amid a group of women. "I'm
losing friends every day - this boy has Hodgkin's lymphoma.
This girl is suffering lung cancer." She was small, petite,
with a big, smiling, moon-like face.

Another, Fawzia Abdul-Nabi al Bader, was a 51-year-old
English teacher who walked into the department office and
pulled her collar down to show a suture on her neck and
then opened her blouse to show the scar where her right
breast should have been. "Why should this have happened to
me?" she asked. "My first operation was in 1993. Until
that, my health was very good."

In his office, Dr al-Ali's maps tell their own story.
"Number of cancer patients of all kinds in the Basra area,"
it says over a map of the Basra governorate, sliced up into
yellow, red and green segments. The yellow, mainly to the
west of the city, represents the rural and desert areas
from which few cancer patients come. A green area to the
north indicates an average incidence of cancer. But a large
blood-red rectangle in the centre stands for the almost 400
cancer patients whom Dr al-Ali had to treat last year
alone. It is his thesis that the battlefields in the yellow
area to the west contaminated the water, the fields, even
the fish with depleted uranium and nitrite, contaminating
the land not only for survivors of the war but for those
still to be born.

Back in the last days of the conflict, United States
strategists were debating whether the damage to Iraq's
infrastructure - the bombing of water pipes, power plants
and oil refineries - would take the lives of Iraqis in the
months or years to come. But never did they suggest that a
policy of bomb-now, kill-later would ever involve cancer.

In Baghdad, hundreds of children - most of them from the
south - have died of leukaemia and stomach cancer since the
war. Many were sent there by Dr al-Ali. "Everyone of us is
in despair," he said in his Basra cancer ward. "It is a
great burden on me - I am losing many of these patients
every day. They need bone-marrow transplants but we cannot
give them to them. I cannot sleep at night for thinking
about them."


Dusty farm ditches and disused trenches - the tomato
plantations are still killing fields

By Robert Fisk in Rafidiyah, southern Iraq

At first glance, the Adwan family's tomato plantation
doesn't look like a killing field. The polythene covers
reflect the high, bright winter sun. And when I ask
16-year-old Imad Adwan what happened here during the Gulf
war, he glances at the man from the ministry of information
beside me and says he cannot remember. It pays, you see, to
have a short memory in Iraq - and to lie.

As water trickles through the ditches between the rows of
pale green bushes, a sharp wind blows out of the desert to
the west, just as it did in February 1991, when Major
General Tom Rhame's US First Infantry Division - the "Big
Red One" - swept up the highway to Safwan, shelling the
retreating columns of the Iraqi Republican Guard. Imad
Adwan is watching me to see if I have understood his

Don't worry, the ministry man tells him, and produces an
identity card. The boy grins. "The battles were all around
us here - we didn't even stay in the house because we knew
it would not give us cover. But we didn't leave. The
wrecked tanks are over there." Far beyond the barbed wire
surrounding the farm, beyond a stand of trees and another
plantation, the rusting victims of General Rhame's attack
moulder in the damp earth. Imad's mother has appeared
beside us, a scarf around her head, a black dress tugged by
the breeze.

She is holding a pale green tomato in her hand. "Please,"
she says. "It is for you." The tomato is small, plucked
from the bush in front of us, a poisoned fruit - according
to the Basra doctors down the road - from a poisonous war,
grown on a dangerous stem, bathed in fetid water. "The
soldiers died on this road," she says, pointing to the
highway behind us which leads south-west towards Safwan and
the Kuwaiti frontier. "The battles went on for hours.
People still get killed - two boys were blown up by mines
over there last July." The outline of a collapsed trench
shows the fatal spot.

But it is other deaths that we have come about. Are the
Adwans worried about their land? Do they know what the
doctors say about it? That it could have been "infected"
with radiation, contaminated by the depleted uranium
anti-tank shells which Imad refused to remember when we
arrived? She has heard of cancer cases in the farmlands but
none in her family, thanks be to God.

It is then that Hassan Salman walks up to us. He grows
tomatoes and onions on the other side of the road. He has a
distinguished face, brown from the sun, and is wearing a
gold-fringed robe. When we mention cancer, he frowns. "Yes,
we have had many cancer cases here," he says. "I think it
happened because of the fires and what happened during the
battles. The tanks were just down the road." He pauses. "My
daughter-in-law died of cancer around 50 days ago. She was
ill in the stomach. Her name was Amal Hassan Saleh. She was
very young - she was just 21 years old."

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Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 19:23:49 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <arash__@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: US vengeance falls short of its target

The Independent on Sunday
1 March 1998

US vengeance falls short of its target

When innocent people are killed, the Iraqi regime reaps the
benefit. Robert Fisk reports

In the art gallery behind the Meridien Hotel here, there
works an old man - "a guest in this life, with perhaps
three or four more years to live", he says of himself - who
understands what America's threats against Iraq mean in
human terms.

On the hot night of 27 June 1993, Abu Khaled said goodnight
to the joint director of his gallery, a renowned Iraqi
artist called Laila Attar, whose paintings had been
exhibited in Kuwait, Cairo and New York. "She left at 9pm,
and it was only in the morning that the man who made tea
here said: 'Abu Khaled, Madame Attar is in the hospital.'
But she was not. I found her daughter and her son in the
hospital. But they said she was still under her house."

When Abu Khaled reached the artist's home, in the district
of Mansour, he found Laila Attar's husband dead under the
rubble. "No one could find her," he said. "But then I saw
her long hair between the bricks of the house and I knew
she was there. We found her with her handbag still gripped
in her hand. She was trying to get away when the missile

It was an American cruise missile launched from a warship
in the Gulf, aimed, presumably, at the Iraqi intelligence
centre, with its high brick walls and barbed wire, behind
the house - and it was fired as part of Washington's
response to an alleged assassination plot against
ex-president Bush in Kuwait.

The word "alleged" is important, because those accused of
the attempted murder had not been judged when the Americans
launched the missile. But what shocked Iraqis was President
Clinton's reaction at the time to the missile raid on Iraqi
targets. Americans, he said, could "feel good" about the
operation. He made his comment on his way to church with

So, no wonder that last week Baghdad echoed to the
night-time hooting of car horns. "Spontaneous"
demonstrations are the stuff of dictatorships, but there
was a genuine sense of relief throughout the city that
another western assault had been averted - and in such a
remarkable way.

Saddam Hussein had done something that would have been
inconceivable even last year: he transferred Iraq's
relationship with the UN from the feisty men of UNSCOM, the
arms inspectors, to Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Saddam
had secured the UN's acknowledgement that there is a
difference between ordinary weapons sites and presidential
palaces. And he had received the assurance that the lifting
of sanctions - the machinery that has impoverished Iraq -
was of "paramount importance" to Mr Annan. In future,
well-dressed diplomats will accompany the UNSCOM lads into
the presidential palaces.

Saddam himself will have a little more dignity. And the
Arab nations - which were so fawning in their admiration
after his 1980 invasion of Iran, and so furious in their
denunciation after his 1990 invasion of Kuwait - will
notice that the Americans, after all their roaring, didn't
fire a shot: Baghdad One, Washington Nil. That's not a bad
score for a weekend's work.

Laila Mattar's home remains a pile of rubble amid the
yellow-painted 1930s villas of Mansour, alongside a
fanciful, Japanese-style palace with three armed guards at
the gates. But old Abu Khaled remembers her as she appears
on a slightly torn poster which he keeps at the back of his
gallery. It depicts the artist with the words "massacred by
the Americans" beneath her face.

Another woman, a servant in her home, also died (and has,
of course, been forgotten). But Abu Khaled's favourite
photograph depicts Laila Attar in a long, white dress as
she shows Javier Perez de Cuellar around an Iraqi art
exhibition in 1988. UN secretary-generals, it seems, do not
bestow protection on their friends.

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 3 Mar 1998 to 4 Mar 1998 - Special issue