August 1, 2002

Iraq News Wire

August 1, 2002
Iraq |

I. Iraq's Vice PM Informs Saddam of a 'Significant Scientific Accomplishment'
The Iraqi official daily Al-Thawra reported that in a meeting between Saddam Hussein and several Iraqi officials and senior air force officers, "Abed Al-Tawab Mula Huweish, Vice PM and Minister of Military Industry, revealed the good news that Iraqi researchers had a significant accomplishment in one important technological and scientific area with a high scientific specification… [He did not disclose the nature of it, however Saddam himself told those present that their achievement will strengthen Iraq's capacity to defend itself in the two no-fly zones]…"[1]

The London-based, pro-Iraqi newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi remarked that the attendance of senior air force officers at the meeting might also suggest that the accomplishment is related to air defense. The paper mentioned that Saddam Hussein had called on his scientists on June 5 "to expand their research to confront the aggression of Iraq's enemies."[2] Earlier, in a meeting with Dr. Fadhil Al-Janabi, head of the Iraqi Nuclear Organization, Saddam Hussein said that "resolution 1409, which was approved unanimously by the Security Council, will fail in preventing Iraq from accomplishing technological progress…"[3]

II. Iraqi Official: Iraq has the Technical Capability to Counter American Technology
"… Salem Al-Kubeisi, chairman of the Arab and International Relations Committee in the Iraqi National Assembly said that 'seizing the American spy-plane and forcing it to land [on May 27] demonstrates the ability of Iraq's defense forces to defend their country, people, land and skies' …An Iraqi military spokesman said [on May 26] that the armed forces succeeded in commandeering the drone, which was on a spying mission in northern Iraq, and forced it to land … and a spokesman for the Air Force said that this event proves the capability of [Iraq's] air defenses to counter the enemy's tactics by using highly advanced technical measures to gather information about the fighter planes as they attack vital plants and civilian properties…" [4]

III. The Bush Administration is Delusional and Blair is a Member of the Christian-Zionist Lobby
Excerpts from an interview with Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadhan, published in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Usbu':

"…The U.S. is betting on marketing its ideas and lies about [Iraqi] terrorism … and I say to it that no country in the world with self respect puts Iraq in this category, and when [Tony] Blair said that he had evidence, we told him to show it to us… There is no substance to their accusations that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction…" Asked for his opinion on why Britain supports a military strike against Iraq, Ramadhan said: "I don't know the secret exactly … but we have information that Blair is a member of the lobby called the Zionist-Christian Organization, which supports the Zionist cause…" When asked to compare the Bush administration with previous American administrations, which were also hostile to Iraq, he said: "True, they were hostile, but they had a logic by which they charted their way differently. But the Bush administration is delusional and ignorant of political tactics… It should be clear that if Iraq is targeted today it will not remain the only target, but this will be the beginning of a plan that will target others too. It is a mistake to think otherwise…" [5]

IV. Uday Saddam Hussein Warns That the U.S. Plans to Fragment the Middle East into Tiny States
"…In an article carrying one of Uday's pen-names, Saddam Hussein's eldest son said that the U.S. developed a plan to fragment the area into tiny states that will circle in America's orbit, and end the Arab-Zionist conflict… This plan includes everything from making Jordan an alternative Palestinian state, to dividing Saudi Arabia into at least three parts, to abolishing the identity of Bahrain by returning it to Iran … [however] the United Arab Emirates will remain united … because that will eventually serve the American plan… [In such an eventuality] Iraq will be ready to come to the rescue of Saudi Arabia … against anyone who tries to divide it, by providing it - as it chooses - with unarmed or armed men, and tanks with or without crews…" As for American accusations about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the article said that "[America itself] is dying to comprehend the truth of the fantasies and delusions that exist in its mind…"[6]

V. General Amnesty for Military Personnel in Iraq
"Baghdad issued a general amnesty for all military prisoners and detainees and draft/reserve dodgers … the instructions included provisions for guaranties by a [Ba'ath] Party member, preferably representing the same region [in which the recipient of the amnesty resides]…" [7]

VI. Distribution of Saddam's Gifts Among Families of Martyrs in Jenin, Khan Yunis, and Rafah
"The Ba'ath Party and the Arab Liberation Front held a big rally in Jenin to honor relatives of martyrs and to distribute President Saddam Hussein's gifts amounting to $10,000 for each martyr and $25,000 for each suicide martyr. The hall was decorated with pictures of President Saddam Hussein, Iraqi and Palestinian flags, and slogans hailing the unity between the two nations…" [8]

"Saddam Hussein's grants were distributed among 48 families of the Intifada martyrs in Khan Yunis and Rafah… The celebration included speeches honoring Saddam's support of the Palestinian revolution … and the crowds shouted slogans in support of Iraq and its leader…" [9]

VII. The Kurds in Northern Iraq: News and Opinions

1. Al-Barazani: We Do Not Support the Division of Iraq and Cannot Prevent Military Action against Saddam
"Mas'oud Al-Barazani, leader of the Democratic Kurdish Party, denied the news that he made a 'secret trip' to Berlin or Virginia accompanied by Jalal Talabani, leader of the National Kurdish Union Party, to meet American officials, especially in the CIA. In an interview with Al-Hayat, he said there were no reasons for such meetings, and reiterated his rejection of the division of Iraq. Asked about the possibility of an American military intervention to topple Saddam Hussein, and whether he supported such an operation or would participate in it, he said that his party would not participate in any operation to change the regime as long as it was not sure of the alternative. However, he admitted that the Kurdish leadership was not capable of preventing a 'military solution to the conflict with Saddam if the American administration decides to do so…' In response to a question whether the Kurds demanded to annex the Kirkuk area under Kurdish rule as a precondition for participating in an American effort to change the regime in Baghdad, he answered: "We did not and will not discuss the issue of Kurdish Kirkuk with anyone, and we will not participate in anything that we consider sacrosanct…"[10]

In another statement, Al-Barazani added: "…There is no [reason] to be worried for the Kurds, because the international situation has changed and many countries are now more aware of the Kurdish issue and there is more support for the idea of Federalism as a solution to the Kurdish problem in Iraq…" He also stressed that "the Kurds will not be used by others as a crossing bridge…" [11]

At the same time, Al-Thawra reported that the "Kurdish Democratic Office called on the Kurdish people in the self-ruled region to create a united front against foreign conspiracies practiced by America and its British and Zionist allies, to interfere in internal affairs of the area by taking advantage of the absence of legal authority and constitutional law…"[12]

2. Relatives of Kurdish Victims Receive Special Allowances
"…The Ministry of Human Rights [in the Kurdish self-rule region] started to distribute special payments to relatives of the victims of 'Al-Anfal Operations,' which the Iraqi government carried out during 1987-88. More than 180,000 Kurds died in those operations when they were driven into the southern deserts of Iraq, and information from eyewitnesses and international organizations indicated that they were buried alive in mass graves. In the past few months, the [Kurdish] regional government allocated similar compensations to relatives of victims of the chemical attacks on the citizens of Halabja, which killed more than 5,000 women, children and elderly and injured more than 10,000 others…" [13]

VIII. Iraqi Opposition: News and Opinions

1. Five Options to Topple Saddam
"An [unidentified] senior opposition leader said to Al-Hayat … that the American administration has five options to topple Saddam: 1) A plan suggested by Wayne Downing, who resigned recently from his position in the National Security Agency, to arm the Iraqi opposition without sending American troops to Iraq; 2) A CIA proposed plan that calls for clandestine operations and a limited military intervention to 'penetrate the inner circle around Saddam in preparation for a possible coup, and possibly his assassination'; 3) A plan supported by the civilian contingency in the Pentagon to 'send 70,000 American soldiers to Iraq to cooperate with the opposition in toppling Saddam'; 4) The plan supported by the American Chief of Staff which calls for a 'complete invasion with 200,000 soldiers, and without relying on [Iraqi] opposition help'; and 5) Some combination of all the above options…"[14]

2. Dissident Iraqi Officers Discuss the Creation of a 'Stopgap' Military Council
"[Unnamed] sources in the Iraqi opposition said that a number of senior officers living in Europe are discussing the issue of 'creating a military council consisting of seven to 10 officers who agree on four principles, which are: '1) send a clear message to the Iraqi army inside the country; 2) avoid any involvement of the officers themselves with America, both financially and politically; 3) rely on national and Arab support, especially when it comes to the positions of Syria, Jordan, and the Gulf countries; and 4) get ready to fill any military vacuum in case of an American military strike against Iraq.'

These discussions coincided with the first telephone calls between Lieutenant General Nizar Al-Khazraji, former Iraqi chief of staff, who resides in Denmark and Major General Wafiq Al-Samurrai, former head of military intelligence, who resides in London. The calls were the first between the two men since they left Iraq and were seen as a form of 'conciliation' between them after the failure of past mediation attempts during the last few years…" [15]

On the other hand: "Secretary General of the Iraqi National Coalition, Brigadier General Tawfiq Al-Yasseri said that any talk about creating a 'military' is premature and added that it was dangerous to talk about a military stopgap. He stressed that the military should not take over the governing power … but could participate with civilians in managing the country during a transitional period following the fall of the current regime … and then, they have to return to their barracks..." He cautioned against creating a 'military dictatorship to replace Saddam's dictatorship.' [16]

3. The Countdown for an American Strike Against Iraq has Begun
"Brigadier General Najib Al-Salhi, Secretary General of the Iraqi 'Free Officers Movement,' said that leaking information about a military plan to strike Iraq in order to replace the current regime was 'a clear message from Washington to the Iraqis inside Iraq that the U.S. is serious in its efforts to topple Saddam, even if the situation requires the deployment of a large force. Secondly, it was intended to prepare the American public for a large-scale military operation. And thirdly, it was meant to make Arab and regional governments face a fait accompli…"

"In discussing the nature of the American strike against Iraq, Al-Salehi expressed his opinion that 'the strikes should be aimed at the head to try to eradicate it, and not be aimed at the Iraqi army units and camps, nor the depots of traditional or chemical weapons if they are found…' He stressed his opposition to striking the infrastructure and or civilian targets to avoid 'causing new losses and hardships to the citizens…'" [17]

4. Declaration by the Shiites of Iraq
Excerpts from a document signed by a broad range of Shi'a academics, professionals, religious leaders and others, from various countries across the world encapsulates the Shiite perspective on the future of Iraq and the necessary changes that should occur there. The document is the result of two years of discussions and deliberations held in London during 2001 and 2002. The following are excerpts:

"…The Iraqi Shi'a problem is now a globally recognized fault-line and is no longer restricted to the confines of Iraq's territory… The sectarian issue has now emerged into the light of day in spite of the Iraqi authorities attempts, through their political and media apparatuses, to cover up its reality… The Shia's opposition to the state in Iraq is based on political rather than sectarian considerations and has evolved as a consequence of a prolonged process of continuing sectarian discrimination and cruel oppression by the state… Any policy that calls for the official adoption of the division of powers on the basis of overt sectarian percentages - such as the situation in Lebanon - cannot be workable in the context of Iraq … the unavoidable reality is that there are two sects in Iraq … the imposition of an enforced and artificial homogeneity on this reality only serves to compound the problem … [at the same time] the sectarian issue in Iraq will not be solved by the imposition of a vengeful Shi'a sectarianism on the state and society… The lessons drawn from Iraq's history are clear - the Shi'a have at no point sought to establish their own state or unique political entity … even as we are in the midst of the present explosive situation … the Shi'a have not raised the banner of withdrawal from the body politic of Iraq… The [present] demands of the Shi'a can be succinctly summarized as follows:

  1. The abolition of dictatorship and its replacement with democracy.
  2. The abolition of ethnic discrimination and its replacement with a federal structure for Kurdistan.
  3. The abolition of the policy of discrimination against the Shi'a.

The document further elaborates these three principles, and concludes by stating:
"It is essential that all the elements of Iraq's political spectrum, as well as representatives of Iraq's varied communities, become involved in finding a way out of the terrible situation that Iraq finds itself in now and which threatens its very survival…" [18]

5. Uday Saddam Hussein Publishes News Reports About Iraqi Dissident Activities
In an unprecedented move, the Babil daily, which is managed by Uday the eldest son of Saddam Hussein, started reporting some of the activities and statements of various dissident Iraqi groups, referring to them as "renegades." However, all the reports stop short of mentioning Saddam himself in the context of plans to topple his regime or assassinate him:/I>

  1. The paper published the content of an announcement issued by the Iraqi National Union about a conference of dissident officers to be held in London on July 12th. [19]
  2. Babil published a short summary of Najib Al-Salehi's prediction that the 'countdown for an American strike against Iraq has begun.' [20]
  3. The paper reported from Dubai that Iraqi 'renegades' predicted that the U.S. would make its move in the fall. [21]

IX. Iraq/Turkey Relations

The Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reported that the office of the Turkish PM sent a 'secret' and 'urgent' report to high level Turkish institutions titled, 'Our basic policies towards Iraq,' in which it reiterated its support of Iraq's territorial integrity, saying that a 'centralized authority should be established in the country...' The document goes on to say that the 'rights of Turkmen should be protected, and that minorities should not have a separate administration [most probably alluding to the proposal to establish a Kurdish state in northern Iraq, and the Kurdish support of Federalism in Iraq]…" According to the newspaper, the report also emphasized that 'Iraq should be tied to Turkey economically...' [22] [No further details given, however, news reports about Turkish/Iraqi negotiations during the last few weeks indicate that the two countries were looking into strengthening bi-lateral relations in the areas of oil, commerce, agriculture and irrigation, electrical power, and health].

X. Excerpts From Saddam's Speech on the 34th Anniversary of the 'Tammuz [July] Revolution' Against the Iraqi Monarchy
"…Tammuz returns to say to all evil tyrants and oppressors in the world: You will not defeat me this time. Never! Even if you come together from all over the world and invite the devils to stand by you… Tammuz returns this time as an inspiration towards achieving our great expectations and winning the grace of Allah for the people of our land… Since the 17th of July 1968, there were many lessons, experiences, triumphs and achievements in the efforts to prevent falsehood from prevailing over the truth…"

"My brothers, my soul is wounded whenever you are wounded by foreign powers and their accomplices. You are most precious to me and to every honorable and courageous man because you are able to confront injustice and aggression and you refuse to allow the arrows of the tyrant and his stooges to touch you spirit…"

"Our Arab brethren; I want to talk about something without burdening you with details. But in so doing, I do not want to appear as incapable of covering all the details and implications [of the subject matter]… I want to assure you of the strength of your revolution in a rational and logical way supported by concrete facts … as time removes us from the starting point of our march, the level of energy seems to decrease … and as time passes, circumstances and events help politics take precedence over principles … when we started our march at 3:00 AM on July 17, 1968 … there was no model for the principles of the Ba'ath party, nor the revolution [itself] … except what was in the hearts of the revolutionaries … however, it is important to stress that we refused to become merely a regime that was slightly different from previous regimes in our country. We also refuse to measure our [present] actions and enthusiasm by the same standards of 1968-1969 … indeed we refuse to measure the steps that we have to take now by the same standards that we applied prior to Um Al-Ma'arik [Mother of all Battles, i.e. the Gulf War]… This is true too as far as our positions towards Jihad and the struggle of all believers against imperialism, injustice, and violation regarding people's rights. Rather, [we need] to escalate, escalate, and escalate our enthusiasm and energy in order to enhance our capabilities [to implement] the great principles … Iraq will eventually emerge triumphant, indeed it is already triumphant by the grace of Allah. And the people of Palestine will achieve victory, indeed they are already victorious thanks to the stands of the Palestinian men and women … and all others should realize that national and Arab interests and security cannot be secured without sacrifices…"

"Brothers… Anything that is given freely, such as charity from a foreign source, will yield nothing but vice and weakness … on the other hand, he who builds his country with his own hands will be able to defend himself and his country by himself … and he who relies on others to think for him, or provide him with protection and appoint him a ruler of his people, will always be subject to the whims of his patrons… Therefore, people of Iraq, fight with valor and resolve as you have always done whenever you were forced to defend you accomplishments…"

"...Political and legal justice is meaningless without social and economic justice, but the struggle against the wolves and the corrupt will not succeed as long as they have accomplices inside the corridors of power… Oh Allah the Almighty … in your wisdom you created us and protected us for a reason … through You we repel Satan, whom we abhor… Assist us in serving Your will, help us in our endeavors and destroy our enemies…" [23]

[1] Al-Thawra (Iraq) June 30, 2002.

[2] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London) July 1, 2002.

[3] Al-Quds (Jerusalem) May, 28, 2002.

[4] Al-Quds (Jerusalem) May 29, 2002.

[5] Al-Usbu' (Egypt) May 6, 2002.

[6] Babil (Iraq) July, 8, 2002.

[7] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London) July 5, 2002.

[8] Al-Quds (Jerusalem) May 7, 2002.

[9] Al-Thawra (Iraq) July 7, 2002.

[10] Al-Hayat (London) July 4, 2002.

[11] (Iraqi opposition) July 10, 2002.

[12] Al-Thawra (Iraq) July 11, 2002.

[13] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London) May 28, 2002.

[14] Al-Hayat (London) July 3, 2002.

[15] Al-Hayat (London) July 8, 2002.

[16] Al-Hayat (London) July 9, 2002.

[17] Al-Hayat (London) July 8, 2002.

[18] (Iraqi opposition) July 7, 2002.

[19] Al-Hayat (London) July 4, 2002.

[20] Babil (Iraq) July 9, 2002.

[21] Babil (Iraq) July 11, 2002.

[22] Yeni Safak (Turkey) June 25, 2002.

[23] Iraqi News Agency (Iraq) July 17, 2002.

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