RN: The set-up of Iraq


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list, Dec. 19

Thanks to Bill Blum, Snezana Vitorovitch, James Crombie and the Refuse and
Resist list, we can see how we are, once again, being lied to.

all the best, Jan

From: •••@••.•••
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 15:36:43 EST
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: the set-up of Iran [Iraq]


        "A U.S. official who follows Iraq", speaking of the November cancellation
of an air strike: "We were so close to pulling the trigger and circumstances
were so optimum to do so that there's something surreal about SENDING UNSCOM
BACK IN TO BUILD A CASE AGAINST HIM AGAIN when we had the best possible case
and didn't use it." (emphasis added) Washington Post, Dec. 7

        "[UNSCOM Executive Chairman Richard] Butler's conclusions were welcome in
Washington, which helped orchestrate the terms of the Australian diplomat's
report.  Sources in New York and Washington said Clinton administration
officials played a direct role in shaping Butler's text during multiple
conversations with him Monday."  Washington Post, Dec. 16

        Former UNSCOM inspector, Scott Ritter:  "What Richard Butler did last week
with the inspections was a set-up.  This was designed to generate a conflict
that would justify a bombing."  Ritter said U.S. government sources told him
three weeks ago when the inspections resumed that "the two considerations on
the horizon were Ramadan and impeachment." 

        Ritter continued: "If you dig around, you'll find out why Richard Butler
yesterday ran to the phone four times.  He was talking to his [U.S.] National
Security adviser.  They were telling him to sharpen the language in his report
to justify the bombing."  New York Post, Dec. 17

        "The U.S. has perverted the U.N. weapons process by using it as a tool to
justify military actions, falsely so. ... The U.S. was using the inspection
process as a trigger for war."  Scott Ritter, on the NBC Today show, Dec. 17

        Arguing that Butler deliberately wrote a justification for war, a U.N.
diplomat, "who is generally sympathetic to Washington", said, "Based on the
same facts he could have said, ‘There were something like 300 inspections [in
recent weeks] and we encountered difficulties in five.'"  Washington Post,

        "Among the circumstances cited by those who suspect Butler of coordinating
with Washington on a rationale for war, three stand out:
        One is that Butler made four visits to the U.S. mission to the United
Nations on Monday, the day before finishing his report.

        A second is that administration officials acknowledge they had advance
knowledge of the language he would use and sought to influence it, as one
official said, ‘at the margins.

        The third is that Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, in
anticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night -- at a time when most
members of the Security Council had yet to receive his report."

        Other U.N. diplomats "also asserted that Butler gave far more equivocal
progress reports to them, in the days leading up to his written report, than
his final conclusion that he is ‘not able to conduct the substantive
disarmament work' because of the ‘absence of full cooperation by Iraq'."  

        "What we were told by Butler for weeks was yes, we've hit some roadblocks
but the inspections are going on," said one New York-based diplomat."
Washington Post, Dec. 18


        The U.S.-operated Radio Free Iraq, broadcasting from Prague, begins its
daily broadcasts into Iraq with: "Dear listeners, we hope that you are
having a nice day, and that you enjoy our programs today."  It concludes:
"Thank you for
following us and peace and blessings be upon you."   Washington Post, Dec. 18

Compiled by William Blum
Author: Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since
World War II


Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:06:09 -0500
From: Snezana Vitorovich <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Make sure you read this article !

 Subject: Grief of Baghdad
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 03:41:45 +0300

The Times of India

Sunday, November 22, 1998
Grief of Baghdad

By Siddharth Varadarajan

Not even during the wildest bout of Fosters-induced delirium does a
dinkum cobber in the Aussie outback ever imagine his words might one
day decide questions of war and peace. By that yardstick, Richard
Butler is truly a credit to his race. As head of the UN
Special Commission (UNSCOM), his job is to eliminate whatever
allegedly remains of Iraq's chemical, biological and nuclear arms
programme. Until he certifies Iraqi compliance, sanctions -- a weapon
of mass destruction as lethal as any other -- will continue. Not since
Gallipoli have the lives of so many depended on the decision of an
Australian. With that kind of power, Butler is clearly in no hurry to
retire to the obscurity of Wollongong or Toowoomba.

Iraq is not off the mark when it accuses UNSCOM of prolonging
inspections, for the US -- to whom Butler owes his plum assignment --
is certainly not interested in the embargo ever ending. By his own
admission, Butler has functioned as little more than an amanuensis to
US officials. He now says his November 12 decision to withdraw UN
inspectors from Iraq -- a move criticised by the Security Council --
was taken solely on the advice of Peter Burleigh, the deputy US
ambassador to the UN. Burleigh, incidentally, was posted in Calcutta
in the 1970s and is believed by Indian intelligence sources to be a
CIA man.

Earlier this year, Butler spread the canard that an Iraqi presidential
site was as big as Washington. It was only when Secretary General Kofi
Annan sent a technical team headed by Swedish diplomat Staffan di
Mistura that the world realised the area was much smaller. Because
Annan sidelined Butler, he was able to resolve that crisis and thwart
US attempts to use force.

Though not publicly criticising the UNSCOM chief, Annan has pulled him
up in private. In January, he ticked Butler off for saying he came
from a ``Western tradition'' where truth-telling was important and
that it was frustrating to deal with societies where this wasn't the
case. Butler was also upbraided for alleging Iraq had enough anthrax
``to blow away Tel Aviv'', a wild claim at variance with UNSCOM's own

Butler joined the foreign service in 1965 after studying economics in
Canberra. After postings in Vienna and New York, he became private
secretary to Bill Hayden, then leader of the opposition. When Labour
came to power and Hayden became foreign minister, Butler was sent as
ambassador to the UN in Geneva. Later, he went to Thailand and then to
New York as Australia's UN ambassador.

After the Liberals won the 1996 elections, they made it clear his days
were numbered. Butler, however, had a plan: he convinced foreign
minister Alexander Downer that he would ensure US support for an
Australian seat on the Security Council. But the US backed Portugal
and Australia was routed. It soon became known that one of the reasons
for the humiliating defeat was that many Asian and Pacific ambassadors
had been alienated by Butler's arrogance in dealing with them. By the
time Downer moved to sack him, however, Butler hitched himself to the
skirts of Madeleine Albright, then Washington's UN representative.

Albright wanted someone to push the CTBT through the UN General
Assembly after the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva had deadlocked
due to the intransigence of the five nuclear weapon states. According
to a former Indian diplomat familiar with the CTBT talks, Butler's job
was to ram through a resolution which would endorse the draft. ``He
did the piloting on the basis of a plan drawn up by the US'', the
diplomat said, describing his approach as ``very abrasive and not at
all polite''. It was also a violation of all procedural norms.

In 1997, Butler was rewarded by the US with the UNSCOM job. Albright
got Downer to agree to Butler's appointment. According to Australian
diplomatic sources, Downer agreed ``in the fond belief that he would
not only be rid of an insufferable and arrogant upstart but also not
have to pay him anything. So you can imagine the surprise here when we
were told that the government had to pay Butler some $250,000 a
year!'' Apparently, neither Butler nor Albright had informed Canberra
of this condition. ``Butler, thus, effectively conned his own
government!'', said a source.

In Australia, there is an acute sense of embarrassment at Butler's
erratic conduct and his cultural insensitivity in dealing with Iraq.
As a self-perpetuating bureaucrat, he is unlikely to end the
inspection process since he would then be without a job. Unless he is
removed as UNSCOM chief or the US changes its policy, a fresh crisis
is bound to arise. There may even be bloodshed. And the whole world
will then say: The Butler did it!

Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 22:51:17 EST
From: Refuse & Resist <•••@••.•••>


President Clinton has just told another lie, this time not about the
relatively trivial matter of his sexual activities, but about matters of
life and death. In explaining his decision to bomb Baghdad, he said that
other nations besides Iraq have weapons of mass destruction, but Iraq alone
has used them.

He could only say this to a population deprived of history. The United
States has supplied Turkey, Israel, and Indonesia with such weapons and they
have used them against civilian populations. But the nation most guilty is
our own. No nation in the world possesses greater weapons of mass
destruction than we do, and none has used them more often, or with greater
loss of civilian life. In Hiroshima hundreds of thousands died, in Korea and
Vietnam millions died as a result of our use of such weapons.

Our economic sanctions are also weapons of mass destruction, having resulted
in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. Saddam Hussein may
well have weapons of mass destruction, he may indeed be inclined to use
them, but only the United States is actually using them, and at this very
moment, people are dying in Iraq as a result.

However evil Saddam Hussein is, whatever potential danger he may represent,
he is not, as the president said tonight (telling another lie) a "clear and
present danger" to the peace of the world. We are. And, as the president
said, if there is a clear and present danger we must act against it. It is a
time for protest.

We are living in times of madness, when men in suits and ties, and yes, a
woman secretary of state, can solemnly defend the use, in the present, of
indiscriminate violence - they do not know what they are bombing! - against
a tyrant who may use violence, in the future. The phrase "clear and present
danger" has therefore lost its meaning. The phrase "weapons of mass
destruction" too has lost its meaning when a nation which possesses more
such weapons, and has used them more often, than any other, uses those words
to justify the killing of civilians "to send a message." We who are offended
by this should send our own message to our demented leaders.

Howard Zinn is professor emeritus of history at Boston University, and
author of _A People's History of the United States_.

Refuse & Resist! - 305 Madison Avenue #1166 - New York, NY 10165
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Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 15:07:18 -0400
From: James Crombie <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Irak: Report of Mohamed ElBaradei, director general - INTERNATIONAL

It would seem that according to ElBaradei there was no very serious
problem with Iraqi compliance with inspections...

See http://www.lemonde.fr/actu/international/irak/191298/iaea.htm

I don't have time to clean up the following to make it look better on
e-mail.  The URL should be spread around...

         Le Monde Interactif publie ci-dessous le fac-similé du rapport
du directeur général de l'Agence internationale à l'énergie atomique, Mohamed
ElBaradei, remis le 14 décembre à Kofi Annan, secrétaire général des Nations



14 December 1998

         Dear Secretary GeneraL

         Further lo your letter of 25 november I wish to report that,
since its return to Iraq on 17 November,  the IAEA Nuclear
Monitoring Group has, to date, carried out the following activities :

         28 inspections at previously inspected sites - initiaIIy
following an intensified programme to  restore
         continuity of knowledge of the status of lraq's relevant assets 

         11 inspections at new sites - jointly with UNSCOM, as part of
an ongoing intensified programme of
         inspections of inspections at "capable sites", including four
repeat inspections

         113 visits to locations for the collection of environnemental
monitoring samples

         15 road vehicle based radiation surveys

         3 interviews of personnel known to have been formerly employed
in key positions within Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme

         5 discussion sessions with the Iraqi counterpart to clarify
technical matters related to Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme

         2 site visits, each of several days duration, to maintain and
extensively update IAEA video surveillance systems

         1 site visit of several days duration to install and commission
a meteorological data collection station in connection with the IAEA wide
area environnemental monitoring programme

         The Iraqi counterpart has provided the necessary level of
co-operation to enable the above-enumerated activities to be completed
efficiently and effectively

         In addition, an IAEA team visited Iraq from 9 to 13 December to
discuss with the Iraqi counterpart the status of the few remaining questions
and concerns related to Iraq's clandestine nuclear programme. During the
discussions the Iraqi counterpart expressed its intention to continue to
cooperate with the IAEA in the resolution of those matters

         yours sincerely

         Mr Kofi Annan
         Unated Nations
         New York 100l7

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