[Re: UN wants press banned from inspections]
- ================= Begin forwarded message =================
On the first day of the inspections there was that
story of a mystery plane that neither the UN nor the
US claimed that flew over the area in which the
inspectors were working. I couldn't help wondering if
maybe the plane and some of the inspectors were in
contact. Not about mass destruction weapons,
obviously, but perhaps calibrating ranges or
trajectories or the like for the impending US attack.
If the plane were part of such a "black operation"
it's quite possible that the military spokesmen
wouldn't know about the flight and therefore would
have been totally honest when they disavowed any
knowledge of or responsibility for the plane.
Much is done with electronic signals bounced off of
this or that to something else, etc., too.
Anyhow, if there are gangs of reporters around it
would perhaps be a little harder for "inspector" spies
to start contacting the "mother ship" -- at least not
with elaborate and obvious equipment.
Since the last bunch of spies claimed to have found an
artillery shell with traces of some poisoned gas on
it, and then an open container of the same gas was
found in a fridge in their quarters after they were
rushed out before the bombing in 1998, it seems
obvious that they tried to plant "evidence." Their
little trick didn't work because the sample turned up
traces of gas only in one (US) test but not on the
sample taken at the same spot by the French.
Again, a bunch of reporters around would tend to
reduce the possibility that "inspector" spies would be
able to plant "evidence."
But if one wants to believe the UN is angelic, one
might also think that of the Pentagon when in the 1991
war it restricted the flow of information to the US
media so that reporters only got the sanitized, GI Joe
version. That prevented a "media circus" on the
battle field. It protected the reporters from the
danger of being shot. And it prevented the public
from being mislead by rumours stupidly passed on by
Well, even as the western media focus on the latest
field trip by the inspectors, four Iraqis were killed
and 20 others injured when US/UK warplanes fired two
rockets at the headquarters of the Iraq South Oil
Company in al-Basrah in a crowded quarter of the city
(the al-Khalij i.e., "Gulf" Quarter) at a time when
600-700 people were in their offices there.
Meanwhile Britain tomorrow is to circulate a second
report on Iraq specifically about their "violations of
human rights," as part of their building of the "case"
for an attack. The British claim, you see, that if
Iraq violates the human rights of Iraqis, that this is
a violation of the UN resolutions. This according to
a British government spokesman in Oman, one Mark
Sidwell, who said that Foreign Minister Jack Straw
would be circulating the report, though he admitted
that the report would not be a legally binding
Today's Washington Post reported that the cost of the
war would be between $100 billion and $200 billion,
but that if the Iraqis destroyed the oil fields the
cost would rise higher, or if the war lasted for a
couple years. This is more than the 1990-1991 war
cost, and this would be paid mostly out of tax funds,
unlike the last war which was to a large extent paid
for by the Saudis and Kuwaytis and other US satellite
Diplomats and analysts in Paris are reported by
as-Safir in the 2 December 2002 edition as saying that
the US and Iran have reached an agreement that
American pilots who are struck by Iraqi anti-aircraft
fire can cross the border into Iran. I should mention
that as-Safir tends to be pro-Syrian and so is not
inclined to be anti-Iranian.
Well, that's pretty much the big news.
I've had that pesky Trotskyite Carl Webb to deal with
again. "What's wrong with my stories?" he pleads when
I complain that all he ever posts are stories about
Jews and "Israelis" who are allegedly anti-Zionist.
One person in one of his stories says that 5 to 8
percent of "Israelis" are anti-Zionist, and although I
regard that as far too high, it still means that he's
pushing stories about the good Jews when 92-95 percent
of the "Israelis" are rampant Zionists.
I said that the type of stories he sends indicates
that he thinks that fighting anti-Semitism and not
fighting Zionism is the real issue, but that this is
He has denied it but continues obtusely to ask what
statement in his stories was wrong.
Meanwhile, he brought a quote from Muhammad Rashid
Rida that indicated he had a relatively positive
attitude to socialism and yet continued to advocate
Islamic law. Webb said that real Marxists are
atheists and believe in separation of church from
state. Of course nobody said that Muhammad Rashid
Rida -- the inspirer of the Muslim Brothers -- was a
Marxist. I put that translation of Rida's article out
months ago to show that not all religious people were
reactionary pro-capitalists -- as Lenni Brenner or
Trotskyite Webb had claimed.
But obviously they'd prefer to act stupid.
I really think this might be the last time I waste
effort on him.
I found mention on the Democratic Korean website of a
message of support coming from a Jordanian Communist
Workers Party. I asked Ibrahim Alloush if that were
Trotskyite. He said on the contrary that it was
"Stalinist" (an expression he tends to use as a
synonym for "dogmatist" unfortunately -- though he's
often right). He went on to say that non-governmental
organizations from the USA had bought the old
Jordanian Communist Party and that the head of that
party teaches in a Jordanian government university --
a university that would never hear of employing
Alloush (who works at a private institution). When
the old CP accepted these funds, many of the members,
including founding members, broke away and there was a
court battle over who would be called the CP. The
official bought-out party won the name, so the rebels
had to come up with a new name and chose the Jordanian
Communist Workers Party.
They might be "dogmatist" and perhaps accept the
existence of the Zionist entity (though I haven't yet
asked Ibrahim about that) but at least they do have
integrity, which is important.