WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: March 30, 2003
This is the weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility
Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail:
WNII is archived at: http://inesglobal.org/archive.htm
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INES International Office
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner [Please note that the first "1" in q18 is the number one, while the last "l" is an "L"]
From the Editor:
Dear WNII readers,
I am very sorry for the considerable delay of mailing this WNII issue to you. My computer crashed down. Regrettably, it took much longer to repair it than expected.
Yours, Tobias Damjanov
CONTENTS of WNII No. 8/2003
THE US/UK WAR AGAINST IRAQ
US Congressman Kucinich calls for immediate end to war, starts campaign (Source: Kucinich press conference statement, 28 March 03)
US Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (Democrats-Ohio), at a press conference on Capitol Hill, stated, among other things:
"This Administration has never made its case for war against Iraq. It is an unjustified war, which the Administration continues to misrepresent and exaggerate. The most recent example is the Administration's characterization of international coalition support for this war."
"This war must end now. It was unjust when it started last week, and is still unjust today. The U.S. should get out now and try to save the lives of American troops and Iraqi citizens. Most importantly, ending the war now and resuming weapons inspections could salvage world opinion of the United States, which has been deteriorating since the talk of war began. After all, the greatest threat to the United States at this time is terrorism, which is breeding from this war."
Congressman Kucinich will issue daily statements on the war in Iraq. For contact / details: < > http://www.kucinich.us
"Now They Cite the Toll of Sanctions" Editor of "The Progressive Response" Matthew Rothschild comments (Source: 28 May 02: http://www.progressive.org/webex03/wx032803.html)
At the Bush-Blair press conference on March 27, I heard an increasingly common and absolutely shameful justification for this Iraq war.
Tony Blair was the one who uttered it. To illustrate the brutality of Saddam's regime, Blair said, "Over the past five years, 400,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died of malnutrition and disease, preventively, but died because of the nature of the regime under which they are living."
But that's not exactly right. All those children died, in large part, because the United Nations--at the behest of Britain and the United States--insisted upon maintaining economic sanctions on Iraq. These sanctions prevented basic items from getting to Iraq, items like chlorine to purify the water supply there. And, yes, Saddam is partially responsible, as well. If he had obeyed U.N. Security Council resolutions, those sanctions might have been lifted.
For years, human rights activists urged a lifting of these economic sanctions because of the terrible toll they exacted, a toll that only now Tony Blair seems concerned about, only now when he can use that toll as an excuse for war.
This is the bottom of the barrel of immorality. During the Clinton Administration, Madeleine Albright notoriously told Lesley Stahl of Sixty Minutes that this civilian death toll was "worth it." Albright understood and acknowledged U.S. complicity in those deaths, but accepted them anyway. That was bad enough.
Now Blair and Bush have finally discovered the sanctions issue themselves, but they refuse to acknowledge any responsibility for those deaths and instead seize upon them simply to justify their war of aggression.
But Britain and the United States could have forced the U.N. to lift those sanctions any time they wanted to. They could have saved those 400,000 children from dying. They chose not to.
Now to come out and say they are aghast at the toll is not only a futile exercise in hand-washing but also an amazingly brazen switcharoo.
(For a related commentary, see "George Will Discovers Economic Sanctions," This Just In, March 17, 2003.: http://www.progressive.org/webex03/wx0317b03.html
UN Security Council Resolution 1472 (2003)
The most recent Security Council Resolution 1472 (2003) can be found at: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/sc7713.doc.htm
Public Affairs Guidance on Embedding Media (as of 3 February 03): http://www.militarycity.com/iraq/1631270.html
The Information Technology War and Peace Project, a research initiative of the Watson Institute's Global Security Program, announces a new posting entitled "Embedded War Media." This InfoIntervention discusses war media during the first week of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." The intervention is available at: http://www.infopeace.org/911
Voices in the Wilderness Eyewitness Reports: http://iraqpeaceteam.org or: http://www.electroniciraq.net/news
US may 'fabricate' WMD evidence in Iraq (Source: Press Trust of India, Moscow, 26 March 03)
On 26 March, Russia expressed concern that Washington could fabricate evidence of Iraq allegedly hiding its weapons of mass destruction in an effort to justify the US-led attack on Baghdad. Speaking before the Federation Council (Russian Upper House) on 26 March Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov cautioned Washington and London that Moscow is not going to trust their claims of finding evidence of WMD in Iraq.
"Even if the American-British forces report that they have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the final assessment of their origin can be given only by international inspectors," Ivanov said.
Earlier, similar apprehensions were voiced by the former deputy chief of the Russian Defence Staff Gen (retd) Valery Manilov and Iraqi ambassador in Moscow Abbas Khalaf in the wake of US Gen Tommy Franks and US ambassador Alexander Vershbow's statements that the US would produce the evidence of Iraqi WMD.
Will American Administration Declare War on Russia? US officials think that Russia is guilty of their unsuccessful war (Source: Pravda, 24 March 03)
It is obvious today that the war in Iraq is not the kind of war that the American administration was intended to have. The strong resistance that Iraqi troops showed, Iraqi ABM systems and anti-tank facilities turned out to be an unexpected surprise for Americans.
(…) As the American administration believed, the war turned out to be difficult on account of the fact that the Russian defense industry delivered anti-tank missiles to Iraq via third countries. As it was said, the Russian defense industry also supplied Iraq with night vision devices, and unique Kolchuga anti-missile systems. The US administration determined that Russia delivered those weapons to Iraq several days before the war was launched. The official note of protest on the part of the US Department of State was based on those illegal deliveries. The note of protest was handed over to the Russian ambassador to the USA, Yury Ushakov.
The Russian government did not ignore USA’s threats (in the form of certain statements) to punish Russia for arms deliveries. The Russian leadership realizes that the war menace is approaching the country. According to the information from competent military sources, the navy command finished checking the alertness of anti-submarine facilities of naval troops in Kamchatka. Military exercises were conducted in admirals’ presence. Diesel submarines of the Russian navy performed basic military exercises at sea. The order for battleships to travel to the Indian Ocean and to the Persian Gulf was called off.
Military units of the Russian Far East get ready for possible border conflicts. It seems that the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Russia, President Vladimir Putin, realizes the anti-Russian essence of America’s aggressive aspiration. Putin takes measures to strengthen the alertness of Russian troops at the border territory. The Russian army and navy command held a secret session in Moscow yesterday [23 March; the ed.], at which military high-ranking officials considered possible variants for the Mideast situation to develop. American spy planes have been conducting aerial reconnaissance at Russia’s borders for several days already. (…)
Anti-war boycott campaign
Members of the European Parliament blocked an Esso and Texaco petrol station in Brussels (Source: For Mother Earth Press Release, 26 March 03)
On 26 March, members of the European Parliament - Bart Staes (Efa/Greens, Belgium), Nelly Maes (Efa/Greens, Belgium) and Miquel Mayol (Efa/Greens, Spain) - blocked an Esso and Texaco petrol station in Brussels with a banner saying "No money for the war - boycott the US". The non-violent action was organised by For Mother Earth, an international campaign for disarmament, the environment and human rights. The activist also blocked a Texaco petrol station further down the road. Also Belgian MP's Isabel Vertiest and Jan Roegiers and activists from across Europe joined the symbolic blockade.
Both petrol stations were blocked efficiently and peacefully for 90 minutes. This unannounced non-violent action of For Mother Earth was held in close dialogue with the employees working at the petrol station. The boycott is part of a growing international boycott movement linking US companies to the policy of the Bush administration. An overview can be found at: http://www.motherearth.org/USboycott/global_en.php
For Mother Earth is targeting a range of companies which are directly linked to the US petrol-economy and/or financed the election campaign of George W. Bush. Exxon Mobil donated US$1,200,000 for the election campaign of Bush, while Chevron Texaco gave US$800,000. Worldwide Esso- and Texaco-shops are filled with US products also targeted by the boycott campaign.
15 April: International day of boycott the war actions
For Mother Earth reported on 30 March it received only positive answers on the proposal for an international day of consumers' boycott of the war for Tuesday April 15th.
The organisation calls for an "Action Sign-up":
"Sign up with your group!! Let us know that you want to be part of this. We are especially looking for organisers in other parts of the world.
"We propose that your group gets on board to organise non-violent consumers action on Tuesday April 15th around the world. It can go from picketing an Exxon Mobile petrol station, having restaurant owners announce they withdraw US products, schools closing Coke machines to replace these with organic products, e-mail avalanches spread calling for boycott, .... all the way up to Esso and Texaco station being closed symbolically with some local VIP. We should come up with a long list of possible actions to go on as many boycott websites and networks as possible. Any ideas, please get back to us. We should be able to get an organisers packet on our website(s) this week."
Contact: Pol D'Huyvetter < >
David Krieger: Chairman Perle Resigns
Richard Perle has resigned as chairman of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board, a group of influential advisors of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Perle has been embroiled in a controversy over accepting money from a US corporation, Global Crossing, which sought Perle’s help in obtaining Defense Department approval of the sale of the company to Asian investors. Perle would reportedly receive $725,000 for his “work,” with $600,000 contingent upon him delivering the “goods.”
Perle wrote in his resignation letter to Secretary Rumsfeld, “I have seen controversies like that before and I know that this one will inevitably distract from the urgent challenge in which you are now engaged.” Denying any wrongdoing (what’s wrong with being on the Defense Policy Board and lobbying for corporate clients?), Perle emphasized that he did “not wish to cause even a moment’s distraction” from the US war against Iraq.
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh recently published an article in the New Yorker suggesting that Perle had been inappropriately mixing business with pleasure when he had lunch in Marseilles in January with notorious arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and a Saudi industrialist, Harb Saleh Zuhair. Perle found the report to be “monstrous.”
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who is allowing Perle to remain a member of the Defense Policy Board (just not its chairman), had nothing but praise for Perle. “He has been an excellent chairman,” Rumsfeld said, “and has led the Defense Policy Board during an important time in our history.” Since Perle assumed the role of chairman in July 2001, Rumsfeld’s “important time” presumably refers to US efforts to fight against terrorism and its wars against Afghanistan and Iraq.
Rumsfeld continued, “I should add that I have known Richard Perle for many years and know him to be a man of integrity and honor.”
The Wall Street Journal reported in a March 27, 2003 article that other members of the Defense Policy Board may also have financial conflicts related to their business interests and policy advice to the government. Among those named in the article were former CIA Director James Woolsey, retired Admiral David Jeremiah, and retired Air Force General Ronald Fogelman.
When Secretary Rumsfeld was asked for a comment on these potential conflicts of interest, the reporters were told that the Secretary was busy and unable to comment on the matter. In all fairness, the Secretary has been busy promoting and prosecuting the Bush administration’s preventive war against Iraq and handing out lucrative contracts to firms such as Vice President Cheney’s former firm, Halliburton, to rebuild Iraq after our missiles and bombs have destroyed it.
(28 March 03)
European Parliament left voiceless on Iraq war (Source: The Greens/EFA in the European Parliament, 27 March 2003)
On 27 March, the European parliament failed to adopt a resolution on the Iraq war. A joint resolution by Socialists, Greens/EFA and the Liberals was narrowly defeated by 37 votes (218 yes, 255 no, 46 abstentions ). Monica Frassoni, Co-President of the Green/EFA group said after the vote: "We deeply regret that the Parliament was unable to show consistency with its vote on the 30th January before the beginning of the war, in which it was strongly critical of an unilateral attack on Iraq.
"The failure to adopt the resolution was due to a combination of Italian Radicals, British Labour and 28 leftist deputies from GUE, who voted against it after picking on minor points that in fact didn't alter the overall anti-war stance of the resolution.
Norwegian weapons inspector: USA lied about Iraq's weapons (Source: Aftenposten (Norway), 19 March 03)
A US-based Norwegian weapons inspector accuses the USA and Secretary of State Colin Powell with providing the United Nations Security Council with incorrect and misleading information about Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), newspaper Dagbladet reports.
Joern Siljeholm, Ph.D. in environmental chemistry, risk analysis and toxicology, said that the USA's basis for going to war is thin indeed, and called it a slap in the face to the United Nations weapons inspectors. Siljeholm told Dagbladet that Colin Powell's report to the Security Council on how Iraq camouflaged their WMD program was full of holes.
"Much of what he said was wrong. It did not match up at all with our information. The entire speech was misleading," Siljeholm said. Asked if the Americans lied, Siljeholm said: "Lie is a strong word - but yes, the information Powell presented about Iraq's nuclear program was simply incorrect," Siljeholm said. "We received much incomplete and poor intelligence information from the Americans, and our cooperation developed accordingly. Much of what has been claimed about WMDs has proven to be sheer nonsense. From what I have seen they are going to war on very little," Siljeholm told Dagbladet.
Economic aspects of the war on Iraq
David Arnott (International Peace Bureau) has compiled a list of 70 or so links to documents (from reports of several hundred pages to one-page articles) dealing with economic aspects of the war in Iraq. If you wish to receive this useful compilation, contact David Arnott at: < >
Also, if you know of useful documents not listed here, please email URLs or actual texts to the address given above.
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS NEWS
New Zealand: Engineers for Social Responsibility (ESR) Newsletter March 2003 (Vol. 19/No. 1) http://www.esr.org.nz
The latest ESR Newsletter carries the following main articles:
Newsletter Editor: Neil Mander < >
Abolition 2000 homepage: http://www.abolition2000.org Grassroots News: http://www.napf.org/abolition2000/news/
Pre-emptive strike on North Korea won't be unconstitutional: Japan defense chief (Source: AFP, 30 March 03)
If North Korea were about to launch a missile at Japan, it would not be unconstitutional to make a pre-emptive attack on the launch site, Japan's defense chief Shigeru Ishiba said. "The Japanese government said in parliament in 1958 that when there is no other means, it is not the intention of the constitution to just sit and wait to die."
"While we don't have ballistic missiles, that response from the government was given," he said. "So it is definitely not against the intent of the constitution." Such pre-emptive strike abilities are entrusted to the US military, Ishiba said, adding however that the correctness of the policy should be examined.
His comments came a day after Ishiba and South Korean counterpart Cho Young-Kil agreed to work together to resolve the crisis over North Korea's nuclear weapons quest peacefully, and two days after Japan launched its first two spy satellites into orbit.
59th UN Commission on Human Rights (Source: IPB mailing, 26 March 03)
To facilitate communication and reporting on the 59th Commission on Human Rights, making it faster and more up-to-date, CONGO has, in cooperation with UNjobs, and ICV (International Conference Volunteers) brought out a new online News Center for civil society: http://www.room17.org
INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE
No new or changed email or web addresses in this issue. All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from:
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