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Iraq: the Logic of Withdrawal

Thanks so much for meeting with the 9 of us on Monday concerning war with Iraq. Your were very gracious in allowing time to run over; we could have kept you for hours if we'd had the chance!

Two follow-up items. I mentioned the huge rally in the UK and during the discussion I said that Secretary Powell had said the US would find a way to undermine the inspections. On our website, I have printed accounts by witnesses and given links to news sources.

Concerning the Sec. Powell comments, I had referenced a report on CNN (internet). A more recent story addressed has addressed this point.

Here is a cite to a Reuters article from Oct 1 -

The story reports that "A senior State Department official said the United States would go into "thwart mode" if Blix prepared to go back to Iraq without fresh instructions." CNN also reported on "thwart mode" at

Please note: the Reuters article says that the inspectors quit the country after repeated disputes. The Washington Post, like numerous other media outlets, reported it accurately at the time (12/17/98): "Butler ordered his inspectors to evacuate Baghdad, in anticipation of a military attack, on Tuesday night." I quote from a press release sent out by the Institute for Public Accuracy on August 12,2002 in response to a USA Today story that repeated claims that has been made by Bush administration officials that Iraq kicked the inspectors out. Also in connection with the USA Today story, IPA noted "The Washington Post reported in 1999 (1/8/99) that "United Nations arms inspectors helped collect eavesdropping intelligence used in American efforts to undermine the Iraqi regime." This may help to explain Iraqi concern over changing current UN resolutions, given the Administration policy of regime change.

I hope that Senator Kerry will come out against the war. Further, I hope that he will consider joining a filibuster movement. I have been informed that Sen. Byrd is considering a filibuster and I would like to see Senator Kerry join that effort.

Charlie Jenks
President of the Core Group
Traprock Peace Center

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By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iraq agreed on Tuesday to let U.N. arms inspectors back in, possibly within a fortnight, but the United States rejected any resumption of inspections before a tough new Security Council resolution was in place.

Iraqi arms experts and U.N. weapons inspectors struck a deal on the second day of talks in Vienna as the Iraqis, under pressure from the threat of a U.S.-led invasion, made a show of good faith by handing over long overdue information about nuclear facilities.

"The Iraqi representatives declared that Iraq accepts all rights of inspection provided for in all the relevant Security Council resolutions," chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix told reporters after the meeting.

But in Washington Secretary of State Colin Powell quickly poured cold water on the deal, insisting a watertight resolution was needed first.
"The United States will continue to pursue a new U.N. resolution," he told reporters. "We will not be satisfied with Iraqi half-truths, or Iraqi compromises or Iraqi efforts to get us back in the same swamp ... Pressure works, we will keep it up."

The draft resolution which the United States wants the Security Council to adopt would delay the return of inspectors until Baghdad provides a list of any nuclear, germ or chemical weapons and related material.

The draft, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, authorizes a military strike and is now under discussion by the five permanent Security Council members with veto rights -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.


The proposed measure says Iraq, within 30 days of adoption of the resolution, has to provide a "complete declaration" of all its programs for weapons of mass destruction.

This declaration has to be submitted "prior to the beginning of inspections," the draft says.

U.S. attempts to win support for its approach continued to face resistance from France, Russia and China over language authorizing military action in retaliation for any infraction by Baghdad.

"We are going to continue and that's all I am saying," British Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock -- whose government supports Bush's anti-Saddam campaign -- told reporters after taking part in a meeting with the U.S., French, Russian and Chinese ambassadors, the permanent Security Council members with veto power.
Iraq has already rejected the U.S. draft resolution, details of which have been widely leaked, and the United States has made clear it will act to disarm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with or without Security Council approval.

In Baghdad, Iraq said it would not be intimidated into accepting a new Security Council resolution by threats of war.

"To the evil ones ... we clearly say that if they imagine that drums of war which they are beating ... may push Iraq to concede its national rights and what has been guaranteed to it by the U.N. Charter and relevant Security Council resolutions, they are mistaken," said a statement issued after a cabinet meeting chaired by Saddam.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Washington would welcome the assassination, or exile, of Saddam by his own people. "The point is that if the Iraqis took matters in their own hands, no one around the world would shed a tear," he said. Fleischer said later he was making a rhetorical point and not a new statement of administration policy.


A senior State Department official said the United States would go into "thwart mode" if Blix prepared to go back to Iraq without fresh instructions.
Blix said in Vienna that there was a "big difference" in Iraq's willingness to cooperate compared to 1998, when U.N. inspectors quit the country after repeated disputes with Saddam's government over access to suspected arms sites.

The main bone of contention was "presidential sites," and Blix said the deal struck on Tuesday did not change existing rules on access to these -- rules which the United States specifically wants to abolish in its proposed new resolution.

Blix said the Iraqis had assured him they would cooperate fully, though this would be put to the test when inspectors returned, possibly in mid-October.

The Iraqi delegation leader, Saddam's technical adviser Amir al-Saadi, said he was happy with the agreement and that the talks were businesslike and focused.
He said Baghdad would ensure that sensitive locations like the defense and interior ministries -- not covered under the agreement on the presidential palaces -- were open to inspectors and that they got speedy access.

"We will take the measures that will cancel the need for a waiting period and getting approval," he said.

The Iraqi delegation handed over four CDs which they said contained information on the status of so-called dual-use nuclear equipment that could be used to build arms as well as for civilian purposes.

Blix said the data had not yet been analyzed, but that it would help them choose initial inspection sites.

In Washington, Bush, seeking broad-based support from Congress for a possible attack on Iraq, denounced a compromise resolution drafted on Capitol Hill that limited the conditions for such an attack, saying it would "tie my hands."

Bush told reporters the draft congressional measure, aimed at securing broad support, would be weaker than 1998 legislation that declared U.S. policy for Iraq included "regime change."

Persistent worries over a conflict in Iraq helped push world oil prices toward 19-month highs before they dipped slightly on news of the U.N. inspectors' imminent return.

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U.S.: No resolution, no inspectors
U.N., Iraq agree on inspections
Wednesday, October 2, 2002 Posted: 4:54 AM EDT (0854 GMT)

"There is no magic calendar" for U.N. inspectors in Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday.

VIENNA, Austria (CNN) -- Despite an agreement between U.N. and Iraqi officials, the United States will oppose the return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq without a new mandate from the U.N. Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday.

Iraqi officials agreed to give U.N. weapons inspectors unrestricted access to most -- but not all -- of their country, with inspectors planning to return in mid-October unless the Security Council stops them.

Powell said the United States does not want the inspectors to return before the Security Council passes a new resolution that threatens "consequences" if Iraq obstructs their efforts.

"There is no magic calendar as to when they should go in," Powell said. "They should go in when they have the authority to do their job."
The tough stance in Washington comes as Iraqi and U.N. negotiators meeting in Austria announced Tuesday that Iraq has agreed to allow the inspectors to return and that an advance team was scheduled to arrive in Baghdad in about two weeks.

Hans Blix, head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission, announced the agreement with Iraq after two days of talks on practical arrangements for the inspectors' return.

The new Iraq agreement reached in Vienna, Austria, opens "special sites" such as mosques and government ministries to inspectors without notice or restrictions, said officials. But the agreement does not include so-called "presidential sites" covered by an earlier deal between Iraq and the United Nations.

Blix said access to those eight compounds, controlled by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, must be addressed by the U.N. Security Council. For all other areas, Tuesday's agreement "places all sites on the same basis," he said.

But Powell said Iraq would continue to deceive inspectors without a new resolution backing their work with the threat of force.
"We will not be satisfied with Iraqi half-truths, Iraqi compromises, Iraqi efforts to get us back into the same swamp they took the United Nations into back in 1998," he said.

Powell said U.S. officials are awaiting Blix's report to the Security Council, expected Thursday. He did not answer directly when asked whether Washington would take steps to prevent inspectors' return.

But a senior State Department official said Tuesday that U.S. officials would "move into thwart mode" if inspectors tried to return to Iraq without a new resolution.
"We are quite aware of the planning and schedules," the senior official said. "We will do everything we can to make sure [Blix] has new authority."

Inspectors are expected back in Baghdad in two weeks, said Gen. Amr Al-Sadi, an adviser to Saddam. He said Iraqi authorities "are authorized to take the inspectors wherever they want to go."

Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said inspectors intend to test the Iraqi agreement once they return to Baghdad.
Weapons inspectors left Iraq in 1998 ahead of a U.S. and British bombardment and after months of complaints that Iraqi officials were obstructing their work.
President Bush has warned that Washington would move to oust Saddam on its own if the United Nations fails to act.

The 1998 agreement on presidential sites forbids inspectors from entering the presidential sites without advance notice or diplomatic escort. U.S. officials have suggested that Iraq could be hiding facilities to produce nuclear, chemical or biological weapons within the compounds, in violation of U.N. resolutions requiring its disarmament.

"These are places that Saddam Hussein doesn't even go to. These are government facilities, government property where who knows what is going on, " White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said Tuesday. "And there's a good reason Saddam Hussein does not want people to go there and take a look at these facilities, even if he never sleeps there."

Iraq has said it would not accept any new Security Council resolutions. Meeting Tuesday, the Iraqi Cabinet Tuesday questioned the need for a new resolution. Saddam chaired the panel, which issued a statement.

The statement said "evil people" would not be able to push Iraq into "accepting what is not acceptable."

-- CNN Producer Elise Labott contributed to this report. Return to top of page