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[OPIRG-EVENTS] ACTION:March against expansion of the war to Iraq
March against the war and the possible expansion of the war to Iraq!
When? The march starts at 12:00 on Saturday March 2.
Where? Meet at the corner of York and Sussex
Why? Because President Bush is threatening to expand the war against terrorism
to Iraq. So far, Canada is not signing on for this one.
Let's keep it that way!!
The object of this march is to distribute information to the public, share
resources and information with each other, stand in defiance and outrage .
For those interested there is an overview of the Iraq Crisis below.
Please bring your signs, noise-makers and outrage!
To contact NOWAR/PAIX, please send a message to: email@example.com.
CANESI: War Plan Iraq: White House 'will not take yes for an
A couple of news reports on the war-plans for Iraq. The Guardian reports
on 'preparations for an assault on Iraq involving up to 200,000 US troops
that is likely to be launched later this year' noting that 'the trigger
could be the expected row over weapons inspections in three months' time.'
An 'American intelligence source' is quoted as saying that the White
House "will not take yes for an answer" when it comes to inspections,
'suggesting that Washington would provoke a crisis' adding 'that he expected
the war to begin soon after the May ultimatum.' A Foreign Office official is
quoted as saying that military action was not imminent, but would be "a
question of months".
According to the New York Times 'Between now and May, Mr. Bush's team
plans to create what amounts to an inspection crisis - demanding that Iraq
admit into the country the nuclear inspectors it ousted in 1998. Mr. Bush's
aides fully expect that Mr. Hussein will refuse outright or feign cooperation
in the hope of dragging out the process. Mr. Bush's plan is to use either
action as evidence that Iraq is hiding active weapons programs, and use its
resistance to justify more forceful action.'
According to George Bush 'Saddam Hussein needs to understand that I'm
serious about defending our country.' As Chomksy might put it, Orwell
wouldn't even have bothered laughing ...
Perhaps this would be a good time to remind folk about the ARROW (Active
Resistance to the Roots of War) Pledge of Resistance to future military
attacks. You can find it on www.justicenotvengeance.org .
voices in the wilderness uk
US targets Saddam
Pentagon and CIA making plans for war against Iraq this year
Julian Borger in Washington and Ewen MacAskill
Thursday February 14, 2002
The Pentagon and the CIA have begun preparations for an assault on Iraq
involving up to 200,000 US troops that is likely to be launched later this
year with the aim of removing Saddam Hussein from power, US and diplomatic
sources told the Guardian yesterday.
President George Bush's war cabinet, known as the "principals committee",
agreed at a pivotal meeting in late January that the policy of containment
has failed and that active steps should be taken to topple the Iraqi leader.
But, according to a US intelligence source familiar with CIA preparations,
the plans for a parallel overt and covert war only landed on the president's
desk in the past few days.
"I will reserve whatever options I have. I'll keep them close to my vest.
Saddam Hussein needs to understand that I'm serious about defending our
country," Mr Bush said yesterday.
Since the principals committee decision, Colin Powell, the secretary of
state and the dove of the administration, has pointedly added his voice to
the calls for a "regime change".
"We are looking at a variety of options that would bring that about," he told
the Senate budget committee.
The blueprint for a campaign against Iraq has evolved from a contingency plan
drawn up by the joint chiefs of staff that envisaged the use of a 200,000-
strong US force, the bulk of which would invade from Kuwait.
However, it may be that the actual force used will be less numerous,
relying more on covert and special forces operations.
Central Command has already set up forward headquarters in the Gulf from
which each of the component services will be able to coordinate the war.
The air force headquarters (Afcent) is at the Prince Sultan air base in
Saudi Arabia. The army headquarters (Arcent) is in Kuwait, while the navy
(Navcent) is in Bahrain.
Central Command's marine component (Marcent) is also expected to move to
Bahrain in the next few days, weeks after the main marine force left
The US, Israel and Turkey were due to hold joint exercises codenamed
Anatolian Eagle this year, but in another sign of accelerated preparations
there will be three such exercises in the next few months, based at the
Turkish air force base at Konya. Once upgraded, Konya could be used alongside
Incirlik as a base for air strikes on northern Iraq.
The Pentagon's military planners are reported to have agonised over the
Iraq plan because of the significant risk that Saddam - aware that unlike
during the Gulf war his own life is at stake this time - would use chemical
and biological weapons against US troop concentrations and Israel.
The danger would be minimised by intensive bombing of missile launchers, but
the generals reportedly remain extremely concerned that the risks cannot be
The CIA's covert war would involve arming and training Kurdish fighters in
northern Iraq and Shi'ite forces in Kuwait. CIA trainers and special
forces troops have already been dispatched to Kuwait for that purpose, and
may already have begun work.
Meanwhile, CIA and special forces will launch a campaign of sabotage and
information warfare in the next few months.
The CIA puts very little faith in the military capacity of the main
opposition movement, the Iraqi National Congress, but it has begun
intensive consultations with INC officials about the logistics of training
and arming the movement's supporters.
The trigger could be the expected row over weapons inspections in three
months' time. America's allies are clinging to the hope that US military
action will be forestalled by Baghdad's acceptance of unconditional and
unfettered weapons inspections when the international sanctions regime comes
up for review at the United Nations in May.
However, Iraq's vice-president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, said yesterday there was
no need for "spies" from the UN weapons inspection teams to return to the
A US state department official said he thought it very unlikely that the
Iraqi regime would be prepared to accept the stringent programme of
inspections the US will demand. As the American intelligence source put
it, the White House "will not take yes for an answer", suggesting that
Washington would provoke a crisis. He added that he expected the war to
begin soon after the May ultimatum.
US allies in the Middle East have been informed that a decision to attack
Iraq has already been taken, and diplomats from the region said yesterday
they were resigned to the inevitability of a war that may threaten the
stability of a string of Arab regimes.
"It is a nightmare situation for us," said one Arab diplomat in
Washington. "We feel the Americans will take very drastic action and we have
to be prepared for such a reality. But the public opinion in the street will
not see this as a benign attempt to restore order, but as American
France, Germany and others in the European Union have been queuing up to make
clear to Mr Bush that they will not support him in military action against
The German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, this week joined the French
foreign minister, Hubert Védrine, by expressing publicly his concern about US
policy towards Iraq.
But Tony Blair and the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, have refused to join
the public outcry. A Foreign Office official said yesterday that military
action was not imminent, but would be "a question of months".
A Foreign Office spokesman later said: "The prime minister has made it
clear from the outset that the campaign would have two phases: the first
focusing on Afghanistan and the second looking at different aspects of
international terrorism. In that context, we have to look at issues such as
weapons of mass destruction."
There are regular exchanges between the US state department and the
Foreign Office on strategy for tackling Iraq. The Foreign Office spokesman
said: "We will proceed in consultation with our allies and the precise
methods of action will be for consultation in due course."
In the months after September 11, the Foreign Office repeatedly ruled out
military action against Iraq, other than the regular bombing along its border
with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Its line at the time was that there was no
evidence linking Iraq to terrorist activity.
Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey, all US allies neighbouring Iraq, expect to
sustain significant economic and political damage from a new conflict.
Jordan believes it stands to lose $800m (£500m) from the interruption of
deliveries of cheap Iraqi oil, and has already begun to hint at the need for
February 13, 2002
New York Times
U.S. Goal Seems Clear, and the Team Complete
By DAVID E. SANGER
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 - In the weeks following the defeat of the Taliban and
the scattering of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Bush administration was
consumed with internal debate about where to take the war on terrorism next.
Now, by all indications, the debate is largely over: toppling Saddam
Hussein is the next major goal, and the administration is putting in place
the diplomatic and military means to accomplish it.
But if allies have grown more nervous that this is the wrong fight at the
wrong time, Mr. Bush sounds as if he has grown more certain than ever of the
rightness of his course: in Milwaukee on Monday night, he warned that he
was "not going to allow regimes such as Iran, Iraq and North Korea to
threaten our way of life."
Mr. Bush made no distinctions among the three nations in his speech, or in
the State of the Union address last month. However, inside the
administration there is now consensus that Iraq is the only one that has to
go. That decision has been made vivid in recent days by the remarks of
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell - a case in which Washington's messenger
is as important as the message itself.
Secretary Powell has long been considered the voice of caution in the Bush
war cabinet, the restraining influence on those in the Pentagon, led by
Deputy Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, who argued for ousting Saddam Hussein
immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks. As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff during the Persian Gulf war, he carried enormous credibility in
facing down the Pentagon.
Now, one senior administration official said the other day, "we've finally
jelled." Secretary Powell, he noted, used the phrase "axis of evil"
repeatedly in reference to Iraq, Iran and North Korea - to signal that there
is no daylight between himself and his more hawkish boss.
"It's hard to imagine Colin saying those words on his own a month ago,"
the official said. "Either he's come into agreement with everyone else, or
he's decided to embrace the policy in hopes that, from the inside, he can
control and modify it."
If that is Secretary Powell's secret plan, he may have time on his side. Even
the most hawkish members of the administration say it will be months before
the desire to oust Saddam turns into a concrete strategy to oust Saddam. But
the outlines of the strategy are beginning to emerge.
Between now and May, Mr. Bush's team plans to create what amounts to an
inspection crisis - demanding that Iraq admit into the country the nuclear
inspectors it ousted in 1998. Mr. Bush's aides fully expect that Mr. Hussein
will refuse outright or feign cooperation in the hope of dragging out the
process. Mr. Bush's plan is to use either action as evidence that Iraq is
hiding active weapons programs, and use its resistance to justify more
Whether that takes the form of direct military attack, support for
internal rebellions, or other options "is still up in the air," a senior
White House official said today.
But by joining so publicly with his boss and with his rivals in the
Defense Department, Mr. Powell is clearly signaling to America's reluctant
allies that they cannot exploit a division in the administration to forestall
action on Iraq.
"At some point," a senior administration official said, "the Europeans
with butterflies in their stomachs - many of whom didn't want us to go into
Afghanistan - will see that they have a bipolar choice: they can get with the
plan or get off."
It is that kind of talk that has so raised the hackles of European leaders in
recent days, including longtime friends of Washington like Joschka Fischer,
the German foreign minister, who warned today that "alliance partners are not
satellites," a phrase that evoked images of how the old Soviet Union dealt
with the rest of the Communist bloc.
Secretary Powell will have to chip away at such vocal opposition if he has
any hope of piecing together an anti-Iraq coalition that would at least give
protective political cover to what would essentially be an American action.
But he warned last week that if the allies balk - he clearly had Germany,
France and Saudi Arabia in mind, among others, but was too diplomatic to say
so - Mr. Bush was fully prepared to do it by himself, a fact the president
made clear in his State of the Union address. In the speech he did not once
mention any of the allies who assisted in the campaign in Afghanistan.
"There may be times when we have to act alone," Secretary Powell said. "We
can't have our national interest constrained by the views of the
coalition." The war will focus on Iraq, but that will not be the only action
against terrorism. Already 650 troops have been dispatched to the
Philippines, and administration officials are considering whether to ask
Indonesia to accept a similar force. The Navy has been patrolling the Horn of
Africa for weeks to prevent Al Qaeda members from slipping into Somalia.
"We have a lot of decisions to make about how you deal with these outposts of
terrorism - the Philippines, the Sudans, the Yemens - and those challenges
will come up before Iraq does," a senior administration official said today.
"Then there is Iran and North Korea, who are part of the axis of evil, but
the part we hope to talk to," the official said, though both countries were
so offended by Mr. Bush's language about them in the State of the Union
address it is unclear whether they are willing to respond.
Iraq, he said, "is in a category by itself."
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