CONTENTS (6), Docs. 251-260: Just World Campaign

251. Contents 6 -- Just World Campaign
252. Reaping the grim harvest we have sown. UNITED STATES: Ultimately, the West is a source of any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq's hands. For example, according to the Washington Post, a 1994 investigation by the US Senate Banking Committee turned up dozens of biological agents shipped to Iraq during the mid-'80s under licence from the Department of Commerce, including various strains of anthrax. In December 1983, Donald Rumsfeld, then a special envoy to the Middle East, but now U.S. Defence Secretary, had travelled to Baghdad to inform Saddam Hussein that the United States was ready to resume full diplomatic relations with Iraq, in spite of the fact that the U.S. knew his forces were using illegal war methods against Iran, and on the Kurds. The U.S. administration had previously removed Hussein's regime from the list of terrorist states. After these moves, exports of items like anthrax, germ cultures, and parts for nuclear and rocket manufacture began being sent to Iraq openly from more countries in the Free World as well as the Soviet Bloc. The Iraqis had listed their suppliers in the documents handed over to the Weapons Inspectors, but at the insistence of the USA 9000 of the incriminating pages were removed, and only 3000 pages were given to the other members of the UN Security Council. -- Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com. au/ text/ articles/ 2003/02/02/ 10441 222 58580.htm , by Anne Summers, February 3 2003
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"Class action against Bali bombers". AUSTRALIA: Charities, banks and even three members of the Saudi royal family may be sued in a class action in the United States of America. They are alleged to be financing terrorism such as the September 11 2001 catastrophes in the U.S. and the October 12 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia. Australian victims of Bali are joining in. -- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2003/s781166.htm , "Class action against Bali bombers," Reporter: Tim Lester, February 11 2003
253. Reserved.
254. Where were the Americans who had promised to come to our aid? Promises broken, rebels destroyed. UNITED STATES: An Iraqi woman aged 20 in 1991 remembers hearing President Bush, Senior, promising on the radio stations Voice of America and the Voice of Free Iraq to help liberate the Iraqi people if they rose up against Saddam Hussein. In March 1991 during the freeing of Kuwait, Iraqis rose up in Basra and elsewhere, taking control of some cities for a time. The Americans didn't come. Saddam Hussein's agents tortured and killed large numbers of the patriots. -- "Back to Baghdad," The Weekend Australian, by Ms Zainab Al-Suwaij, Feb 15-16 2003, pp 19 & 26
  This had been previously published in The New Republic, U.S.A., posted Feb 3 03, issue date Feb 10 03, www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030210&s=alsuwaij021003 , as "Memories of a free Iraq: The Fire Last Time," by Zainab Al-Suwaij
   [COMMENT: This seems similar to the West's promises on Radio Free Europe to help the subjugated peoples in the Soviet bloc if they threw off the dictators. In 1956 the Hungarians rose up -- nobody came. The Czechoslovaks had a "Prague Spring" -- they were invaded. The posturers in London, New York, Paris, etc. didn't send help. Previously, towards the end of World War II the pleas of Warsaw groups who started insurrections against the Nazis were ignored by the Soviets until resistance was crushed, then the Red Army resumed moving forward. Further Comment: The present U.S. President Bush (Junior) did NOT go to the Vietnam War. Some say he was a draft-dodger. END of COMMENT]
Feb 15-16 03
255. Reserved
256. "Reminiscent of the Nazi blitz." PERTH: Australian senior military officers don't want RAAF pilots to bomb Iraqi civilian targets, even if the US has selected them [based on Brian Toohey's article, The West Australian, Mon Feb 17 03]. The Pentagon's threats look more like the Nazis' blitz on London and the Allies' destruction of Dresden, than an attack on Saddam Hussein's military. -- Wanneroo Times,, "Reminiscent of the Nazi blitz," letter, John Massam, Tue Feb 25 2003, p 9
• Government accused of burying free trade report that shows LOSS. AUSTRALIA: The Federal Government has been accused of burying an independent report, that questions the benefit of a free trade agreement with the US. The report, prepared by ACIL Consulting, was commissioned by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation 18 months ago, but has not been made public. The Federal Opposition says it suggests local farmers won't get anything out of a free trade deal with the US. Labor's Trade spokesman Craig Emerson says he's seen a leaked version of the ACIL report and it says the US won't give any ground on agriculture. He says it also warns a free trade deal with the US could anger Asian trading partners. And he says that's why the government is keeping the report secret. -- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Rural News, "Government accused of burying free trade report," http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/stories/s794322.htm , Thur, 27 Feb 03
• Radio, leaflets, e-mails calling on Iraqis to switch sides (and possibly be massacred like in 1991?): TORONTO, Canada: According to the U.S. experts in "psychological operations," the Iraqis' lives will be spared if they walk away from their war equipment. Airborne transmitters are flying over Iraq broadcasting radio propaganda. Iraqi business, military and political officials have been bombarded with e-mails and phone calls urging them to see the light and switch sides. Fighter planes have dropped more than eight million leaflets informing Iraqi soldiers that their lives will be spared if they walk away from their military equipment. "It sends a direct message to the operator on the gun," says Lieutenant-General T. Michael Moseley, commander of allied air forces in the Persian Gulf."
   BUT, the writer adds: "Will it work? I'm skeptical. There was, after all, a Voila! Moment during the last gulf war, when many Iraqis living near the Kuwaiti border believed U.S. promises that they would be supported if they rose up against Saddam Hussein. It was followed shortly after by a Screw You Moment, when the rebels watched U.S. forces abandon them to be massacred by Saddam Hussein." -- The Globe and Mail, Toronto, www.theglobeandmail.com/ servlet/ ArticleNews/ TPStory/ LAC/ 20030227/ COKLEIN/ TPColumnists , by Naomi Klein (She is the author of No Logo and Fences and Windows), Thursday, February 27, 2003 - Page A17
• Guard against the militaryindustrial complex. UNITED STATES: President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his Farewell Address, January 17, 1961, said:
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
See: http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html , and the Yale Law School Avalon Project webpage: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/presiden/speeches/eisenhower001.htm , and http://www.cdi.org/issues/usmi/complex/ . (Found Mar 5 03)
• US-Australia free trade deal: a losing payoff for joining Iraq war. AUSTRALIA: Some 60 United States officials are due to arrive in Australia this week for the first round of negotiations on a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, a deal that is widely regarded as a payoff for the Howard government's unswerving support for the US-led assault on Iraq. Ironically, the week-long talks are scheduled to commence on March 17, the deadline set by the US and British governments for launching a full-scale war. Even as the bombing begins, Australian officials will be discussing with their American counterparts how to reap the benefit of the military alliance. . . . Reflecting these concerns, a report prepared by ACIL Consulting for the Howard government has estimated that an FTA would reduce Gross Domestic Product by about 0.2 percent, directly contradicting the government's claims, based on an earlier study, of an eventual 0.4 percent or almost $A4 billion annual boost to GDP. According to the ACIL study, the losses to Australian producers would be even greater if, as expected, US agricultural interests succeed in blocking the removal of protection on three key industries -- sugar, dairy and meat. -- World Socialist Web Site, "US-Australia free trade deal: a dubious payoff for joining Iraq war ," http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/mar2003/trad-m13.shtml , By Mike Head, mailto:editor@wsws.org , 13 Mar 03
257. Grab for even the Teddy Bear industry. PERTH: A United States teddy bear company, Build-a-Bear Workshop based in St Louis, Missouri, founded 1997, has sued an Australian teddy-making couple, Richard and Roseleigh White, who run Bear Kids Workshop at Carousel shopping centre in Cannington, a Perth suburb, saying they were passing off the U.S. designs as their own! Lawyers for the couple described the US claims as a "fantastical whim." There was an out-of-court settlement in November. -- The West Australian, "WA teddy designers grin and bear it," by Anne Calverley, Sat. March 15 2003, p 3
258. Medicare and Wheat Board bargaining power must be broken! CANBERRA: US pharmaceutical companies had "flagged various issues" relating to Australia's pharmaceutical benefits scheme. The scheme allows Australians to buy most prescribed medicines at heavily subsidised prices. But it also gives the Australian Government substantial bargaining power, which is not consistent with free trade, according to Ralph Ives, US trade negotiator. Mr Ives also said US grain companies had also raised concerns about the arrangement that gave a private, farmer-controlled organisation, AWB Ltd, exclusive power to sell Australian wheat overseas. -- The West Australian, "America has wheat, medicine in sights," by Alan Thornhill, March 20 2003, p 36
• Yellowcake "low quality" forgery exposed on March 7 (13 days before the attack). NEW YORK: President [George W.] Bush cited a uranium deal, along with the aluminum tubes, in his State of the Union Message, on January 28th, while crediting Britain as the source of the information. The official line was that Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in Iraq was trying to build nuclear bombs. Officials had been told that the C.I.A. [US Central Intelligence Agency] had recently received intelligence showing that, between 1999 and 2001, Iraq had attempted to buy five hundred tons of uranium oxide from Niger. A headline in the British Guardian declared, "African gangs offer route to uranium." On March 7th, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, told the U.N. Security Council that the documents involving the Niger-Iraq uranium sale were fakes. One senior I.A.E.A. official said, "These documents are so bad that I cannot imagine that they came from a serious intelligence agency. It depresses me, given the low quality of the documents, that it was not stopped. At the level it reached, I would have expected more checking." One letter, dated October 10, 2000, was signed with the name of Allele Habibou, a Niger Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coöperation, who had been out of office since 1989. [The United States, Britain, and Australia attacked Iraq on 20 March 2003] -- The New Yorker, "Who lied to whom? Why did the Administration endorse a forgery about Iraq's nuclear program?" www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030331fa_fact1 , by Seymour M. Hersh, Issue of March 31 2003, Posted March 24 2003
259. USA calls on Geneva Convention it defies in Cuba. PERTH: On television we saw images of American prisoners in Iraq, and US leaders pleading with their captors to follow the Geneva Convention in their treatment. But, fighters were taken prisoner in Afghanistan and thrown into cages in Cuba. Are they being treated as per the Geneva Convention? The USA has held them more than a year, with no trial and no ordinary prisoner of war rights. [COMMENT: Western television channels had previously shown Iraqi prisoners in Allied hands. COMMENT ENDS] -- The West Australian, "Conventions" letter by Graeme Wigg, Marangaroo, Tue March 25 2003, p 14, and, untitled letter by John Massam, Greenwood, Wed Mar 26 2003, p 24, and other similar letters
• America, what are you doing to yourself? Losing freedom, and increasing huge debts. CANADA: "Let's talk, then, not about what you're doing to other people, but about what you're doing to yourselves.
   You're gutting the Constitution. Already your home can be entered without your knowledge or permission, you can be snatched away and incarcerated without cause, your mail can be spied on, your private records searched.
   Why isn't this a recipe for widespread business theft, political intimidation, and fraud? I know you've been told all this is for your own safety and protection, but think about it for a minute. Anyway, when did you get so scared? You didn't used to be easily frightened.
   You're running up a record level of debt. Keep spending at this rate and pretty soon you won't be able to afford any big military adventures.
   Either that or you'll go the way of the USSR: lots of tanks, but no air conditioning. That will make folks very cross. They'll be even crosser when they can't take a shower because your short-sighted bulldozing of environmental protections has dirtied most of the water and dried up the rest. Then things will get hot and dirty indeed." (This essay also appears in The Nation) -- Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada), "A letter to America," www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030328/COATWOOD//?query=Atwood , by Margaret Atwood (an author), Friday, March 28, 2003 - Page A17.
260. Support fading for US trade deal. AUSTRALIA: By March 2003, Australian voters' support for a Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America had slipped to 51 per cent. Likewise, 56 per cent of respondents opposed an FTA that scrapped tariffs and industry protection for Australian manufacturers. About 70 per cent were against a deal that led to fewer Australian programs being shown on free-to-air TV, and almost 90 per cent rejected a deal that changed the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The opinion polling of 1000 was carried out for lobbyists representing Australia's cultural industries. -- Australian Financial Review, "Support fading for US trade deal," by Mark Davis, March 21 2003, p 3
• Czech Investment Treaty with Netherlands a warning re GATS. EUROPE: It wasn't "Shock and Awe", but it certainly focused the minds of Czech Politicians. Last week, a Stockholm-based arbitral Tribunal awarded record damages, of some 350 million US Dollars, to Central European Media (CME) in its investment treaty dispute with the Czech Republic. The damages dwarf by at least a factor of ten, those in any other known investment treaty arbitration, and were based upon the Tribunal's estimate of the losses incurred by CME in 1989 when it was deprived of its stake in TV Nova, a popular English language television station in Prague. For an Administration already running a record budget deficit of some 360 million dollars (US), the Tribunal's decision threatens to double the Czech Republic's budget shortfall this year. As the government scrambles for solutions, one proposal mooted by some officials is for an increase in value-added tax on goods and services which would see all taxpayers absorbing the cost of the investment treaty arbitration. CME's multi-pronged legal strategy has thus far proved successful in its long-running battle with the Czech Republic. A separate arbitration brought by CME's major shareholder Ronald Lauder under the US-Czech Republic bilateral investment treaty (BIT) had come up empty, when a London-based arbitral Tribunal ruled that the Czech Republic had not violated most of the key commitments made in that agreement. Despite having been vindicated in that case, the Czech Republic was not off the hook. CME managed to convince a second Tribunal, this one based in Stockholm, that the same actions by the Czech Republic had constituted multiple violations of a BIT concluded with the Netherlands. The Czech Republic now clings to a last hope that the Stockholm Tribunal's ruling on the merits of the case (and which paved the way for last week's damages award) will be overturned on appeal. A challenge is currently pending before a Stockholm Court, as is the perogative of a losing party in arbitrations operating under the UNCITRAL rules of arbitration. (see "Czech Broadcasting Dispute Heading Towards Final Damages, and Appeal in a Swedish Court", INVEST-SD Bulletin, Feb.21, 2003)
   In the mean time, both sides have toned down their rhetoric in relation to the damages claim. In recent weeks, CEO Fred Klinkhammer had appeared to relish the opportunity to extract compensation from a possibly recalcitrant government, but this week he suggested that the Czech Republic could deposit the amount owing into a special bank account which would only be tapped after the Stockholm Court rules on the Czech Republic's appeal later this [Northern] Spring. Meanwhile, Czech media report that most Czech politicians accept that any damages owed will need to be paid. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has said that prompt payment is a must in order to safeguard the nation's "reputation abroad" In recent years, CME shareholder Ronald Lauder, a former US ambassador to Austria and heir to the Estée Lauder fortune, had conducted a very public campaign to discredit the Czech Republic for its treatment of CME, running full-page advertisements in major US newspapers alleging that the Czech Republic was a dangerous place in which to invest. In addition to any negative publicity generated by its public spat with Mr. Lauder's firm, the Czech Government has also spent more than 10 million US dollars on legal fees in its defence of the two BIT arbitrations mounted against it.
   Sources: "Czech Republic Unlikely to Avoid Paying to CME - Politicians", CTK National Newswire, March 15, 2003; "Czech Republic to Pay Billions to US Media Company", BBC Monitoring International Reports, March. 15, 2003; "Czech Minister Advocates Immediate Settlement of TV Arbitration Fine", BBC Monitoring International Reports, March. 17, 2003; "Money for CME Could be Raised Through Special Tax - KDU-CSL", CTK Czech News Agency, March 18, 2003; "Govt Spending on Lawyers in Nova Case Tops KC 300M" - Press", CTK Business Newswire. March 20, 2003; -- Investment Law and Policy Weekly News Bulletin, "Czech Republic Hit With Massive Compensation Bill in Investment Treaty Dispute," By Luke Eric Peterson, March 21, 2003
   [COMMENT: Jim Gladwin To: "Taking.Control". The Czech government has been awarded massive damages in an investment case. Interestingly, the case is brought under the terms of a treaty with the Netherlands - just like the US$25million Bechtel case against Bolivia. COMMENT ENDS.] Mar 21 03
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