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Iranian Alert -- August 21, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 08/21/2003 12:08:31 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movment in Iran from being reported.
From jamming satellite broadcasts, to prohibiting news reporters from covering any demonstrations to shutting down all cell phones and even hiring foreign security to control the population, the regime is doing everything in its power to keep the popular movement from expressing its demand for an end of the regime.
These efforts by the regime, while successful in the short term, do not resolve the fundamental reasons why this regime is crumbling from within.
Iran is a country ready for a regime change. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary.
Please continue to join us here, post your news stories and comments to this thread.
Thanks for all the help.
TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement
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posted on 08/21/2003 12:08:32 AM PDT
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posted on 08/21/2003 12:14:44 AM PDT
The war against terror can be won only if we have the will
By Michael Ledeen
Long before the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I wrote that the coalition had better be ready for a relentless terrorist assault, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, once Saddam had been toppled.
We had waited an unconscionably long time between the liberation of Afghanistan and the move against Saddam, thereby giving the terror masters in Baghdad, Teheran, Damascus and Riyadh abundant opportunity to plan their response. They decided to repeat what they saw as their winning strategy in Lebanon in the 1980s (driving out America and France) and 1990s (compelling an Israeli withdrawal from the south).
Iranian and Syrian leaders made no secret of their intent, and Bashar Assad even gave an interview in which he brazenly informed us - and potential recruits to the jihad - that the terror masters would use religiously inspired insurrection, assassination and terrorism first to bloody and then to humiliate the West, and anyone who joined us.
Just a few days ago, Paul Bremer - the de facto governor of Iraq - complained at the large number of foreign terrorists flowing into the country, and he specifically labelled Iran as a prime mover.
He announced that intelligence officers from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were actively organising terrorist operations. Yesterday's Financial Times carried a front-page story warning that thousands of Saudis were headed to Iraq to attack American and British targets.
Now perhaps more people will understand that the jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan is not limited to the citizens of one or two countries, but is waged against anyone who tries to make Iraq a free and successful country. The terror masters know that they would not survive successful democratic revolution on their doorsteps, because their own people would demand their own freedom.
The facts have been available for a long time, and no one should be surprised at the truck bomb attack on the UN's offices in Baghdad yesterday, which claimed the life of the UN Special Representative to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
But, as human nature contains an unlimited quantum of hope despite millennia of intensely unpleasant experience, many will resist drawing the obvious conclusions and, even more, be reluctant to take appropriate action.
The jihad in Iraq is simply a continuation of the terror war against the West that saw its most recent apogee on September 11, 2001. That war has been on for more than a quarter-century, and the terror masters will continue to wage it until they have either won or lost.
This terror war is currently centred in the Middle East (although battles are also waged in South Asia), where we are engaged in a regional conflict with Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Until the regimes of those countries surrender or are removed, we will be attacked, both in the Middle East and in our own countries.
And we cannot buy our way out of this war by changing our policies on such questions as Palestine and Israel, or on the presence of armed forces on Saudi soil, or by going easy on the weapons of mass destruction programmes of Syria and Iran.
Indeed, those who see peace between Israel and Palestine as the most urgent issue in the region should be the most vigorous in supporting democratic revolution in Syria and Iran, since it is clear that a good deal of Palestinian terrorism has been organised by the mullahcracy in Teheran, and the terrorists have trained in Syrian-occupied Lebanon.
Other lingering misconceptions about the nature of the terror network have got in the way of clear understanding and hence of effective policy. The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and his British counterpart, Jack Straw, often speak as if they believe we could actually enlist Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran in the war against terror, which is rather like Roosevelt convincing himself that he could enlist Hitler and Mussolini in a war against Japan following Pearl Harbor.
That such serious and distinguished people have embraced a delusion of such magnitude testifies both to the cunning of the terror masters and the painful obligations that the truth imposes on the free societies of the world.
It would be nice to settle things at the negotiating table, and we are inclined to talk and talk, and walk last mile after last mile, to avoid the unpleasant reality that we are indeed at war.
Perhaps the bombing of the UN offices will clarify things, and spur the feckless critics of the war against terrorism to join us. The terror masters do not think that will happen. They expect that the flow of body bags will stimulate world public opinion to demand an end to the "occupation" of Iraq - which would transform Iraq and Afghanistan from humiliating defeats for the Islamists into glorious triumphs over the West.
The terror masters would then have demonstrated one of their central theses: that the crusaders and infidels of the West have no stomach for real fighting, and lack the tenacity and determination to prevail in this war.
That would be a catastrophe, especially because our victories against the Taliban and Saddam have threatened the terror regimes as never before. Particularly in Iran - the most powerful engine of the terror network - the overwhelming majority of the people desperately wish to be free, and passionately want to join the ranks of civilised countries.
Modest support of the Iranian people would probably bring the downfall of the mullahs, thereby removing the linchpin of the terrorist edifice. Without Iran, the Syrians would be unable to sustain the murderous activities of groups such as Hizbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and both the Ba'athist regime in Damascus and the terrorists it has been supporting would be easy prey for their enemies.
The terror masters are wounded and frightened, but they are still on the battlefield and they are determined to prevail. They understand, correctly in my opinion, that it is all a matter of will. We have more than enough power to prevail, but we have yet to demonstrate the resolve to impose victory on our enemies.
Michael Ledeen is the author of The War Against the Terror Masters (St Martin's Press) http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2003/08/20/do2001.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2003/08/20/ixopinion.html
posted on 08/21/2003 12:16:38 AM PDT
To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
posted on 08/21/2003 12:18:17 AM PDT
IRAQS 'SCIRI', CAUGHT BETWEEN TEHRAN AND WASHINGTON
Iran Press Service
By Mahan Abedin*
LONDON, 20 Aug.
One of the more encouraging features of the occupation of Iraq has been Washingtons desire to co-opt the countrys Shiites into the post-Baathist polity in a way that reflects their majority status. This has led the US to deal with the well-organized Shiite force in the country: the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).
However, this uneasy alliance has been beset with problems from the start. The raiding of numerous SCIRI offices and safe houses after the fall of Baghdad came amid a general harassment of SCIRI cadres and sympathizers, particularly members of its armed wing, the Badr Corps. Yet there are also strong indications SCIRI will prove to be a reliable partner for the US as it seeks to forge some kind of representative government in Iraq.
SCIRI grew out of a breakaway faction of the Al-Daawa Party. Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim led the faction, which left Iraq in 1980 and eventually settled in Iran. Hakim had been a member of Daawa since the 1960s and was imprisoned three times in the 1970s. In Iran, Hakim established the Mojahedeen fil-Iraq, which was renamed the Office for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq in early 1981. This in turn metamorphosed into SCIRI in November 1982.
SCIRI claimed to be a coalition of Islamic and national forces, but in reality it was little more than a nucleus of old Daawa activists who sought to challenge former Iraqi President Saddam Hoseyn. It modeled itself on a conventional liberation movement, developing both political and military wings.
At the beginning it was overwhelmingly dependent on Iranian patronage, but it would be wrong to characterize the link as a patron-client relationship. Influence was mutual as SCIRI gained considerable sway in the commanding heights of the Iranian state. A noteworthy example was Ayatollah Mahmoud (Hashemi) Shahroudi, who was a senior leader of SCIRI in the 1980s and is currently the head of Irans Judiciary.
On the political front, SCIRI failed to score significant points against the Baathist regime. Its open alliance with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war caused enormous damage to its credibility inside Iraq. Even within the Shiite community, SCIRI came to be seen, undeservedly, as an Iranian quisling.
Its lack of a presence in Iraq was debilitating and the Baath regimes intelligence apparatus easily contained whatever influence the SCIRI commanded.
Militarily, SCIRI did not perform much better. The problem was rooted in the councils desire to develop a conventional military rather than clandestine guerrilla force. Irans Revolutionary Guards selected and trained Badr units and strong ties have persisted between the organizations for more than two decades.
Indeed, SCIRI participated in the war against Iraq alongside the guards. Its units were deployed in bases in Irans western Khouzestan, Ilam and Kermanshah provinces, and its main training center was located in a Revolutionary Guard centre outside Dezful. The Badr corps boasted a 15,000-man army, but in reality only 5,000 of these were professionally trained fighters.
The uselessness of SCIRIs armed wing was underlined during the March 1991 uprising against the Baath regime: Badr units were unable to participate effectively as they lacked clandestine resources in the southern and central Iraqi Shiite heartlands.
Ideologically, SCIRI is committed to the Velayat-e Faquih doctrine prevailing in Iran, which mandates clerical intervention in political affairs. Its strong Iranian links have ensured that some former and current SCIRI leaders and cadres are loyal to the theocratic component of the Islamic Republic.
Indeed SCIRI publications, particularly those connected to its armed wing, regularly publish photographs and sayings of Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi, and refer to him by the superfluous title leader of the Muslim umma. Hakim is usually present during Khamenehis important speeches, nodding approvingly from the back rows.
Despite such behavior, SCIRI representatives take pains to assert they are not interested in establishing a theocracy in Iraq. Spokesmen have the unenviable task of reconciling the organizations ideology with its practical agenda. Recently, SCIRI pledged its allegiance to a democratic system in Iraq. One of the councils most erudite and articulate representatives, the UK-based Hamid al-Bayati, said in a May 2003 interview that a Shiite-led theocracy was inappropriate as it would not fully represent Iraqs diverse communities. This is likely a genuine reflection of current SCIRI thinking. It must be remembered that despite its clerical core, SCIRI has in recent years developed a professional and technocratic cadre. Moreover its presences in Iraq will likely results in its coming under the influence of the Najaf religious schools - which have historically opposed Velayat-e Faquih.
Saddam Hoseyns downfall compelled SCIRI and the US occupation administration to work together. The US initially sought to curtail the activities of the Badr Corps by preventing its fighters from crossing the Iranian border. Politically, however, it gave SCIRI free rein, as evidenced by Hakims historic return in April.
Still, the Bremer administration remains suspicious of the council and its allies. These tensions are unlikely to result in a significant rupture. SCIRIs ties with Iran form the basis of US reservations, but this influence is likely to wane as SCIRI finds it expedient to distance itself from Tehran. Moreover, SCIRI has had links with Washington since 1993, therefore is by no means unfamiliar to the US.
The US will have to deepen its relations with SCIRI if it is to end the marginalization of Iraqs Shiites. This is largely dependent on engaging the forces representing the community. In the absence of viable alternatives, SCIRI represents a smart choice. Daawa is also currently a US ally, but it is too small, fractured and secretive to play a significant role in Iraqi politics.
More ominously, the continuing US presence in Iraq could propel the movement led by the young cleric Muqtada al-Sadr into armed confrontation with coalition forces. SCIRI will be a very useful US ally in the face of such an eventuality. The upshot is that the US and SCIRI are likely to forge an ever closer relationship. ENDS IRAQ SAIRI 20803 http://www.iran-press-service.com/
posted on 08/21/2003 12:19:29 AM PDT
To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; Valin; Tamsey; seamole; ...
Iran President voices concern over arrest of book authors, publishers
President Mohammad Khatami on Wednesday expressed concern over the arrest of a book translator, a publisher, a critic of cultural works in the press and an official in charge of authorizing publication of the book, IRNA reported from Tehran.
In a letter to Minister of Culture and the Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed Jamei, the president urged him to follow up the case and bring it to an end.
President Khatami said in his letter that dealing with cultural works needs respective knowledge so that the publishers and writers who are the means of cultural development should not be dealt with irresponsibly.
He said that the judicial officials are expected to respect the law in dealing with the defendants who are working in the cultural sector.
The president appreciated the minister`s successful administration of the cultural sector and advised him to exercise patience to put the crisis behind.
Masjed Jamei had forwarded a letter to the president complaining about the judicial action against book writers, publishers which ignored the authority of the ministry bestowed upon it by the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution.
"I`ve heard that a translator, publisher, book critic and an official in charge of authorizing the publication of books have been arrested. Since the judicial officials have not rejected their arrests, I hereby inform you that such arrests are taking place in defiance of the procedure approved by the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution, and ask for your personal assistance in solving the crisis," Masjed Jamei said in letter to the president.
Author of `Iran`s Women Musicians` Toka Maleki, its publisher Jaafar Homai, cultural critic Banafsheh Samgis have received prison terms.
Translator of the book `Women behind Veil and Well-Dressed Men` Maliheh Moghazei and Ministry of Culture and the Islamic Guidance Director General Majid Sayyad have also received prison terms. http://www.payvand.com/news/03/aug/1115.html
posted on 08/21/2003 12:22:38 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
Comment #7 Removed by Moderator
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: BEYOND CONTROL
Power of arms treaties erodes as danger grows
What ultimately is found in Iraq may determine future inspections, enforcement
The Associated Press
EDITOR'S NOTE: At their Millennium Summit three years ago, world leaders pledged to "strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction." This is the first in a three-part series taking stock of that effort at this critical moment, as the world awaits word of the truth about Iraq.
BY CHARLES J. HANLEY
VIENNA, Austria - The global machinery for confronting the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons - the machinery of treaties and sanctions, inspectors and detectors - is sputtering and stalling, just as the dangers seem more real by the day.
In Vienna, a U.N. agency struggles through its 19th year with a frozen budget as it works to keep nuclear bombs from spreading worldwide. In a neighboring glass tower beside the Danube, experts hired to detect secret nuclear tests close up shop over weekends. Their treaty is on hold.
Plans to burn thousands of tons of fearsome chemical weapons, in the United States and Russia, have quietly slipped years into the future. The U.N. chemical inspector corps, meanwhile, is understaffed and politically handcuffed.
As for biological arms, negotiators recently labored for seven years on an enforcement regime - inspectors - for the 1975 treaty banning germ weapons. But the United States has now shut down those talks.
"There has been a disturbing gradual erosion of the established international norms on weapons of mass destruction," Kofi Annan, United Nations secretary-general, observed last February.
Others put it less diplomatically. "The Bush administration has severe allergies to multilateral activities," said arms-control scholar Amy Smithson in Washington, D.C.
That's because they often don't work, Bush administration officials contend. In a dangerous world, global treaties sometimes are just "words on a piece of paper" that have scant value, the U.S. undersecretary of state for international security said in an interview in Washington, D.C.
"The international regime that tried to enforce restrictions on Iraq obviously didn't succeed," John Bolton said. "And so one has to wonder whether international regimes that find opposition in the form of states party to the agreement are ever going to work."
What will work, President Bush contended last year, is the "path of action," the path that led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, to eliminate its alleged "WMD" - weapons of mass destruction.
But the last word on Iraq hasn't been heard.
The U.S. weapons hunters deployed in Iraq insist they're making progress. But the failure thus far to find large stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons, or an active nuclear bomb program, suggests that arms control may have succeeded, contrary to Bolton's view, and that U.N. inspectors may actually have defused the Iraqi threat over the previous decade before being swept aside by the war.
"Iraq is a major turning point in how to deal with WMD," noted chief U.N. disarmament researcher Patricia Lewis. If no major finds are made, it should boost the global credibility of arms control, including among Americans.
The fear of WMD is, above all, felt in America, target of a catastrophic terror attack two years ago.
The al-Qaida organization has shown an interest in using microbes as weapons, and advances in biotechnology may make it easier. Terrorists have already used chemical weapons, in 1995 in Tokyo's subway. But the fear focuses above all on nuclear bombs, wielded by terror groups or unfriendly states.
"The desire for nuclear weapons is on the upsurge," CIA Director George Tenet told U.S. senators in February.
Those desires are tracked, analyzed and, it is hoped, thwarted from quiet high-rise offices in the Vienna complex known as U.N. City, the riverside headquarters of the nuclear part of the machinery, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The IAEA verifies global observance of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, under which 183 nations pledge not to pursue atomic arms in exchange for a commitment from five recognized nuclear weapons states to dismantle their arsenals someday.
Complicating that picture, three nuclear weapons states remain outside the treaty - India and Pakistan, which have declared their arsenals, and Israel, which has never admitted to having one. One member, North Korea, says it is building nuclear bombs and is withdrawing from the treaty. Washington, D.C., says another, Iran, is secretly developing bomb technology. And tons of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, the stuff of bombs, lie in Russia's poorly protected nuclear complex, a Soviet legacy.
The more such technology and bomb material spread, the greater the risk they will fall into the hands of "nonstate actors," terrorists.
To monitor activity and investigate claims, the IAEA has just 250 inspectors, little more than the number of engineers, scientists and other inspectors it fielded in 1985, when Washington forced a budget freeze, inflation-adjusted, on all U.N. agencies.
The IAEA has long complained.
"For $100 million a year" - the outlay for verification work - "the world wants assurances that 180-plus nations are not building nuclear weapons. That's equal to a few days' war in Kosovo," IAEA policy coordinator Tariq Rauf said in an interview.
The U.S. government does make grants outside the budget, but that money cannot be used for personnel and is sometimes restricted to buying U.S.-made equipment.
Now, after almost two decades, the treaty nations are expected in September to approve a $15 million increase, to a $260 million budget for 2004. Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei called that "long overdue," just a "first step in tackling the chronic underfunding of the IAEA."
The IAEA's workload is expanding beyond its traditional tasks of ensuring no nuclear material is diverted to weapons work by verifying amounts at power plants and related sites.
After the discovery of a secret bomb program in Iraq in 1991, a program later dismantled by the IAEA, the agency won broader powers, under an "Additional Protocol," to inspect a wider array of sites, from uranium mines on up the line, with short-notice inspections delving more deeply into nuclear plans and operations.
Governments are slow in accepting the intrusive inspections on their soil, however. Some are drawing a political line.
"Some are saying, 'I'm not going to sign the Additional Protocol unless we see progress toward disarmament," Rauf said - in other words, progress on the deal's other half, toward elimination of U.S., Russian and others' nuclear weapons.
Many now want to see timetables, 33 years after the Nonproliferation Treaty came into force, and treaty nations three years ago laid out "13 Steps" toward disarmament. The fate of those "steps" shows the state of arms control today.
Step No. 1 calls for putting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) into effect, a ban on testing that would make developing new nuclear weapons almost impossible.
The United States led the negotiations converting a moratorium into a permanent treaty in 1996. A "CTBTO" - a treaty organization - was established at U.N. City in 1997, with a staff of 273. More than two-thirds of a global system of 321 land and underwater monitoring stations have been built or are under construction. Expert teams and computer banks filling two floors here analyze seismic and other data for signs of nuclear blasts.
But in 1999 the U.S. Senate dealt arms controllers and President Clinton a sharp blow, rejecting the test-ban treaty. The Bush administration says it will not resubmit it for ratification. Without the United States, the treaty will die.
"Even if there's a suspicious event now, we can't legally do anything about it," said the monitoring system director, Gerardo Suarez. The data center's plans for around-the-clock coverage have been shelved.
'Weapons of choice'
The Bush administration also has abrogated the U.S.-Russian treaty banning anti-missile defenses, long championed by arms control advocates. And it is negotiating with Congress over developing new, small-scale nuclear weapons, and has laid out scenarios in which such bombs might be used against countries with no nuclear forces of their own.
All run counter to the disarmament "steps."
"We're saying to the rest of the world that nuclear weapons are not weapons of deterrence" - that is, to hold, not use - "but weapons of choice," Lawrence Scheinman, a top arms controller under Clinton, said in Washington, D.C.
If the United States breaks out of its nuclear moratorium and tests a new weapon, it would shake Annan's "established norms" even more, possibly spurring other states to consider going nuclear.
"The real bright line is testing," acknowledged the assistant U.S. secretary of state for arms control, Stephen Rademaker. "It's not something the United States would break out of lightly."
The U.S. leadership, for its part, points to last year's Moscow treaty sharply reducing U.S. and Russian strategic missiles by 2012, as a good-faith step toward disarmament. Critics note, however, that the treaty delays previously anticipated cuts, and it is "reversible" since the Americans and Russians will put retired warheads aside, not destroy them.
Washington, D.C., officials point out that others sometimes stall nuclear initiatives. The United States backs a treaty to ban production of enriched uranium or plutonium for bombs, but China has blocked it at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva by tying it to a proposed pact to demilitarize outer space. The Americans balk at that one.
Delays, obstacles and underfunding don't just trouble the nuclear arms-control machinery. The agency enforcing the ban on chemical weapons, under a 1997 treaty once held up as a model, is hobbled by international politics and weak finances, budget problems that one Bush administration official calls a "ticking time bomb." http://news.bellinghamherald.com/stories/20030818/TopStories/152248.shtml
Charles J. Hanley has reported on arms control issues for 20 years.
posted on 08/21/2003 12:24:40 AM PDT
I'm going to assume you are Parsi, and wish you a happy new year! The Iranian Revlolution Part II, needs a PR campaign here in the US to get the media's attention.
posted on 08/21/2003 12:29:03 AM PDT
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: BEYOND CONTROL
Chemical-weapons hunters hobbled by U.S., finances
Charles J. Hanley, The Associated Press
EDITOR'S NOTE: At their Millennium Summit three years ago, world leaders pledged to "strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction." This is the second in a three-part series taking stock of that effort at this critical moment, as the world awaits word of the truth about Iraq.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - When they head out around the world with their cases of high-tech gear, their chemical suits, their global authority, the men and women from The Hague represent an agency viewed as a model for 21st century disarmament. But it's a flawed model whose problems run deep.
The young agency, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, enforces the 1997 treaty banning a tool of war that horrified the world in the last century. The birth of the OPCW spelled progress at a time when arms control was making little progress elsewhere.
But OPCW finances are weak. Its inspectors are checking less than 1 percent of potentially suspect chemical plants. The treaty timetable for Russia and America to destroy huge stocks of mustard gas, sarin and other deadly agents is slipping further into the future year by year.
Even the U.N. experts' ability to pull surprise inspections is stalemated, by order of the U.S. Senate. And the gear they tote is also compromised: The spectrometers - chemical detectors - are "blinded," intentionally limited in what they can detect.
The organization's former director-general, Jose Bustani of Brazil, complained it was hobbled by "political agendas" and "unilateralism," mainly from The White House. The Bush administration accused him of mismanagement and engineered his ouster last year.
Just last month, a U.N. tribunal ruled he was wrongfully dismissed on "extremely vague" allegations, and awarded him $57,000 in compensation.
The U.S. undersecretary of state responsible maintains the move was necessary. "We were able to get good management installed at the OPCW and the organization is now proceeding ahead with its mission," John R. Bolton said in an interview in Washington, D.C.
A year into his tenure, new OPCW chief Rogelio Pfirter of Argentina calls his agency "a good example of functionality." But Pfirter acknowledges fundamental weaknesses, too, the same that confronted Bustani. Another Bush administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of his sensitive position, called OPCW's financial straits "a ticking time bomb" that might "possibly break this organization."
The Chemical Weapons Convention was the first treaty in history requiring elimination of an entire class of weapons under a timetable and under oversight of international inspectors. The vast majority of nations - 153 - are treaty members, but significant gaps exist, especially in the Middle East, where Israel, Egypt and other Arab states have failed to ratify it.
From their headquarters, a striking, drum-shaped building in this staid European capital, OPCW specialists armed with long lists of controlled compounds keep watch on a world of complex chemicals that destroy skin on contact, blind or choke, paralyze and kill, substances that nations packed into artillery shells, bombs, rockets and land mines for generations.
More than 200 chemists and other inspectors, of a total OPCW staff of 500, crisscross the globe checking on weapon storage sites and chemical plants to verify that munitions are being destroyed and industrial products are not being diverted. A typical "dual-use" product is thiodiglycol, a chemical usable in felt-tip pen ink or to make mustard, a gas that burns skin, lungs and eyes.
The treaty set a deadline of 2007 for the United States, Russia, India and South Korea - declared possessors - to destroy their chemical weapons.
At nine locations stretching from Johnston Atoll in the Pacific to Edgewood, Md., the U.S. Army held 31,280 tons of mustard and the nerve agents sarin and VX. The Army has incinerated or chemically neutralized about one-quarter of the stockpile, in a $24 billion program slowed by local disputes over safety and other delays.
The White House may have to ask the OPCW for a deadline extension. But Moscow has encountered much worse problems, eliminating only 1 percent of its stockpile thus far, and has requested a five-year extension to 2012. For one thing, the U.S. Congress, demanding a better accounting of Moscow's program, froze hundreds of millions of aid dollars meant for a giant neutralization plant in southern Russia.
Overseeing destruction takes up 80 percent of the inspectors' time, and Washington, D.C., and Moscow are far in arrears reimbursing those costs. On top of that, one-third of the 2003 member assessments due last Jan. 1 are still outstanding, deepening the hole in a budget already considered paltry - $77 million this year - by arms-control specialists.
"It's impossible to do the trick with that budget," Bustani, now Brazil's ambassador to Britain, said in an interview.
New director Pfirter, like Bustani a career diplomat, pointed up a worsening problem of balance: An upcoming "bulge" in U.S. and Russian destruction activity will put still more stress on his inspectors, leaving the more than 5,000 declared industrial chemical plants worldwide almost untouched.
"We're still inspecting too little," Pfirter said. "We're not even at 1 percent at the moment." Inspectors worry especially about small, versatile chemical plants in developing nations that could be quickly converted to military production.
Aggressive inspection would meet resistance. India and Pakistan, for example, object to talk of inspecting plants other than those making the most dangerous substances.
Other fundamental defects were built in at the OPCW's birth.
The U.S. Senate, in ratifying the treaty, decreed that the president could reject an OPCW "challenge," or surprise, inspection on U.S. soil. That defied treaty language and put a chill on any attempt by governments to demand such inspections anywhere. The legislation also claimed to exempt U.S. chemicals from testing in foreign laboratories, an option inspectors consider crucial for independent analysis.
"These exemptions deprive the inspectors of their two strongest tools. They're treaty-killing provisions," said arms-control scholar Amy Smithson at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington.
A third tool was "blinded." Not wanting to give inspectors free run of chemical industries, to identify any compound they found, governments insisted their spectrometer software indicate only whether a sample matches one on a limited database of the most dangerous chemicals. Thousands of other harmful, often novel compounds are not detected.
"That really limited on-site analysis," said a former OPCW verification chief, Ron G. Manley of Britain.
In Washington, D.C., Undersecretary Bolton said the OPCW's long-term effectiveness "remains to be seen." Of the Senate "exemptions," he said: "I don't think they're an obstacle. Nobody worries about them. I haven't heard it raised."
One who worries is Patricia Lewis, director of the U.N. Institute for Disarmament Research in Geneva. "I don't think they" - the U.S. leadership - "want to give any credibility to multilateral institutions that do the inspections," she said in an interview.
It was in Geneva nine months ago, as diplomats grappled with the threat of germ warfare, that the U.S. administration handed international advocates of inspection and verification one of their worst setbacks.
Charles J. Hanley has reported on arms control issues for 20 years. http://news.bellinghamherald.com/stories/20030819/TopStories/152348.shtml
Cuba Stops Iran from Jamming US Broadcasts
Cuba has told the United States it stopped an Iranian diplomatic facility in Havana from being used to jam satellite broadcasts to Iran.
Aug 21, 2003, 05:56 http://www.iranian.ws/news/publish/article_309.shtml
To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
To: F14 Pilot
IRNA is upgrading its website http://www.irna.ir/
and will move (but when?) to http://www.irna.com/.
They now have news in Farsi, Arabic, English (as before) but have added news in Russian.
Those of you that know Farsi or Arabic can you compare if there are any differences in the text compared to the English version.
posted on 08/21/2003 12:50:02 AM PDT
This article seems not to have noticed that the Al-Da?awa Party is having a new round of turmoil with a possible split as Sadr junior is responsible for a lot of violence and will cause further fissions.
Remember the splits during the 70s and 80s among the communist and left wing groups in the West.
posted on 08/21/2003 12:56:21 AM PDT
...LOL @ Democracy in a Muslim country. Are pigs flying yet?...
Ahhh, a newbie. Since you are new to the thread, I can only assume you haven't followed the events in Iran very closely.
Iran has a very strong movement struggling to replace the present regime with a secular democracy. They are pro-USA, pro-Bush. There are huge numbers of Iranians risking and losing their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.
I invite you to take a look at our past threads. See for yourself.
By the way, regarding your comment "LOL @ Democracy in a Muslim country. Are pigs flying yet?" didn't Britain have a similar attitude of our founding fathers, a few years back? Your comment reminded me of the cold war liberals who ridiculed the idea of the fall of the Soviet Union and its becoming a democracy.
Times change my friend.
...I'm going to assume you are Parsi, and wish you a happy new year! The Iranian Revlolution Part II, needs a PR campaign here in the US to get the media's attention. ...
I am not Iranian myself, but am committed to helping those struggling for democracy in Iran. I agree we need to develop a strong PR campaign. Want to help?
The news media has not given the events in Iran much attention yet. They will soon. We need to ensure they get the story right.
To: AdmSmith; DoctorZIn
I have no Idea about the languages on their webpage.
since many media, Iranians' and non-Iranians' use their news site, so they have to be accurate and correct.
Moreover, according to Yahoo and Google webpages, IRNA is a state-run News Source.
To: AdmSmith; DoctorZIn
To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; piasa; Valin; nuconvert; Texas_Dawg; kattracks; RaceBannon; seamole; ..
To: F14 Pilot
The translation says a lot and thus it would be interesting to see if they have the same views in all langiages.
posted on 08/21/2003 2:32:52 AM PDT
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