Index, August 2000 to end July 2002
Note: these are broad summaries of the main topics covered under each of the dates. The links provide much more detailed lists, together with general introductory accounts.
These early mailings are for the most part just lists of headlines without notes.
William Clinton is still President of the United States, Madeleine Albright Secretary of State. The US and UK governments are enforcing no fly zones whose legality is recognised by hardly anyone else. The Iraqi government, refusing to recognise them, targets USUK planes as intruders (without any possibility of actually hitting them). Under the pretext of 'self-defence', USUK bombs Iraqi efforts to develop anti-aircraft defences. At the same time, the Iraqi government is trying to restore a normal economic life. Train service with Syria reopened. Baghdad (Saddam) Airport reopened (in 14-20/8/00), inspiring a series of flights to register disagreement with the embargo. Rumours that President Hussein is ill with cancer. A supplement to News 1/10/00-7/10/00 details incidents between the Kurdish PUK, KDP and PKK. Bombing of the USS Cole.
Iraq proposes to convert from the dollar to the euro. UN Compensation Committee payouts using Iraqi oil funds. S.Korea gets $11.2 million; 'Yugoslavia' gets $13.2 million. Foreign Office report on Saddam Hussein's atrocities, 5-12/11/00. Disputes over Iraq's oil surcharge lead to the suspension of production. Change of government in the US. Possibility that Colin Powell might be an improvement on Madeleine Albright. Iraqi subventions to martyrs of the Palestinian intifada. And, in 17-24/12/00: 'Iraq buys 400 Playstation 2s in World Conquest Bid.'
From 21-27/1/01 onwards the mailings are divided up under subject headings. From 28/1-2/2/07 they are sent out in sections.
Depleted uranium begins to attract attention. J.Wilding and friend throw rotten fruit at Mr Blair. Exchange between P.Hain and H.Von Sponeck. More fighting between PUK and PKK. Barham Salih becomes Prime Minister of PUK controlled Southern Kurdistan. Iraqi dissidents given $4 million to launch legal case aganst S.Hussein (what happened to all that, we wonder). USUK break own rules by bombing outside the 'No Fly Zones' near Baghdad, 16th February. Question of role of China in helping Iraq build anti-aircraft defences.
Colin Powell and the beginning of 'smart sanctions'. BBC programme says Iraq succeeded in developing and testing a nuclear bomb. Arab summit tries to find a compromise between Iraq and Kuwait. News 22-28/4/01 gives details of Bush family connection to the Satanist 'Skull and Bones Club'. US is committed to the Strategic Defence Initiative.
More on smart sanctions and the Strategic Defence Initiative (aka National Missile Defence). Improved Iraqi relations with Syria, Jordan, Oman. Problems with Iraqi National Congress finances. As memories of inter-Kurd fighting in 1996 begin to fade, advocates of sanctions argue that Kurdistan is better off under sanctions than the centre/south. Scott Ritter's film on the inspections and the 'weapons of mass destruction' fraud. US sabotages the germ warfare convention. Iraqis shoot down an unmanned spy plane. Tom Nagy exposes US army argument on the merits of deliberately degrading the Iraqi water supply.
The mailings begin to feature longer introductions.
Attack on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon - efforts to prove that Iraq was behind them - Iraq is required to pay if it wants a World Health Organisation probe into the effects of depleted uranium - Anne McElvoy rejoices that Mr Bush is going to be obliged to act 'as a force for good in the world' - Story of Muhammad Atta meeting Iraqi agent Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani in Prague - US difficulty in disposing of its own stocks of chemical weapons (23-29/9/01) - Laurie Mylroie's thesis that Iraq was behind the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing - decline in bombing raids against Iraq as war is prepared against Afghanistan - David Owen advocates war on Iraq (7-13/10/01) - James Woolsey sent by US government to find evidence of Iraqi connection to attacks - attack on Afghanistan (7-13/10/01) - press chorus demanding extension of war to Iraq; includes Ed Vulliamy arguing that only Iraq could have produced the anthrax used in the attacks on Washington (14-20/10/01) - Khidr Hamza remembers that he used to be Director-General of the Department of Military Industry which oversaw much of the work on biological and chemical weapons at the time of the Halabja incident; he isn't arrested as a war criminal - first references to militant Islamist group in PUK territory in Kurdistan - Iraqi government proposes universal treaty against weapons of mass destruction and an end to the veto system on the UN Security Council - William Safire thinks Turkey should be encouraged to take Kirkuk - victory of the warlords in Afghanistan (10-16/11/01) - William Safire tells us Saddam sent Iraqi specialist to Afghanistan to attend to Osama bin Laden's kidney complaint - US sabotages biological warfare convention - case that Iraq was behind the anthrax scare collapses - story of Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haider who claims to have worked in secret Iraqi germ/biological laboratories; Richard Butler is convinced - strategies for an attack on Iraq; INC and General Wayne Downing.
Issue of treatment of Iraqi refugees in Australian concentration camps - Henry Kissinger informs us that there is a Sunni majority in Iraq - Laurie Mylroie's book proving that all international terrorism is masterminded by Saddam Hussein - air strikes, suspended during the Afghan war, resume in January - Benon Sevan mentions that under the Oil for Food arrangement, 1,854 contracts were on hold for South/Central Iraq, 2 for the Kurdish Autonomous Zone; which could help explain why life in the KAZ was generally considered to be better (19-26/1/02) - moves against arrangements to wire money to relatives in Iraq - Bush's State of the Union speech announces the 'axis of evil' - Madeleine Albright is the first major politician to break the taboo on criticising George Bush in the wake of the World Trade Centre/Pentagon attacks - Pepe Escobar begins to feature in the mailings - Nizar Khazraji emerges as a possible strong man to rule Iraq - Kenneth Adelman describes US allies in the UN Gulf War (1990-91) as 'rinky dink nations'
Moves to set up an opposition group made up of former Iraqi army officers - ambiguity as to who is running it; INC or US State Department? - War on Iraq? or resumption of inspections? - Prime Minister Blair promises a 'dossier' (finally published in September) - the myth of missing airman Michael Speicher (which disappeared with dramatic suddenness once the war was over) - Americans for Victory over Terrorism formed to hunt down unpatriotic elements in US campuses - Jalal Talabani starts working up enthusiasm for war - David Albright starts cutting Khidr Hamza down to size - London demonstration against the prospect of war in March - Iraq multiplies contacts and free trade deals with neighbours - series of articles by Pepe Escobar on his journeys round Iraq - attempt to overthrow Hugo Chavez in Venezuela - Prime Minister Blair works up war fever in speech in Texas in April - Ahmad Chalabi informs us that Saddam Hussein 'is now immeasurably better armed than he was in 1990' (6-12/4/02) - William Safire's attention passes from discredited Prague connection to Kurdish (Ansar el-Islam) connection - US obtain expulsion of Jose Bustani as head of UN's Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons - President Hussein's birthday celebrations - problems trying to organise a conference of the Iraqi opposition
- 'Smart sanctions' go through, very much watered down (they don't require intensive policing on the part of Iraq's neighbours) - some opposition in military circles to the idea of an attack on Iraq (notably Michael Rose in the UK) - War Against Evil complicated by escalation of Israel/Palestine and India/Pakistan conflicts - it begins once again to be possible to jeer at the US President - Noam Chomsky points to the new life given to the radical and anti-war movement since the WTC and Pentagon attacks - TV journalist Leslie Stahl reveals that Iraq had offered to hand over Abdul Rahman Yasin, implicated in the 1993 WTC bombing, thus undermining the Laurie Mylroie thesis that he was an Iraqi government agent - Full story behind supposed Atta-Al Ani meeting in Prague - more on meeting of opposition ex-Iraqi army officers (Iraqi National Coalition) - Prosecution of Voices in the Wilderness activist Bert Sacks - UN Compensation Committee gives out $4.7 bn
- John Sweeney in The Observer on Iraqi government staging fake baby funerals - US wants UN to give its army immunity from prosecution in the International Criminal Court - Khidr Hamza remembers that in the 1980s he worked on a dirty bomb. He still isn't arrested for war crimes - General Wayne Downing resigns as anti-terror chief - Jesse Helms' former chief staffer Danielle Pletka says 'Nobody credible makes the case that there's some connection between Saddam Hussein and what happened September 11' - Eritrea offers itself as a possible launching pad for an attack on Iraq - Milan Rai and the Arrow group propose Spring 2003 as likely date for US attack - Louis Farrakhan visits Iraq - Iraqi National Coalition conference in London.
- Meeting of the Iraqi National Coalition, formed by Iraqi ex-army officers, takes place in a building rented by the Iraqi National Congress in London, using an emergency generator because the INC has not paid its electricity bill - Pax Christi statement opposing the project of war against Iraq and signed by the prospective Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams - my thoughts on the Saddam Hussein-Hitler analogy - problem of finding neighbours from which to attack (Jordan, Turkey) - Michael Rubin promotes Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan as a suitable King for Iraq - the Australian government's support for war creates a problem for Australian wheat producers - Iraqi National Movement formed by Iraqi ex-army officers in opposition to the Iraqi National Coalition - the UN humanitarian co-ordinator is allowed into Iraq - stainless steel tubes appear on the horizon - Congress hearings on projected war on Iraq - Iraqi government invites Hans Blix to Iraq (27/7-3/8/02) - Rolf Ekeus (ibid) confirms that under his leadership members of UNSCOM were reporting back to their respective governments - Thomas Friedman predicts that war on Iraq will lead to a huge increase in oil production which will reduce prices which will provoke popular pro-democracy revolts resulting in pro-American, pro-Israeli regimes throughout the Arab world - the Higher Council for National Salvation is formed by Iraqi ex-army officers in opposition to the Iraqi National Coalition and the Iraqi National Movement.