News

Iraq News, JULY 2, 1999

By Laurie Mylroie

The central focus of Iraq News is the tension between the considerable, proscribed WMD capabilities that Iraq is holding on to and its increasing stridency that it has complied with UNSCR 687 and it is time to lift sanctions. If you wish to receive Iraq News by email, a service which includes full-text of news reports not archived here, send your request to Laurie Mylroie .



I. SADDAM MEETS SENIOR BAATHISTS, IRAQ TV, JUN 19
II. SADDAM MEETS WITH MIO, AIR DEFENSE, IRAQ TV, JUN 22
III. BABIL, US, UK PLAN TO ATTACK IRAQ, REUTERS JUL 1

   Baghdad remains quiet, or relatively so, as the second half of the 
seventh month begins since UNSCOM/the IAEA left Iraq.  Also, Iraq's 
Nat'l day--Jul 17--is approaching.  It will be the first such day since 
the Gulf war, without UNSCOM/the IAEA in Iraq.

   From Jun 12 to Jun 28, Saddam held a series of meetings--at least 
13--with groups of people, mostly Bath party officials, even as the 
first meeting, reported on Iraqi TV Jun 12, was with armed forces 
officers;  another, reported on Iraqi TV Jun 21, was with "specialists 
in the field of electrical power;" and another, reported on Iraqi TV Jun 
22, was with "an elite group" from the Military Industrialization 
Organization [MIO] and the Air Defense Command.  
   The Iraqi TV reporting on the meetings typically consisted of video 
showing Saddam chairing the meeting, with audio provided by an 
announcer, quoting Saddam extensively.  Such a flurry of Saddam-chaired 
meetings, reported publicly, is without precedent since the Gulf war.  
It is hard to understand why they were held and one person's speculation 
is as good as the next.
   Notably, save for the Jun 12 meeting [see "Iraq News," Jun 17], 
Saddam said nothing of particular note.  Typical, was his meeting with 
party officials, reported on Iraq TV, Jun 19.  As the announcer-read 
report said, "At the outset, the comrade president made a remark to one 
of the comrades by saying: We used to say to you and to all the Iraqis 
with whom we meet-and because we love our people, men and women, and we 
love the Baathists-we do not want them to be overweight because this 
will shorten their lives and make them heavy while carrying out their 
duties. . . .
   "His excellency addressed the comrades, saying: It is not a new thing 
for us to hear you talk about your morale as well as the morale of your 
great people.  However, I must say to you in this meeting-without 
stopping to ask you to keep reading-that I am pleased when you speak.  
For when you speak you set the goal and reach this goal in the shortest 
period.  . . .
   "We say that our comrades and masses of our people were tested until 
they acquired an experience to answer the question of how to fight the 
enemy and defeat it with the least sacrifices among our ranks.  This is 
because we must be cautious and say that the army must be aware in a 
certain area.  However, I am confident that the people, led by the party 
in the south, can, even if the United States comes with all its infantry 
and all those who wish to fight Iraq, defeat the forces of tyranny, even 
without the support of the Armed Forces . . . 
   "There is nothing that can weaken the Baathist like his failure to 
establish a genuine relationship with the people.  The genuine 
relationship with the people means that the people should be satisfied 
with and zealous about the pioneering role of a certain comrade in any 
position."

   "Iraq News" believes that Saddam is bland because he chooses not to 
reveal what he is thinking.  The Iraqis are lying low, at least for now.
    "Iraq News" could take any of the meetings Saddam held and 
demonstrate that, as reported by Iraqi TV, they were without evident 
significance.  As a further and final example, Iraqi TV, Jun 22, 
reported, "President Leader Saddam Husayn, may God protect him, has 
valued youth's contributions and creativity in the service of our great 
people.  Addressing an elite group of the mujhadin in the Military 
Industrial Organization and the Air Defense Command . . . his excellency 
said: Youths have a great power.  You are still youths in terms of work, 
conscience, mind, and other fields.   . . .
   "His excellency, may God protect him, said: A traditional employee 
cannot achieve success. . . . The one who works just to maintain his job 
looks at his watch several times not because he needs extra time to work 
more but to see when he will finish his work.  Meanwhile, there are 
people who forget that they are carrying watches and even forget his 
meals. . . . The enemy should know that we will emerge from this 
conflict more developed and more capable of mastering science and 
technology and using them in our life."

  However, there is a counter-current to this blandness.  Al Majallah, 
Jun 20, published an interview with Foreign Ministry Under Secretary 
Nizar Hamdoon.  Al Majallah asked, "Do you expect a confrontation with 
the United States after the Kosovo crisis file is closed?"  Hamdoon 
replied, "Certainly.  And we expect the confrontation with Iraq this 
time to be more heated."
   And Reuters, yesterday, reported that Babil carried a front-page 
editorial charging that the UK/Dutch UNSC draft resolution "was a step 
to justify a 'possible aggression.'"  Babil also criticized the 
Saudi-Iranian rapprochement [see "Iraq News," May 25] as "a sword 
directed against Iraq."

I. SADDAM MEETS SENIOR BAATHISTS, IRAQ TV, JUN 19
Baghdad Iraq Television Network in Arabic 1900 GMT 19 Jun 99
[Announcer-read report]
[FBIS Translated Text] Mujahid leader Saddam Husayn, may God protect 
him, hailed the comrade strugglers of the party and lauded the high 
resolve of our party and people in their confrontation of the evils of 
the greedy enemies. This has come at a meeting by his excellency, may 
God protect him, with a number of senior party cadres.
   At the outset, the comrade president made a remark to one of the 
comrades by saying: We used to say to you and to all the Iraqis with 
whom we meet -- and because we love our people, men and women, and we 
love the Ba'thists -- we do not want them to be overweight because this 
will shorten their lives and make them heavy while carrying out their 
duties. This applies in particular to the Iraqi women, in their capacity 
as the flowers of the great Iraq. Obesity is a disease, and in all 
cases, weight should be watched.
   One of the comrades reviewed the activities of his branch in light of 
its victory in the party elections and spoke about the tasks of the 
stage and what should we do and how should we act.
   Another comrade from al-Basrah Command Branch then spoke about the 
resolve of the party's strugglers and their enthusiasm in confronting 
the enemies. Comrade Saddam Husayn praised him and addressed him by 
saying: Convey my greetings to al-Basrah and its people and to the 
struggling comrades. The Iraqi women of al-Basrah have excelled in 
particular. The position of the Iraqi woman is great all over Iraq, but 
in al-Basrah the women carried out duties that they did not carry out in 
other governorates. These duties are of the kind that deserve to be 
studied by all Iraqi women, whether Ba'thist or non-Ba'thist, in order 
to get acquainted with the picture of women in al-Basrah and to know how 
the Iraqi picture there is and how does she carry out her struggling 
duties. The beginning was in the chapter of the 30-state duel of the 
Mother of Battles.  This situation has developed to be a school full of 
great meaning, even in the small details of social life. The duties of 
the Iraqi women of al-Basrah have been of a fighting and security-minded 
nature. God be praised for this.
   When another comrade spoke about the stand of female comrades and 
Iraqi women in Maysan Governorate, the comrade leader said: May God 
bless them. The circumstances here are similar to those in al-Basrah. 
May God preserve you all. I consider each one of you as Saddam Husayn. 
The picture of the Iraqi woman is clear everywhere. However, I raise 
questions because the details give us a live picture of martyrdom. When 
we speak and when Iraq emerges with its principles, then it stands like 
a great model for the nation and humanity.
   His excellency addressed the comrades, saying: It is not a new thing 
for us to hear you talk about your morale as well as the morale of your 
great people.  However, I must say to you in this meeting--without
stopping to ask you to keep reading--that I am pleased when you speak. 
For, when you speak you set the goal and reach this goal in the shortest 
period. This means that our comrades in the advanced cadre can organize 
their thinking and influence their people when they meet with them and 
talk to them. The basis here is faith, because it is faith which enables 
you to speak and makes one able to talk. Due to faith, one's tone 
acquires meaning and influence. Faith also gives brightness to the eyes, 
and this helps one to have influence. Now, you can express yourselves in 
an effective manner, praise be to God.  All my comrades are standing on 
one line. This is because they share the same creed, be they in Umm 
al-Rimah in Mosul or in steadfast and great al-Basrah.
   I know each and every one of them. Thus, we say that our comrades and 
masses of our people were tested until they acquired an experience to 
answer the question of how to fight the enemy and defeat it with
the least sacrifices among our ranks. This is because we must be 
cautious and say that the army must be aware in a certain area. However, 
I am confident that the people, led by the party in the south, can, even
if the United States comes with all its infantry and all those who wish 
to fight Iraq, defeat the forces of tyranny even without the support of 
the Armed Forces.
   I know that I have placed a heavy burden on you, but my trust in you 
cannot be any less.
   Commenting on the remarks of one of the comrades to the effect that 
the people of Iraq have given lessons to the world in solidity and 
steadfastness and the importance of boosting ties between the party and
citizens, his excellency said: This is a constant mission, regardless of 
the stage or circumstance. Who fails to carry out this mission actually 
fails in every other field. There is nothing that can weaken the 
Ba'thist like his failure to establish a genuine relationship with the 
people. The genuine relationship with the people means that the people 
should be satisfied with and zealous about the pioneering role of a 
certain comrade in any position. The people should be satisfied with the 
leadership of the Ba'thist from a humanitarian point of view as well as 
with his efficiency and influence according to his position. They should 
also be satisfied with his behavior which is related to principles.
   This is a permanent mission that is not subject to circumstances. We 
should do this because we are facing a blockade or because great Iraq is 
threatened by enemies whom you know, but because those who are
addressed or to which a signal is made are Ba'thists.
   As long as they are Ba'thists, their relationship with the people 
should be the basis of a correct understanding. Anyone who succeeds in 
his relationship with the people succeeds in his relationship with
principles. Anyone who fails in his relationship with the people must be 
lacking in the way he expresses principles or in his faith in principles 
in the first place. Faith leads to something better. Therefore, a
comrade who fails in his vital relationship with the people--a 
relationship that is effective and satisfactory--has something missing 
in his faith in principles. He should prove to us that what he lacks
is not because of his faith in principles, but because he is not well 
aware of how principles should be applied properly. This is the approach 
of a Ba'thist under the conditions of the blockade and once the
blockade is lifted, God willing, under circumstances in which we are 
threatened by dangers or under circumstances in which dangers are less. 
Our need for our people is not a technical thing. It is a historic
need, that is, for us to see that principles are working properly, our 
relationship with our people should be genuine.
   When one of the comrades said that dialogue with the people is needed 
because sometimes the state as a whole is blamed when some 
administrative agencies fail to carry out their duties properly, the 
leader said: In fact, the blame should go to the leadership of the state 
because the Iraqi citizen is not ignorant and does not blame a policeman 
or a district official for a mistake, but says that this is failure on 
the part of the leadership. We understand this and do not feel angry. 
Even when we explain this, we know what he means. Because the citizen 
has great confidence in the leadership, knows he is not ignorant, and 
because we taught him to deal with us directly and make his voice heard 
directly, he refers to the highest authority so that his voice can be 
heard quicker.
   Consequently, we do not feel angry with our citizens.  But, we 
explain things to them, saying: Judge the party on the basis of the 
final outcome. Even when you see a party member whose Ba'thist 
credentials are inadequate, do not say that the party is not good.
   Rather, you should say that this person does not represent the party. 
Thus, your pronouncement will be more accurate. That is, when you see an 
employee who is not performing his duty as he should, do not say
that your country, for the sake of which you made dear sacrifices, is 
not good. Rather, you should say that this inefficient employee failed 
to meet the standards and criteria the state has set in this or that 
area, or that he failed to uphold the general framework that the state 
has drawn up. We must cooperate with Iraqis to make their 
characterization of the state of affairs more accurate. We had them grow 
accustomed to direct discourse and public participation. Likewise, we 
must remind them that there are people who wish to see citizens 
associate technical inefficiency with individuals who are not 
responsible for inefficiency.
   These figures can be deemed responsible in this regard when they fail 
to handle the issue appropriately once the inefficiency is brought to 
their attention.
   We always have strong hopes. Do not ease the burdens on Saddam 
Husayn. This is his job. He must work and help his comrades within the 
leadership. This moral weight is important in the party's internal life. 
God be praised, our health is in good shape. You are young. We have to 
act according to the same perspective. We love our people, regardless of 
whether they are in al-Sulaymaniyah, al-Basrah, al-Najaf, al-Anbar, 
Tikrit, or anywhere else on Iraqi territory.
   We cannot envisage part of our people becoming a share for the 
foreigners and the other part our own share. This is because our people 
cannot be distributed as shares within the context of the foreign 
powers' schemes, those being currently implemented or those whose 
implementation has been postponed for some time.
   The idea of dividing vigorous Arab states is an old one. Foreign 
powers, may they be accursed and defeated, are driven by a desire to 
perform dirty roles to the people's detriment. They believe that they 
can use a small component of the people to control the people, colonize 
them, and plunder their resources and wealth. They like nobody, nor do 
they harbor good to anybody. The end result they are pursuing is 
ensuring domination and theft. We must enlighten citizens who may have 
been suffering from blurred vision, which may prevent them from quickly 
identifying and foiling the game. This is achievable when these 
malicious schemes are unearthed. Iraq is an indivisible whole, and we 
are eager to safeguard the whole of Iraq.
   Commenting on remarks made by a comrade regarding party retirees, his 
excellency the president said that upholding principles cannot stand 
retirement. Our party is not a conventional party that surfaced as a
result of competition among multinational firms. Our party is meant to 
awaken the entire nation. The Ba'th Party will not abandon its doctrine. 
A state employee may retire for one reason or another, but he will not
abandon principles. I appreciate all the sacrifices that my comrades are 
making. The most sublime and loftiest example for sacrifice that I can 
think of is the one given by Muslims in the early days of Islam.
God willing, your party will spare no effort in performing its role 
regardless of all the difficulties that you are facing. The difficulties 
appear to be inevitable, for they enabled you to construct your psyches 
psychologically and socially. This was a prerequisite for performing 
your honorable and lofty patriotic role. Your Arab nation; that is, the 
people in our Arab nation, who are the paragon of sublime values, will 
make the enemy retreat and reconsider its position. God willing, this 
will materialize soon. The Arab people regard you as the living example 
that is upholding the true principles they cherish. The principles that 
are cherished by the Arab people throughout Arab states are patriotic 
and honorable.  The Arab people want to live in dignity and to pursue 
patriotic policies without foreign interference.
   Likewise, they want their quest for continued development to be 
unrestrained. Communicate our heartfelt greetings to people in all their 
walks of life and to our dear comrades. We pray to God to protect you, 
to protect your people and nation, and to protect the comrades and our 
valiant Armed Forces. May God's peace be upon you. 
[video shows Saddam Husayn, dressed in civilian attire, sitting at the
head of a rectangular table at a conference hall. Some of the attendees 
are dressed in military fatigues, while others are dressed in civilian 
attire. Some attendees are shown taking notes. Saddam is shown
addressing the attendees, gesturing with his hands] [Description of 
source: Official television station of the Iraqi Government]

II. SADDAM MEETS WITH MIO, AIR DEFENSE
Baghdad Iraq Television Network in Arabic 1700 GMT 22 Jun 99 
[Announcer-read report over video]
[FBIS Translated Text] President Leader Saddam Husayn, may God protect 
him, has valued youths' contributions and creativity in the service of 
our great people. Addressing an elite group of the mujahidin in the 
Military Industrialization Organization [MIO] and the Air Defense 
Command -- in the presence of Military Industrialization Minister 
'Abd-al-Thawwab Mulla Huwaysh -- his excellency said: Youths have a 
great power. You all were young people and you know the power the youths 
have. You are still youths in terms of work, conscience, mind, and other 
fields.
   His excellency the leader president, may God support him, valued the 
efforts and sacrifices of the state employees, as well as their efforts. 
His excellency, may God protect him, said: A traditional employee cannot 
achieve success. The individual, who concentrates his efforts and 
devotes his life for the sake of the homeland, is the one who achieves 
success.  Such an individual works to achieve the great objectives of 
the homeland and the great objectives of the march. He should not be 
limited to the framework of his job although he should be proud of his 
job. There is no contradiction here because the system that classifies 
jobs also recognizes the individuals, especially when work is linked to 
the vital affairs of the people, homeland, the nation, and the great 
objectives, which the Iraqis try to achieve and defend, as well as to 
defend the homeland and people. Therefore, the one who works just to 
maintain his job looks at his watch several times not because he needs 
extra time to work more but to see when he will finish his work. 
Meanwhile, there are people who forget that they are carrying watches 
and even forget his meals. This is the Iraqi whom we always see; he is a 
person who gives and who has great potential. His excellency added: We 
pin great hope on you, after God. I am confident that you can give more. 
The enemy should know that we will emerge from this conflict more 
developed and more capable of mastering science and technology and using 
them in our life.
   Concluding his address to the mujahidin: All of us are indebted to 
our people despite all that we are doing. All of us are always ready for 
martyrdom. However, we should not be negligent for one moment, otherwise 
the enemy will harm us. I ask Almighty God to protect you all. Convey my 
regards to your colleagues the mujahidin. 
[video clip shows Saddam dressed in civilian suit chairing meeting of 
military personnel sitting at a conference table]

III. BABIL, US, UK PLAN TO ATTACK IRAQ
U.S., Britain plan to attack Iraq again
BAGHDAD, July 1 (Reuters) - Iraq's most influential newspaper on 
Thursday accused the United States and Britain of preparing for a 
military operation against Iraq on the scale of last December's 
extensive air raids.
   Babel said a conditional British proposal to partially suspend United 
Nations sanctions on Iraqi exports, imposed on Iraq after it invaded 
Kuwait in 1990, was a step to justify a ``possible aggression.''
   ``The next step is to launch a direct military operation against 
Iraq,'' Babel, owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday, said 
in a front-page editorial.
   Britain, informally backed by the U.S., last week proposed in a draft 
resolution to the U.N. Security Council to suspend sanctions if Baghdad 
submitted to arms inspections and answered key questions about its 
weapons of mass destruction.
   Baghdad rejected the resolution, saying it would impose new 
conditions and restrictions to lifting the nearly nine-year old trade 
sanctions.
   ``The Americans and the English want to give the impression that they 
want to solve Iraqis' humanitarian situation while the Iraqi leadership 
is adopting a strict position (on the draft) in order to prepare the 
ground for their possible aggression,'' the newspaper said.
   ``These draft resolutions are full of distortion, blackmail and they 
encroach upon Iraq's sovereignty and dignity,'' it said.
   Britain and the United States in December launched four days of 
extensive air and missile raids against Iraq after alleging that Baghdad 
had not cooperated with U.N. weapons inspectors.
   Babel also accused the United States of trying to ignite public 
unrest in Iraq.
   It also criticised the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, 
saying it was part of a plot against Iraq.
   ``Saudi-Iranian rapprochement which is not justifiable from neither 
the religious nor the ideological point of view is a... sword directed 
against Iraq,'' the newspaper said.
   Iranian President Mohammad Khatami made a landmark visit to Saudi 
Arabia in May, the first by an Iranian leader since Iran's 1979 Islamic 
revolution.