News

ISRAEL VERY CONCERNED ABOUT IRAQ

Iraq News, JULY 15, 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. ISRAEL VERY CONCERNED ABOUT IRAQ, ISRAELI TV, JUL 13
II. AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS CALLS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ILA, JUL 13

   Today marks the start of the 7th month without an UNSCOM/IAEA 
presence in Iraq.  
  
   Saddam's meetings with senior Baathists continue [see "Iraq News," 
Jul 2 & 9.]   On Jul 13, Iraqi TV broadcast a report of the 26th such 
meeting.  According to the announcer-read report, Saddam asked, "Who are 
our enemies? Chief among our enemies is Zionism. Zionist literature 
states that Iraq is the archenemy of its hateful, obnoxious, and racist 
colonialist plan. Zionism knows this based on its books, which it calls 
its holy books. How can they permit Baghdad to achieve prosperity? If it 
is to prosper, this means that the entire [Arab] nation will achieve 
prosperity, and that those who are half awake will get up and achieve 
prosperity. Those who are half awake will get up and awaken others to 
tell them that Baghdad has risen. Zionism smacks of hostility and evil 
aggressiveness, which is indicative of ingrained malice, as if we 
tortured their men, women, and children. The enemies are retaliating 
because Nebuchadnezzar took them as captives. They are fearful about the 
future; they fear that Iraq may achieve prosperity and thwart the 
expansionist, racist, and aggressive Zionist ideology, which is targeted 
against the Arab nation."
   
   Israel, Channel 2, television, reported Jul 13, "High-ranking defense 
establishment officials are highly concerned about the developments in 
Iraq, following the termination of the UN inspection.  Since the 
beginning of the year, Saddam Hussein has been conducting a process of 
accelerated procurement . . . Western intelligence elements estimate 
that Iraq has been making a concentrated effort in recent months to 
manufacture biological and chemical warfare materials.  UNSCOM believes 
that if Iraq procures nuclear material from Russia and other states, it 
will be able to attain a nuclear bomb within two to six months . . . 
Senior Israeli sources told us: Ever since the inspection was 
discontinued, an accelerated buildup process as well as a concentrated 
effort to expand Iraqi nonconventional capabilities has been taking 
place . . . This is precisely the situation Israel has always feared."

  Also, on Jul 13, the American Jewish Congress issued a statement 
entitled, "AJCongress calls for more Effective Implementation of the 
Iraqi Liberation Act, including use of Air Power in support of 
Opposition Forces within Iraq."
    The statement said, "Noting that intervention by an American 
military force can be decisive even when it amounts to less than a total 
military engagement-as was demonstrated recently in Kosovo-the American 
Jewish Congress today called on the United States to provide military 
and financial assistance to the opponents of Saddam Hussein to remove 
him and his government from power.  The policy was urged by AJ Congress' 
high-level Commission on International Affairs, which is chaired by 
former Congressman Stephen J. Solarz.  The Commission called on the 
Clinton administration to fully implement the Iraq Liberation Act (ILA), 
passed last year by Congress. . . 
   "'The Commission's call for action reflects its concern over the 
enormous and growing threat presented by Saddam to the region including 
Israel and the West, with his development of weapons of mass 
destruction,' declared Solarz. 'The dangers have increased given the 
removal of the UNSCOM (United Nations) weapons inspectors from Iraq.  
Saddam now has a free hand to produce nuclear, chemical and biological 
weapons.'"

   "Iraq News" can only reiterate that the Clinton administration, 
supposedly so friendly to Israel, is doing nothing to address this 
problem, as I explained in Bridge News, Jul 14.  The article is posted 
at: 
http://www.bridge.com/com/story.asp?front=false&story=yjvskw?&fixed=yes

I. ISRAEL VERY CONCERNED ABOUT IRAQ, ISRAELI TV, JUL 13
Israel 'Highly Concerned' over Iraqi Arms Developments
Jerusalem Channel 2 Television Network in Hebrew 1700 GMT 13 Jul 99 
[Roni Daniyel and Qobi Marenko video report; only Marenko's voice heard 
in the report]
[FBIS Translated Text]
   High-ranking defense establishment officials are highly concerned 
about the developments in Iraq following the termination of the UN 
inspection.  Since the beginning of the year, Saddam Husayn has been 
conducting a process of accelerated procurement, and the Israeli 
officials are most notably concerned about the Iraqi efforts to procure 
weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical and nuclear weapons. Our 
correspondents Roni Daniyel and Qobi Marenko have this exclusive report:
[Marenko] The UN inspectors left Iraq the night before the US attack 
last year, and have not returned since. The air attack, dubbed Desert 
Fox, may have struck some of Saddam's weapon warehouses, but the 
inspectors' failure to return permits Iraq to do whatever it wishes with 
regard to the development of weapons. As we are reporting tonight, it is 
doing just that.
   Western intelligence elements estimate that Iraq has been making a 
concentrated effort in recent months to manufacture biological and 
chemical warfare materials. UNSCOM believes that if Iraq procures 
nuclear materiel from Russia and other states, it will be able to attain 
a nuclear bomb within two to six months. Although the inspectors 
destroyed some of Iraq's capabilities, Western intelligence elements 
possess evidence indicating that Iraq still has a number of launchers, 
dozens of Scud missiles, and thousands of tonnes of chemical and 
biological warfare materiel. This weapons stockpile is growing these 
days.
   Senior Israeli sources told us: Ever since the inspection was 
discontinued, an accelerated buildup process as well as a concentrated 
effort to expand Iraqi nonconventional capabilities has been taking 
place in Iraq. All this has been happening while the West has been 
unable to supervise or prevent it. The few US attacks, we have been 
told, have had no effect on Iraq, the inspection regime has practically 
collapsed, and this is precisely the situation Israel has always feared.

II. AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS CALLS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF ILA
American Jewish Congress
Press Release
July 13, 1999
Contact: Stephen Steiner, Director of Communications, 212 360 1540
AJCONGRESS CALLS FOR MORE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMEMPLEMENTATION OF IRAQ 
LIBERATION ACT INCLUDING USE OF AIR POWER IN SUPPORT OF OPPOSITION 
FORCES WITHIN IRAQ
'Clearly Containment Hasn't Worked... Removal of Saddam is Only Option'
   Noting that intervention by an American military force can be 
decisive even when it amounts to less than a total military engagement 
-- as was demonstrated recently in Kosovo -- the American Jewish 
Congress today called on the United States to provide military and 
financial assistance to the opponents of Saddam Hussein to remove him 
and his government from power.
   The policy was urged by AJCongress' high-level Commission on 
International Affairs, which is chaired by former New York Congressman 
Stephen J. Solarz. The Commission called on the Clinton Administration 
to fully implement the Iraq Liberation Act (ILA), passed last year by 
Congress, which requires the United States to arm the insurgents and 
allows providing air power in support of a military uprising.
   "The Commission's call for action reflects its concern over the 
enormous and growing threat presented by Saddam to the region, including 
Israel, and the West, with his development of weapons of mass 
destruction," declared Solarz. 
   "The dangers have increased given the removal of the UNSCOM (United 
Nations) weapons inspectors from Iraq. Saddam now has a free hand to 
produce nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."
   The AJCongress group expressed grave misgivings over the failure of 
the United States thus far to carry out the actions mandated by the ILA: 
"Clearly containment hasn't worked. Removal is the only option. There 
can be no stability in the area if Saddam remains in power and his 
weapons program continues and expands."
   AJCongress President Jack Rosen, in announcing the Commission 
recommendations along with Solarz, said that following the United 
States' successful use of air power against Slobodan Milosevic, it was 
time to consider appropriate military options against Saddam. "President 
Clinton has proven that as Commander-in-Chief, he is willing to use this 
country's power for the pursuit of American goals. We must confront the 
fact that some measure of military involvement, if only giving support 
to opposition forces, may be the only way to remove the lethal danger 
Saddam represents."
   The Commission expressed concern that the American public "seems 
distressingly unaware of the danger Saddam presents, especially given 
the absence of the weapons inspectors."
   A possible strategy, the Commission declared, would call for 
insurgents, operating from areas controlled by American air power in the 
north and south of Iran, to link up with anti-Saddam elements in the 
rest of the country. "Because Saddam lacks the support of his people," 
the group noted, ``it is not unlikely that important units of the Iraqi 
military, when confronted with a sizable force, will defect to the other 
side."
  "Such a strategy would require the cooperation of neighboring states 
in the form of providing arms and air support to the resistance forces. 
But a firm American commitment to a policy designed to bring down the 
Ba'athist regime in Baghdad would doubtless provide a powerful incentive 
for this cooperation. In the final analysis, those states whose 
cooperation would be required for this purpose have even more to fear 
from Saddam than do we," the Commission maintained.
   The AJCongress Commission acknowledged that there are no guarantees 
that the strategy would work. However, it maintained that it is 
preferable to the alternatives which haven't worked, such as sanctions, 
a coup, or the waging of a second Gulf War.  "Nothing is risk free. But 
the risk of leaving Saddam in power is greater than the alternative of 
leaving him in place," the group said.
  The Commission adopted its policy following a presentation by Dr. 
Laurie Mylroie, Vice President of "Information for Democracy," a 
non-profit organization dealing with democracy in the Middle East, with 
a particular interest in Iraq. She is the co-author of the best seller, 
Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf (1990) and is now at work on a 
sequel, Study of Revenge: The Unfinished War of Saddam Hussein. In 
addition, she is publisher of Iraq News, an on-line e-mail newsletter.