Bush v. Saddam, page 3 - The War
From The Guardian (UK): Friday January 24, 2003
The message from the Bush camp: 'It's war within weeks'
By Julian Borger in Washington, Ewen MacAskill and Simon Tisdall
· Washington now concentrating on timing
· State of union address to 'turn up the heat'
· Blair faces nightmare scenario over war decision
President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London. The US president is "to turn up the heat" in his state of the union address on Tuesday. ... Mr Bush will lay out the broad case for toppling President Saddam next Tuesday but White House officials insist the speech, a year after the president coined the phrase, "axis of evil", will stop short of being a declaration of war. ...
From Capitol Hill Blue: Jan 24, 2003, 01:25
"We have the proof" on Iraq, intelligence pros tell Bush By DOUG THOMPSON
U.S. intelligence professionals, under pressure from the Bush administration to provide proof needed to justify war with Iraq, say they now have documented Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction as well as the location of hidden chemical weapon warheads. ...
Part of the proof has come from UN Inspectors at work in Iraq through documents obtained at the homes of two nuclear physicists in Iraq. The documents clearly show an ongoing program to develop nuclear weapons in clear violation of the cease fire agreement that ended the Gulf War. U.S. officials, however, are concerned the weapons inspectors found the documents last week, yet Dr. Hans Blix, head of the inspections team, failed to notify the U.S., Britian or France during briefings. "The information was in the hands of the inspectors but we had to find out about it through other, independent sources," an FBI source said. ...
“It’s full speed ahead now,” a White House aide said in a relieved tone on Thursday. “We are going to war.” Secretary of State Colin Powell, who was urging caution with Iraq, signaled his acceptance of the new information Thursday in a press conference with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. Powell said he saw “no need for further weapons inspections in Iraq” before launching an invasion. “The Secretary is convinced now that we have satisfied our need to prove our case,” said a State Department source. ...
Capitol Hill Blue learned Powell shared the information with British Foreign Secretary Straw shortly before their joint press conference on Thursday and that Prime Minister Tony Blair had also been briefed by U.S. officials earlier in the day. The administration still must decide what and how much information to share with reluctant allies like France and Germany but White House sources predicted both would be on board by the time an attack is launched in February. ...
also - http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_1587.shtml
From CBS News: WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2003
Iraq Faces Massive U.S. Missile Barrage
(CBS) They're calling it "A-Day," A as in airstrikes so devastating they would leave Saddam's soldiers unable or unwilling to fight. If the Pentagon sticks to its current war plan, one day in March the Air Force and Navy will launch between 300 and 400 cruise missiles at targets in Iraq. As CBS News Correspondent David Martin reports, this is more than number that were launched during the entire 40 days of the first Gulf War. On the second day, the plan calls for launching another 300 to 400 cruise missiles. "There will not be a safe place in Baghdad," said one Pentagon official who has been briefed on the plan. ... It's called "Shock and Awe" and it focuses on the psychological destruction of the enemy's will to fight ...
From the Washington Post: Saturday, January 25, 2003; Page A01
Invasion Forces Assemble Slowly By Vernon Loeb
U.S. Troops May Not Be Ready for Iraq Strike Until March
Despite a wave of deployment orders issued by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld over the past five weeks, the Pentagon has only begun sending major combat elements to the Persian Gulf and cannot assemble the force required for an invasion of Iraq until late February or early March, defense officials and analysts said yesterday. ...
The military timetable provides a cushion to Bush administration efforts to enlist the support of reluctant allies on the U.N. Security Council, notably Germany and France, for confronting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with military force. U.S. and diplomatic sources said the administration is prepared to meet allied demands for continued U.N. inspections in Iraq for several more weeks -- a concession diplomatically but one that is in sync with Pentagon planning. ...
... reflecting the importance that the administration has attached to preserving Iraq's potential to pump oil and generate funds for its reconstruction, U.S. commanders are planning to seize the fields early in an invasion, using a combination of Special Operations and conventional forces.
From the Washington Post: Saturday, January 25, 2003; Page A17
Continued Arms Inspections Get U.S. Nod By Karen DeYoung
Troop Deployment Timetables and Drive to Build Support Temper Bush's Desire to Act
While making clear it believes Iraq has already violated last November's U.N. Security Council resolution, the Bush administration will acquiesce to continued U.N. inspections there, at least for the next several weeks, according to U.S. and diplomatic sources. ...
From the LA Times: January 25, 2003
U.S. Weighs Nuclear Strike
For what one defense analyst says is a worst-case scenario, planners are studying the use of atomic bombs in Iraq. ...
U.S. Considering Use of Nuclear Weapons in Iraq
William M. Arkin writes, "One year after President Bush labeled Iraq,
Iran and North Korea the 'axis of evil,' the U.S. is thinking about the
unthinkable: It is preparing for the possible use of nuclear weapons
against Iraq... The current planning focuses on two possible roles for
nuclear weapons: attacking Iraqi facilities located so deep underground
that they might be impervious to conventional explosives [and] thwarting
Iraq's use of weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear weapons have, since
they were first created, been part of the arsenal discussed by war
planners. But the Bush administration's decision to actively plan for
possible preemptive use of such weapons, especially as so-called bunker
busters, against Iraq represents a significant lowering of the nuclear
threshold. It rewrites the ground rules of nuclear combat in the name of
fighting terrorism... If that happens, the world will have become
infinitely more dangerous than it was two years ago."
Powell loses faith in inspection work
Secretary blames lack of Iraqi cooperation in search process
DAVOS, Jan. 26 — Secretary of State Colin Powell, citing Iraq’s lack of cooperation with U.N. inspectors, said Sunday he has lost faith in the inspectors’ ability to conduct a definitive search for banned weapons programs. A U.S.-led war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, however, is not imminent, Powell told business and political leaders, and he did not explicitly call for the inspections to end.
POWELL SAID in his address to political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum that only a strong international response will deter Saddam from sharing his weapons with terrorist groups or using them himself.
Even though Iraq has responded to weeks of inspections “with evasions and with lies,” the secretary said, “We are in no great rush to judgment tomorrow or the day after, but clearly time is running out.”
Powell said Iraq should not be in doubt that “if it does not disarm peacefully at this juncture, it will be disarmed at the end of the road.”
Powell declared that the U.N. arms inspection process in Iraq has run its course, and warned that Saddam could take advantage of international inaction by using weapons of mass destruction or sharing technology with terrorists. ...
From Reuters: Mon January 27, 2003 11:36 AM ET
Blix Raps Iraq for Gaps in Arms Document By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix on Monday criticized Iraq harshly for not giving enough evidence on its past weapons of mass destruction programs despite its cooperation in opening sites to his teams. ... He said his "U.N. Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission is not presuming there are proscribed items in Iraq. Nor is it assuming the opposite that no such items exist in Iraq." Blix added, "Iraq appears not to have come to genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it." ...
From Reuters: Mon January 27, 2003 12:42 PM ET
White House Says Iraq Has Failed to Comply
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday that a report from chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix on Iraq showed that Baghdad has failed to comply with U.N. disarmament demands and that it has weapons of mass destruction.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters that the U.N. weapons inspections process in Iraq was continuing but that "the process is running out of time." He would not give a timetable on how long the inspections might continue before President Bush decides on war.
"What's clear from today's important reporting date is that Iraq has failed to comply, that Iraq continues to have weapons of mass destruction that are not accounted for and that Iraq's failure to comply has led to a situation where inspectors are getting the runaround," Fleischer said.
From The BBC: Monday, 27 January, 2003, 17:40 GMT
Iraq must do more, UN told
Iraq has complied with the United Nations only reluctantly and may still possess biological weapons and rockets, the chief UN weapons inspector has said.
Hans Blix was sharply critical of the Baghdad government in his keenly-awaited report to the Security Council on Monday. He said:
Iraq might still have stocks of anthrax
Baghdad has failed to account for up to 300 rocket engines
Its weapons declaration last month contained no new material
"Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance - not even today - of the disarmament which was demanded of it," he said. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said his inspectors had found no evidence that Iraq had resumed the nuclear programme it discontinued in the early 1990s. But Mohamed ElBaradei said the inspectors needed "a few months" to continue their work, describing this as "a valuable investment in peace". ...
From Philadelphia Daily News: Posted on Mon, Jan. 27, 2003
Invading Iraq not a new idea for Bush clique 4 years before 9/11, plan was set
By WILLIAM BUNCH
" ... Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, and a small band of conservative ideologues had begun making the case for an American invasion of Iraq as early as 1997 ... An obscure, ominous-sounding right-wing policy group called Project for the New American Century, or PNAC - affiliated with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld's top deputy Paul Wolfowitz and Bush's brother Jeb - even urged then-President Clinton to invade Iraq back in January 1998. "We urge you to... enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world," stated the letter to Clinton, signed by Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and others. "That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power." (For full text of the letter, see www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm) ... the heady years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall gave rise to the notion that the removal of Saddam and the establishment of an Arab-run, pro-American democracy might have a kind of "domino effect" in the Middle East, influencing neighbors like Saudi Arabia or Syria. At the United Nations last November, Bush said that if Iraqis are liberated, "they can one day join a democratic Afghanistan and a democratic Palestine, inspiring reforms throughout the Muslim world." ...
"Lustick believes that a more powerful hidden motivator may be Israel. He said Bush administration hawks believe that a show of force in Iraq would somehow convince Palestinians to accept a peace plan on terms favorable to Israel - an idea he scoffs at. Both supporters and opponents of a war in Iraq agree on one thing: That the events of Sept. 11 were the trigger that finally put the theory in action. ... A frustrated Lustick sees the war plan as the triumph of a simple ideology over the messy realities of global politics. "This is not a war on fanatics," he said. "This is a war of fanatics - our fanatics.""
From AP: Jan 30, 8:29 PM (ET)
Bush to Give 'Weeks' on Iraq Situation By RON FOURNIER
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush put allies on notice Thursday that diplomacy will give way to a decision on war in "weeks, not months." ... Opening an eleventh-hour campaign to sway a wide array of skeptics, the president said, "For the sake of peace, this issue must be resolved." His advisers said Bush will maintain consultations with allies through mid-February, when the next U.N. weapons inspectors' report is expected to force talks to closure. ...
The buildup of U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf region is now approaching 90,000 land, sea and air forces, and that number likely will double within two weeks, officials said Thursday. By mid-February there are expected to be nearly 180,000 troops in the region, and the total could reach 250,000 later. ...
"This is a matter of weeks, not months," Bush said of the consultation process. ...
From Reuters: Sun February 2, 2003 09:37 AM ET
3,000 U.S. Bombs, Missiles Would Quickly Hit Iraq By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the U.S. war plan for Iraq, more than 3,000 guided bombs and missiles would rip military and leadership targets in the first 48 hours, softening the way for a two-pronged ground attack to topple President Saddam Hussein's government, defense officials said on Sunday. ...
The plan is for the air war to last less than a week and to cause such shock that the Iraqi military would collapse, prompting the surrender of thousands of troops. A two-pronged ground offensive from Kuwait and Turkey would begin simultaneously or within days of the start of the air assault. ...
The Times, quoting Pentagon military and civilian officials, said the Army's Third Infantry Division and a sizable contingent of Marines would be assigned to punch north from Kuwait, while a force spearheaded by the Fourth Infantry Division would move south from Turkey. ...
Air Force officials confirmed the Times report that the service had already stockpiled nearly 7,000 all-weather satellite-guided bombs, called Joint Direct Attack Munitions, in the Gulf region for any extended air campaign. More than 3,000 laser-guided bombs, similar to those used during the Gulf War, are also ready, the officials said. Unlike satellite-guided bombs, use of those weapons can be hampered by heavy cloud cover and darkness.
At The Guardian: Wednesday February 5, 2003
Full text of Colin Powell's speech
US secretary of state's address to the United Nations security council
From AP: Fri, Feb 07, 2003
U.S. Advises Diplomats to Leave Mideast By BARRY SCHWEID
WASHINGTON - The State Department advised nonessential U.S. diplomats and family members on Friday to leave Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Private American citizens also were advised to leave. ... U.S. citizens in Iraq were urged to leave.
"The Iraq regime's continuing refusal to cooperate fully with U.N. weapons inspectors has lead to mounting tension between Iraq and the international community," the department said. ...
From The Washington Post: Wednesday, February 26, 2003; Page A01
Bush Firm on Warning To Iraq U.S. Would Start War Even Without U.N. Resolution
By Glenn Kessler and Colum Lynch, Washington Post Staff Writers
President Bush said yesterday he would accept nothing short of "full disarmament" by Iraq and served notice he is willing to go to war even without passage of a second U.N. Security Council resolution offered Monday by the United States, Britain and Spain. ...
From AP: Thu Feb 27, 1:57 AM ET
Bush: Iraq War Will Build Mideast Peace By SCOTT LINDLAW
WASHINGTON - Toppling Saddam Hussein would do more than protect America, it would sow seeds of democracy and peace in the Middle East, President Bush says. ...
From AP at MSNBC: 03/01/03
Turkey rejects U.S. troop plan Vote nullified after opposition objects
ANKARA, Turkey, March 1 — In a serious blow to U.S. plans for a possible war with Iraq, Turkey’s parliament speaker nullified the legisature’s vote Saturday to allow deployment of 62,000 U.S. combat troops to open a northern front against Iraq. ...
From The NYT: March 7, 2003
President Readies U.S. for Prospect of Imminent War
By DAVID E. SANGER with FELICITY BARRINGER
WASHINGTON, March 6 — President Bush prepared the country tonight for possibly imminent military action against Iraq, declaring that Saddam Hussein posed a direct threat to the security of the United States and insisting "we really don't need anybody's permission" to defend the United States. He said that only days remained for a diplomatic solution and vowed that he would press for a vote on a new resolution at the United Nations in the next few days, even if it appeared that he could not muster a majority 9 of the 15 votes on the Security Council, and despite a French and Russian threat of veto. A defeat would not deter him, he said, from disarming Mr. Hussein. Mr. Bush, at a rare prime-time news conference, portrayed himself as the protector of the country and repeatedly invoked the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, saying Mr. Hussein posed a comparable danger. ...
President Bush's News Conference on Iraq
From Reuters: Saturday, March 08, 2003 2:54 a.m. ET
U.S. Wants March 17 Iraq Ultimatum By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - With war against Iraq appearing imminent, the United States, Britain and Spain want the U.N. Security Council to deliver an ultimatum to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to give up banned weapons by March 17. ...
U.S. Seeks March 17 Iraq Deadline
March 17 Iraq deadline proposed
From Reuters: Monday, March 10, 2003 12:43 p.m. ET
Iraq Places Explosives at Oil Fields, U.S. Says
From Reuters: Sunday, March 16, 2003 12:05 p.m. ET
U.S. Urges Turkish Forces to Stay Out of N. Iraq
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is urging Turkey to keep its forces out of northern Iraq during any U.S.-led military action due to concerns of a possible conflict with the Kurds, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday. ...
‘Moment of truth for the world’
March 16 — Calling Monday a “moment of truth for the world,” President Bush pressed one last time for Iraq’s disarmament during an emergency summit with the leaders of Spain and Britain in the Azores islands on Sunday. Just hours before the meeting, President Saddam Hussein placed his country on war footing, dividing Iraq into four military districts.
AT A JOINT press conference at the end of the brief meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Durao Barroso, Bush said the world must support the “immediate and unconditional” disarmament of Saddam Hussein. ...
“Tomorrow is the day we will determine if diplomacy can work,” Bush said. “These are his decisions to make and thus far he has made bad decisions.” ...
Once diplomacy was exhausted, officials said, Bush would address the nation, issuing a final ultimatum to Saddam and giving aid workers and others time to leave Iraq. ...
At MSNBC: 3/17/03
What Oil Wants
In Iraq, it hopes to own the black gold, and to write the rules of the game, too
By Daphne Eviatar, NEWSWEEK INTERNATIONAL
March 24 issue — What does big oil want in Iraq? To regain influence over the great Middle East oilfields, from which Western companies were expelled four decades ago...
From Reuters: Monday, March 17, 2003 8:58 p.m. ET
Bush Tells Saddam: Flee in 48 Hours or Face War By Alan Elsner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush on Monday gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein 48 hours to go into exile with his sons or face the full military might of the United States. ...
From The NYT: March 18, 2003
Text: Bush's Speech on Iraq
" ... Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. ... The tyrant will soon be gone. ... War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. ... the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war. ... If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them will face fearful consequences. We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. ... The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now. ... "
At CBS News from AP: NEW YORK, March 19, 2003
U.S. May Test Secret E-Bomb In Iraq
(AP) Military analysts predict U.S. forces will test a new “E-bomb” during the expected invasion of Iraq as part of a 21st century blitzkrieg designed to render Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's forces blind, deaf, dumb and incapable of retaliation — electronically.
The highly classified bomb creates a brief pulse of microwaves powerful enough to fry computers, blind radar, silence radios, trigger crippling power outages and disable the electronic ignitions in vehicles and aircraft. ...
From MSNBC: March 20, 2003
U.S., British forces move into Iraq
March 21 — U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles bombarded targets in Baghdad for a second day Thursday, and U.S. ground forces crossed into Iraq from Kuwait. The forces encountered little resistance as they skirmished with Iraqi troops in the south. ...
Launching what President Bush called “the early stages of the war,” U.S. warships began firing missiles Thursday on Baghdad and continued into Friday morning. In a ground offensive launched Thursday from Kuwait, U.S. and British troops moved into southern Iraq, reportedly capturing a border town.
U.S. officials emphasized that the action was not the major “shock and awe” attack they had vowed to unleash. NBC News reported that U.S. forces appeared to be holding back because the Pentagon was pursuing surrender talks with Iraq’s elite Republican Guard. ...
Bush announced the war at 10:15 p.m. ET Wednesday, saying he would use decisive force to remove Saddam from power. ... U.S. officials said the weapons unleashed Wednesday consisted of 40 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, as well as precision-guided 2,000-pound bombs dropped from two F-117 “stealth” fighters ... A U.S. military commander in Kuwait said limited raids would go on for two or three days ahead of any huge assault, which U.S. officials have said could involve a fearsome salvo of at least 3,000 satellite-guided bombs and cruise missiles. ...
From The Moscow Times: Friday, Mar. 21, 2003. Page 1
Putin Calls the Attack a Big Political Mistake
By Simon Saradzhyan and Oksana Yablokova Staff Writers Itar-Tass / AP
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday demanded an immediate end to the U.S.-led military action against Iraq, denouncing it as a "big political mistake" that threatens the existing international security system and could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the region. "This military action cannot be justified," a stern-looking Putin said in his toughest statement to date on Washington's plans to forcefully remove Saddam Hussein's regime. "If we allow international law to be replaced by the law of the fist, under which the strong is always right and is unlimited in the choice of means to achieve his goals, then one of the basic principles of international law, the principle of the inviolability of the sovereignty of states, will be put into question," he said. Once this principle is ignored, "no country in the world will feel safe, and the vast hotbed of instability that has appeared today will grow and prompt negative consequences in other regions of the world. For precisely these reasons, Russia demands the swiftest end to the military action," he said, speaking at a Kremlin meeting of top government officials. ...
From AP: March 24, 2003
Americans Watch War Take Ugly Turn By CALVIN WOODWARD
WASHINGTON - It was the day the war turned ugly for the allies fighting it, the leaders running it and anyone who saw the images at home. Up to nine dead Marines. A dozen soldiers in an Army convoy attacked and missing, some looking glum and scared in Iraqi custody while comrades lay dead nearby. Uncounted wounded on multiple, acrid battlefields. Then the self-inflicted harm: a British warplane downed by American friendly fire, with two Britons dead; a deadly grenade attack on a U.S. compound in Kuwait blamed on an American soldier with "an attitude problem." The bad news was not confined to Iraq. In nearly forgotten Afghanistan, a Pave Hawk helicopter went down. Six died. It's not that everything was suddenly going wrong. It just seemed that way after a start that seemed to go almost all right. And now war leaders had to deal with images it hoped would never come from this invasion. "Certainly, I don't think that these pictures will damage either the psychology of our soldiers, morale of our soldiers or the steadfastness of our government or the resolve of our people," said Lt. Gen. John Abizaid, deputy commander of the Central Command. "We're a pretty tough people." ...
From Reuters: Monday, March 24, 2003 3:57 p.m. ET
U.S. Believes Russians in Baghdad Aiding Iraq By Arshad Mohammed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States believes Russian company technicians are in Baghdad helping train Iraqis to operate electronic jamming systems that could interfere with U.S. forces fighting Iraq, a U.S. official said on Monday.
President Bush telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to protest against alleged Russian sales of night-vision goggles, antitank missiles and global positioning system (GPS) jamming systems to Iraq, the White House said. U.S. officials said such sales would violate U.N. sanctions.
"It's the kind of equipment that will put our young men and women in harm's way," Secretary of State Colin Powell told Fox News Channel, without identifying the materiel. "It gives an advantage to the enemy, an advantage we don't want them to have."
"We have been in touch with the Russians over a period of many months to point this out .... and in the last 48 hours I have seen even more information that causes me concern," Powell said. "So far I am disappointed at the response." ...
"We are very concerned that there are reports of ongoing cooperation and support to Iraqi military forces being provided by a Russian company that produces GPS jamming equipment," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer , also citing alleged sales of night-vision goggles and anti-tank guided missiles. ...
A U.S. official who asked not to be named said Washington decided to make its accusations public late last week when it discovered Russian company technicians in Baghdad aiding the Iraqis with the jamming system after the U.S.-led war began.
"They are there in Baghdad ... trying to make the system work, the jamming system," said the U.S. official.
"It was the discovery that there are ... Russian technicians helping to make this GPS jamming work in Baghdad that prompted the internal debate in the U.S. government about what to do and (whether) to go public," the official added. ...
From Reuters: Wed Apr 2, 8:28 AM ET
Arabs Warn U.S. Not to Use Iraq to Pick New Fights By Sami Aboudi
CAIRO (Reuters) - Arab commentators and officials warned the United States on Wednesday that its war on Iraq was widening its circle of enemies in the Middle East and urged Washington to refrain from picking new fights. The comments came in the wake of recent threats by senior members of President Bush's administration against Syria and Iran, and later Israeli warnings to Damascus, that they would be held to account if they gave support to Iraq. ...
Powell and Rumsfeld have signaled in separate comments that Syria must abandon what they say is its support for Iraq and "terrorism" or face the consequences. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz appeared to add fuel to the fire when he said both Israel and the United States viewed as "very grave" the aid Syria has allegedly given to Iraq. ...
In Algiers, Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem told parliament in an extraordinary session on Iraq that U.S. threats to Syria would worsen the crisis in the Middle East. "Algeria expresses its solidarity with brotherly Syria in the face of threats and menaces. The question now is who will be the next to be threatened?" he asked. ...
From Reuters: Friday, April 04, 2003 4:31 p.m. ET
U.S. Sees Limited U.N. Role in Iraq By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday ruled out a leading role for the United Nations in immediate post-war Iraq, saying Washington and its allies had earned top-status having given "life and blood" to the war effort and promised to include Iraqis in the process from day-one. ...
From AP: Friday, April 4
France Could Profit in Postwar Iraq By JOHN LEICESTER
PARIS - The logic is simple, some say simplistic: France refused to fight the war in Iraq and so should not profit from the peace. ... France, Russia and Germany, all of which opposed the U.S.-led invasion, are demanding a major U.N. role in its postwar administration. ... Secretary of State Colin Powell told European Union foreign ministers a day earlier that Washington must have the "leading role" in postwar Iraq. He said the United Nations would not be shut out, but was vague on its role. ... The House of Representatives, in a voice vote Thursday, banned U.S. dollars from going to French, German, Syrian or Russian companies for Iraqi rebuilding. ... A serious tussle over oil rights can be expected. ...
From CBS News: April 12, 2003 22:43:46
Danger Lurks In Baghdad
(CBS) Small but determined pockets of resistance and continued civil unrest on Saturday reminded U.S. troops that the war in Baghdad is not over. A wild firefight outside a Baghdad hotel and the threat of suicide bombings kept American soldiers wrapped in the urgent business of putting down armed resistance in the capital even as looting spread. Heavy machine gun fire and explosions could be heard along the river from the Palestine Hotel, where many foreign journalists were staying. U.S. military officials say fifteen to twenty Iraqis died in the fighting, but no U.S. troops were hurt. U.S. troops and Iraqi police are setting up patrols to rein in waves of thievery in the capital city, and American officials were dispatching the first contingent of 1,200 American police and judicial officers to help troops put a lid on the lawlessness.
Meanwhile, Marines rolled north to confront what could be Saddam Hussein's last holdouts. The U.S.-led coalition is expected to focus next on Saddam's hometown, Tikrit, where some Iraqi forces are believed to be regrouping. A contingent of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, described only as significant in size, headed toward that city to challenge whatever it found. ...
From The Scotsman: April 15, 2003
US general: The war is over FRASER NELSON
THE battle to take control of Iraq was over last night, as Washington’s attention swung firmly on to Syria and its suspected links with terrorists and arsenal of chemical weapons. Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, declared "victory" for the first time, and the Pentagon said that "major combat operations are over" after Tikrit, the home town of Saddam Hussein, was secured. Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, focused on Syria, threatening the country with economic sanctions unless it allays Washington’s concern over weapons of mass destruction. ... Speaking in Kuwait, Mr Powell said he wanted to see action and would not be content with protests that Syria does not have chemical weapons. ... In Washington, a spokesman for the White House said: "Syria is indeed a rogue nation," and read out CIA allegations that the country has bought "technology relating to weapons of mass destruction and advanced conventional munitions." ...
From AFP: Tue Apr 15, 8:31 AM ET
Eyeing Syria, US declines to declare Iraq war over
BAGHDAD (AFP) - After 27 days of war that have crushed all significant opposition, the United States was preparing to cut back its force in Iraq and focus on the vast rebuilding task it has set itself. ... with hardline rhetoric against Iraq's neighbour Syria ratcheting up, sporadic violence flaring in Iraq and the hunt for Iraq's alleged chemical, biological and nuclear arsenal still coming up empty-handed, Washington was shying away from declaring the conflict over. "I would anticipate that the major combat engagements are over because the major Iraqi units on the ground cease to show coherence," Army Major General Stanley McChrystal, vice director of operations of the Joint Staff, said in Washington Monday. But Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon spokeswoman, told reporters not to expect a declaration of victory. ... In Baghdad, which fell on April 9, and in other cities, the foreign troops were turning their attention from combat to enforcing law and order. ... The fate of the Iraqi president and his closest lieutenants and family members remained unknown. ...
From AFP: Tue Apr 15,11:12 AM ET
At least 10 killed in Mosul shooting, US denies accusations it is to blame
MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) - At least 10 people were shot dead and scores wounded in the northern Iraqi town of Mosul, a hospital doctor said, with witnesses claiming US troops had opened fire on a crowd after it turned against an American-installed local governor..
From AFP: Tue Apr 15,11:27 AM ET
Anti-American protests intensify in Iraq
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Anti-American protests intensified here and in southern Iraq as US forces struggled with the complex task of rebuilding the country after toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein. ... "We want the American and British forces to go. They have freed us from Saddam and their job is finished," said Ihsan Mohammad, an official with the regional federation of engineers. "If they intend to occupy us, we will oppose that. We ask them to leave us free to decide our future and not to impose people on us." ...
From AP: Tue Apr 15, 5:02 PM ET
Iraqi Protesters Block Marines in Kut By BURT HERMAN
KUT, Iraq - Hundreds of protesters blocked U.S. Marines from entering Kut's city hall Tuesday to meet a radical anti-American Shiite cleric who has declared himself in control here, military officials said. ...
From The NYT: April 16, 2003
Bush Says Regime in Iraq Is No More; Victory 'Certain'
By DAVID E. SANGER and THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON, April 15 — President Bush declared today that "the regime of Saddam Hussein is no more," and his administration used America's rapid success in overthrowing the Iraqi leader to put new pressure on Iran and Syria, neighbors of the newly occupied nation. At the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the United States was moving to cut off an important oil pipeline running from Iraq into Syria, the first major economic penalty against Syria. Mr. Rumsfeld's statements, as well as remarks by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, were part of a declared strategy to consolidate the allied victory in Iraq by beginning to reshape the Middle East, while Mr. Bush said he planned to make the new Iraq a model for democracy in the Middle East. Since the fall of Mr. Hussein, Mr. Bush's aides have begun talking publicly about the "demonstration effect" of the victory in Iraq. ... "Our victory in Iraq is certain, but it is not complete," Mr. Bush said today. He said a final victory would not be declared until Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the senior commander in the war theater, had determined that all of Washington's military objectives had been met — a process that could take months. ...
Mr. Rumsfeld's announcement about the oil pipeline, which is capable of carrying 200,000 barrels a day, is the clearest signal the administration has sent to President Bashar al-Assad that the United States is willing to use its new position on Syria's border to press the country, which the White House declared Monday as a "rogue state." The administration has accused Syria of harboring Iraqi fugitives and of developing chemical weapons. The pipeline has been a huge source of revenue for the Syrian government, which has paid Iraq with goods, in two-way trade conducted in violation of United Nations economic sanctions against Iraq. ...
In the Rose Garden today, Mr. Bush insisted that his intention was "to liberate every corner of Iraq." He acknowledged that it would take time. "The immediate tasks involve establishing order, as well as delivering food and water and medicines," he said. "We'll help Iraqis to restore electrical power and other basic services. We'll help destroy the former regime's weapons of mass destruction. We'll help the Iraqi people to establish a just and representative government." But Mr. Bush also hinted at his broader agenda, saying, "I believe that a free Iraq can be an example of reform and progress to all the Middle East." ...
From Reuters: Fri Apr 18, 5:27 PM ET
Iraqis Protest Against United States By Hassan Hafidh
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Unfurling banners that declared "Leave our country," tens of thousands of Baghdad protesters demanded on Friday that the United States get out of Iraq while leaders of the oil-rich nation's neighbors meeting in Saudi Arabia also called for a speedy U.S. departure. Muslims poured out of mosques and into the streets of Baghdad, calling for an Islamic state to be established in the biggest protest since U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein's iron-fisted, 24-year-long rule nine days ago. ...
From The NYT: Sat Apr 19, 2:55 PM ET
Pentagon Expects Long-Term Access to Four Key Bases in Iraq
By THOM SHANKER and ERIC SCHMITT
WASHINGTON, April 19 -- The United States is planning a long-term military relationship with the emerging government of Iraq, one that would grant the Pentagon access to military bases and project American influence into the heart of the unsettled region, senior Bush administration officials say.
American military officials, in interviews this week, spoke of maintaining perhaps four bases in Iraq that could be used in the future: one at the international airport just outside Baghdad; another at Tallil, near Nasiriya in the south; the third at an isolated airstrip called H-1 in the western desert, along the old oil pipeline that runs to Jordan; and the last at the Bashur air field in the Kurdish north. ... A military foothold in Iraq would be felt across the border in Syria, and, in combination with the continuing United States presence in Afghanistan, it would virtually surround Iran with a new web of American influence. ...
From Reuters: Sun April 20, 2003 03:52 AM ET
US to Declare Victory in Iraq, Australia Says By Hassan Hafidh
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States and its allies will declare victory in the war in Iraq in the next few days, military ally Australia said on Sunday.
The U.S. military have already signaled the end of the fighting stage of the war in Baghdad by starting to pull Marines out of the capital and replace them with U.S. Army troops better equipped to tackle the reconstruction of the battered capital.
But the U.S. forces are still hunting for Saddam Hussein and other top Iraqi officials, and have still not found Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the justification for the U.S.-led invasion on March 20. ...
From AP: Apr 22, 1:49 AM EDT
Rumsfeld: Iraq Should Not Be Theocracy By MATT KELLEY
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States expects an eventual government of Iraq to be a democracy where the rights of minorities are guaranteed, not a theocracy run by clerics such as in neighboring Iran, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says. ... Rumsfeld said the United States will not keep its military forces in Iraq longer than necessary to stabilize the country. He denied a news report that the United States was planning a long-term military relationship with Iraq that would grant American access to air bases in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country. "It's flat false," Rumsfeld said, adding that the subject had not even been raised with him. ... He asserted that because there is sporadic, small-scale fighting still going on in some parts of Iraq, the war is not over and it's too soon to know when it will be safe for U.S. troops to leave. ...
From The Washington Post at MSNBC:
Iraqi Shiite strength surprises U.S. By Glenn Kessler and Dana Priest
Rise of anti-U.S., fundamentalist government a possibility
April 23 — As Iraqi Shiite demands for a dominant role in Iraq’s future mount, Bush administration officials say they underestimated the Shiites’ organizational strength and are unprepared to prevent the rise of an anti-American, Islamic fundamentalist government in the country. ...
As the administration plotted to overthrow Hussein’s government, U.S. officials said this week, it failed to fully appreciate the force of Shiite aspirations and is now concerned that those sentiments could coalesce into a fundamentalist government. ... The administration hopes the U.S.-led war in Iraq will lead to a crescent of democracies in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the Israeli-occupied territories and Saudi Arabia. But it could just as easily spark a renewed fervor for Islamic rule in the crescent, officials said. “This is a 25-year project,” one three-star general officer said. “Everyone agreed it was a huge risk, and the outcome was not at all clear.”
... “We don’t want to allow Persian fundamentalism to gain any foothold,” a senior administration official said. “We want to find more moderate clerics and move them into positions of influence.” ...
From The Whitehouse: Office of the Press Secretary, May 1, 2003
President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended
Remarks by the President from the USS Abraham Lincoln
At Sea Off the Coast of San Diego, California
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country. ...
We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We're bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We're pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We've begun the search for hidden chemical and biological weapons and already know of hundreds of sites that will be investigated. We're helping to rebuild Iraq, where the dictator built palaces for himself, instead of hospitals and schools. And we will stand with the new leaders of Iraq as they establish a government of, by, and for the Iraqi people. (Applause.) The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort. Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq. (Applause.) The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11, 2001 -- and still goes on. ... The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of al Qaeda, and cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more. (Applause.) ...
Any person, organization, or government that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and equally guilty of terrorist crimes. Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups and seeks or possesses weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world -- and will be confronted. (Applause.) ... The use of force has been -- and remains -- our last resort. Yet all can know, friend and foe alike, that our nation has a mission: We will answer threats to our security, and we will defend the peace. (Applause.) Our mission continues. Al Qaeda is wounded, not destroyed. The scattered cells of the terrorist network still operate in many nations, and we know from daily intelligence that they continue to plot against free people. The proliferation of deadly weapons remains a serious danger. The enemies of freedom are not idle, and neither are we. Our government has taken unprecedented measures to defend the homeland. And we will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike. (Applause.) The war on terror is not over; yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory. (Applause.) ...
From The Washington Post: Friday, May 2, 2003; Page A01
Bush Proclaims Victory in Iraq By Karen DeYoung
Work on Terror Is Ongoing, President Says
ABOARD THE USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN, May 1 -- President Bush proclaimed victory in Iraq tonight from aboard a U.S. aircraft carrier returning to home port, but he cautioned that much remains to be done in the broader war against terrorism. "The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on September the 11th, 2001, and still goes on," the president said in his national address beamed from the deck of the Lincoln. Bush told the nearly 5,000 sailors gathered on the flight deck under a bright sun that they had fought "for the cause of liberty and for the peace of the world." ...
White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said the speech had been written over the past week, by chief speechwriter Michael Gerson with input from Communications Director Dan Bartlett and adviser Karen P. Hughes, but that the decision to give it was not made until after Bush spoke by telephone Tuesday with Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the U.S. military commander in Iraq. The White House had repeatedly said that Bush would not declare an end to the war, and U.S. victory, until Franks told him the fighting was over. Continuing skirmishes with resistance forces in Iraq, and the legal ramifications of declaring a formal "cessation of hostilities" led to the adoption of the "end of major combat operations" formula. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, all prisoners of war must be released at the end of hostilities. U.S. forces are holding more than 6,000 Iraqi prisoners of war in a camp in southern Iraq.
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