January 27, 2003
World Media Watch
by Gloria R. Lalumia
BUZZFLASH NOTE: Once again, these are the views and perspectives of the individual papers, not of BuzzFlash or Gloria. They offer BuzzFlash readers a way of reading what other nations are saying about the crisis, whether we like it or not. We repeat: This is not an endorsement of their viewpoints.
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1//TurkishPress.com, USA--PRESS SCAN: ''ENTER AND LEAVE'' PLAN, ''HURRY UP''; ISRAELI VICE-GENERAL IN NORTHERN PLAN
2//The Independent, UK--EVEN VOICE OF THE RIGHT EXPRESS DOUBTS (Iain Duncan Smith is struggling to prevent cracks from opening up in the Tory ranks over his unequivocal backing for US action in Iraq…Another shadow minister told The Independent on Sunday: "We are about as divided as the Labour Party. I spoke to the executive of my constituency party, who are mostly elderly, some with military backgrounds. They were two to one against war.")
Bawaba, Middle East (Country Unknown)--KUWAIT FM: WAR ON IRAQ IMMINENT,
AUTHORITIES CONCERNED OF INTERNAL SITUATION (War is coming
soon and we will not be exempt from its dangers," said Sheikh
Sabah. "My concern is not what will happen outside Kuwait but
inside it. We should not worry about what (threats) will come from
outside, but about how to control matters inside," he told the
London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.)
5//Asia Times Online, Hong Kong--IRAQ'S SHADOW ON BALOCHISTAN (The widely anticipated United States-United Kingdom invasion of Iraq is already casting its shadow on the Balochi-inhabited areas on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border…Since December last, there have been at least four attacks on the oil and gas infrastructure in Balochistan by unidentified elements.)
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1//TurkishPress.com January 26, 2003
''ENTER AND LEAVE'' PLAN
The General Staff and the U.S. military officials reached an agreement. It is now the parliament's turn to approve this. American troops will enter Iraq from the southeastern Habur Border Gate without being deployed in Turkey. If the parliament approves it, here is the ''Northern Front'' plan: ''American soldiers who will come to Turkey will be dispatched to Northern Iraq via Habur Border Gate by trains and vehicles without being deployed in Turkish territories. For the dispatch of troops, Mersin and Iskenderun ports, and Diyarbakir, Incirlik and Batman airports will be used. Centers will be formed in Habur and Nusaybin, two towns that are close to the border, to provide troops with logistic support. And an headquarters will be established in Diyarbakir for coordination of logistic centers.''
Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Davos, Switzerland. Powell said, ''be quick'' while Gul said, ''final decision will be taken by the parliament''.
ISRAELI VICE-GENERAL IN NORTHERN PLAN
Sources said that also Israeli officials secretly participated as observer in planning meetings between the Turkish and U.S. General Staff officials about possible military operation against Iraq. Sources said that an Israeli vice-general had brought intelligence information about northern front to Ankara a few weeks ago.
EVEN VOICE OF THE RIGHT EXPRESS DOUBTS
Conservative MPs break ranks to join prominent figures from across public life who are opposed to the looming conflict
By Andy McSmith, Political Editor
Iain Duncan Smith is struggling to prevent cracks from opening up in the Tory ranks over his unequivocal backing for US action in Iraq.
Every Conservative MP has been instructed by pager message not to voice doubts about a possible war to journalists, but to share them privately with Mr Duncan Smith or the chief whip, David Maclean.
Despite this warning, several Tories have openly dissented from the party line. The Tory dissent was reflected last night by Yougov poll results showing just 20 per cent of people thinking British troops should join US forces in Iraq without UN backing; 68 per cent said they had not been convinced by Tony Blair that Saddam Hussein was dangerous enough to justify military action. But the poll of almost 2,000 found 72 per cent would support war if the UN sanctioned it.
Jonathan Sayeed, a shadow Environment minister, told the Commons last week that he had heard no convincing case for war. "Every television company will broadcast to the world ... harrowing pictures of the human catastrophe that warfare leaves ... and the closer war comes to Baghdad the greater will be the innocent casualties."
Another shadow minister told The Independent on Sunday: "We are about as divided as the Labour Party. I spoke to the executive of my constituency party, who are mostly elderly, some with military backgrounds. They were two to one against war."
KUWAIT FM: WAR ON IRAQ IMMINENT, AUTHORITIES CONCERNED OF INTERNAL
"Military preparations and movements indicate that war is not far off. War is coming soon and we will not be exempt from its dangers," said Sheikh Sabah.
"My concern is not what will happen outside Kuwait but inside it. We should not worry about what (threats) will come from outside, but about how to control matters inside," he told the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
OIL BEHIND ANNIHILATION PLAN, WARNS EX-UN OFFICIAL
Former UN official Denis Halliday warned in Baghdad today that the United States and Britain were ready to "annihilate" Iraqi society in order to control the country's oil wealth.
The comments come amid reports that the Bush administration is to give the weapons inspectors more time before launching a strike against Iraq.
Halliday told a press conference: "The United States and Britain are proceeding with plans to annihilate Iraqi society, a catastrophe that would be heightened by the threatened use of tactical nuclear weaponry.
"Washington has informed us that the very security of America require ever-increasing quantities of oil and the source of that oil can only be the Middle East," he said.
Halliday, an Irishman, was based in Baghdad between August 1997 and October 1998. He resigned in protest at continued UN sanctions against Iraq in place since its 1990 invasion of neighbouring Kuwait.
"The United Nations has cruelly damaged the social, economic and cultural rights of the Iraqi people under sanctions for over 12 years. We have allowed massive loss of life," he said.
Halliday, who was due to meet with deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz and foreign minister Naji Sabri, said that his "impression" from talking to Iraqi officials is that they believed war "cannot be stopped".
"My impression from talking to colleagues and friends from the government here in Baghdad is that they are confident that it (war) cannot be stopped," he said.
"I sense the priority is moving from finding ways to satisfy the United Nations or perhaps Washington and London, moving toward preparing for what looks like an inevitable war," he added.
IRAQ'S SHADOW ON BALOCHISTAN
B Raman is Additional Secretary (ret), Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India, and presently director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai; former member of the National Security Advisory Board of the Government of India. He was also head of the counter-terrorism division of the Research & Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, from 1988 to August, 1994.
The widely anticipated United States-United Kingdom invasion of Iraq is already casting its shadow on the Balochi-inhabited areas on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border.
Balochistan has considerable strategic importance for the US for various reasons: Most of Pakistan's oil and gas resources are located in Balochistan and about 30 percent of these are controlled by American oil companies, many of them from President George W Bush's home state of Texas. It is an important window on Iran. If the US decides to overthrow the Iranian regime after getting rid of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, the pro-US Balochi tribes, particularly the Jamalis, could be as useful to Washington DC as the Kurds are expected to be against Saddam Hussein. Balochistan is an escape route for the dregs of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda and the International Islamic Front (IIF) trying to get away by sea to Yemen.
For the same reasons, Balochistan has become an important operational area for al-Qaeda and IIF remnants in their attempts to hurt US economic interests in Pakistan in retaliation for the US war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and its campaign against the Saddam regime. They have been receiving assistance in their endeavors from the pro-Iraqi and anti-US segments of the Balochi tribals on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border.
Since December last, there have been at least four attacks on the oil and gas infrastructure in Balochistan by unidentified elements. Available particulars of three of these incidents are given below:
The Pakistani authorities have tried to play down the seriousness of the attacks and to project them as due to differences between the Mazari and the Bugti tribes over their respective share of the royalties paid by the companies to the tribes in whose territory the gas infrastructure is located.
Commenting on the incidents, an editorial in the News, the prestigious Pakistani daily, said on January 23, "It may only be a coincidence that the terrorists struck when Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and American ambassador Nancy Powell were meeting in Quetta to re-stress the resolve to fight terrorism. Ambassador Powell had also delivered hardware to the Frontier Corps for the protection of the western border. Nonetheless, even if a coincidence, the latest terrorist strike brings into stark relief the internal insecurity that threatens vital national installations at a time when much of the attention is focused on fighting terrorists as defined by the USA."
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© 2003, Gloria R. Lalumia, email@example.com
for Progressives at
otherwise noted, all original