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Wider War Watch -- November 2001

Analysis - 30 November 2001
AFI Research (Richard M. Bennett Associates), 30 November 2001.

[excerpt]  India has regularly accused Pakistan of arming and training the Muslim militants in Kashmir, though successive Pakistan Governments have denied the charge. Islamabad argues that it only provides justified moral and diplomatic support to the separatists. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the historical argument over Kashmir, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the status quo is unlikely to survive for much longer. Pakistans long-term backing of the appalling Taliban regime with considerable military and intelligence support on the ground, has dented Islamabad's credibility and greatly reduced its influence over [a] critical area of importance to Pakistan. While Washington, Moscow and New Delhi intend to be responsible for shaping the future development of the region, even Iran and China have now somewhat distanced themselves from Pakistan.
Last week Indian security forces said they had smashed a network of the Pakistan-based al-Badr militant group after six of its leaders were killed in a gun battle and some 15 others had been arrested. Muslim violence across the Himalayan region has escalated markedly this year with more than 30 deaths in the last few days. Many of the separatist groups are openly sympathetic to Osama Bin-Laden, indeed there are constant rumours that many of Al Qaidas 'Foreign Legion' have already sought safety in the mountain vastness of Kashmir, large parts of which are barely under Islamabad's control.
Robert Blackwill, the US Ambassador in New Delhi, has openly pledged that the war against terrorism will not end until attacks against India by Pakistan-based terrorist groups have stopped. The ambassador went on to say that the rebels in Kashmir are not freedom fighters and no country should give them refuge. This strong statement comes at a time of increasing warmth between India and the United States and signs that a new alignment, at Pakistans expense, is in the offing.

Analysis and Commentary - 30 November 2001
Hawks Take Aim at Iraq
Jim Lobe. Foreign Policy In Focus, 30 November 2001.

Analysis and Commentary - 29 November 2001
Defining Terrorism
Phillip Cryan.Counterpunch, 29 November 2001.

[excerpt]   The term "War on Terrorism" has been quickly picked up by political leaders seeking to advance a host of different agendas domestically and internationally.

News - 28 November 2001
Red Cross chief hits 'kill on sight' order
The Washington Times, 28 November 2001.

[excerpt]   The International Committee of the Red Cross said yesterday that a "kill on sight" order to U.S. troops hunting Osama bin Laden and his closest aides in Afghanistan would violate international law. "Prisoners captured in conflict should be kept as prisoners and not killed. This is a basic rule of international humanitarian law," ICRC Director-General Paul Grossrieder told Reuters Television.

News - 28 November 2001
Israeli military plans for Iraq's wrath
Abraham Rabinovich. The Washington Times, 28 November 2001.

[excerpt]   The Israeli General Staff met Monday to discuss the possibility of an Iraqi attack with chemical or biological weapons in retaliation for any U.S. military attempt to unseat Saddam Hussein. The Israeli press recently reported that Washington has told Israel that if Saddam attacks, this time Israel will have a free hand to respond.

News - 28 November 2001
Iraq rejects demand for arms inspectors
Nicholas Kralev. The Washington Times, 28 November 2001.

[lead sentence]   Iraq yesterday rejected a demand from President Bush that it allow weapons inspectors back into the country, but the United States sought to lower expectations that it will attack Iraq as part of its anti-terror military campaign.

News - 27 November 2001
Let UN team in or else, Bush warns Iraq
Duncan Campbell. The Guardian, 27 November 2001.

News - 26 November 2001
We Can Handle It
interview with George W. Bush. Newsweek, 3 December 2001.

Q: Do you think that Saddam Hussein is evil and that we should expand this to Iraq?
Bush: I think Saddam Hussein is up to no good. I think he's got weapons of mass destruction, and I think he needs to open up his country to let us inspect. I think he needs to be held accountable and needs to conform to the agreement he made years ago. That's what he ought to do. It's up to him to prove he's not. He's the one guy in recent history who has used weapons of mass destruction not only against his neighbor, Iran, but against people in his own country. He gassed them.
Q: Why wouldn't you say he's evil, then?
Bush: He ain't good.
Q: Why stop short of using the word?
Bush: I think maybe because you're trying to force me to say it, and I'm stubborn... He is evil. Saddam's evil.

Commentary - 25 November 2001
Gulf War II? Not a good idea
Arnaud de Borchgrave. UPI, 25 November 2001.
Posted on the Virtual New York Website.

[excerpt]  It doesn't come as a surprise that the U.S. would like to take its military campaign to Iraq, but it would be astonishing if it did so thinking it would have Arab or Turkish support. The crippling sanctions regime and continued air strikes against Iraq are a major issue in the Arab world, and a source of great resentment as the sanctions go into their second decade. U.S. policy in Iraq has given birth to strong anti-American sentiments in Arab capitals, and the current drive to draw a connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 is seen as contrived and flimsy. Unlike deposing Taliban, extending the military campaign to Iraq would be a decisive blow to any pretense of a coalition that included Arab allies. It would also put friendly Arab leaders like Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah under enormous local pressure to disassociate themselves from the expanding campaign.

News and Analysis - 24 November 2001
"Egypt launches crackdown on Islamists, even moderates"
Charles A. Radin. The Boston Globe, 24 November 2001.

[excerpt]  ...the struggle between secular politicians and Islamists - those who embrace the religion as the framework for political and economic as well as religious life - is far older and more nuanced than the late-20th-century battles between the state and terrorists. Islamic militancy dates to the earliest stirrings of modern Egyptian nationhood, and has produced many nonviolent social and political leaders, and the Islamist movement has had long periods of cooperation with the government as well as the better-known times of bloody conflict
The cycle turned violent again in the early 1990s as Islamic sentiments swelled in the region. An Islamic government rose to power in neighboring Sudan. An Islamist party won free elections in Algeria. Seasoned fighters who claimed to be holy warriors returned to Egypt after fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. Terrorism against tourism turned the Egyptian public and moderate Islamists against the extremists, and this - coupled with thousands of detentions and dozens of executions by the government - has, in the view of most observers, shattered Gema'a al-Islamiya and driven the members of Islamic Jihad underground or into exile. Mohammed Salah, who specializes in reporting on Islamist groups for the London-based Arabic newspaper Al Hayat, says the brotherhood remains very active despite the repression, but poses no threat either to the government of Egypt or to other countries. "The Muslim Brotherhood is very careful not to be involved in any kind of violence," Salah said. "They know the government is trying hard to accuse them, and they have very strong orders from above to stay away from it. The radical groups are a very different matter," he said. "The danger of the radicals is not to Egyptian society but to the world. We can look at Osama bin Laden and see that most of the people surrounding him are Egyptians." He said 40 to 50 leading members of Jihad are now with bin Laden, including Dr. Ayman al-Zawahri, who was part of the group that killed Sadat and is thought to be bin Laden's second-in-command.

Commentary - 22 November 2001
Pax Americana and Forced Reform of the World Aren't Coming
William Pfaff. International Herald Tribune, 22 November 2001.
Posted on the Common Dreams Website.

[excerpt]   America's success in Afghanistan feeds the ambition to escalate, nourishing the illusion that there is a final defeat to be inflicted on evil, with a happy ever-after. De-escalation is what rather is needed. It is needed for another realistic reason:  to preserve the domestic health of American society.

News and Analysis - 21 November 2001
"After Afghanistan: Where Bush Takes Global War on Terror Begins to Raise Some Unsettling Questions"
Patrick E. Tyler. New York Times, 21 November 2001.

[excerpt]   Deep reservations exist among allies in Europe, the Middle East and Russia over the advocacy by some Bush administration officials who want to expand military operations to other countries, especially by taking the next phase of the war to Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein...

News and Analysis - 20 November 2001
Beyond Osama: The Pentagon's Battle With Powell Heats Up
Jason Vest. The Village Voice, 20 November 2001.
Posted on

[excerpt]   Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon [is] increasingly seen by some as an asylum where a coterie of vengeful Cold War unilateralist relics plot a return to a forceful, Reaganesque Pax Americana, broadening the war to encompass military action against Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon--essentially fusing Israel's national security agenda with that of the United States. Taking point for this policy option has been deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz, backed by a so-called "cabal" that includes undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith, assistant secretaries Peter Rodman and J.D. Crouch, longtime Wolfowitz comrade-in-arms Richard Perle, members of the advisory Defense Policy Board Perle chairs and, less visibly, some hawkish brethren at the State Department who were forced on Powell early in the administration, including undersecretary of state John Bolton.

Commentary - 20 November 2001
Season of the War Party
Scott McConnell., 20 November 2001.

[excerpt]   So long as the administration's war aims were clearly related to the terror attack of September 11, it had little difficulty finding domestic support, or in finding allies around the world. But the surprisingly fast victory has brought the United States nearer to that fateful next step which will divide the anti-terrorist coalition into those who thought an anti-bin Laden police action necessary and appropriate and the real "War Party." The latter is a coalition of conservative journalists, lobbyists and government officials which was pushing hard for an American war against various Muslim regimes before 9-11, and which, since that date, has put all its efforts into expanding the American war beyond Afghanistan. One wonders whether President Bush would see it in America's interest to completely shatter the post World War II norms of international behavior.

News - 19 November 2001
"U.S. Publicly Accusing 5 Countries of Violating Germ-Weapons Treaty"
Judith Miller. New York Times, 19 November 2001.

[excerpt]   The United States has concluded that North Korea, Iraq and at least three other countries are developing germ weapons, and has decided to accuse them of violating a treaty they ratified banning such weapons, administration officials said this weekend. The others to be cited include Iran, Libya and Syria, the officials said. They said that Washington believes additional countries are also violating the treaty in secret, including some that are friendly with the United States, but that the administration is not prepared to identify them.

News - 19 November 2001
"Pentagon builds case to bomb Iraq"
Barbara Slavin. USA Today, 19 November 2001.

[excerpt]   Defense Department strategists are building a case for a massive bombing of Iraq as a new phase of President Bush's war against terrorism, congressional and Pentagon sources say. Pentagon officials say Iraq should be a target because it supports terrorism, is trying to build nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and has refused to admit U.N. weapons inspectors for nearly 3 years. Besides Iraq, Pentagon officials are eyeing al-Qa'eda operations in Somalia, Sudan, and South America. "The war on terrorism neither begins or ends with Afghanistan," Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said Sunday.

News - 15 November 2001
U.S. plans campaign to oust Saddam
GeoStrategy Direct, 15 November 2001.
Posted on Website.

[excerpt]  ...Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper...reported last week that the so-called "Rumsfeld Plan" calls for setting up a secular, pluralist, democratic Iraq and preserving Iraq's current borders after Saddam is ousted. The plan was said to have been discussed during Rumsfeld's trip to Ankara, Turkey, last month. The newspaper listed the main features of the plan: Iraq's territorial integrity will be preserved, and there will be no autonomous regions or federative structures within the country; All the various ethnic groups will be represented in the central government that is formed after Saddam's ouster, including Kurds and Turkmens; Turkey will enter northern Iraq and obtain a share of the oil at the Karkuk field. Business and foreign trade in Iraq will exceed $50 billion, a key benefit to Turkey.

News - 14 November 2001
"U.S. confirms new Iraqi deployments near Turkish border", 14 November 2001.

[excerpt]  Iraq has again amassed forces in the north in what could be an imminent confrontation with Kurdish separatists. Kurdish sources said Iraqi troops have been deployed near Kurdish autonomous areas near the Turkish border. They included a concentration of forces near Dohouk, Irbil, Mosul and Suleimaniya.

News - 14 November 2001
"U.S. eases pressure on Hizbullah", 14 November 2001.

[excerpt]  Administration sources said the State Department and the White House have agreed that significant pressure on Lebanon or Syria would divert from the military offensive in Afghanistan. The sources said Arab allies of the United States as well as France and Russia are opposed to a U.S. campaign against Hizbullah.
Publicly, administration officials said pressure would be increased on Beirut. "Lebanon's endeavors to shore up its economy and upgrade its integration into the world's economic globalization will be affected adversely if it fails to cooperate with the American demands," U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said. "This integration is a precondition for Lebanon to stay alive."

Commentary and Analysis - 13 November 2001
AFI Research (Richard M. Bennett Associates), 13 November 2001.

[excerpt] ...the only nation to have really benefited from the US led 'War on terrorism', the massive bombing campaign and a vast outlay of dollars, is President Putin's Russia. Not only do they now have a major foothold in northern Afghanistan, but carte blanche from the United States to suppress the Muslim rebels in Chechnya. Though it will be vehemently denied publicly, in private sources close to both the State Department and the Pentagon report a growing unease at an open-ended world wide commitment to fight terrorism which may benefit many of the nations cheering from the touchline, but not the main victim of international terrorism, the United States itself.
The success and timing of the Northern alliance 'blitzkrieg' in which large numbers of rather better maintained and modern Russian weapons were used... seems to have fitted in very nicely with President Putin's itinerary. Before his meeting with Bush, Putin may have pulled this serious ace from his sleeve. It's no secret that the Northern Alliance is backed mainly by Russia, while the American are actually on the Pakistani side - bringing Pushtuns into the government, possibly reinstating the king for a while. Russia was able to give a major boost to the Alliance, with a perfect timing and of course when Putin now sits down to talk with Bush, he'll have a lot more bargaining chips then he had just 48 hours ago.

News - 09 November 2001
"Lebanon Tells Bush Flat 'No' on Hizbullah's Prosecution" and "Lebanon-U.S. Standoff on Hizbullah Moves to High Gear"
Naharnet, 09 November 2001.

[excerpt]  Lebanon has formally told the Bush administration that it rejects the U.S. classification of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization and will not freeze any Party of God assets or bank accounts. The rejection was conveyed to U.S. ambassador Vincent Battle in two installments, first by Speaker Nabih Berri who announced parliament's veto and the second by Premier Rafik Hariri on behalf of the government.
Hariri is trying feverishly to promote a European intervention to stop the United States from punishing Lebanon for its defiance. Chirac is said to be in discord with Bush over listing Hizbullah and four major anti-Israel Palestinian groupings as terrorists. Reports from Paris said the French authorities refused to freeze any Hizbullah assets in France on the grounds Washington is able [sic] to prove that Hizbullah and the Palestinian factions are linked to the Sept. 11 assaults in New York and Washington. Hariri has scheduled a trip to Berlin for Wednesday to meet German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

News - 09 November 2001
Splits open in UK-US alliance
Ewen MacAskill and Richard Norton-Taylor. Guardian Unlimited, 09 November 2001.

[excerpt]  There is concern on both the military and diplomatic fronts over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the bombing strategy; perceived lack of US consultation with its allies; and insufficient US focus on the humanitarian crisis. The British government is also intent on opposing the expansion of the war beyond Afghanistan and is horrified at elements within the Pentagon pushing for an all-out assault on Iraq.
One British minister said that bombing Iraq would be catastrophic because women and children would be killed and the consequences for the US and Britain in the Arab world would be unimaginably dangerous. He warned that US and British embassies in the Arab world would have to close and British civilians would have to be advised to leave the area. He feared that moderate Arab regimes would be swept away.
The handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main source of dispute, with Downing Street and the Foreign Office worried that dithering in Washington in its handling of the peace process risks alienating Arab opinion, which is seen as crucial in the coalition against terrorism. ... Mr Blair suffered a rebuff yesterday when it emerged that Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, will not be making a long-heralded speech at the UN general assembly this weekend in support of the creation of a Palestinian state.

Analysis - 08 November 2001
Desperately but Deliberately, Turkey Joins Bush's War
Ertugrul Kurkcu. MERIP Press Information Notes #75, 08 November 2001.

[excerpt]  Politically, 80 percent of the Turkish public opposes the government's involvement in the "war on terrorism" and opposes sending troops to Afghanistan. But the Turkish government, after hesitating briefly, has decided to stand by its US ally. Ankara expects to assume the status of the "model secular regime" in the potential realignment of forces in the Islamic world, yet faces increased antipathy and even hatred in the Islamic world as it continues to forge a "strategic alliance" with Israel. Says Gulsema Dalgic, a researcher at Bogazici University: "If Turkey had not fought in the Korean War, it could not have been a NATO member.... A similar motive is behind today's decision to join the war in Afghanistan. The price will once again be paid in blood, but this time for membership in the EU."
Ankara expects to gain greater regional influence within the context of the war on terrorism, but remains deeply skeptical of its European allies' schemes for self-determination for the Kurds. The Turkish state fears the Kurds might gain further autonomy if the war expands in scope to encompass Iraq. The scenario that would turn Ankara's dreams of EU accession and financial bailouts into a nightmare is the extension of US operations "against terrorism" to include Iraq. The prospective territorial disintegration of Iraq under US attacks would inevitably draw Turkey into bitter conflict with its neighbors Iran and Syria, and with the near-autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Iraq.

News - 07 November 2001
"Indictment expected in hijackings"
Kevin Cullen. The Boston Globe, 07 November 2001.

[excerpt] Assistant FBI Director Barry W. Mawn said laboratory analysis has shown that the anthrax used in the deadly letters was produced in the United States.

News - 07 November 2001
"Bush says Al Qaeda seeks nuclear weapon"
Anne E Kornblut. The Boston Globe, 07 November 2001.

[excerpt] a speech transmitted by satellite to Eastern European leaders gathered for an antiterrorism conference in Warsaw [Bush said]: "We will not wait for the authors of mass murder to gain the weapons of mass destruction. We act now, because we must lift this dark threat from our age and save generations to come."
In his [upcoming] address to the UN General Assembly, Bush told the Warsaw summit, "I will set out my vision of our common responsibilities in the war on terror. I will put every nation on notice that those duties involve more than sympathy or words," he said. "No nation can be neutral in this conflict, because no civilized nation can be secure in a world threatened by terror."

Public Opinion - 06 November 2001
Americans on the War on Terrorism
College Park, MD: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland Program on International Policy Attitudes, 06 November 2001.

[excerpt]  A near-unanimous majority feels that it is important for the war on terrorism to be seen as an international effort, not just a US effort.
Only a small minority supports sending in US troops into Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein at this time. A majority would favor doing so after the war in Afghanistan is completed, but only with the support and participation of allies in the region and Europe.

Commentary - 05 November 2001
Watching the Warheads
Symour M Hersh. The New Yorker, 05 November 2001.

[excerpt]  Musharraf, under threat, is suspected by some officials in Washington and New Delhi of seeking to placate the fundamentalists by looking the other way during renewed terrorist attacks in the last month, allegedly sponsored by the I.S.I., on Indian targets in the disputed region of Kashmir.
Kashmir remains, as always, an issue that could spark a general war in South Asia. The Kashmiri dispute first veered close to nuclear confrontation in 1990. That spring, the American National Security Agency was monitoring what seemed to be yet another slowly escalating series of Pakistani and Indian attacks, when intercepts revealed that the Pakistani leadership had "panicked," as a senior intelligence official put it, at the prospect of a preemptive Indian strike and had readied its small arsenal of nuclear warheads. There was another scare in 1999, a year after both India and Pakistan successfully tested warheads. The situation was defused only with help from President Clinton. Conditions are no more stable now. Terrorists operating out of training camps believed to be armed and financed in part by the I.S.I. continue to hit Indian targets, while India is known to have conducted deep-penetration raids against terrorist camps in Pakistan.
A government expert on Pakistan's nuclear capabilities depicted the issue in strategic terms: "The United States has to look at a new doctrine. Our nuclear strategy has to incorporate the fact that we might have a nuclear-armed fundamentalist government in Pakistan. Even if we know where the weapons are now, it doesn't mean we'll know where they are if the fundamentalists take over. And after Pakistan it could be Iran and Iraq. These are countries that support state terrorism." Intelligence officials told me they believe that, in case of an imminent threat, the Indian military's special commando unit is preparing to make its own move on the Pakistani arsenal.

Commentary - 05 November 2001
The Turkey Card
William Safire. The New York Times, 05 November 2001.
Posted on the Commonwealth Institute Website.

[excerpt]  Get out of that celebrity- terrorist Afghan mindset. With the world dazed and everything in flux, seize the moment. I'd make a deal with Ankara right now to move across Turkey's border and annex the northern third of Iraq. Most of it is in Kurdish hands already, in our no-flight zone -- but the land to make part of Turkey is the oil field around Kirkuk that produces nearly half of Saddam Hussein's oil.

News - 03 November 2001
"U.S. Widens Net to Snare Terror Assets; Expands List"
Joseph Kahn and Patrick E. Tyler. The New York Times, 03 November 2001.

[excerpt]  The Bush administration imposed stringent financial sanctions today on the anti-Israeli organizations Hamas, Hezbollah and 20 other suspected terrorist groups, significantly broadening the campaign to seize terrorist assets beyond groups with links to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. An initial list of terrorists subject to the controls included Mr. bin Laden and Al Qaeda, as well as groups in the Philippines, Algeria, Pakistan, Egypt and Uzbekistan thought to have direct financial ties to Mr. bin Laden. With today's addition, eight other Arab organizations, three Colombian groups, the Real Irish Republican Army and the Basque group E.T.A. are among those hit with the same controls.
After the Sept. 11 attacks, pro-Israeli lobbyists and some members of Congress had pressed President Bush to use all the powers at his disposal to combat terrorists generally, not just those who are thought responsible for the assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have urged the administration to focus narrowly on Mr. bin Laden...

Commentary - 01 November 2001
Israel prevented atomic disaster in 1981
George Will., 01 November 2001.

[excerpt]  In spite of the secretary of state's coalition fetish, the administration understands the role of robust unilateralism. And neither lawyers citing "international law" nor diplomats invoking "world opinion" will prevent America from acting as Israel did, pre-emptively in self-defense.

News - 01 November 2001
Middle East, Kashmir Tests Unity Of Anti-Terror Coalition
Ron Synovitz. Radio Free Europe ö Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), 01 November 2001.

News - 01 November 2001
"Pak masses troops along border"
Times of India, 01 November 2001.

[lead sentence]  NEW DELHI: Pakistan has moved its strategic army reserves and armoured formations in a rapid buildup facing the Indian border in Akhnoor in Jammu and Kashmir and Ganganagar in Rajasthan, according to highly placed official sources here.

Analysis - 01 November 2001
AFI Research (Richard M. Bennett Associates).

[excerpt]  It is becoming increasingly likely that India has finally lost patience with Pakistan over Kashmir. The chances of New Delhi ordering a full-scale offensive before the winter has grown and although considerable Western diplomatic pressure will be exerted on the Indian Government to reign back on the military option, some analysts now believe the United States Government may not be too displeased if President Musharraf was given a bloody nose. The United States and at least one other militarily powerful Middle Eastern State are rumoured to have been in discussion to ensure that Pakistans nuclear capability would be quickly neutralized in the event of all-out war developing with India and to ensure that there would be no chance of terrorist groups obtaining usable nuclear technology from Islamic extremist supporters within Pakistans Military and Intelligence services.

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