Hi, Two messages today...a head's up on what will be a huge story (interfering with U.S. war plans) around the world, that MAY even break into serious visibility in the U.S., and another in our series of book interviews that we are periodically sending, to let you know about excellent new titles (this one by Milan Rai called War Plan Iraq).
First, when the massive pile of documents from Iraq appeared, in photos, in the paper, and the U.S. immediately pulled out all stops to get first access, to shut down wide dissemination, etc. -- the smart money said that buried in the morass there would be evidence of U.S. (and European) culpability in aiding the Iraqi weapons programs, dating back to before the Gulf War, but covering the period of Hussein's rise and his worst crimes, etc. And lo and below...to be reported in tomorow's Die Tageszeitung (Berlin daily), here is a list of US corporations that alegedly supplied Iraq with nuclear, chemical, biological, and missile technology, prior to 1991. The list comes, it seems, from the original Iraqi report to the Security Council. This is a big breaking story in Europe - read the clip from this morning's Independent (London) below the list. --- U.S. corporations involved... A - nuclear K - chemical B - biological R - rockets (missiles) 1) Honeywell (R,K) 2) Spektra Physics (K) 3) Semetex (R) 4) TI Coating (A,K) 5) UNISYS (A,K) 6) Sperry Corp. (R,K) 7) Tektronix (R,A) 8) Rockwell )(K) 9) Leybold Vacuum Systems (A) 10) Finnigan-MAT-US (A) 11) Hewlett Packard (A.R,K) 12) Dupont (A) 13) Eastman Kodak (R) 14) American Type Culture Collection (B) 15) Alcolac International (C) 16) Consarc (A) 17) Carl Zeis -U.Ss (K) 18) Cerberus (LTD) (A) 19) Electronic Assiciates (R) 20) International Computer Systems 21) Bechtel (K) 22) EZ Logic Data Systems,Inc. (R) 23) Canberra Industries Inc. (A) 24) Axel Electronics Inc. (A) Additionally to these 24 companies based in the US, are nearly 50 subsidiaries of foreign enterprises whose arms co-operation with Iraq seems to have been operated from the US. In addition, Ministries for defense, energy, trade, and agriculture, as well as the foremost U.S. nuclear weapons laboratories at Lawrence Livermore. Los Alamos, and Sandia, are designated as suppliers for the Iraqi arms programs for A, B, and C-weapons as well as for rockets. Here is the report from this morning's Independent, in London... Leaked Report Says German and US Firms Supplied Arms to Saddam By Tony Paterson The Independent (UK) Baghdad's uncensored report to UN names Western companies alleged to have developed its weapons of mass destruction. Wednesday, 18 December, 2002 Iraq's 11,000-page report to the UN Security Council lists 150 foreign companies, including some from America, Britain, Germany and France, that supported Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programme, a German newspaper said yesterday. Berlin's left-wing Die Tageszeitung newspaper said it had seen a copy of the original Iraqi dossier which was vetted for sensitive information by US officials before being handed to the five permanent Security Council members two weeks ago. An edited version was passed to the remaining 10 members of the Security Council last night. British officials said the list of companies appeared to be accurate. Eighty German firms and 24 US companies are reported to have supplied Iraq with equipment and know-how for its weapons programmes from 1975 onwards and in some cases support for Baghdad's conventional arms programme had continued until last year. It is not known who leaked the report, but it could have come from Iraq. Baghdad is keen to embarrass the US and its allies by showing the close involvement of US, German, British and French firms in helping Iraq develop its weapons of mass destruction when the country was a bulwark against the much feared spread of Iranian revolutionary fervour to the Arab world. The list contained the names of long-established German firms such as Siemens as well as US multi-nationals. With government approval, Siemens exported machines used to eliminate kidney stones which have a "dual use" high precision switch used to detonate nuclear bombs. Ten French companies were also named along with a number of Swiss and Chinese firms. The newspaper said a number of British companies were cited, but did not name them. "From about 1975 onwards, these companies are shown to have supplied entire complexes, building elements, basic materials and technical know-how for Saddam Hussein's programme to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction," the newspaper said. "They also supplied rockets and complete conventional weapons systems," it added. The five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China -- have repeatedly opposed revealing the extent of foreign companies' involvement, although a mass of relevant information was collected by UN weapons inspectors who visited the country between 1991 and 1998. The UN claims that publishing the extent of the companies' involvement in Iraq would jeopardise necessary co-operation with such firms. German involvement outstripped that of all the other countries put together, the paper said. During the period to 1991, the German authoritiespermitted weapons co-operation with Iraq and in some cases "actively encouraged" it, according to the newspaper which cited German assistance allegedly given to Iraq for the development of poison gas used in the 1988 massacre of Kurds in northern Iraq. It said that after the massacre America reduced its military co-operation with Iraq but German firms continued their activities until the Gulf War. Die Tageszeitung quoted sources close to the US Vice President, Dick Cheney, as saying the Bush administration was hoping to prove a German company was continuing to co-operate with the Iraqi regime over the supply of equipment allegedly useful in the construction of weapons of mass destruction. American weapons experts have recently voiced concern that the German Government has permitted Siemens to sell Baghdad at least eight sophisticated medical machines which contain devices that are vital for nuclear weapons. The machines, known as "lithotripters", use ultrasound to destroy kidney stones in patients. However, each machine contains an electronic switch that can be used as a detonator in an atomic bomb, according to US experts. Iraq was reported to have requested an extra 120 switches as "spare parts" during the initial transaction. The delivery of the machines was approved by the European Commission and the UN because sanctions against Iraq do not apply to medical equipment. Siemens and the German Government have insisted that the machines, which are being used in northern Iraq under a World Health Organisation programme, cannot be used to make nuclear weapons. -------- Also, here is a brief interview for your pleasure/edification with Milan Rai, in ZNet's usual manner, regarding his new book, published by Verso... Interviewing Milan Rai War Plan Iraq http://versobooks.com/books/nopqrs/r-titles/rai_m_iraq.shtml 1) Can you tell ZNet, please, what your new book is about? What is it trying to communicate? War Plan Iraq tries to explain and document how the US has been hostile to both UN weapons inspectors and to real regime change in Iraq. It also sets out reasons why a war on Iraq would be immoral and illegal, including the likely catastrophic effects on the civilian population. The book is intended to give anti-war activists the ammunition they need to win the argument and persuade the uncommitted. Recent history demonstrates that the US has tried to achieve 'regime stabilisation and only leadership change' in Iraq (by denying support to the uprisings in 1991, for example), and has prioritised these goals over the disarmament/inspection process in Iraq (by collapsing the UN weapons inspection process in December 1998, for example). The idea of the book was that it should be possible to give it to someone who is solidly pro-war and for them not to be able to immediately reject it, but be forced to engage with the depth of documentation and the sober presentation. Very important to the book are anti-war observations by relatives of September 11th victims <www.peacefultomorrows.org, and images and photographs of young Iraqis by artist Emily Johns and professional photographer Kim Weston-Arnold, as well as an important chapter addressing 9/11 by Noam Chomsky. (2) Can you tell ZNet something about writing the book? Where does the content come from? What went into making the book what it is? The bulk of the book draws on four years of full-time anti-sanctions/anti-war campaigning as joint coordinator of Voices in the Wilderness UK, and fourteen years of writing and activism on these topics with ARROW (Active Resistance to the Roots of War). Quite a bit of the content comes from reading the British newspapers closely over the course of the last year. The idea of the images and photographs is to humanise the Iraqi people, who I have met, and found enormously hospitable on my four sanctions-breaking delegations to Iraq over the past four years. (3) What are your hopes for War Plan Iraq? What do you hope it will contribute or achieve, politically? Given the effort and aspirations you have for the book, what will you deem to be a success? What would leave you happy about the whole undertaking? What would leave you wondering if it was worth all the time and effort? What do I hope for War Plan Iraq? I hope that it will be a useful tool for the international anti-war movement (it is being translated into Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean) and that it will help to swing/shore up domestic opinion in the US and the UK against war. I hope that it will encourage and empower anti-war activists and persuade the uncommitted to raise their voices against war. I already feel that the book was worth all the effort, because it has already helped a lot of people to resist propaganda and to win arguments and to deepen their understanding of the depths of cynicism and brutality with which we are faced. I can't say that I am happy with the book and its effects, because I wish that there was some way that cultural efforts (books) and political efforts (organising civil disobedience and so on) could be sure of preventing mass destruction in Iraq. I'm glad people have found the book useful, including people like George Monbiot and Tariq Ali and Martin Thomas (our version of Michael Moore) and left-wing Labour MPs. In some tiny way the book is increasing the chances of survival of children in Iraq, that is its purpose and I have to be content with that. ===================================This message has been brought to you by ZNet (http://www.zmag.org). Visit our site for subscription options.