Fwd: Iraq

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMhotmail.com
Thu Aug 26 05:02:44 MDT 1999

>North Korea Tries to Break Out of U.S. Box
>Jordan Floats Idea of Confederation with Syria and Lebanon
>Bishkek Declaration Responds to Chinese Concerns
>Global Intelligence Update
>August 26, 1999
>Iraq: The Leopard Changes His Spots, But Not His Stride
>Diplomatic sources in Amman, Jordan, have confirmed that Iraqi
>President Saddam Hussein has given new roles to his son, Qusay, and
>Iraqi Vice President Taha Yashin Ramadan.  While the moves may have
>been made due to Izzat Ibrahim's deteriorating health, there
>appears to be a deeper meaning.  Saddam has also replaced a number
>of ambassadors in an effort to present a new face to the
>international community.  The changes are likely cosmetic, aimed at
>repairing Iraq's international image so that the UN will lift
>economic sanctions.
>A report by the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat on
>August 22, citing diplomatic sources, confirmed an earlier report
>that Qusay Hussein, Saddam's son, has been appointed deputy
>commander of the Iraqi army and commander of the Northern Military
>Region.  The posts were previously held by Izzat Ibrahim, one of
>Saddam's most trusted aids.  Vice President Taha Yashin Ramadan
>took over Ibrahim's position as deputy chairman of the
>Revolutionary Command Council.
>Saddam may have divided up Ibrahim's posts due to his poor health.
>Ibrahim was rushed to Austria for emergency cancer treatment but
>had to flee before the treatment was administered.  Reports
>indicate that Ibrahim was about to be "Pinocheted," arrested for
>human rights abuses committed in his own country while abroad to
>receive medical attention.  Unwilling to face the international
>legal process, he fled.  At last report, he was at a Baghdad
>hospital continuing his cancer treatment.
>The attempt to present a new face to the world began with the
>appointment of a new Iraqi ambassador to the UN in February.  Since
>then, Iraq has moved to solidify support for lifting sanctions in
>the UN, working to enlist international investment in its oil
>infrastructure as soon as sanctions are lifted.  These changes were
>made in the hopes that the international community would discuss
>the Iraqi sanctions regime in a new light.  A light that shows
>Saddam is willing to share power.
>The UN Security Council is currently debating the future of
>sanctions against Iraq, which cost the country up to $20 billion
>annually.  [ http://www.stratfor.com/SERVICES/GIU/081799.ASP ].
>China and Russia want to immediately lift the sanctions without
>ensuring that the UN resurrect its monitoring of Baghdad's
>suspected weapons of mass destruction.  France has called for a
>similar plan but will likely support a token weapon monitoring
>team.  Both the U.S. and Britain have called for only a partial
>lifting of sanctions - after Iraq agrees to a reformed UN
>monitoring team.
>Saddam's maneuvers do not imply that he is preparing to retire to
>one of his many elegant palaces.  What they do imply, however, is
>that Saddam wants the sanctions lifted with him still in power
>while appearing to prepare a transition.  We do not believe he
>needs them lifted to export oil.  As we have said before, in almost
>every sense the sanctions are virtually irrelevant at this point
>[ http://www.stratfor.com/MEAF/commentary/m9908170057.htm ].
>Additionally, Iraq is currently pumping oil at close to its
>capacity, although the lifting of sanctions would allow Saddam to
>use the Saudi pipeline to increase exports.
>Saddam's goal in this apparent redistribution of power, and the
>real reason he wants sanctions lifted, is to be able to receive
>direct foreign investment.  He cannot do that with sanctions in
>place.  He needs them lifted in order to develop new wells and
>rebuild his military, whose conventional might has suffered since
>the 1991 Gulf War.  Many units are suffering for lack of spare
>parts.  Iraqi armored divisions have been slashed in their
>effectiveness.  And the daily battering by the U.S. Air Force -
>while lacking any larger strategic impact - is taking its toll on
>the country's air defense network.
>The U.S. and Great Britain have held up the sanctions debate by
>continually underscoring Saddam's leadership.  Their argument,
>though, is increasingly falling on deaf ears in the international
>community.  European companies are regularly breaking the sanctions
>while black market trade allows Iraq to continue to export oil
>along both overland and Persian Gulf routes.
>Washington and London are in precarious positions.  They have
>essentially given up on UN-led arms regime inspections; Operation
>Desert Fox in December effectively ended the work of the United
>Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM).  The United States has
>taken half-hearted steps this year to increase enforcement of
>economic sanctions.  But even increased Maritime Intercept
>Operations (MIO) by Special Operations Forces and the U.S. Navy
>have yielded only moderate results.
>Instead of changing the nature of his government, Saddam is merely
>trying to undercut the final U.S. and British-led support for the
>final set of sanctions - the economic ones - in the hope of
>reviving his economy on a broader scale, and rebuilding his
>military might.

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