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Under UN Security Council Resolution 1441:
"You Iraqis are intelligent bastards."(Statement made by an UNSCOM staff member in 1997 to an Iraqi citizen during UN interviews with Iraq university staff.)
You'll find the agenda in Decision 5 in the list of 'full compliances' set out in United Nations Resolution 1441. Res. 1441 is the latest Security Council resolution spelling how Iraq is to be disarmed. Although largely ignored by the media, this demand is bold, threatening and quite explicit:
"--- AND PRIVATE ACCESS TO ALL OFFICIALS AND OTHER PERSONS WHOM UNMOVIC (Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) OR THE IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) WISH TO INTERVIEW IN THE MODE OR LOCATION OF UNMOVIC'S OR THE IAEA'S CHOICE PURSURANT TO ANY ASPECT OF THEIR MANDATES; FURTHER DECIDES THAT UNMOVIC AND THE IAEA MAY AT THEIR DISCRETION CONDUCT INTERVIEWS INSIDE OR OUTSIDE OF IRAQ, MAY FACILIATTE THE TRAVEL OF THOSE INTERVIEWED AND FAMILY MEMBERS OUTSIDE OF IRAQ, AND THAT, AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF UNMOVIC AND IAEA, SUCH INTERVIEWS MAY OCCUR WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF OBSERVERS FROM THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT..."
The initial three lines of the directive laid out in Decision 5 have been widely publicized:
"Iraq shall provide unimpeded, unconditional, unrestricted access to¦" etc.
Yet, oddly, the above noted passage which is completely new and on a higher order of intrusiveness, does not deserve a new sentence to point up its specialness.
Item 5 of 1441 is one of the most important, menacing specifications in the latest UN resolution against Iraq. Iraqis shudder over it. Indeed any sovereign nation should find it deeply troubling. Why? Because this clause gives the UN the right to "kidnap" any Iraqi, specifically highly trained Iraqi scientists. Those individuals who the UN inspectors seek to remove for interrogation are men and women who have at one time or other been employed in Iraq's defense industry. If you have doubts, read on. Under Decision 7, the fourth item reads
"UNMOVIC SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE PROVIDED BY IRAQ THE NAMES OF ALL PERSONNEL CURRENTLY AND FORMERLY ASSOCIATED WITH IRAQ'S CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR, AND BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAMS AND THE RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION FACILITIES."
These "names" are the pool from which inspectors would select those it decides to remove from Iraq for interrogation without the presence of government personnel. The U.S. and U.K. view such individuals as the remaining "weapons of mass destruction" still in Iraqi hands and which the Americans and British are determined to eliminate.
The UN inspections team (UNSCOM) headed by Richard Butler from 1991-1998, had sought-- unsuccessfully-- to interrogate Iraq's top scientists. Although UNSCOM personnel interviewed many researchers, Iraq had refused to submit the names or allow any interviews with a classified group. This infuriated the Americans and Richard Butler. In citing Iraq for non-cooperation during his tenure, Butler repeatedly referred to Iraq's continuing "capacity" to make weapons of mass destruction, even though it was reported that Iraq's military facilities had been rendered useless. Butler's "capacity" refers to the men and women who possess the training and brains to participate in potential weapons development, regardless of whether materials are available to them for their work. They may be geneticists and other biologists, chemists, industrial designers, aeronautical engineers, physicists, nuclear engineers and so forth.
Interviewing these scientists is no longer enough for the American administration which insisted on this item in the new U.N. resolution. America wants them ¦out, or otherwise eliminated. Thus the insertion of clause #5 specifically authorizing their removal-- "to interview in the mode or location of â€¦. choiceâ€¦ conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq. One country Kuwait--has already announced its readiness to provide a new home, financial support, new identities, protection, etc for such people. The assumption behind such an offer is that at least some of those removed would not return to Iraq. Doubtless other countries will be assigned (by the UN?) to make similar offers to the "kidnapped" Iraqis.
If one pauses to consider the implications of this demand, it becomes even more terrifying. When Mr. Blix says: "You. I want you. Come outside Iraq with me," what can one reply? The reference to accompanying family members suggests those removed would not return home. Moreover, one has to ask which family members would qualify to accompany the individual? Their elderly parents? Their married brother and his family. Their son in the army. Their father-in-law in the Party? Then, having been â€˜removed' for interrogation, would these people be permitted to return, if they wished? Who would decide that!?
Other questions arise. Suppose a scientist co-operated with the U.N. and offered whatever information the interrogators sought. After a successful debriefing, then what happens to the scientist? He or she would still possess "the capacity", would they not? Yet, that "capacity" is what the U.N. mandate must destroy. What is to be done with these people if they insist on returning home with their suspected "capacity to manufacture weapons"? Can you imagine the U.N. escorting them back to Baghdad? And into whose hands? The un-kidnapped scientists would naturally have to be debriefed by their own intelligence people, would they not? Could they be trusted at home after being interrogated outside? The entire concept is fraught with chilling scenarios. Equally frightening to the outcome of people being removed is the fate of Iraqis who may refuse to leave their country. Suppose a marked person, for ideological, nationalistic or personal reasons, refuses the UN demand? Will that constitute a flagrant violation of the resolution on Iraq's part? Will these individuals be removed against their will? And if a person is removed by force, what would be their fate? Some critics of US and UN policy are certain that any uncooperative scientists could be assassinated by their kidnappers. Given Washington and London's readiness to launch a military campaign against Iraq, a few scientists should be easily dispensed with. If more than a million children were killed by sanctions in the American effort to disarm Iraq, why not a handful of scientists who are in any case, redundant.
Copyright Baebara Nimri Aziz 2002. For fair use only/ pour usage équitable seulement .
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