October 3, 2002

Defeating the U.S. War Plans Series #4: Facing Up to The MANY Consequences of War

Hello everyone

All hell is about to break loose and there is very little time left to prevent this horrific insanity.

May Peace Prevail on Earth...

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000


"War has always diminished our freedom. When our freedom has expanded, it has not come as a result of war or of anything the government has done but as a result of what citizens have done."

- Howard Zinn


"Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our Fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."

- Abraham Lincoln


CONTENTS

1. U.N. Credibility at Stake Over Iraq, Warn Diplomats
2. Making Connections
3. The President's Real Goal In Iraq
4. US MEDIA BEGINS PREPARING THE PUBLIC FOR MASS SLAUGHTER IN IRAQ
5. Agency disavows report on Iraq arms


TAKE ACTION

President Bush wants another war on Iraq. A huge number of Americans are passionately opposed to war, but if Bush can secure other countries' support, he will attack anyway. It's time to make your voice heard. More than 200,000 Americans have already joined our online petition opposing a war on Iraq. Now it's crucial for people worldwide to speak up too. We'll take your message to national and world leaders.

Speak up at http://www.moveon.org/nowarworld/

There is an October 26 National March to Stop the War Against Iraq being organized by volunteers from around the country who are handing out tens of thousands of flyers, putting up thousands of posters and organizing buses, vans and car caravans to come from their area. Check out their web site at http://www.internationalanswer.org for more details.

There is also a mass protests against the U.S. government planned for October 6
Details at http://www.notinourname.net

See also:

The Case For Regime Change
http://www.rense.com/general30/case.htm

WAR DOMINATES THE AGENDA
http://peace.moveon.org/r2.php3?r=154

Congress Overwhelmed With Anti-War Calls (AND MORE!)
http://www.voice4change.org

Black Day For Blair As Party Revolts
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/10.03B.black.blair.htm

Bush's Press Secretary: Administration Welcomes Hussein Assassination
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/10.03C.Assassination.htm

Did D.C. Police Go Too Far? Legal Experts Debate Legality of Mass Arrests
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/10.03D.dc.to.far.htm

Democratic Congressman Asserts Bush Would Mislead U.S. on Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/10.03F.mcdermott.htm

400,000 Protest Against War in UK
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/10.01E.400.000.uk.htm

Byrd Reveals US Shipments of Biological Weapons to Iraq
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/09.30A.byrd.wmd.htm

New Book; "War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know."
http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/09.30Ab.intv.wrp.htm




1.

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

Published on October 2, 2002 by Inter Press Service

U.N. Credibility at Stake Over Iraq, Warn Diplomats

by Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS - The credibility of the United Nations is being seriously undermined by a U.S. decision that may eventually lead to a unilateral military attack on Iraq, U.N. diplomats, U.S. academics and Middle East experts warn. ''This is a crucial test for the survival of the world body,'' laments a long-time Asian diplomat. ''The American determination to go it alone challenges the very foundation on which the world body was built,'' he adds.

U.S. President George W. Bush has threatened to go to war - with or without authorization by the Security Council, the only international body empowered to declare war or peace - unless Iraq lets U.N. weapons inspectors back into the country and abides by a number of resolutions the U.N. adopted after the 1990s Gulf War. The United States has introduced a new resolution in the Security Council that is widely believed to permit an invasion if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein does not meet U.S. demands. It has yet to be made public. If Bush does go to war unilaterally, say diplomats, the Security Council will be reduced to a politically impotent body. John Quigley, professor of international law at Ohio State University, says the United Nations risks becoming irrelevant no matter what it does.

''If the Security Council caves into American pressure to adopt a resolution that the United States can construe to authorize military action, it will have done what most members think improper, and will have facilitated mass killings of Iraqis by the United States,'' he told IPS. Quigley argues that the better course would be for the United Nations to decline to adopt a U.S.-drafted resolution. ''Only in that way can the organization maintain its integrity.'' Since the 191-member General Assembly - rather than the Security Council - really represents the will of the international community, Quigley says the Assembly should invoke the ''Uniting for Peace'' resolution of 1950, which allows the U.N.'s highest policy making body to recommend action by member states against another member state.

But because the international community overwhelmingly opposes military action against Iraq, the United States is not likely to risk that vote at the General Assembly, he says. As a result, the 15-member Security Council has been under heavy U.S. pressure for a resolution that will virtually give that country a ''blank check'' for a "regime change" in Iraq. So far, the United States is backed by only one other veto-wielding permanent member - Britain. The remaining three permanent members, France, China and Russia, have expressed strong reservations over the draft U.S.-sponsored resolution. France, a long-time American ally, said Monday that ''any action whose stated goal from the outset is regime change would be against international law and open the way to all sorts of abuses''. Of the 10 non-permanent members in the 15-member Security Council, the United States is expected to receive support from Norway, Bulgaria, Singapore, Colombia and Ireland.

The other five non-permanent members - Mexico, Mauritius, Cameroon, Guinea and Syria - are being heavily lobbied by the United States, mostly in their respective capitals. The United States needs nine positive votes to adopt a resolution in the Security Council but it also has to avoid any vetoes. The situation is ''fraught with dangerous implications extending far beyond the region,'' says former Indian ambassador Chinmaya Gharekhan, an adviser to one-time U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. ''Will the world witness the first authorized or unilateral use of force to topple a head of state?'', he asks. Naseer Aruri, chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts, said no one in the United States is considering the forthcoming war as a form of U.N. action under chapter seven of the body's charter, which authorizes the use of military force under the auspices of the Security Council.

''Instead, this is treated as an American war, or even a George W. Bush war. This is a profound challenge to the credibility of the U.N. system and to the office of the secretary-general,'' he told IPS. The United Nations, he argued, is increasingly seen as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy, ''if not indeed a tool in the hands of George Bush to help him divert public attention in the United States away from severe domestic problems to the issues of war and patriotism''. Aruri also said the General Assembly should convene under the 1950 "Uniting for Peace" resolution to consider sending a multinational force to Iraq to resolve the problem of disarmament for good. ''Anything short of taking drastic action to preserve the integrity of the United Nations will place the post-World War II system in great jeopardy,'' he added. Phyllis Bennis, Fellow of the Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies, said the U.S. effort to win support in the Security Council is already leading to the kind of over-the-top bribes and threats that characterized the run-up to the passage of resolution 678 authorizing war against Iraq in 1990.

At that time, she said, every impoverished country on the Security Council, including the former Zaire, Ethiopia and Colombia, was offered free or extra-cheap oil, courtesy of Saudi Arabia and the exiled Kuwaiti royals, orchestrated by the United States. Ethiopia and Colombia were also offered new arms packages, after years of being denied military aid, because of war and human rights violations, she added. The only two countries that voted against the 1990 resolution authorizing a war against Iraq were Cuba and Yemen. But minutes after Yemen said ''no'', the U.S. ambassador turned to the Yemeni diplomat in the Security Council chamber, and said: ''That will be the most expensive vote you would ever cast.'' Three days later, said Bennis, the U.S. cut its entire 70 million dollar aid budget to Yemen.




2.

From: "Virginia Heick" <vheick@netonecom.net>
Subject: Making Connections...
Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2002

"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. . . Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That's our problem."

- Howard Zinn

---

Global Military Expenditures 2002

Global military expenditures currently exceed $800 BILLION!

The top military spenders are:

United States $343.2 Billion
Russia* $60
China* $42
Japan $40.4
United Kingdom $34
Saudi Arabia $27.2
France $25.3
Germany $21
Brazil $17.9
India $15.6
Italy $15.5
South Korea $11.8

*Based on 2000 funding (most recent year available)

Global Priorities

For approximately 30% of Annual World Military Expenditures (~$810 billion), all of the following could be accomplished***:

o Eliminate Starvation and Malnutrition ($19 billion)
o Provide Shelter ($21 billion)
o Remove Landmines ($4 billion)
o Build Democracy ($3 billion)
o Eliminate Nuclear Weapons ($7 billion)
o Refugee Relief ($5 billion)
o Eliminate Illiteracy ($5 billion)
o Provide Clean, Safe Water ($10 billion)
o Provide Health Care and AIDS Control ($21 billion)
o Stop Deforestation ($7 billion)
o Prevent Global Warming ($8 billion)
o Stabilize Population ($10.5 billion)
o Prevent Acid Rain ($8 billion)
o Provide Clean, Safe Energy: Energy Efficiency ($33 billion), Renewable Energy ($17 billion)
o Stop Ozone Depletion ($5 billion)
o Prevent Soil Erosion ($24 billion)
o Retire Developing Nations Debt ($30 billion)

For more information, please visit: http://www.worldgame.org

Sources: Center for Defense Information, Council for a Livable World, International Institute for Strategic Studies, US State Department, US Central Intelligence Agency




3.

Sent by "Suzanne Clarke" <sjclarke@mindspring.com> on September 30, 2002

From: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/opinion/0902/29bookman.html

The President's Real Goal In Iraq

by JAY BOOKMAN

The official story on Iraq has never made sense. The connection that the Bush administration has tried to draw between Iraq and al-Qaida has always seemed contrived and artificial. In fact, it was hard to believe that smart people in the Bush administration would start a major war based on such flimsy evidence.

The pieces just didn't fit. Something else had to be going on; something was missing.

In recent days, those missing pieces have finally begun to fall into place. As it turns out, this is not really about Iraq. It is not about weapons of mass destruction, or terrorism, or Saddam, or U.N. resolutions.

This war, should it come, is intended to mark the official emergence of the United States as a full-fledged global empire, seizing sole responsibility and authority as planetary policeman. It would be the culmination of a plan 10 years or more in the making, carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination, even if it means becoming the "American imperialists" that our enemies always claimed we were.

Once that is understood, other mysteries solve themselves. For example, why does the administration seem unconcerned about an exit strategy from Iraq once Saddam is toppled?

Because we won't be leaving. Having conquered Iraq, the United States will create permanent military bases in that country from which to dominate the Middle East, including neighboring Iran.

In an interview Friday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld brushed aside that suggestion, noting that the United States does not covet other nations' territory. That may be true, but 57 years after World War II ended, we still have major bases in Germany and Japan. We will do the same in Iraq.

And why has the administration dismissed the option of containing and deterring Iraq, as we had the Soviet Union for 45 years? Because even if it worked, containment and deterrence would not allow the expansion of American power. Besides, they are beneath us as an empire. Rome did not stoop to containment; it conquered. And so should we.

Among the architects of this would-be American Empire are a group of brilliant and powerful people who now hold key positions in the Bush administration: They envision the creation and enforcement of what they call a worldwide "Pax Americana," or American peace. But so far, the American people have not appreciated the true extent of that ambition.

Part of it's laid out in the National Security Strategy, a document in which each administration outlines its approach to defending the country. The Bush administration plan, released Sept. 20, marks a significant departure from previous approaches, a change that it attributes largely to the attacks of Sept. 11.

To address the terrorism threat, the president's report lays out a newly aggressive military and foreign policy, embracing pre-emptive attack against perceived enemies. It speaks in blunt terms of what it calls "American internationalism," of ignoring international opinion if that suits U.S. interests. "The best defense is a good offense," the document asserts.

It dismisses deterrence as a Cold War relic and instead talks of "convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities."

In essence, it lays out a plan for permanent U.S. military and economic domination of every region on the globe, unfettered by international treaty or concern. And to make that plan a reality, it envisions a stark expansion of our global military presence.

"The United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia," the document warns, "as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. troops."

The report's repeated references to terrorism are misleading, however, because the approach of the new National Security Strategy was clearly not inspired by the events of Sept. 11. They can be found in much the same language in a report issued in September 2000 by the Project for the New American Century, a group of conservative interventionists outraged by the thought that the United States might be forfeiting its chance at a global empire.

"At no time in history has the international security order been as conducive to American interests and ideals," the report said. stated two years ago. "The challenge of this coming century is to preserve and enhance this 'American peace.' "

Familiar themes

Overall, that 2000 report reads like a blueprint for current Bush defense policy. Most of what it advocates, the Bush administration has tried to accomplish. For example, the project report urged the repudiation of the anti-ballistic missile treaty and a commitment to a global missile defense system. The administration has taken that course.

It recommended that to project sufficient power worldwide to enforce Pax Americana, the United States would have to increase defense spending from 3 percent of gross domestic product to as much as 3.8 percent. For next year, the Bush administration has requested a defense budget of $379 billion, almost exactly 3.8 percent of GDP.

It advocates the "transformation" of the U.S. military to meet its expanded obligations, including the cancellation of such outmoded defense programs as the Crusader artillery system. That's exactly the message being preached by Rumsfeld and others.

It urges the development of small nuclear warheads "required in targeting the very deep, underground hardened bunkers that are being built by many of our potential adversaries." This year the GOP-led U.S. House gave the Pentagon the green light to develop such a weapon, called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, while the Senate has so far balked.

That close tracking of recommendation with current policy is hardly surprising, given the current positions of the people who contributed to the 2000 report.

Paul Wolfowitz is now deputy defense secretary. John Bolton is undersecretary of state. Stephen Cambone is head of the Pentagon's Office of Program, Analysis and Evaluation. Eliot Cohen and Devon Cross are members of the Defense Policy Board, which advises Rumsfeld. I. Lewis Libby is chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the Defense Department.

'Constabulary duties'

Because they were still just private citizens in 2000, the authors of the project report could be more frank and less diplomatic than they were in drafting the National Security Strategy. Back in 2000, they clearly identified Iran, Iraq and North Korea as primary short-term targets, well before President Bush tagged them as the Axis of Evil. In their report, they criticize the fact that in war planning against North Korea and Iraq, "past Pentagon wargames have given little or no consideration to the force requirements necessary not only to defeat an attack but to remove these regimes from power."

To preserve the Pax Americana, the report says U.S. forces will be required to perform "constabulary duties" -- the United States acting as policeman of the world -- and says that such actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations."

To meet those responsibilities, and to ensure that no country dares to challenge the United States, the report advocates a much larger military presence spread over more of the globe, in addition to the roughly 130 nations in which U.S. troops are already deployed.

More specifically, they argue that we need permanent military bases in the Middle East, in Southeast Europe, in Latin America and in Southeast Asia, where no such bases now exist. That helps to explain another of the mysteries of our post-Sept. 11 reaction, in which the Bush administration rushed to install U.S. troops in Georgia and the Philippines, as well as our eagerness to send military advisers to assist in the civil war in Colombia.

The 2000 report directly acknowledges its debt to a still earlier document, drafted in 1992 by the Defense Department. That document had also envisioned the United States as a colossus astride the world, imposing its will and keeping world peace through military and economic power.

CLIP - read the rest at http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/opinion/0902/29bookman.html




4.

Sent by "Mark Graffis" <mgraffis@vitelcom.net>

From: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/sep2002/iraq-s28.shtml

US MEDIA BEGINS PREPARING THE PUBLIC FOR MASS SLAUGHTER IN IRAQ

28 September 2002

In the midst of the Bush administration's drumbeat for an invasion of Iraq, the government and the media have begun to prepare public opinion for a massive slaughter of innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as substantial American military casualties.

For the most part, both the Bush administration and the media have portrayed an invasion as a simple matter of taking out" Saddam Hussein and "liberating" a grateful Iraqi people. Such a feat, they maintain, will be accomplished with satellite-guided precision bombs destroying a few presidential palaces and bunkers, while leaving the general population largely unscathed.

A few retired senior military officers -- undoubtedly expressing deep misgivings within the Pentagon's uniformed command -- have attempted to throw cold water on this scenario, warning that the war could prove protracted and bloody. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee September 23, Gen. Joseph Hoar, who was the senior US commander in the Middle East after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, cautioned that US invaders could confront 100,000 Iraqi troops with thousands of artillery pieces defending Baghdad.

Affirming that US forces would ultimately conquer the city, Hoar continued: "But at what cost? And at what cost as the rest of the world watches while we bomb and have artillery rounds exploded in densely populated neighborhoods?"

In house-to-house fighting, he warned, "you could run through battalions a day at a time ... because of casualties," adding that such combat would resemble "the last 15 minutes of Saving Private Ryan."

Articles appearing in three of the most influential national US newspapers Friday took up the question of a "nightmare scenario" of urban warfare in Iraq. With the Bush administration preparing to launch the most powerful military machine on the face of the earth against a backward and relatively defenseless country, all three papers sounded a remarkably similar theme: if slaughter does take place, the blame will rest with the Iraqis.

A USA Today article based on sources in the Pentagon cited plans for a "lightening" war against Iraq involving massive air power, air-dropped troops seizing key facilities, and the wholesale surrender of the Iraqi military.

The article cautions, however: "It's possible that the Iraqi leadership would try to create the conditions for ... street-by-street gun battles."

The Washington Post similarly warns in its article: "Iraq's military likely would respond to a US invasion by attempting to lure American forces close to Baghdad and other large population centers, where Iraqi commanders believe their soldiers would be less vulnerable to air strikes and civilians would be more willing to fight for the government, according to senior government officials and diplomats here."

The idea that the Iraqi military is setting out "to create the conditions" for street fighting or "to lure American forces close to Baghdad" is curious, to say the least. The Bush administration is loudly demanding UN and congressional approval for an unprovoked "preemptive" invasion of Iraq for the purpose of overthrowing its government and assassinating its president. Clearly, such goals cannot be achieved without storming, occupying and subduing Baghdad and other major cities.

The Post claims that the danger of urban warfare arises from a new "strategy" that the Iraqi military devised based upon the experience of the 1991 Gulf War. "During that war, US ground forces were able to easily overrun Iraqi troops, whose trenches and bunkers provided little cover from American artillery and bombs," the article states. "Now Iraqi officials have indicated that they would fight a very different war by shielding their soldiers in cities and trying to draw US forces into high-risk urban warfare."

Iraq's generals would be criminally irresponsible if they placed their forces in the open desert so that they could be slaughtered from the air. But the principal change in strategy from the first Gulf war stems from Washington's military objectives. In 1991, the US war was conducted for the ostensible purpose of expelling Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The war now being prepared is aimed at conquering Iraq and establishing a US protectorate to rule that country and administer its oil wealth. Such a "regime change" is virtually inconceivable without urban warfare.

The story goes on to quote an unnamed diplomat as saying that the Iraqi army preferred to stay in the cities so that it "can mix with the civilian population." The diplomat added: "If soldiers start sniping from apartment buildings filled with people, what can the Americans do? They can't very well blow them up."

The obvious implication is that Iraq's military is prepared to use the population of Baghdad as "human shields," taking advantage of the Pentagon's supposed principled aversion to inflicting casualties on civilians.

Similar assertions were made in a column by Nicholas Kristof entitled "Fighting Street to Street" published in the New York Times on the same day. "American restraint is Iraq's ace going into the war," Kristof writes. "Iraq knows that the United States cannot bomb schools, mosques and residential neighborhoods, and so it has plenty of places to hide its army. In the last gulf war, we were able to destroy an enemy that was out in the open desert, but this time Iraq seems intent on a different approach."

The same theme was featured on that evening's NBC news report, with a former general warning that Saddam Hussein planned to deploy 15,000 crack Republican Guard troops for urban fighting in Baghdad, and a reporter predicting that such combat would unavoidably result in thousands of Iraqi deaths, military and civilian alike, as well as heavy US losses.

This is war propaganda, pure and simple. Those who write such lines know that they are turning reality inside out to further the predatory aims of the US government.

Who says that the US "cannot bomb schools, mosques and residential neighborhoods," or that if American units are fired upon from Baghdad apartment buildings, they won't just "blow them up"? Avoiding the slaughter of civilians at all costs is not part of the Pentagon's military doctrine; avoiding casualties among your own forces is.

Every major intervention by the US military has involved deliberate attacks on defenseless civilian populations. From the carpet-bombing of Hanoi to the My Lai massacre, the US waged a war in Vietnam that claimed the lives of two million people, most of them unarmed civilians.

In the 1989 invasion of Panama -- improbably cited by US officials as a model for the "regime change" they hope to accomplish in Iraq -- as many as 4,000 civilians were killed when the US bombed a crowded working class neighborhood.

In the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, thousands of civilians were killed and wounded. Targets included passenger trains, farming villages and non-military factories.

The last gulf war saw the targeting of a bomb shelter in the Baghdad district of Al-Amariya, killing 288 civilians, most of them women and children. And, the more recent invasion of Afghanistan has seen repeated war crimes against the civilian population.

There is little doubt that in the first days of an assault on Baghdad -- the best efforts of military censors notwithstanding -- images will be broadcast of distraught people digging for their loved ones through the rubble of apartment buildings demolished by US bombs or cannon fire.

The stories appearing in the press today are aimed at preparing for the horror and revulsion that will be felt in the US and around the world over the inevitable carnage that will accompany an invasion of Iraq. The press is seeking to convince people in advance that they should not believe what they will see with their own eyes -- the mass murder of Iraqi civilians by the US military.

When these killings take place, the coordinated line from the White House, the Pentagon and the media will be that it is Saddam Hussein's fault, not that of the US invaders. The civilians were killed because they were used as "human shields." Or, it was not US bombs at all, but a misfired Scud missile or Iraqi anti-aircraft shells that caused the devastation. Everyone knows that "American restraint" would not permit such atrocities, but "the Iraqis do not place the same value on human life as we do." These are the shop-worn and racist lies used in every war of aggression.

The media is deliberately misleading the public on every issue, from the real aims that are being pursued in the war buildup against Iraq -- oil, not "weapons of mass destruction" -- to the criminal methods that will be used to accomplish them. This campaign of lies and misinformation is the surest indication that the war that the Bush administration wants is aimed at benefiting only the ruling corporate elite at the expense of the vast majority of working people in America and all over the globe.




5.

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2002
From: Goldi <goldi316@ameritech.net>
Subject: Agency disavows report on Iraq arms

This is HEARTENING folks! This article is just one of MANY exposing the lies and manipulations of the Bush administration in trying to drum up support for their illegal and immoral war! The more exposure is given to this, the better the chance we have of averting the death and destruction of thousands of lives on BOTH sides of this conflict!

---

From: http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020927-500715.htm

Agency disavows report on Iraq arms

By Joseph Curl

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

September 27,2002

The International Atomic Energy Agency says that a report cited by President Bush as evidence that Iraq in 1998 was "six months away" from developing a nuclear weapon does not exist.

"There's never been a report like that issued from this agency," Mark Gwozdecky, the IAEA's chief spokesman, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

"We've never put a time frame on how long it might take Iraq to construct a nuclear weapon in 1998," said the spokesman of the agency charged with assessing Iraq's nuclear capability for the United Nations.

In a Sept. 7 news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr. Bush said: "I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied - finally denied access [in 1998], a report came out of the Atomic - the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon.

"I don't know what more evidence we need," said the president, defending his administration's case that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction.

The White House says Mr. Bush was referring to an earlier IAEA report.

"He's referring to 1991 there," said Deputy Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "In '91, there was a report saying that after the war they found out they were about six months away."

Mr. Gwozdecky said no such report was ever issued by the IAEA in 1991.

Many news agencies - including The Washington Times - reported Mr. Bush's Sept. 7 comments as referring to a 1998 IAEA report. The White House did not ask for a correction from The Times.

CLIP

"There are no indications that there remains in Iraq any physical capability for the production of weapon-usable nuclear material of any practical significance," IAEA Director-General Mohammed Elbaradei wrote in a report to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair on Sept. 7 cited an agency "report" declaring that satellite photography revealed the Iraqis had undertaken new construction at several nuclear-related sites. This week, the IAEA said no such report existed.

The IAEA also took issue with a Sept. 9 report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies - cited by the Bush administration - that concludes Saddam "could build a nuclear bomb within months if he were able to obtain fissile material."

"There is no evidence in our view that can be substantiated on Iraq's nuclear-weapons program. If anybody tells you they know the nuclear situation in Iraq right now, in the absence of four years of inspections, I would say that they're misleading you because there isn't solid evidence out there," Mr. Gwozdecky said.

"I don't know where they have determined that Iraq has retained this much weaponization capability because when we left in December '98 we had concluded that we had neutralized their nuclear-weapons program. We had confiscated their fissile material. We had destroyed all their key buildings and equipment," he said.

Mr. Gwozdecky said there is no evidence about Saddam's nuclear capability right now - either through his organization, other agencies or any government.







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