MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 

It's a crafty journalistic manuever sure to get the message 
out but in a way tied to the U.S. rather than just a blunt warning 
publicly declared by General/Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. 

One of Israel's best known military-affairs journalists raised
the battle cry today in Israel's  most prestigious daily,
Ha'aretz. If Iraq, or anyone else for that matter, causes any
serious blows to Israel, the 'Jewish State' might, indeed in all
likelihood will, unleash it's vast arsenal of nuclear weapons,
now  thought to be the fourth largest force in the world after
the US, Russia, and China. 

That same message was sent in another way earlier this year in 
fact when the three new submarines Germany built for Israel were
leaked to now be carrying nuclear-tipped missiles and deployed
ready-to-shoot, contrary to  all the assurances given to the
Germans in years now past. 

The whole world is moving closer to potential armageddon now,
propelled by the psychological aftermath of last 11 September and
all that  led up to that historic event in past decades. From the
sub-continent, where the Kashmir crisis could erupt, to Asia,
where the Taiwan crisis  looms, to the Middle East and its vast
oilfields and immense tensions created  by Israel's military
occupation of the Palestinian people; the world may now  be on
the edge of catastrophy. 

'If Attacked, Israel Might Nuke Iraq' 

By Ze'ev Schiff Ha'aretz - August 15, 2002: 

If Iraq strikes at Israel with non-conventional weapons, causing
massive casualties among  the civilian population, Israel could
respond with a nuclear retaliation that  would eradicate Iraq as
a country. This grave assessment, from  American intelligence,
was presented last week to the U.S. Senate Foreign  Relations
Committee. During the 1991 Gulf War, then U.S. defense secretary
Richard Cheney, now vice-president, told CNN that Israel could
respond with nuclear  weapons to an Iraqi strike that included
the use of chemical weapons. This  assessment has only been
strengthened since then, because according to all the signs, Iraq
now has biological weapons that could cause mass  casualties.
According to one assessment, military-grade biological  weapons
can be almost as lethal as a nuclear bomb. The U.S. intelligence
assessments include an analysis of possible Israeli responses.

The lowest probability is that Israel would respond initially
with a conventional military retaliation if it is slightly
harmed, and  would add a warning that a non-conventional response
was possible if the Iraqi attacks on the Israeli civilian
population continued. The possibility of Israel using nuclear
weapons against Iraq  appears in a document submitted by military
expert Dr. Anthony Cordesman, a  fellow at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies, to the Senate 

Foreign Relations Committee. Presumably, the document is based, in  part,
on official administration assessments. In the worst case
scenario, writes Cordesman, Israel could face an existential
threat to important urban areas such as Tel Aviv or Haifa. Under
such conditions, it would threaten nuclear retaliation against 
Iraqi cities and military forces to cease the [Iraqi] attack. 

If the Iraqi attack were to continue, and there was a lethal 
biological strike on an Israeli city, Israel would certainly
respond with  nuclear strikes against Iraqi cities that were not
yet in the hands of  American forces, Cordesman says. Such an
Israeli reaction could destroy  Iraq as a state. Based on this
assessment and the possibility of an Israeli  retaliation in the
event of an Iraqi strike, it is presumed that the United States 
will, at the earliest stages, make a special effort to neutralize
any  possible use of Scud and El Hussein rockets that Iraq
positions in its western  regions, as it did in the Gulf War, for
a more convenient launching site for  attacks against Israel.
During discussions in Washington, Israeli  representatives asked
the United States to take action against the missiles in western

The Americans know that Iraq is not depending only on  long-range
missiles in its plans for using chemical or biological weapons
against its  enemies, including Israel. 
As part of its preparations, Iraq has also been  working on
developing pilotless planes. Unlike the usual development of
drones used primarily for intelligence gathering purposes, the
Iraqis are working on normal-sized planes loaded with chemical or
biological weapons and intended to be flown by remote control.
They are working on an Eastern  European training plane and on a
version of the MiG-21. Both planes have  been tested.
MiD-EasT RealitieS - http://www.MiddleEast.Org 

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Allies deliberately poisoned Iraq 
public water supply in Gulf War 

By Felicity Arbuthnot (9-24-2000)
[Emperor's Clothes]

[From: 'Sunday Herald' (Scotland), September 17, 2000. For fair use only]

The US-led allied forces deliberately destroyed Iraq's water supply during the Gulf War - flagrantly breaking the Geneva Convention and causing thousands of civilian deaths. 

Since the war ended in 1991 the allied nations have made sure than any attempts to make contaminated water safe have been thwarted. 

A respected American professor now intends to convene expert hearings in a bid to pursue criminal indictments under international law against those responsible. 

Professor Thomas J Nagy, Professor of Expert Systems at George Washington University with a doctoral fellowship in public health, told the Sunday Herald: "Those who saw nothing wrong in producing this plan , those who ordered its production and those who knew about it and have remained silent for 10 years would seem to be in violation of Federal Statute and perhaps have even conspired to commit genocide." 

Professor Nagy obtained a minutely detailed seven-page document prepared by the US Defence Intelligence Agency, issued the day after the war started, entitled Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities and circulated to all major allied Commands. 

It states that Iraq had gone to considerable trouble to provide a supply of pure water to its population. It had to depend on importing specialised equipment and purification chemicals, since water is ''heavily mineralised and frequently brackish". 

The report stated: "Failing to secure supplies will result in a shortage of pure drinking water for much of the population. This could lead to increased incidents, if not epidemics, of disease and certain pure-water dependent industries becoming incapacitated " 

The report concludes: "Full degradation of the water treatment system probably will take at least another six months." 

During allied bombing campaigns on Iraq the country's eight multi-purpose dams had been repeatedly hit, simultaneously wrecking flood control, municipal and industrial water storage, irrigation and hydroelectric power. Four of seven major pumping stations were destroyed, as were 31 municipal water and sewerage facilities - 20 in Baghdad, resulting in sewage pouring into the Tigris. Water purification plants were incapacitated throughout Iraq. 

Article 54 of the Geneva Convention states: "It is prohibited to attack, destroy or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population" and includes foodstuffs, livestock and "drinking water supplies and irrigation works". 

The results of the allied bombing campaign were obvious when Dr David Levenson visited Iraq immediately after the Gulf War, on behalf of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. 

He said: "For many weeks people in Baghdad - without television, radio, or newspapers to warn them - brought their drinking water from the Tigris, in buckets. 

"Dehydrated from nausea and diarrhoea, craving liquids, they drank more of the water that made them sick in the first place." 

Water-borne diseases in Iraq today are both endemic and epidemic. They include typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis, cholera and polio (which had previously been eradicated), along with a litany of others. 

A child with dysentery in 1990 had a one in 600 chance of dying - in 1999 it was one in 50. 

The then US Navy Secretary John Lehman estimated that 200,000 Iraqis died in the Gulf War. Dr Levenson estimates many thousands died from polluted water. 

Chlorine and essential equipment parts needed to repair and clear the water system have been banned from entering the country under the UN "hold"system. 

Ohio Democrat Representative Tony Hall has written to American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, saying he shares concerns expressed by Unicef about the "profound effects the deterioration of Iraq's water supply and sanitation systems on children's health". Diarrhoeal diseases he says are of "epidemic proportions" and are "the prime killer of children under five". 

"Holds on contracts for water and sanitation are a prime reason for the increase in sickness and death." Of 18 contracts, wrote Hall, all but one on hold were placed by the government in the US. 

Contracts were for purification chemicals, chlorinators, chemical dosing pumps, water tankers and other water industry related items. 

"If water remains undrinkable, diseases will continue and mortality rates will rise," said the Iraqi trade minister Muhammed Mahdi Salah. The country's health ministry said that more than 10,000 people died in July of embargo -related causes - 7457 were children, with diarrhoeal diseases one of the prime conditions. 

In July 1989, the figure was 378. Unicef does not dispute the figures. 

The problem will not be helped by plans for the giant Ilisu Dam project (to which the British government is to give £200 million in export credit guarantees), which will give Turkey entire control of the water flow to Iraq and Syria. 

Constructors Balfour Beatty write in their environmental impact report, that for the three years of construction, water flow to Iraq will be reduced by 40%. Iraq has also suffered a three year drought, with the Tigris the lowest in living memory.

[Emperor's Clothes]
The Future of  Babylon
Behalve mensenlevens, zal de oorlog in Irak ook veel archeologische vindplaatsen verwoesten. In het voormalige Mesopotamië zijn officieel zo’n tienduizend opgravingslocaties, maar volgens de Amerikaanse archeoloog McGuire Gibson is er op honderdduizenden plaatsen in het Irakese zand iets te vinden. Militairen die zich veilig ingraven in een heuveltje? Grote kans dat ze dan een graf of nederzetting vernietigen.
<>De toekomst van Babylon  Irakese archeologie bedreigd
vrijdag 21 maart 2003
Een kruisraket op de piramide van Gizeh, of op de sfinx – dat zou de wereld verschrikkelijk vinden. “Maar mensen begrijpen niet dat de monumenten van Irak veel belangrijker zijn voor het werelderfgoed dan die van Egypte. Heel Irak is één grote archeologische vindplaats, waar zesduizend jaar geleden de vroegste beschavingen werden gesticht.” McGuire Gibson is als de dood voor de gevolgen van de oorlog in het gebied van de Tigris en de Eufraat. De archeoloog van de Universiteit van Chicago schrijft in het (Amerikaanse) vakblad Science te vrezen voor de resten van legendarische steden als Babylon, Niniveh en Ur. Die resten kent hij zelf al sinds 1964, toen hij voor de eerste keer in Irak werkte.
“Afgezet tegen menselijk lijden lijken materiële zaken van minder belang, maar de bakermat van de westerse beschaving wordt ook bedreigd,” stelt Gibson. De Soemeriërs, Assyriërs en Babyloniërs stichtten niet alleen de eerste steden, maar maakten met de uitvinding van het schrift ook een einde aan het prehistorie. Ze verrichtten als het ware pionierswerk dat duidelijk maakte hoe grote groepen mensen samen kunnen leven. Via opgeschreven wetten bijvoorbeeld, en vastgelegde rechten en plichten.
Dat ‘voorbeeld’ voor de maatschappij van nu dreigt voorgoed verloren te gaan, vreest Gibson. Tot de eerste Golfoorlog van 1991 was het archeologisch onderzoek in Irak volgens hem goed georganiseerd. Vlak na de stichting van Irak, begin jaren twintig van de vorige eeuw, kwam er al een ‘Departement van Antiquiteiten’ die zich met de historische resten in het zand ging bezighouden. In binnen- en buitenland werden mensen opgeleid, er kwamen musea met duizenden personeelsleden, en de opgravingsplaatsen werden door honderden bewakers beschermd. Dat was afdoende, want indertijd werd er amper illegaal opgegraven of gesmokkeld.
De Golfoorlog en het economische embargo tegen Irak dat volgde, heeft dat gunstige archeologisch klimaat verwoest. De bombardementen op steden van twaalf jaar geleden beschadigde musea, die – als ze niet waren verbrand – ook geplunderd werden. Een paar duizend voorwerpen zijn sindsdien spoorloos. Wat de gevolgen van de strijd in de woestijn zijn geweest, is onduidelijk, omdat het embargo onderzoek verhinderde. Wat wel duidelijk is, is dat de smokkel van antieke kunst een hoge vlucht genomen heeft. Het Departement van Antiquiteiten is volgens Gibson zo goed als ontmanteld, net als de bewaking van de vindplaatsen.
De smokkel van illegaal opgegraven voorwerpen werd haast een industrie, schrijft Gibson. Begonnen uit nood vanwege honger, bleek het buitenland erg veel interesse in de spullen te hebben. Vooral kleitabletten met inscripties in spijkerschrift zijn populair, maar ook beelden, sierraden en cilindervormige zegels. Af en toe wordt een vrachtwagen vol smokkelwaar aan de grens onderschept, maar de kunstwereld is gespannen, aldus Gibson. “Het aanbod van objecten is zo groot dat een verzamelaar in New York opmerkte dat ‘dit het gouden tijdperk voor verzamelen is’.”
Officieel is pas zo’n vijftien procent van het oppervlak van Irak op archeologische resten onderzocht. Daar zijn nu pakweg tienduizend vindplaatsen, en volgens Gibson is het ‘redelijk’ om aan te nemen dat er in de rest van het land nog ‘honderdduizenden’ andere interessante plaatsen zijn. “Legers zoeken hoge grond om zich in in te graven, maar in Zuid-Irak is bijna elke heuvel een archeologische vindplaats.” Dat heeft hij samen met enkele collega’s eind januari ook verteld aan de Amerikaanse overheid. De archeologen overhandigden daarbij een lijst van de locaties van vierduizend bekende vindplaatsen. Ambtenaren antwoordden dat er al zo’n lijst binnen het ministerie circuleert, en dat de vindplaatsen ‘bekend worden gemaakt aan de mensen die de precieze beschietingsdoelen vaststellen,’ rapporteerde de Chicago Tribune.
Marc Koenen
McGuire Gibson: Fate of Iraqi Archaeology. In: Science, vol. 299, p. 1848 (21 maart 2003)

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