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Decision Makers Remote Control


"A black man named Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light in 1923. He decided to find a way to save lives. If it weren't for Garrett everyone would be probably hurt every day. This meant he cared for safety, happiness of others. The lesson I learned is that Garrett Morgan saved lives by inventing the traffic light so people could know when to stop, go, or slow-down. I also learned that Garrett Morgan did not only do this for the blacks he also did this for the world." (Ferdinand Nunery, Jr.)

Right at this moment while you are reading this, on the crossroads all over the world milions of men, women and children are looking at the red light, waiting for the green one, a sign to run, to go to the other side, to the rest of the day, to the rest of their lifes, safely.


To illustrate the point, James Woolsey, former head of the CIA cited the case of the British monarch, Henry II.
"He did not give the order to murder Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but he went to the trouble of surrounding himself with people who would understand his intentions.
I do not know if Henry II gave a green light or a strong flash of a yellow light, but it was enough to eliminate the Archbishop,"
he said.    (Full text)

But, at the same time, somewhere in the darkness of his criminal mind, someone is also waiting for a "green light". Stopped by the "red light" of the national and international law, internationaly recognized human rights, solemny proclaimed charters and conventions and ethic codes, and above all, by the permanent threat of world's "big powers", their alliances, their arms and weapons, or at least by economic sanctions, someone is just waiting for "the green light" to start the aggression, the war, the killings, atrocities, and "ethnic cleansing" ( what a cute "green" euphemysm for the genocide!).

Usualy, it is a silent but clearly recognizable "green light", easy to deny afterwards, the day after, when it is to late to clearify "it was misunderstood as a green light".

There is always somebody who gave that "green light", but he is never goiing to appear at the International Criminal Tribunal. Just for a while the world shall remember them as the honest people of a good will, so "dissapointed" and even "sad" for being so "missunderstood".

There were even more "green lights" in the history of the secret diplomacy, there are some to come and I know this web page shall forever remain "under construction", but it's significant that the history of green lights in international relations keeps repeating itself: It always turned to be something as beckoning to a blind man. We experienced so many cases denied to be "the green light" but just "understood as a green light".

Robert Gelbard message to Milosevic 1998 is a cute "deja vu" of Baker's messages to Milosevic 1991. "Baker gave no "green light" to Milosevic and the army to attack Croatia and Slovenia, any more than he had given a "green light" to the two republics to secede. Nor did he give a "red light": he didn't say that aggressive action by Serbia or the Yugoslav army would provoke a Western military reaction. The failure of the United States to arrest the trend toward breakup and violence was not attributable to the messages conveyed. The failure was in the fact that the United States didn't, and probably couldn't, credibly threaten force to back up its objectives." Warren Zimmermann wrote In his Memoir of the Collapse of Yugoslavia.

" To Milosevic and (indirectly) the army, Baker made clear that the United States strongly opposed any use of force, intimidation, or incitement to violence that would block democratic change. Yugoslavia could not be held together at gunpoint. In his encounter with Milosevic -- the most contentious of the nine meetings -- Baker hammered the Serb leader on his human rights violations in Kosovo..."

But, Zimmermann aded, "The secretary of state's visit would undoubtedly have been more useful if he had come six months earlier. One major reason why he did not was that he had been fully preoccupied with preparations for the Gulf War. A great power should be able to handle more than one crisis at a time; in reality this is harder than it appears. Baker's approach was crafted at the State Department and the NSC. The Defense Department was not yet playing a role -- another indication that force options were simply not on the radar screen."

So, probably U.S. special Balkans envoy Robert Gelbard was also "fully preoccupied with preparations for the Gulf War" during his conversation with Milosevic (by the way, known as "a Balkan version of Saddam Hussein - but much smarter") who speaks good English and understood very well what was told.

Just trying to keep them from the world's oblivion, I collected and archived here the press clippings of "green light" cases of our recent history, of course, just those known so far.

Mario Profaca

Gravy train: Feeding the Pentagon by feeding Somalia

In early 1977, an anti-American faction within the Ethiopian military took over and Moscow sharply increased its arms aid to Addis Ababa, judging that Ethiopia was a far bigger prize than Somalia. President Carter cut U.S. aid to Ethiopia, citing human rights abuses, but moved to build ties to Somalia, telling his advisers that he wanted them "to move in every possible way to get Somalia to be our friend."<3>

In June 1977, Carter relayed a secret message to Barre, reportedly telling him that whatever he did in the Ogaden was his own business, but if he dropped his claims to Kenya and Djibouti, Washington would sympathetically consider his "legitimate" defensive needs. A few days later, Carter told the Somali ambassador that although the United States couldn't at that time provide military aid, Washington would encourage its allies to help Somalia maintain its defensive strength. The next month, Carter approved in principle a decision to cooperate with other countries in arming Somalia, and on July 25 the Somali ambassador was notified that the United States would provide weapons.<4> Not surprisingly, Barre took this as a green light to proceed with his invasion of the Ogaden.

(Full text)

Enter Baker

It was in the context of Milosevic's move against the Yugoslav presidency and its Croatian president-designate, Croatian actions against the jobs and property of Serbs in Croatia, growing violence between Serbs and Croats, and the threat by both Slovenia and Croatia to withdraw from Yugoslavia at midyear that Secretary of State James Baker arrived in Belgrade on June 21, 1991.

During his one-day visit Baker had nine consecutive meetings: with the Albanian leaders from Kosovo, with all six republican leaders, and twice with Yugoslav Prime Minister Ante Markovic and Foreign Minister Budimir Loncar. Listening to Baker deal with these complex and irascible personalities, I felt that I had rarely, if ever, heard a secretary of state make a more skillful or reasonable presentation. Baker's failure was due not to his message but to the fact that the different parts of Yugoslavia were on a collision course.

Baker expressed the American hope that Yugoslavia would hold together behind the reformist Markovic, who by that time was seen increasingly as a figurehead or, even worse, a fig leaf. Baker said that it was up to the people of Yugoslavia to determine their future governing structures; the United States would support any arrangement on which they could peacefully agree. Baker told Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Slovene President Milan Kucan that the United States would not encourage or support unilateral secession; he hoped they would not secede, but if they had to leave, he urged them to leave by negotiated agreement. He argued that self-determination cannot be unilateral but must be pursued by dialogue and peaceful means. To Milosevic and (indirectly) the army, Baker made clear that the United States strongly opposed any use of force, intimidation, or incitement to violence that would block democratic change. Yugoslavia could not be held together at gunpoint. In his encounter with Milosevic -- the most contentious of the nine meetings -- Baker hammered the Serb leader on his human rights violations in Kosovo, urged his acquiescence to a looser constitutional arrangement for Yugoslavia, and pressed him to stop destabilizing the Yugoslav presidency.

SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC Never was a green light given or implied to Milosevic or the army to invade the seceding republics, as has since been alleged in some press accounts. But was there a red light? Not as such, because the United States had given no consideration to using force to stop a Serbian/JNA attack on Slovenia or Croatia. Nor, at that point, had a single member of Congress, as far as I know, advocated the introduction of American military power. Baker did, however, leave a strong political message. He said to Prime Minister Markovic, a conduit to the army, "If you force the United States to choose between unity and democracy, we will always choose democracy."

Baker's message was the right one, but it came too late. If a mistake was made, it was that the secretary of state had not come six months earlier, a time that unfortunately coincided with the massive American preparations for the Persian Gulf War. By June 1991, Baker was making a last-ditch effort. Even so, it is not clear that an earlier visit by Baker would have made a difference. The aggressive nationalism emanating like noxious fumes from the leaders of Serbia and Croatia and their even more extreme advisers, officials, media manipulators, and allies had cast the die for disintegration and violence.

Foreign Affairs, Volume 74, Number 2
A Memoir of the Collapse of Yugoslavia
By Warren Zimmermann
Warren Zimmermann was Ambassador to Yugoslavia
from 1989 to 1992. He is now a Senior Consultant at RAND.
(Full text)

Unity or War
A Catastrophic Muddle
by Branka Magas

On the eve of the Slovenian and Croatian elections of April 1990, the State Department sent a cable to its ambassadors in Europe stating that it was up to the citizens of Yugoslavia to decide their form of government. This is precisely what the citizens went on to do. In reality, however, their choice had been rejected in advance, since Washington's preference for Yugoslav unity far outweighed its commitment to democracy. The 'instruction cable' contained also a warning to European governments that 'the elections might bring to power those advocating confederation and even dissolution', and that they should 'avoid actions that could encourage secession'. The maxim that democracy in Yugoslavia was welcome only if it served unity ensured that the electoral results first in Slovenia and Croatia and later in the rest of Yugoslavia would be qualified as anti-democratic and denounced as 'nationalism'. 'In bringing nationalism to power, the elections helped snuff out the very flame of democracy they had kindled', writes Zimmermann. Again: 'The paradox of the Yugoslav elections in 1990 [was that], in bringing democracy to birth, they helped to strangle it in its cradle'. In reality, of course, there was no paradox: it was not the elections that strangled Yugoslav democracy, but the JNA's use of force against democratically elected non-Communist governments. Zimmermann's description of Washington's warning as 'prophetic' would be much more credible if the cable had contained also information on the Army's intention to go to war. He omits to say that at the end of April 1990 the JNA high command had sent a secret order (unknown to all but the Serbian leaders) to the commanders of the military districts to disarm all the Yugoslav republics except for Serbia and Montenegro, by seizing their Territorial Defence weapons.

Following Markovic's debacle, the United States was left with no other policy but, as Zimmermann writes, to wait for Armageddon. And whereas it may be true that Washington never actually condoned the use of force against Slovenia and Croatia, its public and persistent disapproval of their moves towards independence, including the imposition in May 1991 of a unilateral US arms embargo, served only to confuse the Yugoslav actors. Each of them believed that the West had given them a mandate of sorts. The hapless Markovic, entrusted by the West with saving Yugoslavia, realized after the elections that this could be achieved only by force; but when he sought to make a deal with the JNA, he was warned by James Baker that: 'if [he] resorted to force, Markovic's support in the West would be threatened', since the JNA was 'not to be trusted'. Slovenia and Croatia, relying on Western advocacy of democracy, claimed their countries' independence in the name of a clearly expressed popular will. The JNA attacked them on the assumption that Washington's preference for Yugoslavia's unity gave it a green light. Serbia, whose armed expansion into Kosovo had been accepted and whose arming of Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina had provoked no international outcry, had no reason to think that, with the might of the JNA on its side, Greater Serbia was an unrealistic proposition. When Baker came to Belgrade 'armed with a statement committing all thirty-three countries [of the OSCE] to unity, reform, human rights, and a peaceful solution of the crisis' but nothing else, the Yugoslavs were left in no doubt that the United States would not use force to stop Serbia and the Army. The republics were left to fend for themselves as best as they might.

(Full text)

Yugoslavia : 1989-1996
Background: 1945-1989
by Warren Zimmermann

Secretary of State Baker visited Belgrade on June 21 to meet with Markovic and the six republican leaders. It was very late in the game; Slovenia's declared deadline for secession fell only a week after Baker's visit. The secretary of state's visit would undoubtedly have been more useful if he had come six months earlier.

One major reason why he did not was that he had been fully preoccupied with preparations for the Gulf War. A great power should be able to handle more than one crisis at a time; in reality this is harder than it appears. Baker's approach was crafted at the State Department and the NSC. The Defense Department was not yet playing a role--another indication that force options were simply not on the radar screen.

Baker's message, skillfully delivered, was entirely consistent with what the United States had been saying both publicly and privately all year. Baker urged the Croatian and Slovenian leaders to reconsider their decisions to secede. If they would not back down, he urged them to delay secession and to negotiate it with the Markovic government. To Milosevic he was sharply critical of the Serbian leader's oppression of the Albanians in Kosovo and of the effort to prevent a Croat from taking the normal succession as president of Yugoslavia. Baker made it clear that we would not support the use of force to hold Yugoslavia together. To Markovic (and indirectly to the Yugoslav army) he said that if the United States were compelled to choose between unity and democracy it would always choose democracy.

Croatian Mothers Appeal

Baker gave no "green light" to Milosevic and the army to attack Croatia and Slovenia, any more than he had given a "green light" to the two republics to secede. Nor did he give a "red light": he didn't say that aggressive action by Serbia or the Yugoslav army would provoke a Western military reaction. The failure of the United States to arrest the trend toward breakup and violence was not attributable to the messages conveyed. The failure was in the fact that the United States didn't, and probably couldn't, credibly threaten force to back up its objectives.

In public statements just after the Baker visit, the U.S. government left no doubt about the limits to its support of Yugoslav unity. A State Department statement of June 26 said that "the United States strongly opposes the use or threat of force." On the same day Baker himself said: "We will strongly oppose intimidation or the use of force." The next day Baker said that the United States "could support greater autonomy, some sort of sovereignty for the republics of Yugoslavia."

(Full text)

The U.S. Role In Catalyzing
And Sustaining Serbian Aggression

Presentation by
Bethesda, Maryland,
To Clinton-Gore Transition Team
at Little Rock, Arkansas,
on December 17, 1992.

One-sided US support for a centralized communist Yugoslavia encouraged this war from the outset. Secretary of State James Baker chastised both Slovenia and Croatia for their moves towards independence and flatly stated that a "cold welcome" awaited these republics if they left Yugoslavia. Just days before the invasion of Slovenia, in June, 1991, Baker visited Belgrade and assured its government that the US was committed to the "territorial integrity of Yugoslavia." The Belgrade government dominated by Serbian nationalists interpreted this message as a "green light" for the military invasion of the democracy-seeking secessionist republics. Immediately after this invasion, the administration expressed concern that Hungary, Romania, Greece, or Alabania could be drawn into the conflict, but that the US role in this explosive crisis would be only to advise and advocate the preservation of the unity of Yugoslavia.

From the outset, the US ceded leadership of the resolution of the Yugoslav crisis to the EC, but even having done so, the US shaped the framework in which the EC was to operate:
1) rejection of independent, democratic governments;
2) an arms embargo on both the heavily armed aggressor as well as the disarmed victims of aggression;
3) no US support for military intervention.

The intrinsic flaw of placing this crisis under EC guidance could have been anticipated from the beginning, since EC decisions required unanimous concensus, rendering the formulation of policy slow, inefficient, and ineffective. Despite the self-congratulations of the Europeans over their initial mediation efforts, Serbian aggression steadily escalated. Even when US denounced Serbia as the aggressor in September, 1991, the accompanying message was that America, finding no strategic interest, would not militarly intervene to stop the killing. At the same time, the EC also announced that it was not prepared for military intervention. Encouraged by announcemnets of no military intervention, Serbia further escalated attacks on civilians in Croatia. When, in November, 1991, the US joined the EC in economic sanctions against Serbia, President Bush expressed doubt that sanctions, including a proposed oil embargo, would end the war. The US, however, offered no further alternatives.

Larger geopolitical considerations may explain why the US from the outset favored the status quo of the communist regime in former Yugoslavia in preference to the support of the democratic aspirations of the majority of its people. At that time, three Baltic republics of the Soviet Union were also seeking independence. Gorbachev, seeing the dissolution of Yugoslavia as a precedent for the dissolution of the Soviet Union, vigorously opposed the secession of Slovenia and Croatia. Since detente with the Soviet Union was then an over-riding cncern of American policy, it was not surprising that the US supported Gorbachev in opposing independence bids in both the Soviet Union in 1991. The world changed quickly, but US policy remained unchanged, even as Serbia's indiscriminate attacks upon civilians escalated. Moreover, when the EC finally did achieve the delicate consensus to recognize the independence of Slovenia and Croatia, the US actively campaigned against recognition, undermining the European initiative. In November, 1991, the EC imposed economic sanctions on Yugoslavia, but in early December these were lifted on all republics except Serbia and Montenegro. Only days after the Europeans made their sanctions selective against the aggressors and removed snactions from the victims, the US imposed sanctions against all of Yugoslavia, in an action uncoordinated with the EC.

David Hoffman: "Baker Urges Yugoslavs to Keep Unity:
U.S. Would Not Recognize Independent Republics, Secretary Says,"
Washington Post, Washington, DC, June 22, 1991, p.A1.
John M. Goshko: "U.S. Opposes Using Force To Keep Yugoslavia United,"
Washington Post, Washington, DC,
June 27, 1991, p. A36.
(Full text)
at Zeljko Lupic's War against Croatia Page

Green light for more ethnic cleansing

Immediately after the Sarajevo Market Massacre, The National Council of Churches, which has been reticent in speaking out on Bosnia, wrote President Clinton praising "restraint" in the use of force. For two years, a civilian Muslim populace was "cleansed," with a kill rate (number of people killed per day as percentage of total population) that may equal that of WW2 Nazi occupation in Bosnia. The killing was carried out with a UN arms embargo against the victims, little effort to disarm the aggressors, in front of the largest military alliance in the history of humankind. The UN showed "restraint" by refusing to enforce some 30 resolutions forbidding shelling of civilians, abuse in detention camps, interference with food convoys, and attacks on safe havens. A language of complicity was developed, with half-truths (at best) such as "age-old ethnic antagonisms," "civil war," "blame on all sides" used to justify restraint in the face of genocide and interpreted (correctly) by the aggressors as a green light for more ethnic cleansing. After the Market Massacre, the United States and the UN ran out of restraint and enforced a resolution. The shelling of Sarajevo stopped.

American Academy of Religion: Bosnia
(Full text)


DECEMBER 11, 1996
1996 Congressional Hearings
Intelligence and Security

At a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on 11 December, the departing committee chairman, Sen. Arlen Spector, "was forceful and persistent in expressing his distaste for Mr. Lake's being chosen" for the position of Director of Central Intelligence.

"I am especially concerned about Mr. Lake's role in the issue of giving the green light for the Iranians to arm Bosnia," the senator stated.

Lewis, Neil A. "Key Senator Has 'Doubts' on Candidate for C.I.A. Job."
New York Times,
12 Dec. 1996, A18 (N).

SEN. SPECTER: Director Deutch, turning now to the issue of the transfer of Iranian arms to Bosnia under an arrangement made out -- made up with the State Department and the National Security Council, where they pursued the issue under the categorization of a "no instructions" policy, given by Ambassador Galbraith and Ambassador Redman to Croatian President Tudjman, which was identified by Ambassador Galbraith to Deputy Secretary Talbott as a "green light" or a "perceived green light," and these arms were made available to the Bosnians, which was in violation of the United Nations arms embargo and was done at a time when the Congress was considering, in very heated debate, whether to change the arms embargo, and the information about the "no instructions" policy or "perceived green light," which was arranged, as I say, between Mr. Talbott -- and Mr. Lake was involved as national security councilor -- was never told to the director of Central Intelligence, James Woolsey, who testified before this committee to that effect, nor was it told to Secretary of Defense Perry or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Shalikashvili, who imparted that information to Senator Kerrey and me.

The matter may not have received the kind of high-level attention that it would have under other circumstances, because there were many, including this senator, who thought that we ought to not have the arms embargo. And there was a question as to the seriousness of the situation and the importance of that arms flow to keep Bosnia on its feet, although the Defense Department has said that that really wasn't so.

But a central issue, aside from some of the very broad policy ramifications of not telling Congress, involved the executive branch policy of not informing the CIA director. My first question to you is, do you agree with former Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey that the Central Intelligence Agency should have been told by Mr. Talbott and Mr. Lake that the United States had given this perceived green light that Iranian arms could be transmitted to Bosnia through Croatia?

MR. DEUTCH: Mr. Chairman, I think I have already testified on numerous occasions that I believe that in situations like this, that the director of central intelligence and the secretary of defense should be informed. So there's not a question in my mind that I believe that in such a matter the secretary of defense and the director of central intelligence should be informed.

In this particular case I don't know what all the different views are, but it's my understanding that there is a difference in view about whether the director of central intelligence actually was told and when he was told, Jim Woolsey at that time, by Undersecretary Talbott. But let me make it clear that under -- in general circumstances like occurred here, in my view the director of central intelligence and the secretary of state -- secretary of defense should be informed.

SEN. SPECTER: Well, Mr. Woolsey was emphatic that he was not told. Mr. Talbott testified that there was a miscommunication. But it is plain that the Intelligence Committee was not informed. And it is also plain that the Congress was not informed. When I say the Intelligence Committee was not informed, the Intelligence Committee was not informed that the United States had this no-instructions policy for the communication by Galbraith and Redman, Ambassador Galbraith and Ambassador Redman to President Tudjman, which was a perceived green light, nor was the Intelligence Committee informed that Ambassador Galbraith had contacts with the CIA to try to have the CIA carry out some of this policy.
Now, I notice your -- a quizzical look on your face. Do you want to comment about that?

MR. DEUTCH: Well, I'm trying -- what is worrying me is we've had this discussion before. I've forgotten whether we did it in open session or in closed session. But I want to make a point --

SEN. SPECTER: We have not had this discussion in open session.

MR. DEUTCH: Okay. Well, let --

SEN. SPECTER: We had a number of witnesses in. But since this was not on your watch, we have not put this on the record with you.

MR. DEUTCH: Right. But let me be clear about something. It is my judgment that the -- this event was not an intelligence matter. It was a diplomatic matter. So had I been there, it would not -- you know, if Congress were informed, the question is, it was a diplomatic matter, if -- which is the appropriate committee? I do believe it was a diplomatic matter, not an intelligence matter, that exchange between Ambassador Galbraith and Deputy Secretary Talbott. So I don't think it was an intelligence matter.

SEN. SPECTER: Well, the Intelligence Committee concluded that it was not a traditional diplomacy and that it was a matter which should have been transmitted to the Intelligence Committee. But however it is interpreted it wasn't transmitted to the Congress at all. If it's a diplomatic matter, to go to the committee on foreign relations, that was not done, either.

Well, my red light just went on, but I want to pursue this with you in the next round. And I believe it does bear -- you have given your endorsement to Mr. Lake, and I can understand that. But I want to pursue the question as to Mr. Lake's participation with respect to his sensitivity to keeping this committee currently and fully informed, which it was not on the Bosnian issue, nor was the Congress informed. As our distinguished vice chairman has said on a number of occasions, we don't have to get our information from the Washington Times. And perhaps I've gone too far in giving publicity to news sources which I have a question that I raised with you about.
Senator --

MR. DEUTCH: I think that you will find that Tony Lake fully understands the need to keep this committee fully and currently informed on intelligence activities. You will have no difficulty there, in my opinion.    (Full text)

September 1, 1996
by Raymond Tanter
Professor of Political Science
The University of Michigan

In addition to the worldwide confrontation between Iran and the U.S. over international terrorism, there is a direct confrontation in the area between Bosnia and Baghdad. A strategic aim of both countries is to extend their authority in this geopolitical sphere. This "region" is the only area in the world where American military forces are on the increase. U.S. military operations are conducted in support of Bosnian and Afghani Muslims. Tehran interprets the American military presence on behalf of the Muslims under siege as a direct threat to its own authority. As the presumed leader of an emerging Islamic Empire, Tehran believes that it also has the responsibility to protect Muslims. Rather than acknowledging the American contribution to Muslim security, Tehran berates Washington as the "Great Satan," who acts on behalf of "Little Satan," Israel.


(Mario's local page)


Yet, in two Muslim wars, Washington and Tehran had a tacit alignment. Both sponsored the Islamic mujahadeen in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation. And both supported the Bosnian Muslim regime against Christian Orthodox Serbia and Bosnian Serbs. In Afghanistan, the CIA provided covert assistance to Islamic rebels fighting against the Soviets. So did Iran. In the former Yugoslavia, the U.S. supported the Bosnian Muslims. So did Iran. Washington gave a green light for Zagreb to receive arms from Tehran en route to Sarajevo. Despite rejecting the American role in Afghanistan and Bosnia, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their Saudi brethren fought in Muslim wars against the Soviets in Afghanistan and against the Serbs in Bosnia.

(Full text)

Forked Tongues:
Clinton team opposes arms for Bosnians
but happily corrupts other sanction regimes

In an op.ed. in the New York Times of 21 April 1994 entitled "Athenian Games," Robert Kaplan makes the following important observation:

"If Mr. Clinton hopes to retain any shred of credibility he may have left in the Balkans, he must get Mr. Papandreou to stop strangling Macedonia and aiding Serbia. Otherwise, if war erupts in the next few years in Macedonia and neighboring Kosovo, the Clinton-Papandreou meeting will appear in hindsight much like the 1990 meeting between Saddam Hussein and the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, that inadvertently gave Iraq a green light to invade Kuwait."

Publications of the Center for Security Policy
No. 94-D 43
Decision Brief, 26 April 1994
(Full text)

The Persian Gulf and the problem of peace in the post-cold war age

At a press conference following the Iraqi annexation of Kuwait, Bush was asked whether the U.S. policy against the annexation of captured lands in the Middle East was an across- the-board policy. Bush evaded the question.<68> He had to do this, because if international law or the United Nations were to become the basis for determining when international aggression has occurred then the United States would not be able to undertake its own invasions or arrogate to itself the right to judge international behavior on the basis of U.S. interests. So, for example, while Washington agrees with the UN condemnation of Iraq's aggression, it took a much more benign view of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. There is considerable evidence that the Reagan administration gave Israel a "green light" for that invasion.* In the Security Council the U.S. supported a resolution which called for an Israeli withdrawal without criticizing the invasion; two days later, the U.S. vetoed a resolution condemning Israel's non-compliance.

* Ze'ev Schiff, "The green light," _Foreign Policy_, Spring 1983; see also Noam Chomsky, _The Fateful Triangle_, Boston: South End, 1983, pp. 213-15.
(Full text)


The Middle East in the New World Order
A Post-War Teach-In
Noam Chomsky, April 4, 1991
Z Magazine, May 1991

The Background to the War

Prior to August 2, 1990, the US and its allies found Saddam Hussein an attractive partner. In 1980, they helped prevent UN reaction to Iraq's attack on Iran, which they supported throughout. At the time, Iraq was a Soviet client, but Reagan, Thatcher and Bush recognized Saddam Hussein as "our kind of guy" and induced him to switch sides. In 1982, Reagan removed Iraq from the list of states that sponsor terror, permitting it to receive enormous credits for the purchase of US exports while the US became a major market for its oil. By 1987, Iraq praised Washington for its "positive efforts" in the Gulf while expressing disappointment over Soviet refusal to join the tilt towards Iraq (Tariq Aziz). US intervention was instrumental in enabling Iraq to gain the upper hand in the war. Western corporations took an active role in building up Iraq's military strength, notably its weapons of mass destruction. Reagan and Bush regularly intervened to block congressional censure of their friend's atrocious human rights record, strenuously opposing any actions that might interfere with profits for US corporations or with Iraq's military build-up.

Britain was no different. When Saddam was reported to have gassed thousands of Kurds at Halabja, the White House intervened to block any serious congressional reaction and not one member of the governing Conservative Party was willing to join a left-labor condemnation in Parliament. Both governments now profess outrage over the crime, and denounce those who did protest for appeasing their former comrade, while basking in media praise for their high principle. It was, of course, understood that Saddam Hussein was one of the world's most savage tyrants. But he was "our gangster," joining a club in which he could find congenial associates. Repeating a familiar formula, Geoffrey Kemp, head of the Middle East section in the National Security Council under Reagan, observed that "We weren't really that naive. We knew that he was an SOB, but he was our SOB."

By mid-July 1990, our SOB was openly moving troops towards Kuwait and waving a fist at his neighbors. Relations with Washington remained warm. Bush intervened once again to block congressional efforts to deny loan guarantees to Iraq. On August 1, while intelligence warned of the impending invasion, Bush approved the sale of advanced data transmission equipment to his friendly SOB. In the preceding two weeks, licenses had been approved for $4.8 million in advanced technology products, including computers for the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization, for the Saad 16 research center that was later destroyed by bombing on grounds that it was developing rockets and poison gas, and for another plant that was repeatedly bombed as a chemical weapons factory. The State Department indicated to Saddam that it had no serious objection to his rectifying border disputes with Kuwait, or intimidating other oil producers to raise the oil price to $25 a barrel or more. For reasons that remain unexplained, Kuwait's response to Iraqi pressures and initiatives was defiant and contemptuous.

The available evidence can be read in various ways. The most conservative (and, in my view, most plausible) reading is that Saddam misunderstood the signals as a "green light" to take all of Kuwait, possibly with the intention of setting up a puppet government behind which he would keep effective power (on the model of the US in Panama and many other cases), possibly as a bargaining chip to achieve narrower ends, possibly with broader goals. That was unacceptable: no independent force is permitted to gain significant control over the world's major energy reserves, which are to be in the hands of the US and its clients.

Saddam's record was already so sordid that the conquest of Kuwait added little to it, but that action was a crime that matters: the crime of independence. Torture, tyranny, aggression, slaughter of civilians are all acceptable by US-UK standards, but not stepping on our toes. The standard policies were then set into motion.

(Full text)

"Believed to have been the green light"

House of Representatives
The Committee on International Relations
Country Reports on human rights practices for 1996
Hearing 42925 CC /1997
January 31, 1997
Hon. Christopher H. Smith presiding.
Witness: Hon. John Shattuck, Assistant Secretary,
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor,
Department of State

Mr. SHATTUCK. Well, Mr. Payne, you have just illustrated why the human rights beat is a tough beat. Those are a lot of very, very difficult issues. But let me give you a sentence on each one.

Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much.

Mr. SMITH. Thank you, Mr. Payne. I, frankly, think it is better to be longer and more exhaustive, so I appreciate you doing this, and for the time you have taken at our hearings to go into detail on these very important human rights issues. And maybe it means you are a chronic coffee drinker, like some of us are, but I think it is important.

Our subcommittee will follow up exhaustively, and I will pledge to do even more than we did in the last Congress on each of these countries. We had over 40 hearings in this subcommittee. We looked at Chechnya and what is believed to have been the green light that was given during that terrible atrocity by the Administration, and we will try in these next couple of years to really work in close cooperation with the Administration, always believing that, like you said, light and scrutiny is a great disinfectant. Hopefully, legislation will be forthcoming, and I do look forward to hearing back from you on the child labor issue. We hoped to push that last year and ran into some roadblocks on the Administration's side, and even my good friend, Mr. Moran, tried to get some Administration comment back so that we could get a done deal at the closure of the 104th Congress, but we will try again this year. We will work bipartisan, because human rights certainly are something that we all care about.

Thank you, Mr. Shattuck, for your fine testimony, and we look forward to seeing you very soon.

Mr. SHATTUCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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World: Analysis Kosovo: A new Yugoslav crisis?

Paul Wood, the BBC's former correspondent in the region: ... according to Dejan Anastasievic of the Belgrade newspaper, Vreme, the leadership in Belgrade appears to have decided that it's time to clamp down on those they see as terrorists.

"Now the events in Granica are getting the highest possible profile. President Milosevic himself has sent his condolences to the families of the policemen who were killed. And the ruling Socialist party and its allied parties have Kosovo and demanding harsh measures by the state.

"There will definitely be an outcry considering there were 15 people dead over the weekend. However, we have four dead policemen and the US special representative to the former Yugoslavia, Robert Gelbard, last week in Belgrade very clearly denounced terrorism. I'm afraid Mr Milosevic has assumed this statement gave him a green light to do whatever he wants in Kosovo."

(Full text)

US green light
to crack down on the KLA

PREKAZ, Serbia - Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader Adem Jasari who was among members of the family killed during fierce fighting on Thursday and Friday, police said. State television showed film on Friday of the Jasari compound littered with bodies. The walls of its houses and barns bore clear evidence of artillery shelling.

Vecernje Novosti' military correspondent Miroslav Lazanski alleged that gun-running to the KLA was still continuing through neighboring Albania and that Albanians volunteers from Germany were trying to reach Kosovo via Macedonia. Lazanski wrote that police were now concentrating on suspected KLA villages around Djakovica, in western Kosovo, which is only 10 km (6 miles) from the Albanian border. The attacks this week on the alleged KLA bastions of Prekaz and Lausha in the mountains of central Kosovo were the heaviest unleashed against Albanian separatists since the southern Serbian province lost its autonomy in 1989. The KLA emerged as a military threat in response to growing impatience with the lack of progress made by political leaders demanding independence for Kosovo where 90 per cent of the 1.8 million population is Albanian.

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in Rome on Saturday that Washington would not tolerate violence in Kosovo but she did not repeat earlier U.S. warnings of military intervention, saying only that ``nothing was ruled out.''

Belgrade authorities openly derided the threats as empty after U.S. Balkan envoy Robert Gelbard condemned the use of ``terrorism'' in Kosovo which Milosevic interpreted as a green light to crack down on the KLA.

Police said KLA leader Adem Jasari, his brother and another senior guerrilla named Bajram Lustaku were killed during the fighting. Thirty KLA men were reported to have surrendered under guarantees of their personal safety, police said. Jasari was described as a KLA leader trained across the border in Albania and sentenced to 20 years in absentia for ``terrorist attacks'' in Kosovo in which police and civilians were wounded.

By, Jovan Kovacic, Reuters
Copyright ©1998 Pathfinder
Copyright ©1998 Reuters

U.S. special Balkans envoy Robert Gelbard:
Without question a terrorist group

LONDON (March 9, 1998) - Last month, U.S. special Balkans envoy Robert Gelbard visited Belgrade, praised Milosevic for his new cooperation in Bosnia and branded the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) "without question a terrorist group."

Copyright ©1998
Copyright ©1998 Reuters

Kosova Serb Information Secretary
Boshko Drobnjak to the Russian TV (NTV):
If the villagers do not report the terrorists
they are terrorists themselves

Prishtinë, 6 March - (ARTA) - The Information Secretary of the Serb authorities in Kosovë, Boshko Drobnjak, declared to Russian TV (NTV) that "if there are even two terrorists in the village that are not reported to the police by the villagers, then the latter are no longer citizens, they are considered terrorists as well". This statement was made following the police offensive on Drenica (40 km west of Prishtina) on 5 March 1988.

Kosovo Liberation Army
Aside from causing casualties and deaths, the armed resistance has provided Milosevic the pretext for his brutal crack-down. Since July 1998 Milosevic has steadily increased the level of violence against the Albanian majority. Estimates put the number of deaths at several hundred, and the number of refugees is probably around 250,000. (full text)

U.S. Says It Did Not Provide
Pretext For Repression

By K.P. Foley
© 1998 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc.

Washington, 11 March 1989 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. says it did not give Serbia a pretext for the crackdown on ethnic Albanians in Serbia's Kosovo province by calling the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) a terrorist group. U.S. State Department spokesman James Foley says the Serbian government in Belgrade has refused to consider the legitimate political needs of the Kosovo Albanians, and that, he says, is the root cause of the trouble in Kosovo.

There has been speculation in the international press that a remark by the special U.S. envoy for the former Yugoslavia, Robert Gelbard, may have been interpreted by the Serbians as a licence to strike in Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians make up about 90 percent of the population. In a visit to Belgrade last month, Gelbard praised Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic for his cooperation in Bosnia and called the Kosovo Liberation army "without question a terrorist group."

At Tuesday's press briefing, Foley disputed that version of the story about the Gelbard-Milosevic meeting. Foley quoted Gelbard as saying that, "there have been terrorist acts committed by this group." But Foley says that is not the same thing as saying that the KLA is a terrorist organization. He says that requires a determination by the Secretary of State after an exhaustive review and legal judgment.

Foley says it is hypocritical for Belgrade to use the excuse that it is fighting terrorism to justify what he called Serbia's outrageous repression of the past few weeks.

Cute, Huh!

Mario's notice: State Dept. spokesman "clarified" that Gelbard didn't give Milosevic "green light" to do what he did. The spokesman stated that in February talks with Milosevic, Gelbard criticized "terrorist acts" but did not identify the KLA as a terrorist organization.

The State Department has accused Serb forces of "ethnic cleansing" of Albanians in Kosovo and insisted that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic could have prevented the slaughter.

The New York Times went even further claiming that, in fact, "Several weeks before the Serbian police killed scores of ethnic Albanians in the southern province of Kosovo, President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia was warned by Washington's top Balkans negotiator not to carry out the widely expected crackdown.

Why Milosevic, who in the same meeting was offered some concessions by the diplomat, Robert Gelbard, for good behavior in neighboring Bosnia, went ahead anyway -- so brutally and so soon after the admonition -- is not clear." (Jane Perlez, The New York Times, Sunday, March 15, 1998; page 6).

Regime and Opposition in Serbia Exchange
Accusations over Kosova

Kosova Daily Report
#1058, 97-01-23

The Serb-installed mayor of Prishtina, a Milosevic proxy in Kosova, told a crowd of pro-government ralliers in Prishtina last Saturday the 'Albanian terrorists' had been given a 'green light' to go ahead with the attempt on the life of the Serb rector Radivoje Papovic last Thursday.

Zoran Djindjic, leader of the Democratic Party, accused the Serbian regime, namely its pillars - Milosevic's Socialist Party (SPS) and his wife's Yugoslav Left (JUL) - of belonging to the 'milieu of terrorist groups'. The Serb regime is fater prolonging its hold on power by all means, he said, accusing it of instrumentalizing the last week's car-bomb attempt on the life of the rector of the Serb University in Prishtina, Radivoje Papovic, for its own needs.

The car-bomb explosion in Prishtina could have been used for Serbia to draw support from the international community, "reconfirming once again that Kosova is part of Serbia", Zoran Djindjic told the crowd of protesters in Belgrade Wednesday. The attack on Papovic could have been used "to serve the national and state interests of Serbia", the Albanian-language Bujku newspaper quoted him as saying. The SPS and JUL accused its own citizens (the "Zajedno" coalition, KIC) for the attack, thus transgressing the Serbian national interests, he emphasized.

Speaking to the same crowd of people in Belgrade Wednesday, Vuk Draskovic, another "Zajedno" leader, said there were hints that the commander-in-chief of the "Ushtria ^lirimtare e Kosov&s" (U^K) is Kundak. According to the Nasa Borba daily, he went on to say: "I do not know his first or second name, whoever is he, he is Kundak, and our movement is against all kundaks in Serbia". The allusion for all who have a basic knowledge of the situation in Serbia is that Kundak [Serbian, "butt-end"] is the nickname of Zoran Todorovic, the close friend of Milosevic's wife Mira Markovic and a senior and influential member of her JUL.

(Full text)

Jim Hooper of the Balkan Institute said Friday: "I think Holbrooke played into Milosevic's hands by bringing him carrots and giving the stick to the Kosovo Albanians. Milosevic took those concessions as a green light to proceed, and cracked down harder on the Kosovars and in Serbia itself, withdrawing autonomy from universities and moving against independent media."

STEVEN ERLANGER, "U.S. Ready to Resume Sanctions Over Kosovo Strife,"
New York Times, June 6, 1998

The Americans had pushed European allies to suspend sanctions on Milosevic, who agreed to meet with Albanian separatists but then unleashed the largest assault since the Bosnian war ended in 1995.

The Europeans, in particular the British and the Germans, felt that Milosevic had manipulated the Americans, promising to open a dialogue but not promising it would lead to any results.

Friday a senior American official did not dispute that judgment, saying: "There is a perception that Milosevic is using the talks as a device to continue his campaign and not using them as a means to find a peaceful solution to the problem. So the trend away from sanctions has now been reversed."

British officials said that London had already concluded that a stronger policy is needed to try to deter further violence by Milosevic against the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

Last month Holbrooke persuaded Milosevic to engage in talks with ethnic Albanian leaders from Kosovo who favor independence through peaceful means. In exchange, Washington convinced the Europeans to suspend the implementation of an investment freeze on Yugoslavia, angering many of its European allies who had reluctantly agreed to go along with sanctions and who thought they were being suspended too easily.

Jim Hooper of the Balkan Institute said Friday: "I think Holbrooke played into Milosevic's hands by bringing him carrots and giving the stick to the Kosovo Albanians. Milosevic took those concessions as a green light to proceed, and cracked down harder on the Kosovars and in Serbia itself, withdrawing autonomy from universities and moving against independent media."

Ivo Daalder, a National Security Council official in the first Clinton term who is now at the University of Maryland, said that Holbrooke had erred.

"I think Richard Holbrooke has a special rapport with Milosevic and used it to great effect in Dayton and at other times," he said. "But in this case I think he misread Milosevic, who had no interest in real dialogue. The suspension of the sanctions in return for a procedural victory was ineffective, as the escalation of the past week has shown."

Holbrooke, who works in the private sector, was not immediately available for comment.

A huge crackdown by Milosevic's forces on the mainly ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo has killed dozens of people, caused thousands of refugees to flee into Albania and has displaced as many as 40,000 people, Western diplomats said.

(Full text)

One week before the talks at Rambouillet began, NATO's Permanent Council had authorized its Secretary General Javier Solana to initiate airstrikes against Yugoslavia, if the Contact Group decided that a negotiated settlement wasn't in the cards. "This is a green light for action," a senior NATO diplomat told AP at the time.
What the documents really say about the occupation of Kosovo
By David Peterson

By far the most detailed and complete document to have been produced as a potential settlement to the Kosovo conflict was the Interim Agreement for Peace and Self Government in Kosovo (Feb. 23). This was the document that the Contact Group (the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia) tried to impose upon both the Serb and Kosovar Albanian parties that met at the Chateau Rambouillet outside Paris from Feb. 6 to 23 of this year. But the Rambouillet "negotiations" really weren't negotiations at all. They were so-called "proximity" talks in which the two parties to the conflict were kept in separate rooms from each other, with Contact Group mediators moving back and forth between the parties, thus denying them the chance to hold face-to-face negotiations of their own. By the time the talks ended on Feb. 23, neither party was willing to accept the Rambouillet terms: The Kosovar Albanians because Rambouillet would have granted Kosovo nothing more than a limited degree of autonomy within Serbia rather than full independence, while continuing to recognize the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (Ch, I, Art. 2); and the Serbs because Rambouillet would have turned the whole of Yugoslavia into a zone of occupation by the powers of the Contact Group, with "free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the [Federal Republic]" (Appendix B, Art. 8), and full legal immunity from Yugoslav law (Art. 6-7). One week before the talks at Rambouillet began, NATO's Permanent Council had authorized its Secretary General Javier Solana to initiate airstrikes against Yugoslavia, if the Contact Group decided that a negotiated settlement wasn't in the cards. "This is a green light for action," a senior NATO diplomat told AP at the time. "No one country has a veto now. Solana makes the judgment." In more real terms, however, NATO's activation order to Solana meant that one, and only one, country held the key over the eventual use of force: the United States.

(Full text)

American Arms Monitor Ritter Returns to Iraq

By Dominic Evans
Yahoo! - Reuters
Thursday March 5 1998

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. arms inspector Scott Ritter, branded a spy by Iraq, returned to Baghdad Thursday on a mission that could prove an early test of Iraq's pledge to grant unconditional access to potential weapons sites. Iraq has pledged it will comply fully with the deal it signed with Annan, under which it also promised unrestricted access for the inspectors, charged with dismantling Iraq's biological, chemical and ballistic weapons.

 United Nations The United States still has a powerful military force in the Gulf and U.S. officials say that a U.N. resolution warning Iraq of "severest consequences" if it blocks the inspectors has given a green light for punitive military strikes.

(Full text)


The Us President Has Given The Go Ahead
For Secret Operations In Iraq
To Support Possible Coup Attempts

By Jamie Dettmer
Scotland on Sunday
April 28, 1996

PRESIDENT Clinton has given the go-ahead for US intelligence agencies and 'black operations' units to assist Iraqi exile groups in coup efforts aimed at toppling Saddam Hussein.

According to congressional and intelligence sources, Clinton decided late last year to adopt a far more muscular policy toward the Iraqi dictator. His decision was prompted by administration fears that Saddam, despite being weakened by defections from his inner circle and a crippling UN trade embargo, still possesses the potential to wreck the troubled Middle East peace process and with it an ability to embarrass the White House in the run-up to the autumn elections.

Details of what covert operations Clinton has agreed are difficult to secure. Sources on Capitol Hill and in the administration adamantly declined to detail exactly what Clinton has endorsed and few were even prepared to acknowledge the president had signed a top secret 'finding' authorising covert US aid to Saddam's rivals.

"We do not comment on presidential findings - it is illegal for us to do so," a National Security Council spokesman told SoS.

Even so, US foreign policy, military and intelligence sources confirmed the president had given the green light for cloak-and-dagger American support of coups in Iraq and they said Clinton had approved in the last six months an intelligence budget submission to fund clandestine action in the Middle East pariah state.

"What to do about Iraq was approved by the president after going through the appropriate review process," said a senior administration official. And Middle Eastern sources believe there are clear signs that a US-engineered destabilisation strategy is already playing out on the ground. They point to a recent wave of car bombings in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities undertaken by the exiled and violent National Accord Party, whose senior members, most of whom are former Saddam cronies, claim CIA backing.

How far advanced US-supported plans are for the toppling of Saddam is not clear. A Washington-based Western diplomat told SoS: "There has been more American activity on the Iraqi front in the last six months than before but I must say I would be surprised to wake up tomorrow morning and read there had been a US-organised coup."

US intelligence sources say contingency plans have been drawn up detailing rapid response options for the protection of Western- friendly neighbouring countries, such as Jordan and Kuwait, from possible retaliation by Saddam. Some of those contingency plans have already been implemented.

According to a congressional intelligence source, the deployment last month of 34 US warplanes to Jordan and their continued presence there had little to do with the enforcement of the Western-imposed no- fly zone over southern Iraq - the official Washington reason for the planes being in the kingdom - and everything to do with ensuring the US has the military punch available to defend at short notice Jordan and King Hussein, who has started to talk openly about 'change' in Iraq. It is the first time King Hussein has permitted US warplanes to use Jordanian territory to patrol the skies of Iraq.

None of the chairmen of the armed services or international relations committees in the House or Senate have been briefed on the change in the administration's Iraq policy. But the chairmen of the select intelligence committees have recently received classified White House briefings on Iraq. Senate majority leader Bob Dole and House speaker Newt Gingrich have received what aides described as "highly sensitive" Iraq briefings.

Clinton's decision to increase pressure on Iraq's strongman has not met with the approval of all his foreign policy advisers, say administration sources. The state department is said to be critical of the covert operations and doubtful that any of the dozens of bickering Iraqi exiled opposition groups are up to the task of ousting the well- protected Saddam. Fears have also been expressed within the administration that a successful US-backed coup would lead to Saddam's death and therefore fall foul of past presidential executive orders banning American-supported assassinations of foreign leaders.

"US involvement in a successful Iraqi coup could be viewed as tantamount to the president having ordered the assassination of Hussein. We must avoid that at all costs," said one senior official. Another adviser who supports the tougher stance disagreed, saying: "We have not ordered a hit on Saddam Hussein; what we have told our friends is that we will assist in whatever ways are possible."

Some intelligence sources are clearly delighted with the new strategy. "Clinton is doing what George Bush would not and could not do," says a high-ranking intelligence officer. "If he is successful, he'll be called a hero. And if he's not, he'll still be out ahead because he would have acted like John Wayne."

But administration supporters of the policy and Iraqi exiles eager for tougher US action dismiss the suggestion that Clinton is trying to mount an "October surprise." "It (the presidential finding) stems from a concern for an orderly transition in Iraq should there be such a thing," a senior US official said.

The source suggested Washington was being pushed to be more proactive in bringing about the downfall of the Iraqi dictator because of external factors. Turkish anxiety over Iran's expanding influence on the UN-protected Kurds of northern Iraq contributed to Clinton's decision to increase pressure.

Robert Deutsch, the State Department's top expert on the Persian Gulf, and Stephen Grummon, director of Near Eastern affairs in the national security council, flew to Turkey on April 17 en route for northern Iraq. They were tasked to try to find ways of halting the disintegration of the Kurdish regional government and to persuade the fractious Iraqi Kurdish leaders Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani to stop fighting each other. They were also ordered to come up with an assessment of how widespread Iranian influence on the Kurds had become. According to sources in the Iraqi National Congress, Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security has set up half a dozen outposts in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Last month, Abu Amneh Al-Khadami, a self-styled Accord bomb-maker, claimed in a 90-minute video he released to Iraqi opposition leaders in Europe and the Middle East that the CIA had been financing the planting of car bombs and small explosive devices in Baghdad and other cities. Other Iraqi opponents of Saddam Hussein confirmed the Accord was sponsored by the CIA. The agency declined to comment on Accord and would neither confirm nor deny any links with the group.

The CIA's sponsoring of Accord, which is led by Iyad Mohammed Alawi and Adnan Mohammedal-Muri, a former Iraqi brigadier, has drawn criticism from members of the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella organisation of several anti-Saddam groups, who claim the agency should never have centred its covert designs on the group in the first place.

How CIA's Secret War On Saddam Collapsed
A Retired Intelligence Operative Surfaces
With Details and Critique of U.S. Campaign
By Jim Hoagland
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, June 26, 1997; Page A21
The Washington Post

In his three-year struggle to overthrow President Saddam Hussein and bring democracy to Iraq, Warren Marik of the CIA says he did everything he could think of -- and was permitted to do.

He helped organize flights of unmanned aircraft over Baghdad to drop leaflets ridiculing the Iraqi dictator on his birthday. He organized military training and some small arms supplies to Kurdish guerrillas in northern Iraq. And he oversaw spending millions of dollars that went to a Washington-based public relations firm to produce radio scripts and videotapes denouncing the regime.

None of it worked. The anti-Saddam campaign that Marik helped run was broken apart by the Iraqi dictator last year with relative ease. And now, partly in frustration, Marik has come in from the cold to tell the story of the CIA's war on Saddam as he saw it.

Marik says he does so partly with the hope of getting the agency to reconsider what he views as a misguided shift of strategy. He criticizes a past shift toward fomenting a quick coup against Saddam, and away from the plan that he tried to carry out aimed at gradually strengthening a "liberated" zone in the country's Kurdish north.

The decision of the 25-year CIA veteran to go public with details of an operation that is still technically ongoing has been strongly influenced by a similar decision by a leading Iraqi opposition figure, Ahmed Chalabi, and his colleagues in the Iraqi National Congress to make a clean break with the agency and start a new political phase in their efforts to bring change to Iraq. Marik and the CIA worked closely in the north with Chalabi and the National Congress, an umbrella group of anti-Saddam activists made up mostly of ethnic Kurds.

"We have learned the hard way that covert action that is not part of a large strategic political program is of no value," Chalabi said here yesterday. "We want to work with the State Department, the National Security Council, or AID. But our involvement with any covert agencies is finished."

Over the next two years a total of about 50 agents rotated in and out, living in a fortified compound in the opposition-controlled town of Salahuddin. Teams composed of four to 10 agents each lived there for an average stay of six weeks. Their formal mission was to monitor the National Congress and gather intelligence.

In fact, they did much more. Marik, who led the first field team into Iraq in late October 1994, put it this way: "Nobody said we should provide military training and provide weapons to the [National Congress] force. But when we did that and reported it back to Washington, nobody said stop it, either."

His time in Iraq was a transforming experience for Marik, a Chicago native who entered the agency after military service in Vietnam. He brushes aside questions about what he did in Afghanistan by answering only "the usual stuff." But on Iraq, he feels passionately that the agency had a winning hand that it threw away.

In late 1994, control of the Iraq Operation Group was taken away from the veterans who had worked out the long-term political program with Chalabi and who, in the words of one agent, "kept the crazy ideas about silver-bullet coups away from the agency leadership."

After that the agency embarked on a "special channel" compartmentalized operation to prepare a quick-strike coup against Saddam. It was to be organized by former army officers and political cronies of the Iraqi dictator. They claimed they were in touch with serving military officers who would oust Saddam and take power.

Marik and the officers working with the Chalabi group were told to stay away from the operation, run with a dissident group called the Iraqi National Accord, when it became apparent to them that a second covert operation targeted at Saddam was under way.

Upon his arrival in 1995, Deutch not only gave the coup effort the green light but also pressed his agency to set "milestones" for getting the job done. Some officials there had the impression they were facing a deadline of about a year, in time to remove Saddam as an issue in the 1996 election.

(Full text)

No other questions?

US Dept. of State
Off Camera Daily Press Briefing
DPB #131
Sept. 10, 1997

QUESTION: What do you have on Algeria? Your ambassador met with the president there today.

MR. FOLEY: Yes. It was Ambassador Neumann's farewell call on President Zeroual. He made a statement at the close of that meeting, and I can make that available to you if you'd like. I can draw from the highlights now, but it might be easier just to release it.

QUESTION: Specifically, I was wondering if you could shed some light on his - apparently his statement that we support military measures consistent with the rule of law, which was taken as a green light to the Algerian Government to crack down on Islamic militants.

MR. FOLEY: Well, I can only refer you to his statement, and I don't see that in his statement. He noted that the United States Government condemns the horrible massacres, bombings and attacks on Algerian civilians that have taken place recently. He said, indeed - I'm coming to it - that we support military measures that are consistent with the rule of law to protect civilians. I think that statement is very clear.

No other questions?

(Full text)

RETRO: "Arafat gave `GREEN LIGHT'
for Attacks against Israel"

by Ron Ben-Yishai
Yediot Ahronot
March 19 , 1997

"According to reliable information received by political figures in Israel," Ben-Yishai reports that Yasser Arafat held an all night meeting on March 9-10 with senior officials of Hamas, the Islamic Salvation Front, the PFLP and the DFLP. The meeting lasted until near dawn, was obviously under surveillence, and during which "the head of the PA demanded that they prepare stormy, mass demonstrations throughout the Gaza Strip and the West Bank."

By the end of the meeting the report states, "all of the representatives of the organizations understood that the PA chairman is giving them a free hand to carry out attacks against Israel."

Arafat's secret meeting with the organizations which was convened following his Washington trip was reported to Israeli cabinet members and the American administration over the past weekend by a senior Israeli official.

Jerusalem Gate
Terrorism: On the Record

Netanyahu: I want the red light there

Mar. 23, 1997

"I am putting the first condition for peace on the table, and that is I want them to start fighting terrorism as they promised," Netanyahu said Sunday during an interview on CNN's "Late Edition." "They've given the green light to terrorism. The traffic light hasn't changed yet. I want to see a red light there ... Then we can discuss many other issues."

The prime minister said the two sides were still talking, despite an Islamist suicide bomb attack that killed three women in Tel Aviv Friday. But he indicated that future progress would be dependent upon whether Palestinian authorities take decisive action against Hamas and other militant Islamic groups.

(Full text)

House Condemns Jerusalem Bombing

AIPAC - The American Israel
Public Affairs Committee

The House passed by a vote of 427-1 a resolution, sponsored by Reps. Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) and Tom Lantos (D-CA), condemning the suicide bombing in Jerusalem.

In the Senate, Sens. Jesse Helms (R-NC), Robert Torricelli (D-NJ), and Jack Reed (D-RI) also condemned the bombings and called for renewed efforts to achieve peace.

HIRC Chairman Gilman's remarks read in part:

"Mr. Arafat must make a 180-degree turn against terrorism, incitement to violence and releasing dangerous suspects. The Government of Israel warned repeatedly that terrorist attacks were brewing because of the lack of Palestinian commitment to fighting terrorism and the green light Arafat was giving to Hamas."

(Full text)

Former CIA Director: Information About Arafat
Giving Green Light to Terror is Accurate

by Yossi Melman, Ha'aretz,
March 26, 1997, p. A3)
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 97 17:19:10 PST

James Woolsey, former head of the CIA, criticized the American administration for its unwillingness to accept the version of events put forward by Israeli intelligence, according to which PA Chairman Yasser Arafat gave the "green light" to carry out the terror attack in Tel Aviv last week. "The Administration is ignoring the possibility that there is more than one way to encourage acts of terror," Woolsey said in an interview with Ha'aretz. "In the struggle against terror it is preferable not to get into a dispute over semantics," he said.

To illustrate the point, Woolsey cited the case of the British monarch, Henry II. "He did not give the order to murder Thomas Beckett, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but he went to the trouble of surrounding himself with people who would understand his intentions. I do not know if Henry II gave a green light or a strong flash of a yellow light, but it was enough to eliminate the Archbishop," he said.

Woolsey visited Israel many times between 1993 and 1995 as head of the CIA. He is currently in Israel to participate, along with other Western experts, in an international conference to mark the opening of the International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism in the framework of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.

When asked if the American administration truly does not believe that Israel has compelling proof regarding Arafat's responsibility for the attack, Woolsey replied, "it is important that the Administration understand that Israel is on the front line against terrorism and that it has a precise grasp of what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza. The United States has to understand that there are different ways to encourage terrorism." His assessment is that "it is definitely possible that Israel has collected exact information regarding this matter."

Woolsey also said that the Israeli and American intelligence communities, and those of other countries as well, are cooperating in the struggle against terror, but he refused to elaborate. When asked if the CIA was cooperating with Palestinian intelligence, he refused to comment.

"I did not have personal contact with the Palestinians," he added, "though the policy of the Administration was to encourage Israeli-Palestinian cooperation."

(Full text)

It is highly unlikely that Senator Specter who has received $298,623 from AIPAC “subsidiaries” since 1980, and Senator Shelby who has received $135,825 since 1984 would have initiated the amendment without receiving a “green light” from AIPAC.
The Jewish Lobby
By Neve Gordon

“Arafat is a killer, a killer” Klein yells less than a minute after we begin talking. “He has given a green light to terrorists and has praised suicide bombers. He hasn’t done anything to obliterate the infrastructure of the Hamas. Arafat is one of the most evil men of the 20th century.” Like Falwell, Klein has a Manichean view of the world. Israelis represent the children of light while the Palestinians are the children of darkness; the conflict is presented as a zero-sum game which excludes any possibility of compromise.

ZOA opposes Oslo and, according to University of Notre Dame political scientist Alan Dowty, it has used three tactics in an effort to undermine the peace process. First, it has insisted that the U.S. embassy be moved from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Second, it has condemned U.S. troop deployment on the Golan Heights. This is an interesting tactic since, according to Dowty, no one has seriously suggested that the U.S. actually deploy any troops. Finally, ZOA has tried to stop U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

Following the September 1993 Rabin-Arafat handshake, Israeli politicians familiar with the occupied territories’ dilapidated infrastructure understood that the new authority would have to invest billions of dollars in order to create a sustainable economy. Rabin recognized that poverty can lead to unrest and therefore asked other countries to contribute. Forty-three countries pledged $2 billion to support the fledgling Palestinian Authority, of which one-fourth would come from the U.S.

ZOA opposed the effort and lobbied Congress in order to prevent the transfer of U.S. funds. Consequently, on July 29, 1994, Pennsylvania Republican Arlen Spector and Alabama Democrat Richard Shelby managed to insert an amendment which hindered the transfer of money to the Palestinian Authority. The Administration opposed it, but to no avail.

ZOA and other extreme groups are not the only organizations that object to Oslo. AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the most powerful group within the Jewish lobby, is also against the peace agreement. More significantly, there appears to be a link between ZOA and AIPAC. It is highly unlikely that Senator Specter who has received $298,623 from AIPAC “subsidiaries” since 1980, and Senator Shelby who has received $135,825 since 1984 would have initiated the amendment without receiving a “green light” from AIPAC.

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Leave it for private discussion Jim...

U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
DPB #29
Thurstay, February 27, 1997

QUESTION: On the same subject - on the announcement of the new settlements, there's been a lot of reaction around the world, including from the European Union, which specifically describes such new settlements as illegal under international law. Does the United States accept that?

MR. BURNS: The United States has said what it wanted to say on this issue. I think you have to take account of one central fact. The United States remains the leading country that is trying to work with the Israelis and Palestinians to make peace. We are in effect the intermediary. In the case of the Hebron negotiations, Dennis Ross fulfilled the role of mediator. So we've said what we believed is consistent with our role as intermediary.

Let me just repeat it for you. The central fact here is that this plan to construct housing on Jabal Abu Ghunnaim or Har Homa - the Arab and Hebrew names are interchangeable - we think undercuts a basic premise of the peace negotiations; that both parties have a responsibility to take into consideration the needs of the other. We think that any major initiatives undertaken by either the Israelis or the Palestinians always have to have that central purpose in mind: Will this build trust and confidence with the other party, or will it detract from it? This action clearly undercuts the positive forward momentum that we have seen in recent weeks in the peace process.

It clearly undercuts the climate of confidence that one would want to have created for these peace negotiations. We wish very much that the Israeli Government had not decided to undertake this action.

QUESTION: When you say it "undercuts," is that just the U.S. Government's surmise, or have you heard from Palestinians that if "A" happened, "B" they're returning to the talks -

MR. BURNS: First of all, as you know, we recommended to the Israelis before yesterday's Cabinet announcement that this action not be undertaken.

Second, we've had extensive conversations with the Palestinians and today with the Saudis, and I think it's very clear what the Arab reaction is to the Israeli Government decision.

It does not add to the positive, forward momentum that we had achieved with the breakthrough on Hebron. That's where we need to go.

The United States is going to remain centrally involved in our unique way. We've said what we have to say on this. But now the challenge is to keep the peace process together and keep it moving in a forward direction. That's what we're dedicated to in our conversations with both the PA and the Israeli Government.

QUESTION: In your talks with the Palestinians, have they indicated that they would do "X" if this announcement went forward?

MR. BURNS: Well, I'm not going to reveal everything that we've discussed with the Palestinians, but I think you've seen Chairman Arafat's comments today. You've seen comments by other Palestinian officials. They're very unhappy.

What needs to happen is that they need to work with the Israelis to make sure that this decision does not undermine everything else that's been accomplished. The Israelis need to work with them, and that's what we'll be encouraging.

QUESTION: Nick, when you inform the Israelis of your opposition to this and the response was, the government would fall if they didn't go ahead with it? What was your response to the government's -

MR. BURNS: Sid, I'm not accepting the premise of your question. You're writing a MEMCON for me. I don't accept that. I'm not going to tell you what the basis of our conversation was. I simply noted the fact that the United States did not give a green light to this action. The United States did advise the Israeli Government that this action, we felt, would be contradictory to the peace negotiations. I'm simply not going to repeat for you the specific nature of our discussions with the Israelis.

QUESTION: Leaving aside the specific discussions, aren't there political realities for the Prime Minister of Israel on this issue that he can't ignore if he wants to remain the Prime Minister of Israel?

MR. BURNS: There are political realities for the Israelis and there are political realities for the Palestinians. The challenge for an intermediary like the United States is to make sure that there is some common ground between those political poles that can be created for progress.

In the last four years, they, together, have made tremendous progress; more than anytime since the creation of the State of Israel nearly 50 years ago. They made that progress because they pledged to each other that they would take account of each other's political sensitivities and political problems. It works both ways, Sid. It's not just a one-way street. It's a two-way street. David.

QUESTION: To just understand a little better just how strongly the United States feels about this. If these settlements go ahead, will that have any impact on the U.S.-Israeli relationship?

MR. BURNS: David, we have said what we wanted to say over the past 24 hours. The fact is that we're a friend of Israel and a friend of the Palestinians. We need to keep engaging both the Israelis and Palestinians to make sure that progress can be possible in the future. It's not an option for us to walk away, to throw up our hands and say, "We don't agree with what's happened; we're getting out." That's not the American way, and that's not what the United States - the role that we've had for the past quarter century in the Middle East. So we're going to stay in there. We've had disappointments in the past. We need to overcome them.

QUESTION: There is, though, however, a history of the United States using influence in these areas. You might use the word "punish." Is there any activity planned in that regard?

MR. BURNS: I've said what I have to say over the last 24 hours about this incident.

QUESTION: Did the Saudis ask you to do something more than just saying you don't like it and you did not accept it?

MR. BURNS: There was a general discussion in both of the meetings this morning. Obviously, the Saudi reaction has been quite negative as it has been throughout the Arab world.

I think our reaction has been to say, we need to manage these challenges, all the challenges that present themselves. All of us do - Americans, Arabs, all of us who support the peace negotiations.

QUESTION: Was there a discussion on how we can do that?

MR. BURNS: Excuse me?

QUESTION: Was there any discussion about how this can be done?

MR. BURNS: There was some specific discussion, yes. The Saudi Government, of course, supports the Madrid peace process. The Saudi Government has been involved in some of the multilateral talks in the past, and we very much hope that all the Arab countries that have participated in those talks in the past will continue to do that in the future.

QUESTION: Nick, in his public statements, Yasser Arafat said that the new settlement announced is not only an obstacle to peace but it contravened the American letter of assurances which were given to him and the other side at the time of the signing of the Hebron agreement. Do you think it in any way contravenes that letter of assurances from then-Secretary Christopher?

MR. BURNS: Jim, again, I hate to repeat myself, but we've said what we want to say on this issue in public. If we have other things to say, and we may, we'll leave those for our private discussions.

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Turkey: Military implicated in attack on rights activist

A - Infos News Service
InterPress Service
Tuesday, 26 May 1998
By Nadire Mater
Source: PeaceNet Conference ips.english

ISTANBUL, May 26 (IPS) - The would-be assassins who gunned down Turkey's top human rights activist got their training, in secret, from a non-commissioned officer with neo-fascist sympathies serving with a top anti-terrorist intelligence unit.
Six men were arrested at the weekend in connection with a near-fatal gun attack on Akin Birdal, chairman of the country's Human Rights Association. Shot seven times, Birdal was badly wounded but survived. Two of the arrested group, Kerem Deretarla and Bahri Eken, have reportedly confessed all to investigators and will plead guilty to charges of attempted murder.

In a remarkable confrontation, they were both brought before Birdal's hospital bed so he could confirm them as the men who gunned him down in his office on May 12.

''I looked into their very eyes,'' Birdal told IPS by phone Monday, ''but they could not do the same to me. They were the killers. But they are only tools, mere children. The real agents are behind them.''

Deretarla, just 17 years old, has told police that he was trained for the attack in a secret woodland camp north of Istanbul. His trainer was one Cengiz Ersever, a non-commissioned officer serving with the country's paramilitary gendarmes. Ersever was promptly arrested and is expected to plead
guilty to the charges.

Speaking to IPS from his bed in Ankara's private Sevgi Hospital, Birdal recalled the moment when the would-be killers struck. ''I knew,'' he said, speaking faintly and with difficulty. ''I was expecting that they would make an attempt on my life.

''They had come as visitors. But I suspected them, so I was alert and stood up as they were leaving the room, so I could move and defend myself.'' Birdal must undergo more surgery in the days to come. His left foot and right arm are still paralysed.

According to the gunmen's own testimony, as widely reported here, he was targeted after the media printed the leaked testimony of former Kurdish guerrilla commander Semdin Sakik, who was snatched by a Turkish special forces unit earlier this year.

In a wide ranging series of allegations attributed to Sakik -- some of which he has since denied -- a long list of critics of the government and military were 'named' as 'Kurdish agents' and supporters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) guerrilla force.

According to the alleged testimony of Sakik, PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was supposed to have said that while Birdal ''is not affiliated to the PKK, he is more PKK than anybody else in the organisation''. Without Birdal, Ocalan allegedly said, the PKK ''would not be able to establish the present influence we have in Europe''.

The unsubstantiated claims, quickly denied by Birdal, gave a green light to Ersever, Deretarla and Eken, who had formed a covert death squad specifically to target such 'enemies of the state'.

''We decided to kill Akin Birdal when we read Sakik's testimonies in the dailies,'' the gunmen are said to have told the police.

According to evidence presented to the courts here, Ersever signed the two up alongside 15 others to form a death squad code-named the Turkish Revenge Brigade. All were members of the neo-fascist Nationalist Action Party (MHP) whose youth wing, the Gray Wolves, have been implicated in the murders of thousands of dissidents over the last three decades.

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