News

DATE=01/27/99 TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP NUMBER=6-11117 TITLE=SADDAM HUSSEIN BYLINE=NELSON BROWN TELEPHONE=619-2702 DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS CONTENT= INTRO: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN IRAQ HAVE PROMPTED U-S NEWSPAPER EDITORS TO REVIEW UNITED STATES' AND UNITED NATIONS' POLICIES REGARDING IRAQI LEADER SADDAM HUSSEIN. WE GET A SAMPLING NOW FROM _____________ IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP. TEXT: AN EDITORIAL IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES TOOK NOTE OF WHAT IT DESCRIBED AS WASHINGTON'S NEW RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR U-S AIR FORCE AND NAVY PILOTS PATROLLING THE NO-FLY ZONES OVER NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN IRAQ. THE PAPER SAYS THE U-S PILOTS NOW HAVE WHAT THEIR COMMANDERS HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR: PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY TO CONDUCT MORE ASSERTIVE OPERATIONS IN RESPONSE TO INTENSIFIED ANTI-AIRCRAFT FIRE AND INCREASING INTRUSIONS INTO PROHIBITED AIR SPACE BY IRAQI FIGHTERS. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES SAYS SADDAM HUSSEIN IS TRYING TO PROVE TO HIS OWN PEOPLE AND OTHERS OUTSIDE THAT AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF SANCTIONS AND ISOLATION HE IS NEITHER POWERLESS NOR INTIMIDATED. BUT THE PAPER QUESTIONS WASHINGTON'S LATEST STRATEGY. VOICE: THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THIS NEW STRATEGY IS NOT YET CLEAR. THE PENTAGON HAS DECLARED SUCCESSFUL SOME OPERATIONS IN WHICH RADAR AND ANTIAIRCRAFT SITES WERE BOMBED. AFTER OTHERS IT HAS KEPT SILENT. THIS WEEK A MISSILE ARMED WITH A TWO-THOUSAND POUND (900 KILOGRAM) WARHEAD WENT ASTRAY AND HIT A CIVILIAN AREA, CAUSING CASUALTIES. WASHINGTON EXPRESSED REGRETS, BUT IT IS NOT ABOUT TO CHANGE ITS OPERATIONAL PLANS. THOSE OPERATIONS ARE PART OF WHAT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION DESCRIBES AS ITS POLICY TO CONTAIN IRAQ. JUST WHAT CONTAINMENT INVOLVES HAS YET TO BE SATISFACTORILY EXPLAINED. TEXT: /// OPT /// THE LOS ANGELES TIMES SAYS THE MORE AGGRESSIVE AIR OPERATIONS HAVE BECOME THE LEAD POLICY BY DEFAULT, IN THE WAKE OF BAGHDAD'S EXPULSION OF THE U-N ARMS INSPECTORS AND THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL'S INABILITY TO AGREE ON WHAT TO DO NEXT. /// END OPT /// A DAILY NEWSPAPER PUBLISHED IN NEW YORK CITY SAYS SADDAM HUSSEIN IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING THE COUNTRY'S CIVILIANS IN HARM'S WAY. IN THE WORDS OF THE "NEW YORK POST": VOICE: A NATION THAT PLACES MILITARY TARGETS NEAR CIVILIANS IS RESPONSIBLE IF, IN THE COURSE OF THOSE TARGETS BEING ATTACKED, THE CIVILIANS ARE KILLED OR INJURED. IRAQI FORCES IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS HAVE DRAMATICALLY STEPPED UP THEIR EFFORTS TO PROVOKE THE AMERICAN AND BRITISH AIRCRAFT ENFORCING THE NO-FLY ZONES THAT WERE ESTABLISHED AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE GULF WAR. ALLIED FORCES HAVE RESPONDED WITH ATTACKS ON IRAQI ANTI-AIRCRAFT WEAPONS. THE FAULT IS SADDAM HUSSEIN'S. THE BLOOD IS ON HIS HANDS. TEXT: BUT THE WASHINGTON TIMES TAKES THE UNITED STATES TO TASK FOR ITS RECENT PROPOSAL NOT TO LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF OIL IRAQ CAN EXPORT UNDER ITS OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM. THE PAPER SAYS THE PROGRAM IS NOT BENEFITING CIVILIANS HURT BY SANCTIONS. AND IT NOTES WHAT IT CALLS A CONSENSUS AMONG ARAB COUNTRIES THAT IRAQ DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED, NOT REWARDED, FOR ITS CONTINUED NON-COMPLIANCE WITH NO-FLY ZONE RESTRICTIONS AND WEAPONS INSPECTORS. THE WASHINGTON TIMES EDITORIAL SEES AN INHERENT CONTRADICTION IN U-S POLICY: VOICE: [THE UNITED STATES] HAS PROMISED 97 MILLION DOLLARS IN U-S MILITARY EQUIPMENT TO ANTI-SADDAM IRAQI GROUPS. AND IT HAS SPENT AROUND SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS TRYING TO CONTAIN SADDAM HUSSEIN IN THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. IT IS TIME THE UNITED STATES DECIDED WHERE ITS HEART LIES. IT CANNOT AGREE TO REWARD AND PUNISH IRAQ AT THE SAME TIME...MONDAY'S BOMBING OF IRAQI TARGETS WAS AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW THAT WE ARE STILL SERIOUS ABOUT CONTAINING SADDAM HUSSEIN. IF THE UNITED STATES REAUTHORIZES THE OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM IN MAY AND LIFTS THE OIL-EXPORTS SANCTIONS, THE BOMBINGS WILL BE NOTHING BUT A HOLLOW TRAINING EXERCISE. TEXT: ANOTHER MAJOR NEWSPAPER IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL, THE WASHINGTON POST, DIRECTS ITS CRITICISM AT THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL FOR NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO A REPORT FROM ITS CHIEF IRAQI ARMS INSPECTOR. VOICE: YOU PROBABLY HAVEN'T HEARD OR READ MUCH ABOUT AMBASSADOR RICHARD BUTLER'S LATEST REPORT TO THE [U-N] SECURITY COUNCIL, AND THAT'S EXACTLY HOW THE SECURITY COUNCIL WANTS IT TO BE. MR. BUTLER...SUBMITTED A 250-PAGE DOCUMENT ON MONDAY THAT IS FULL OF UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS. SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS, MORE INTERESTED IN PLAYING MAKE-BELIEVE THAN IN STANDING UP SADDAM HUSSEIN, DISPARAGED THE REPORT, WITH RUSSIA AND CHINA LEADING THE CLOSED-EYES BRIGADE. THEIR SUSCEPTIBILITY TO IRAQI PROPAGANDA CAN'T CHANGE THE FACTS THAT MR. BUTLER AND HIS ARMS CONTROL EXPERTS PRESENT IN STARK AND UNEMOTIONAL DETAIL. TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST SAID THE REPORT DISPROVED THREE MYTHS: THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS DESTROYED HIS WEAPONS AND POSES NO THREAT, THAT HE COOPERATED WITH THE WEAPONS INSPECTORS AND THAT THE INSPECTORS SHOULD MOVE TOWARD A MORE PASSIVE MONITORING ROLE. /// OPT /// THE PAPER CONCLUDES WITH A STINGING CONDEMNATION OF FRANCE, RUSSIA AND CHINA'S POSITIONS IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL: VOICE: THEY'VE DONE A GOOD JOB OF CHANGING THE SUBJECT -- OF MAKING THE U-N INSPECTORATE THE VILLAIN RATHER THAN SADDAM HUSSEIN. SADLY, A MAJOR CASUALTY OF THEIR SOPHISTRY WILL BE THE SECURITY COUNCIL ITSELF, WHICH MANDATED, WITHOUT ANY AMBIGUITY, THE DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ'S BIOLOGICAL, CHEMICAL AND NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITIES. BUT THIS ISN'T JUST SOME ABSTRACT QUESTION OF CREDIBILITY. SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS USED THESE WEAPONS; HE WILL USE THEM AGAIN. THE UNITED NATIONS CAN IGNORE MR. BUTLER'S REPORT. THAT WON'T MAKE IRAQ'S MUSTARD GAS ANY LESS HORRIFIC. /// END OPT /// TEXT: AND WITH THAT COMMENT FROM THE WASHINGTON POST, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF U-S PRESS OPINION ON THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO IRAQ. (SIGNED) NEB/NCB/GE 27-Jan-99 1:33 PM EST (1833 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .