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History of the war
8 years ago
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Here is a history... with quotes for all of you that need some ammo to stand up to those who just spew hatred...


The 2003 invasion of Iraq is likely to be a contested topic in the American discussion for many years to come. As with any fractious issue, opinions will vary and even individual opinions will shift and change with time. That's a part of the human condition, after all, and one that flourishes in free societies. However, much less admirable efforts by many to obscure their own positions now seem to occur with increasing frequency, as do misquotes of political opponents for personal or "party" gain. Sadly these sorts of things have become common practice among those who bear much of the responsibility for the current situation. Perhaps it has become too much for them to bear, this great and terrible burden of leadership, though stepping aside and letting those of stronger, more determined convictions carry on might be even less palatable to them. Thus history is being rewritten, and free speech is being cheapened by some who employ it the most and cherish it the least - even as Americans fight and die to uphold their rights to do so.

One of the most blatant - and most effective - examples has been the highly successful propagation of the idea that the war in Iraq began as a misguided result of the terrorist attacks on the US on September 11th 2001. To achieve this feat of near-universal denial requires the dismissing of over a decade of real history - years in which a handful of Americans drew a line in the sand on distant shores - a line crossed repeatedly and re-drawn too frequently by too many hands to be forgotten so swiftly.

And it's nearly forgotten they are, those warriors of just a few short years ago. But not just yet, at least not completely. This work in progress is dedicated to my fellow members of the US military, those who stand the "line in the sand" now and those have done so for so many years past.

Look, here is what happened. Listen, here's what they said when it did.

*****

Pre-1990

July 16, 1979: Saddam Hussein becomes president of Iraq.

Sept. 22, 1980: Iraq invades Iran, launching an eight-year war.

November 1980: US Presidential elections; Republican Ronald Reagan defeats incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter.

June 7, 1981: Israeli Air Force destroys the French-built Osirak nuclear reactor near Baghdad. The surprise attack was launched in response to growing concerns that Iraq was planning to develop nuclear weapons to use against Israel.

January 1982: Javier Pérez de Cuéllar of Peru becomes Secretary General of the United Nations.

1983: Reports of Iraqi use of chemical weapons against Iranian forces.

November 1984: Republican Ronald Reagan re-elected as President of the United States, defeating Democrat candidate Walter Mondale.

October 7, 1985: Four Palestinian Liberation Front terrorists seized the Italian cruise liner Achille Lauro in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, taking more than 700 hostages. One U.S. passenger was murdered before the Egyptian Government offered the terrorists safe haven in return for the hostages' freedom. Years later the leader of the hijackers would be discovered in Baghdad following the 2003 invasion.

1986-1989: According to Islamic sources, Osama bin Laden participates in numerous battles during the Afghan war against the Soviets as a guerilla commander, including the fierce battle of Jalalabad which led the Soviets to finally withdraw from Afghanistan. After the Soviets pull out of Afghanistan, bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia a hero. He becomes involved in opposition movements to the Saudi monarchy while working for his family construction firm, the Bin Laden Group.

1987: Reports of chemical warfore attacks on Kurdish villages and guerrilla fighters became more frequent and detailed. Clinical evidence as well as soil samples, confirmed the use of mustard gas and the nerve agent tabun against the Kurdish population. Although the exact number of casualties is not certain, it is generally believed that several thousand Kurdish civilians and Iranian soldiers in the area were killed and several thousands more injured.

May 21, 1987: Iraqi Mirage fighter jet attacks US Navy vessel USS Stark in the Persian Gulf, hitting the ship with two Exocet missiles and killing 37 crew members. The US increases it's naval presence in the Gulf, and begins escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers.

March 16, 1988: Iraq uses chemical weapons against Kurds supporting Iran in Halabja, killing 4000, an attack which begins the Anfal campaigns against Kurdish villages (formally continuing until 6 Sept, though attacks continued until 1989). Approximately 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds are killed in this campaign, and 1,276 villages are destroyed.

August 20, 1988: Iran-Iraq war ends in ceasefire. Death toll is unknown, estimates range from 500,000 to one million; numbers of killed and wounded are estimated as high as 2 million. UN monitoring force established for Iran-Iraq border. Confirmation by UN that Iraq did use mustard gas against Iranian civilians.

Although neither side achieved victory, Iraq retained one of the largest military forces in the world, with one million troops, more than 700 combat aircraft, 6,000 tanks, ballistic missiles and chemical weapons.

November 1988: Republican Vice President George Bush defeats Democrat candidat

Continued...
8 years ago

November 1988: Republican Vice President George Bush defeats Democrat candidate Michael Dukakis in US presidential elections.

1990 - 1991

Aug. 2, 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait and is condemned by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 660 which calls for full withdrawal.

August 6, 1990: UN Security Council passes Resolution UNSCR 66, imposing economic sanctions on Iraq, banning the importation of Iraqi goods and creating the "661 Committee" to oversee sanctions. Saudi King Fahd meets with US Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney and requests U.S. military assistance.

August 7, 1990: US troops arrive in Saudi Arabia, launching Operation Desert Shield. Two naval battle groups, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS Independence, are also in the area by August 8.

Osama bin Laden is outraged by the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, considered the cradle of Islam, and begins to write treatises against the Saudi regime.

August 8, 1990: Iraq declares a “comprehensive and eternal merger” with Kuwait and annexes it as its nineteenth province.

August 9, 1990: UN resolution 662 declares the annexation of Kuwait has no legal validity.

August 25, 1990 UN resolution 665 strengthens the economic embargo against Iraq.

September 5, 1990: Iraq calls for the overthrow of leaders in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

September 13, 1990: UN resolution 666 asks for continuous information on the humanitarian situation within Kuwait and Iraq.

September 16, 1990: UN resolution 667 condemns Iraqi violation of diplomatic compounds in Kuwait and demands the immediate release of foreign nationals removed from Kuwait.

September 24, 1990: UN resolution 669 imposes an air embargo on Iraq.

October 29, 1990: UN resolution 674 reiterates the condemnation of Iraqi treatment of foreign nationals and demands their release.

November 28, 1990: John Major (Conservative Party) becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain, replacing felow Conservative Margaret Thatcher, who had served since May, 1979.

November 29, 1990: UNSC Resolution 678 authorizes the use of "all means necessary" after January 15, 1991, to enforce previous UN resolutions, including that requiring Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait.

January 12, 1991: Congress grants President Bush the authority to wage war. The Senate vote is 52–47 in favor.

January 17, 1991: Operation Desert Storm - the air war begins with more than 1,000 sorties launching per day. Saddam Hussein declares that "The great duel, the mother of all battles has begun. The dawn of victory nears as this great showdown begins."

January 18, 1990: Iraq launches Scud missiles at Israel in an attempt to broaden the war. Ultimately 39 Iraqi Scud missiles would strike Tel Aviv and Haifa.

February 24, 1991: The ground portion of the war in Iraq begins. On February 26 Iraqi troops began retreating from Kuwait, setting fire to Kuwaiti oil fields as they flee. One hundred hours after the ground campaign started, President Bush declared a ceasefire; Kuwait had been liberated.

US forces suffered 147 battle-related and 325 non-battle-related deaths. The UK suffered 24 deaths (nine of those due to friendly fire), the Arab countries lost 39 men (18 Saudis, 10 Egyptians, 6 from the UAE, 3 Syrians, and 1 Kuwaiti), and France lost 2 men. Estimates of Iraqi casualties range from tens to hundreds of thousands.

3 March 1991: At cease-fire talks with the Iraqis at Safwan, General Norman Schwarzkopf warns the Iraqis that coalition forces would shoot down any Iraqi military aircraft flying over the country.

March 10, 1991: (Media) The New York TImes:

After the War: Politics; Another Gulf War?

The question the American soldiers ask as they board planes for home after seven months in the desert is the same one that worries the politicians that live in the region as they turn from preoccupation with military problems to the concerns of civil life.

Will we have to do it all over again? Will we have to find the money and the will, they ask anxiously, to assemble half a million troops to turn back another of Saddam Hussein's attempts to push his neighbors around?

It is the biggest unanswered question among several that hang in the air after the allies' stunningly decisive triumph in the Persian Gulf war, and it casts an ominous shadow over the jubilation here and in the United States. The man who started it all, the villain of the piece, is still around.

President Bush and the other coalition leaders elected not to push through to Baghdad to destroy Mr. Hussein's Government. Authorized by the United Nations only to oust Iraq from Kuwait, the allies went farther, fighting on despite a series of frantic peace bids until they were confident that they had shattered Mr. Hussein's best divisions. Coalition Called a Halt

But with their armies at Nasiriya and the highway to Baghdad, 150 miles away and all but undefended, the coalition leaders called a halt. Despite President Bush's inclination to compare this war to the conflict of his youth, World War II, the allies chose not to hound Mr. Hussein to death in his bunker, as they had hounded Hitler, and not to demand total surrender.

The Saudis wanted to press on, a

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8 years ago

The Saudis wanted to press on, and so did their Egyptian allies, high-ranking officials in Riyadh said, but the Americans, the British and especially the French feared that they would embitter Arab opinion if they seemed bent on revenge or on installing a government of their choice.
<...>
If Mr. Hussein were to make warlike noises again, he would not be told, as the State Department told him last year, that the United States was taking a neutral position. If he were then to take warlike steps, a counterattack would come at once, not after he had had months to dig in and ravage conquered territory. Or so American officials are promising.

So if the allies have not rid themselves of the Iraqi dictator, at least not yet, and if they had not engendered lasting stability in a region that has seldom known it, they appear to have done just about enough to make it unlikely that a second Persian Gulf war will erupt any time soon.

March 10 - 17, 1991: UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar dispatches an inter-agency mission to assess the humanitarian needs arising in Iraq and Kuwait. The mission reports that "the Iraqi people may soon face a further imminent catastrophe, which could include epidemic and famine, if massive life-supporting needs are not rapidly met." Throughout 1991 the United Nations proposes measures to enable Iraq to sell limited quantities of oil to meet its people's needs. The Government of Iraq declines these offers.

20 March 1991: A US F-15C shoots down an Iraqi SU-22 flying over northern Iraq.

22 March 1991: A US F-15C shoots down another Iraqi SU-22 over northern Iraq. That same day, another US pilot intimidates the pilot of an Iraqi PC-9 (a training aircraft) to eject. Iraqi fixed-wing aircraft stayed on the ground for the next 12 months.

March/April 1991: Following the end of DESERT STORM in March, Shiite Muslims in southern Iraq and Kurds in Northern Iraq rebel against Hussein's regime. Most major American newspapers urge the US to stay out of the conflicts.

THE BOSTON GLOBE:

The reports of rebellion in Iraq resemble excerpts from a textbook on regime-toppling in the aftermath of a lost war. On the streets of Basra, a tank manned by returning soldiers turns its turret toward a gigantic poster of Saddam Hussein and, to the cheers of the populace, blows a hole in the tyrant's face....

The true war aims of of the coalition that defeated Saddam's army were, in ascending order of importance, the liberation of Kuwait, the destruction of Baghdad's offensive military capabilities, and the removal of Saddam. The first two have been accomplished by force of arms. The ultimate goal, Saddam's demise, cannot be achieved by foreign troops -- although the governments of Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia are frequently conspiring to back their favorite Iraqi exiles in the postwar struggle for power in Baghdad....

The recycled petrodollars of Kuwait may have been paramount to Bush, but to Assad, King Fahd and Ayatollah Khomeini's successors the real purpose of Desert Storm was to cut Iraq's military down to size and replace Saddam.

For them, the decisive phase of the war has just begun. The Americans took out Saddam's communications with smart bombs; they are now trying to take out his regime with Iraqi proteges, subsidized proxies and professional hit squads.

The present struggle for power in Iraq holds two dangers for the U.S.: that Saddam will prevail, or that he will be replaced by forces equally inimical to peace and human rights. Washington has little control over the battlefield on which this political war is fought.

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:

In the wake of Iraq's military defeat has come urban turmoil. In Basra and other cities in southern Iraq anti- government demonstrators are challenging the iron grip of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. Details are imprecise, and the partisanship of some of the sources claiming to know what is going on makes their information suspect. But some elements of the armed forces are involved, with units perhaps pitted against each other.

This political explosion was ignited by the anger and frustrations arising out of a costly, humiliating, and above all unnecessary war. To a significant but not yet fully measurable extent it is also a continuation of an ancient religious conflict. It pitted Iraq's majority Shiite Muslim population, which has never been permitted to share equitably in power, against an unyieldingly repressive regime dominated by Sunni Muslims....

If foreign armed forces must be sent into the cities to quell turbulence they should be provided by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf states. In other words they should be unmistakably Arab and Muslim.... Not only would it expose ground forces to the possible risks of urban fighting but, far worse, it would give the appearance of the West butting into an Islamic religious conflict. That would be a no-win situation, to be avoided at all costs....

No conceivable good could come from an extension of Iranian influence in Iraq. Should that occur, the region would quickly find itself facing fresh threats to its stability, just as it appeared that the crushing of Saddam Hussein's expansionist ambitions had opened the way to a calmer future. Probably -- nothing is certain in the Gulf -- the deep nationalism of Iraqis of all religious persuasions would work to oppose the aims of their ancient Persian enemy. But if disorders should give way to chaos and foreign armed intervention does become necessary, U.S.

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8 years ago
But if disorders should give way to chaos and foreign armed intervention does become necessary, U.S. and Western forces should make sure they stay well out of it.

THE WASHINGTON TIMES:

No sooner had the guns begun to fall silent in Kuwait than they started to chatter inside Iraq. This weekend the predominantly Shiite city of Basra erupted in bloodshed between pro-Iranian, anti-Saddam dissidents and Saddam's Republican Guard. The conflict may foreshadow the Iraqi strongman's end and possibly even the end of Iraq as a unified nation-state. But however welcome the first might be, the second would be a disaster, not only for Iraq itself but also for the Middle East and U.S. interests in it.

Like many of the states designed by European colonialists and diplomats, Iraq is a hodge podge of different and antagonistic ethnic and religious groups. In the Tigris- Euphrates valley, Shi'ite Arabs predominate, and Shi'ites constitute some 55 to 60 percent of the country's 18 million people. The valley area also contains several cities that the Shi'ites, a 95 percent majority in neighboring Iran, consider among the holiest in Islam. But despite its Shi'ite majority, Iraq long has been ruled by Sunni Muslims, and resentments have festered....

As in most such "multicultural" states, the only thing that has held Iraq together has been the strong (indeed, brutal) arm of Baghdad, but these days the muscles on the arm are beginning to wither.... The return soon of dispirited Iraqi prisoners and veterans won't help stabilize the country either.

The leading figure among Iraqi Shi'ites is Hojatolislam Mohammed Bakr Hakim, who inspires the faithful from his tastiness in Tehran, perhaps aided by the more mundane assistance of the Shi'ite government there. Iran, for religious as well as political reasons, would like to get its hands on southern Iraq, but Hakim might not be the man to help them do it after all. Unlike the Iraqi Shi'ites, he is Persian rather than Arab.

Iraqi dissidents would like U.S. and other allied forces, now occupying most of southern Iraq west of the Euphrates, to intervene on their behalf, but they won't and they shouldn't. The Joint Chiefs of Staff's Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly says allied intervention can occur only if Iraqi unrest threatens allied troops. So far it doesn't, and it probably won't. If U.S. forces did step into the quarrel, they would have to side with one group or another of the dissidents or else wind up in the embarrassing position of supporting Saddam's regime.

Yet the chaos now threatening Iraqi unity could turn the whole country into a gigantic Lebanon, leaving it the plaything of regional poseurs such as Iran, Syria and Turkey, and removing its weight in the delicate regional balance of power. If Iran managed to control Basra, Iraq's access to the sea and its ability to export its oil through the Persian Gulf would be lost, making economic recovery much more difficult or impossible.

If the United States and its allies do nothing else in the Gulf, they can't allow Iraq to be dismembered. The Iraqis themselves can resolve their differences with Saddam and his clique as they will, but President Bush and the other leaders of the allied coalition must make it clear to Iran, the other regional states and to Iraq's own disgruntled fragments that the defeated country can't be carved up.

THE BALTIMORE SUN:

The overthrow of Saddam Hussein would be of great benefit, not only to this country but to his own. That means departure of the whole apparatus of tyranny: his kin, his cronies from Takrit, the Baath Party and the secret police. This would make possible a stable security arrangement in the gulf, reconstruction credit for Iraq, personal liberty for Iraqis and settlement of other Issues....

The dismemberment of Iraq would be a disaster not only for that country but for our own. It would open insoluble strife, unleash nationalisms in conflict with each other and with religious pinions. The anarchy might destabilize all Arab gulf states and require the presence of U.S. troops next door long after Americans wanted them gone. Small wonder that Mr. Bush and Mr. Baker emphasized that the U.S. did not seek the breakup of Iraq....

British influence invented Iraq in the breakup of the Turkish Empire following World War I, assembling a nation- state out of three provinces whose populations had little in common. With their classical leaning, the English were charmed at putting back together ancient Mesopotamia and guiding it to independence as Iraq.

In the north around Mosul, the people were Kurds, Muslims but not Arabs. Putting them in Iraq separated them from Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Syria and the Soviet Union. Ever since, when one of these countries wanted to make trouble for another, it stirred up the other's Kurds. All oppose an independent Kurdistan, for which Kurds hunger.

In the center around Baghdad, a great capital in medieval times, were Arabs who were Sunni Muslims, in the Arab mainstream. Though barely a third of the people, these would rule and hold Iraq together as an Arab nation. And so they have.

In the south, around Basra, were Arabs who were Shiite Muslims, opposed to secular authority, their clerics trained in schools with Iranian Shiites. Shiites are the fastest-growing segment and now more than half the population. During the Iran-Iraq war, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran hoped -- and Saddam Hussein in Iraq feared -- that Shiites would detach the south from Iraq and join it to Persian Iran. They did not. Their Arab nationalism overcame their religion.

But now they are rebelling against hated tyranny. They are capable of ruling southern Iraq, but not the whole country. Saddam Hussein has sent a deputy prime minister to Tehran

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A monstrous crime is being perpetrated in Kurdistan. As the Kurdish people's brief springtime of freedom ends, they are, and will be, subject not only to the effects of a war waged in their own cities and towns without restraint or morality, but to the reimposition of Saddam Hussein's brutal rule and his revenge on those who have challenged him.
<...>
Yesterday Turkey's National Security Council said that more than 200,000 people fleeing Iraq, mostly women and children, were in danger of death near the Turkish border.

"Where is Bush?" was a question we must have heard a thousand times as we toiled on Monday up the slopes of the 8,000ft mountain passes that separate Iraq from Turkey. "Why did he start if he was not going to finish?" or "Why has he not finished Saddam?"

Sometimes all the bitterness and despair are compressed into the single word Bush, pronounced with a terrible resignation. The name of a man who was a hero to the Kurds only a few days ago has become almost a curse.

The Wall Street Journal would report in November, 1997:
In late March 1991, shortly after the Gulf War, Iraqis were in open revolt. Fighting erupted in all but three of Iraq's provinces, and Saddam's army was left with two days' worth of ammunition. A desperate Saddam sent one of his highest-ranking officers as a "defector" with information that Iraq's senior military leaders were on the verge of a coup but hesitated as long as they faced the threat of a revolution. Accordingly, the U.S. signaled to Saddam that he could use his air power, grounded under the terms of the cease-fire, to crush the revolt. No coup followed.
April, 1991: Osama Bin Laden flees Saudi Arabia, after being confined to Jiddah for his opposition to the Saudi alliance with the United States. He moves first to Afghanistan and then to Khartoum, Sudan by 1992 (Source: Newsweek 2/1/99). Sudan had begun to allow any Muslim into the country without a visa, in a display of Islamic solidarity. Allegedly, hundreds of suspected terrorists and ex-mujahedeen come to Sudan as a safe haven (Source: New York Times 9/21/98).

April 3, 1991: UN Security Council resolution 687 establishes the terms of the peace, including return of Kuwaiti property and prisoners, economic sanctions, and Iraqi disarmament. The resolution declares that Iraq shall unconditionally accept, under international supervision, the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of its weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles with a range over 150 kilometres, and related production facilities and equipment. It also provides for establishment of a system of ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq’s compliance with the ban on these weapons and missiles, and requires Iraq to make a declaration, within 15 days, of the location, amounts and types of all such items.

The U.N. Special Commission (UNSCOM) is established to monitor compliance. The International Atomic Energy Agency is authorized to document and destroy Iraqi efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Iraq accepts the resolution.

April 5, 1991: President Bush orders US European Command to assist Kurds and other refugees in the mountains of northern Iraq. Meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs of Staff order forces in Europe to airdrop essential supplies to displaced persons in northern Iraq by 7 April, and to prepare to deploy a US military medical unit to southern Turkey.

6 April 1991: Joint Task Force Provide Comfort formed and deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to conduct humanitarian operations in northern Iraq. After the Kurdish revolt against the Iraqi government failed about 1.5 million refugees fled to the mountains along the border with Turkey and Iran.

7 April 1991: Combined Task Force Provide Comfort begins humanitarian operations from Incirlik AB, Turkey. The task force drops its first supplies to Kurdish refugees.

April 7, 1991: (Media) The New York Times:

Iraq Approval Starts Peace Schedule

Iraq's formal acceptance of the Security Council's Persian Gulf peace offer today meets the conditions for an immediate cease-fire and clears the way for the destruction of Iraq's most dangerous weapons, the establishment of a procedure for Iraqi reparations to Kuwait and the lifting of trade sanctions against Baghdad.

The 120-day timetable for carrying out the demands was spelled out in Security Council Resolution 687, which was adopted on Wednesday.
<...>
In accepting Resolution 687 today, Iraq has agreed never again to try to develop chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.
<...>
After Iraq has handed over its weapons of mass destruction as well as its dangerous nuclear material and agreed to the financial compensation plans, the Security Council will lift the prohibition against buying Iraqi oil, allowing Baghdad to resume normal oil exports.

It will also free Iraq's frozen foreign assets, which will revert to their previous owners.
<...>
Iraq is currently free to import food and medicine, and the Council has promised to approve all requests to ship essential civilian supplies, such as spare parts for water treatment and sewage plants. Arms Ban to Be Reviewed

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1991

April 18, 1991: Iraq provides initial declaration required under UN resolution 687, declares some chemical weapons and materials and 53 Al-Hussein and Scud type long-range ballistic missiles. Iraq declares it has no biological weapons program.

April 27, 1991: In a second declaration regarding nuclear weapons, Iraq admits to having some nuclear materials in addition to those known by the IAEA.

May 7, 1991: In two separate incidents 10 minutes apart, an A-10 and an F-16 reported coming under antiaircraft artillery fire while over northern Iraq.

May 16, 1991: Iraq submits revised declarations covering chemical weapons and ballistic missiles, increasing the number of items declared.

June 6, 1991: The last Operation Provide Comfort border camp closed.

June 7, 1991: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees assumes responsibility for the refugee camps constructed by Combined Task Force Provide Comfort in northern Iraq.

June 9, 1991: UNSCOM begins its first chemical weapons inspection.

June 27, 1991: As Provide Comfort ground units began their withdrawal from northern Iraq, US officials reiterated their earlier ban on Iraqi flights north of the 36th parallel.

Summer 1991: Iraq destroys WMD equipment and documentation in an effort at concealment of pre-war work.

June 17, 1991: Security Council resolution 699 confirms that the Special Commission and the IAEA have a continuing authority to conduct activities under section C of resolution 687.

23-28 June 1991: During the second IAEA inspection (22 June 3 July 1991), Iraq obstructs access to items prohibited under the terms of the cease-fire. UNSCOM/IAEA inspectors try to intercept Iraqi vehicles carrying nuclear related equipment (Calutrons). Iraqi personnel fire shots to prevent the inspectors from approaching the vehicles. The equipment is later seized and destroyed under international supervision.

June 28, 1991: Statement by the President of the Security Council deploring Iraq’s denial of access to an inspection site and asking the Secretary-General to send a high-level mission to Baghdad immediately (S/22746).

June 30, 1991 UNSCOM begins its first missile inspection.

July 7-18, 1991: The third IAEA inspection uncovers large stocks of natural uranium and 15 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, and reveals the existence of various uranium enrichment programs.

July 15, 1991: Combined Task Force Provide Comfort withdraws from northern Iraq. A residual force remains in Turkey to deter Iraqi reprisals against the Kurds.

July 24, 1991: Operation Provide Comfort ends; the task force had delivered more than 17,000 tons of supplies (6,000 tons airdropped, 6,500 tons by helicopter, and the rest by surface transport). Meanwhile, Operation Provide Comfort II commences as a show of force to deter Iraqi attacks on the Kurds, with only limited humanitarian aspects to its mission.

August 2-8, 1991: UNSCOM conducts its first biological inspection of Iraqi facilities and uncovers a major biological program. Iraq declares to the first biological inspection team that it had conducted "biological research activities for defensive military purposes". Seed stocks of three biological warfare agents are handed over to the team, and the team removes three further potential warfare strains.

August 8-15, 1991: Iraq discloses the existence of a supergun and other banned missile related materials.

August 15, 1991: Security Council resolution 707 demands that Iraq provide without further delay full, final and complete disclosures of its proscribed weapons and programs, as required by resolution 687. UNSCR 706 authorizes Iraqi to sell oil for humanitarian goods, but is not accepted by the Government of Iraq.

September, 1991: Former US Marine intelligence officer Scott Ritter is hired as an UNSCOM inspector. Over the next seven years he would take part part in more than 30 inspection missions, 14 of them as chief. He will become one of the most controversial figures in the story of the war.

September 6, 1991: The first UNSCOM inspection team which intended to use helicopters is blocked by Iraq.

September 19, 1991: UNSCR 712 allows for a partial lifting of the embargo and would enables Iraq to sell limited quantities of oil and use the proceeds for humanitarian purposes. In return, Iraq must consent to strict UN monitoring of the contracts and distribution of humanitarian goods bought with the oil revenues. Iraq refuses.

September 21-30, 1991: IAEA inspectors find large amounts of documentation relating to Iraq's efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The Iraqi officials confiscate some documents from the inspectors. The inspectors refuse to yield a second set of documents. In response, Iraq refuses to allow the team to leave the site with these documents. A four-day stand-off during which the team remained in the parking lot of the site ensues.

September 23, 1991: President of the Security Council issues a statement concerning Iraq’s failure to provide unconditional acceptance of resolution 707 (SC/5306 - IK54). Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents f

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Iraq permits the team to leave with the documents following the statement, which threatens enforcement action by members of the Council.

October 1-9, 1991: UNSCOM destroys Iraq's supergun at Jabal Hamran and a start is made on the destruction of components of other superguns.

October 11, 1991: Responding to Iraq's consistent efforts to interrupt or block inspection teams, the U.N. Security Council passes Resolution 715. The resolution says Iraq must "accept unconditionally the inspectors and all other personnel designated by the Special Commission".

October 1991: Iraq states that it considers the Ongoing Monitoring and Verification Plans, adopted by resolution 715 to be unlawful and states that it is not ready to comply with resolution 715.

October 14, 1991: Iraq officially admits research and studies are under way on nuclear weaponization.

October 25 , 1991: Report by Executive Chairman of UNSCOM:

Iraq acknowledged possessing 46,000 filled chemical weapons stored at various sites throughout Iraq.

Conclusive documentary evidence was found at two Iraqi facilities showing Iraq had a program for developing nuclear weapons.

In the course of inspection of Tammuz (Al Taqqadum) Air Base, 200 aerial bombs filled with mustard agent were counted and recorded.

The team examined 30 chemical filled ballistic missile warheads declared by Iraq in the Dujayl area. 14 were binary type filled with isopropanol and cyclohexanol with only DF needing to be added to produce nerve agent prior to use. 56 plastic containers of DF were found. Iraq stated 16 warheads were filled with a mixture of GB and GF nerve agents.

At Al Bakr Air Base, 25 type 250 gauge aerial bombs and 135 type 500 aerial bombs filled with mustard agent were declared by Iraq.

At Al Taji, 6,000 empty aluminum containers intended for filling with nerve agent and inserted into 122-millimeter warheads were found.

At Al Fallujah Proving Ground, Iraq declared the storage of 6,394 mustard-filled 155-millimeter artillery shells. Analysis confirmed the presence of mustard agent.

Of the 14 warheads mentioned above as being filled with chemicals, just prior to their destruction, the senior Iraqi official present said 4 were filled with the nerve agent Sarin.

Iraq has declared 6,120 sarin nerve agent filled 122-millimeter rocket warheads and their attendant motors.

Iraq provided seed stocks of biological warfare agents to the team consisting of Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus anthracis. Iraq also possessed the following micro-organisms-Brucellus abortus, Brucella melitensis, Francisella tularensis and various strains of Clostridium botulinum.

At one undisclosed site, 30 SCUD warheads filled with chemicals were found.

November 18 - December 1, 1991: UNSCOM finds more than 100 items of chemical bomb making material hidden in a sugar factory in Mosul and undeclared material for SCUD missiles.

December 4, 1991: Second report of the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM:

Iraq's recent record in the nuclear area is consistent with, if less dramatic than, its actions over the last six months that included the concealment of evidence of plutonium separation, of uranium enrichment, and of nuclear weapons development, of refusal to permit inspection teams to enter some sites and exit others, and confiscation of documents from inspectors in the course of an inspection.

At Al Tuz, Khamisiyah, and Muhammadiyat numbers of munitions were discovered, including but not limited to 122 mm rockets, which were considered to be in too unsafe a condition to move and for which a drilling and draining (of nerve agent) would be very hazardous.

continued 1992
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1992

January 1992: Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt becomes UN Secretary General.

January 27 - February 5, 1992: UNSCOM verifies delivery of chemical bomb-making equipment to Al Muthanna and concludes additional tests are needed prior to destruction of nerve agents.

February 18, 1992: Special report of the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM regarding the visit of a special mission to Baghdad on 27 January 1991, recording that Iraq was rejecting any obligations imposed on it by Council resolutions 707 (1991) and 715 (1991) (S/23606).

February 19, 1992: Statement by the President of the Security Council approving the report of the special mission and expressing grave concern over Iraq’s failure to acknowledge its obligations under resolution 715 (1991) and the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification, and supporting a decision to despatch a further special mission to Baghdad (S/23609).

February 21 - March 24, 1992: The first chemical destruction team destroys 463 nerve agent filled rockets, i.e. approximately 2.5 tons of agent.

February 28, 1992 Statement by the President of the Security Council, upon receipt of the special Commission’s report, reaffirming that it is for UNSCOM alone to determine which items are to be destroyed under resolution 687, and condemning Iraq’s failure to provide full compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions (S/23663).

March 19, 1992: Iraq declares having more previously undeclared ballistic missiles, chemical weapons and associated material, and says they unilaterally destroyed this material in the summer of 1991 in violation of resolution 687.

April 5, 1992: Iranian warplanes attack rebel bases inside Iraq. Iraq responds by scrambling fighters and (unsuccessfully) pursuing the intruders. Combined Task Force Provide Comfort does not interfere. The Iraqis continued to fly on succeeding days, effectively overturning the ban on all their flying which they had observed since 22 March 1991.

April 9, 1992: Iraq calls for a halt of UNSCOM's aerial surveillance flights, making reference to the possibility that the aircraft and its pilot would be endangered.

April 10, 1992: Statement by the President of the Security Council concerning Iraq’s threats to the safety and security of UNSCOM’s aerial surveillance flights over Iraq and reaffirming UNSCOM's right to conduct such flights (S/23803). Subsequently, Iraq affirms that it does not intend to carry out any military action aimed at UNSCOM's aerial flights.

May 1992: May 1992 Iraq provides its first Full, Final and Complete Disclosures for its prohibited biological and missile programs. Iraq admits to having had only a "defensive" biological weapons program.

June 1992: Iraq provides its first Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited chemical weapons programme.

July 1992: UNSCOM begins the destruction of large quantities of Iraq's chemical weapons and production facilities.

July 6-29, 1992: Iraq refuses an inspection team access to the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture. UNSCOM had reliable information that the site contained archives related to proscribed activities. On July 6 the President of the Security Council issues a statement regarding the refusal by Iraq to permit the UNSCOM inspection team entry into the Ministry of Agriculture and stating that Iraq’s denial constitutes a material and unacceptable breach of resolution 687 (S/24240). Access was thereafter obtained. Evidence gathered from the Ministry is consistent with the removal of items during the period the team was denied entry.

August 14, 1992: Pres. Bush orders the Pentagon to begin emergency airlifts of food to Somalia, a nation suffering from severe famine and factional warfare.

August 26, 1992: President George Bush announces a decision by a coalition of U.N. forces to begin surveillance operations in Iraq below the 32nd parallel. The goal was to ensure Iraq’s compliance with UNSCR 688. To facilitate the monitoring, the coalition barred all Iraqi fixed and rotary wing aircraft from flying over the surveillance area. With the president’s announcement, U.S. Central Command activated Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, a command and control unit for coalition forces monitoring the no-fly zone. The mission was dubbed Operation Southern Watch. The first Southern Watch sortie was flown Aug. 27, 1992 - less than 24 hours after the announcement. By early 2001 pilots had entered the southern "no-fly" zone in Iraq 153,000 times. Between February 2000 and February 2001 allied pilots entered the zone 10,000 times. The mission continues until the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

August 28, 1992: The U.S. government mounts two huge relief operations, rushing food and drinking water to hurricane-ravaged Florida while U.S. cargo planes land in Somalia with tons of food for African famine victims.

October 9, 1992: To protect the US food airlift, the first American forces arrive in Somalia.

October 15, 1992: Statement to the press by the President of the Security Council concerning a high-level statement made in Iraq which appeared to constitute a threat to the security of United Nations inspectors, expressing the Council’s concern for the safety of the inspectors and expressing the wish that Iraq cooperate fully with them (S/5484 - IK125).

November 1992: US Presidential elections - Democrat Bill Clinton defeats incumbent Republic

8 years ago

November 1992: US Presidential elections - Democrat Bill Clinton defeats incumbent Republican George Bush.

November 23, 1992: Statement by the President of the Security Council concerning general and specific obligations of Iraq, including those in the weapons areas, under the various Security Council resolutions (S/24836).

November 24, 1992: Statement by the President of the Security Council concerning statements by the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq and regretting threats, allegations and attacks made by him regarding the various United Nations operations in Iraq (S/24839).

December 3, 1992: The U.N. Security Council unanimously approves a U.S.-led military mission to help starving Somalia.

December 4, 1992: President Bush orders American troops to lead a mercy mission to Somalia, threatening military action against warlords and gangs who were blocking food for starving millions.

December 8, 1992: Americans see live television coverage of U.S. troops landing on the beaches of Somalia as Operation Restore Hope begins (because of the time difference, it was early December ninth in Somalia). The US Operations Restore Hope, Continue Hope and others will ultimately end on March 3, 1995. They cost $1.7 billion and left 43 US dead and 153 wounded.

December 27, 1992: A U.S. Air Force F-16 on patrol in the Southern Watch no-fly zone , encounters a MiG-25 Foxbat. When the MiG pilot locked his air-to-air radar on the F-16, the American pilot destroyed the Foxbat with an air-to-air missile. Shortly after the shoot down, Saddam Hussein positions surface-to-air missiles in Southern Iraq below the 32nd parallel. Since these missiles threaten pilots flying Southern Watch missions, the coalition orders Hussein to move them above the 32nd parallel. He ignores the ultimatum, even after warnings from the U.N.

December 29, 1992: A bomb explodes in a hotel in Aden, Yemen, where US troops had been staying while en route to the humanitarian mission in Somalia. The bomb kills two Austrian tourists; the U.S. soldiers had already left. Two Yemeni Muslim militants, trained in Afghanistan and injured in the blast, are later arrested. US intelligence agencies allege that this was the first terrorist attack involving Osama bin Laden and his associates.

1993

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1993: Inspections are again held up when Iraq attempts to deny UNSCOM and the IAEA the use of their own aircraft in Iraq. The United States, France, and Britain launched several air and cruise-missile strikes against Iraq in response to provocations. In late 1993 Iraq accepts resolution 715. Meanwhile, Muhammad Atef, a top Osama bin Laden lieutenant, and 6 other al Qaeda operatives, set up training camps in Somalia to help Somali tribes oppose the UN peacekeeping operations.

January 6, 1993: Four U.N. allies, the United States, Russia, France and the United Kingdom, agree to work together in enforcing UNSCR 688. They issue a joint ultimatum to Iraq, demanding that Baghdad withdraw all surface-to-air missiles south of the 32d parallel.

January 7, 1993: Despite defiant rhetoric, the Iraqis begin removing some missiles from the southern no-fly zone.

January 8, 1993: Statement by the President of the Security Council, noting that Iraq's action in prohibiting the use of UNSCOM aircraft is an "unacceptable and material breach" of resolution 687 and warns Iraq of "serious consequences", were it to continue (S/25081).

January 10, 1993: Some 200 Iraqis force their way into ammunition bunkers located at the former naval base at Um Qasr and remove weapons and armaments slated for destruction.

January 11, 1993: Statement by the President of the Security Council reiterating the Statement of 8 January 1993 regarding Iraq’s prohibition on the use of UNSCOM aircraft, and again warning of serious consequences that would flow from continuing defiance (S/25091).

January 13, 1993: With Iraqi missile sites still operational south of the 32d parallel, and Iraqi troops making repeated forays across the newly demarcated border with Kuwait, President Bush orders punitive strikes against 32 Iraqi missile sites and air defense command centers.

January 15, 1993: Iraqi AAA fired on a pair of Provide Comfort F-111Fs in two separate incidents. Neither aircraft was hit; neither returned fire.

January 17, 1993: Iraqi AAA fired on two Provide Comfort F-16s. Neither plane was hit and neither returned fire. About an hour later, an F-4G attacked an air defense site that was targeting French reconnaissance planes. An hour and a half after that, a Provide Comfort F-16 shot down an Iraqi MiG over northern Iraq. In the south, US warships fire 45 cruise missiles against the Zarfaraniyah nuclear fabrication facility near Baghdad in response to Iraq's refusal to cooperate with UN inspectors. Eight buildings at the facility, located just outside Baghdad, are hit. One missile, apparently struck by Iraqi anti-aircraft fire, crashes into the Al Rasheed Hotel, killing two civilians.

President elect Clinton issues a statement: "Saddam Hussein's continuing provocation has been met by appropriate and forceful response. I fully support President Bush's actions. Saddam Hussein should be very clear in understanding that the current and the next administration are in complete agreement on the necessity of his fully complying with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions."

January 18, 1993: Provide Comfort F-4Gs attack surface-to-air missile sites in northern Iraq after being fired on, and F-16s drop cluster bombs on Bashiqah airfield after being attacked by AAA fire. In the south, JTF Southern Watch sends 75 US, British, and French aircraft to attack Iraqi missile sites south of the 32d parallel.

January 19, 1993: In two separate incidents, Provide Comfort aircraft clash with Iraqi air defenses. An F-4G fires a missile at a SAM radar site east of Mosul after the radar "locked onto" the Weasel. About three hours later, two F-16s drop cluster bombs on a AAA site after being fired at. Iraq informs UNSCOM that it will be able to resume its flights (S/225172).

January 20, 1993: William J. Clinton becomes President of the United States.

January 21, 1993: A F-16 and an F-4G escorting a French Mirage reconnaissance plane over northern Iraq attack an Iraqi missile battery after the site's search radar began tracking them.

January 22, 1993: An F-4G fires two missiles at a SAM site in northern Iraq.

January 26, 1993: A Voice of America broadcast makes clear that a new US administration will continue the Iraq policy:

President Clinton stressed that United States policy on Iraq will not change. "It is the American policy," he said, "and that is what we are going to stay with."

Secretary of State Warren Christopher also stressed the continuity of U.S. policy toward Iraq. "The United States intends to protect our pilots in the 'no-fly' zone," he said. "The Iraqis know perfectly well what it takes to comply with the U.N. resolutions and with the establishment of the 'no-fly' zones." Secretary Christopher said the U.S. attack on the missile site shows the determination with which the Clinton administration will pursue its policy toward Iraq.

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February 3, 1993: Iraqi gunners fire at Provide Comfort aircraft on routine patrol over northern Iraq.

February 26, 1993: World Trade Center bombing. Later (Feb/March 1995) Ramzi Yousef, "mastermind" of the attack, is captured in Pakistan and extradited to the United States. A search of his former residences leads investigators to believe he is financially linked to Osama bin Laden. Also, he had stayed at a bin Laden financed guest house while in Pakistan. Bin Laden himself would neither confirm nor deny a connection when asked in a 1998 interview, stating only that he did not know Yousef prior to the event.

April 9, 1993: Iraqi AAA sites fire on Provide Comfort aircraft near the Saddam Dam in northern Iraq.

April 18, 1993: An Iraqi radar site illuminates two Provide Comfort Wild Weasels flying north of the 36th parallel. The site was south of the parallel. One of the Weasels, an F-4G, fires an AGM-88 at the tracking radar and destroys it.

June - July 1993: Iraq refuses to allow UNSCOM to install remote-controlled monitoring cameras at two missile engine test stands.

June 18, 1993: Statement by the President of the Council, expressing deep concern over Iraq’s de facto refusal to accept UNSCOM installation of monitoring devices and warning Iraq of the serious consequences of material breaches of resolution 687 (1991) (S/25970). Subsequently, Iraq agrees to the installation of the monitoring cameras.

June 26, 1993: Retaliating for Iraqi complicity in an attempt to assassinate former President Bush, the US fired 23 cruise missiles at the headquarters of the Iraqi secret police in Baghdad.

June 29, 1993: A Southern Watch F-4G fires an anti-radar missile at a AAA site after the Iraqis illuminated it and another F-4G patrolling the southern no-fly zone.

July 29, 1993: In separate incidents, two US Navy EA-6Bs, part of Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, fired anti-radar missiles at Iraqi SAM sites after being illuminated by the sites' surveillance radars.

August 19, 1993: Two Provide Comfort F-16s report possible SA-3 launches west of Mosul and respond with cluster bombs. Two F-15s dropped four laser-guided bombs on the site an hour later.

September 16, 1993: Tripartite report by the Executive Chairman, the leader of the IAEA Action Team and the Director of the Iraqi Military Industrialization Corporation on measures to implement the plan for ongoing monitoring and verification (S/26451).

October 3, 1993: Somalia - "Blackhawk Down" - the most well known of several incidents resulting in loss of life in the humanitarian mission. Casualties and graphic images of Mogadishu residents desecrating the body of an American soldier would ultimately lead to withdrawal of US forces. Only years later would the role of Osama bin Laden's organization in Somalia become known.

October 12, 1993: Second tripartite report on steps to resolve outstanding issues and to implement ongoing monitoring and verification (S/26571).

November 26, 1993: Iraq accepts resolution 715 (1991) and the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification.

December 21, 1993: Iraqi troops fire on a patrol from CTF Provide Comfort's Military Coordination Center near Faydah in northern Iraq. The patrol was within the security zone established 22 May 1991; the Iraqis were over a mile away and outside the security zone. Baghdad denies Western reports of the incident as "fabricated and baseless."

1994
8 years ago

1994: UNSCOM completes the destruction of Iraq's known chemical weapons and production equipment. IAEA teams largely complete their mandate to neutralize Iraq's nuclear program, including the destruction of facilities Iraq had not even declared to inspectors. In Operation Southern Watch the first nine months of 1994 pass without incident. Due to this relative calm Joint Task Force - South West Asia (JTF-SWA) begins a force drawdown with the redeployment of fighter aircraft and other USCENTAF assets to the US from Saudi Arabia.

January 1994: Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria grant overflight rights for 11 USAFE F-16s deploying from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, shaving 2 hours off of the normal flight time. The flight marks the first time US Air Force fighters had flown over these countries on an operational mission since World War II.

February 10, 1994: Joint statement dated 5 February 1994, by the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq and the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission regarding significant progress made since July 1993 in both the political and technical areas, and expressing readiness to expedite the process establishing ongoing monitoring and verification (S/1994/151).

March 25, 1994: American troops complete their withdrawal from Somalia following a largely unsuccessful fifteen-month mission. 20,000 U.N. troops are left behind to keep the peace and facilitate "nation building." They too would withdraw in March 1995.

April 14, 1994: A pair of UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters are shot down by 2 US Air Force F-15's flying out of Incirlik, Turkey. The F-15s misidentified the Black Hawks as Iraqi Hinds violating the "no fly" zone. All 6 crew members aboard the helicopters are killed, along with 20 passengers, including UN observers in the Provide Comfort Zone and military officers from Britain, France and Turkey.

April 29, 1994: Joint Statement issued by the Chairman of the Special Commission, the Head of the IAEA Action Team and the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq regarding progress made, in particular in regard to the establishment of the ongoing monitoring and verification, and recording Iraq’s assurances that it would respect the rights and privileges of the Commission and the IAEA and the Commission’s and the IAEA’s commitment to exercise their rights and privileges in a manner respecting Iraq’s legitimate concerns regarding sovereignty, independence, security and dignity (S/1994/520)

May 1994 Rivalry between Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) & Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), coalition partners for 5 years, breaks out into open conflict in Northern Iraq. Fighting continues until September and intermittently thereafter.

June 1994: UNSCOM completes the destruction of large quantities of chemical warfare agents and precursors and their production equipment.

September/October 1994: Saddam Hussein, upset about continued U.N. sanctions, sets a deadline of 10 October 1994 for the implementation of paragraph 22 of resolution 687 and threatens to stop cooperation with UNSCOM. Iraq moves a significant number of armored vehicles and mechanized infantry troops to Southern Iraq and to the Kuwaiti border. The United States deploys a carrier group, warplanes and 54,000 troops to the Persian Gulf region (Operation VIGILANT WARRIOR).

October 8, 1994: Statement by the President of the Security Council, underlining the complete unacceptability of Iraqi statements threatening to withdraw cooperation with UNSCOM and grave concern over reports regarding the deployment of troops in Iraq in the direction of Kuwait (S/PRST/1994/58).

October 15, 1994: Security Council resolution 949 demands that Iraq "cooperate fully" with UNSCOM and that it withdraw all military units deployed to southern Iraq to their original positions. The resolution prohibits Iraq from using its forces to threaten neighboring countries or U.N. operations in Iraq, and from deploying units south of the 32nd parallel or from otherwise enhancing its military capabilities in Southern Iraq.

October 15, 1994: Letter from the Representatives of Iraq and of the Russian Federation, transmitting a Joint Communique containing Iraq’s announcement that it had withdrawn its troops to rearguard positions (S/1994/1173).

1995

8 years ago

March 1995: Iraq provides the second Full, Final and Complete Disclosures of its prohibited biological and chemical weapons programs.

March 2, 1995: The last U.N. peacekeepers are evacuated from Somalia.

April 14, 1995: The UN Security Council passes Resolution 986, which allows Iraq to buy food and medicine with money raised from the sale of its oil. Iraq will eventually accept the resolution - over one year later.

July 1, 1995: As a result of UNSCOM's investigations and in the light of irrefutable evidence, Iraq admits for the first time the existence of an offensive biological weapons program but denies weaponization.

July 1995: Iraq threatens to end all cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA if there is no progress towards the lifting of sanctions and the oil embargo by 31 August 1995.

August 1995: Iraq provides the third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited biological weapons program.

August 8, 1995: General Hussein Kamel, Minister of Industry and Minerals and former Director of Iraq's Military Industrialization Corporation, with responsibility for all of Iraq's weapons programmes, defects from Iraq to Jordan. Iraq claims that Hussein Kamel had hidden from UNSCOM and the IAEA important information on the prohibited weapons programs. Iraq withdraws its third biological Full, Final and Complete Disclosure and admits a far more extensive biological warfare program than previously admitted, including weaponization. Iraq also admits having achieved greater progress in its efforts to indigenously produce long-range missiles than had previously been declared. Iraq provides UNSCOM and the IAEA with large amounts of documentation, hidden on a chicken farm ostensibly by Hussein Kamel, related to its prohibited weapons programs which subsequently leads to further disclosures by Iraq concerning the production of the nerve agent VX and Iraq's development of a nuclear weapon. Iraq also informs UNSCOM that the deadline to halt its cooperation is withdrawn.

Kamil is Saddam Hussein's son-in-law; he fled Iraq with his wife, another of Saddam's daughters, and her husband - Saddam Kamil, brother of Hussein Kamil. Months later the Kamil brothers would return to Iraq and be shot dead. The most commonly reported story is that Saddam tricked them into returning by assuring them all was forgiven, but a former employee of the Defense Inteligence Agency wrote in response to a PBS broadcast of the story:

In the discussion of Hussein Kamil, it was stated that he provided important intelligence information on the Iraqi chemical and biological weapons programs. Actually, he provided us with very little information - he was demanding too much money for what he was willing to provide. Assuming that he was telling us everything, the Iraqi government decided to release over 10,000 documents on these programs to the United Nations Special Commission, detailing volumes not only on the chemical and biological programs, but their ballistic missile systems as well.

As far as the return to Iraq, Hussein Kamil and his brother Sadddam Kamil had no illusions about their fate. The message from Saddam Hussein was not that all was to be forgiven - this was merely a public relations ploy. They were told that unless they returned - with their wives (Saddam's daughters) - their entire extended families would be killed. Obviously, the two brothers believed that Saddam would do just that, and returned knowing full well what awaited them.

As you said in the program, the daughters were separated at the border by Saddam's oldest son. The two brothers were killed in a firefight with the Special Security Organization - not members of their family as reported by the Iraqi press. Their bodies were dragged through the streets of Baghdad as a warning to those who would defy Saddam.

August 20, 1995: Iraq gives UNSCOM 680,000 pages of printed documents, computer disks, videotapes, microfilm and microfiche relating to its banned weapons programs.

October 15, 1995: Referendum in Iraq - Saddam Hussein wins and will remain president for another 7 years.

November 1995: Iraq provides second Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited missile program.

November-December 1995: UNSCOM: The Government of Jordan intercepts a large shipment of high-grade missile components destined for Iraq. Iraq denies that it had sought to purchase these components, although it acknowledged that some of them were in Iraq. UNSCOM conducts an investigation, which confirms that Iraqi authorities and missile facilities have been involved in the acquisition of sophisticated guidance and control components for proscribed missiles. UNSCOM retrieves additional similar missile components from the Tigris river, which had been allegedly disposed of there by Iraqis involved in the covert acquisition. (More: Washington Post report October 1998)

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Nov/Dec 1998:

Acting on an intelligence tip, on November 10, 1995 the Jordanian government intercepted a shipment of 240 Russian missile-guidance gyroscopes and accelerometers bound for Iraq. The next month, between December 16 and 30, a team of Iraqi scuba divers were directed by UNSCOM to dredge the Tigris River near Baghdad. They pulled out more than 200 additional missile instruments and components. These parts, ma
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They pulled out more than 200 additional missile instruments and components. These parts, many bearing clearly identifiable serial numbers in Cyrillic script, included gas pressure regulators, accelerometers, GIMBAL position indicators, and gyroscopes. (1) These items, like those recovered earlier in Jordan, had come from dismantled Russian submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SS-N-18s) designed to deliver nuclear warheads to targets more than 4,000 miles away.UN inspector Scott Ritter is involved in this event. Some accounts credit Israeli intelligence with providing the initial tip. Note the date - 3 years later - of the news accounts of the investigations. By that time (November 1998) the situation in Iraq had deteriorated to the point that military action seemed imminent.

November 13, 1995: The Islamic Movement of Change plants a bomb in a Riyadh military compound that kills one U.S. citizen, several foreign national employees of the U.S. Government, and more than 40 others.

1996

8 years ago

Mar 1996: UNSCOM teams are denied immediate access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to 17 hours.

March 19, 1996: Statement by the President of the Security Council expressing the Council’s concern at Iraq's denial of access, which it terms a clear violation of Iraq's obligations under relevant resolutions. The Council also demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection (S/PRST/1996/11).

March 27, 1996: Security Council resolution 1051 approves the export/import monitoring mechanism for Iraq and demands that Iraq meet unconditionally all its obligations under the mechanism and cooperate fully with the Special Commission and the Director-General of the IAEA.

May 1996: Under pressure from the United States and Saudi Arabia, the Sudanese expel Osama bin Laden from the country. Bin Laden moves with his 10 children and three wives (he is rumored to have since added a fourth) to Afghanistan.

"Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan. And we'd been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start meeting with them again. They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America."
-- Bill Clinton explains to a Long Island, N.Y., business group why he turned down Sudan's offer to extradite Osama Bin Laden to America in 1996.

May 1, 1996: Iraq accepts UN Security Council Resolution 986, passed over a year earlier in April 1995. The resolution allows Iraq to buy food and medicine with money raised from the sale of its oil. Iraq's acceptance of the resolution signals the beginning of the Oil-for-Food program, allowing Iraq to export $2 billion in oil/quarter to obtain humanitarian items.

May 1996: Iraq's main facility for the production of biological weapons, Al-Hakam, is destroyed through explosive demolition supervised by UNSCOM inspectors.

May 20, 1996: Iraq and UN Secretariat sign a Memorandum of Understanding, implementing UNSCR 986, the Oil for Food program.

June 1996: Clinton officials leak a story to several newspapers that the US plans to block Boutros-Ghali from winning a second five-year-term as Secretary of the United Nations, citing ineficiencies in the organization. Some observers speculate the rumors are an election year political ploy to appeal to a growing anti-UN sentiment in the US.

June 1996: Iraq denies UNSCOM teams access to sites under investigation for their involvement in the "concealment mechanism" for proscribed items.

June 12, 1996: Security Council resolution 1060 terms Iraq's actions a clear violation of the provisions of the Council's resolutions. It also demands that Iraq grant immediate and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection by UNSCOM.

June 13, 1996: Despite the adoption of resolution 1060 Iraq again denies access to another inspection team.

June 14, 1996: Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council condemns the failure of Iraq to comply with resolution 1060. The Council also asks that the Executive Chairman visit Baghdad with a view to securing access to all sites which the Commission designates for inspection (S/PRST/1996/28).

June 19-22, 1996: The Executive Chairman visits Baghdad. UNSCOM and Iraq agree on a Joint 1996 Statement and a Joint Program of Action (S/1996/463). The Chairman establishes modalities for inspection of so-called "sensitive sites", in order to take into account Iraq's legitimate security concerns.

June 22, 1996: Iraq provides the fourth Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited biological weapons program.

June 1996: Iraq provides third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited chemical weapons program. (S/1997/774).

June 25, 1996: A fuel truck carrying a bomb explodes outside the U.S. military's Khobar Towers housing facility in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The bomb was estimated at between 5,000 and 20,000 pounds. The blast completely destroyed the northern face of the building, blew out windows from surrounding buildings and was heard for miles. Nineteen U.S. military personnel are killed, 515 persons are wounded, including 240 U.S. personnel.

June 26, 1996: An coup attempt in Iraq fails when 120 coup plotters are arrested (most are executed). The Wall Street Journal, November 1997:

In 1995 Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law, defected to Jordan. His defection gave U.S. policy makers the idea of tapping a group of former Iraqi officials to plot a coup. The U.S. moved in 1996 to support a group under the command of Gen. Ayad Alawi, himself a defector from Saddam's regime. But the movement, known as the Wifaq (Arabic for "trust"), was plagued from the start by double agents. Indeed, Saddam penetrated it far more effectively than it penetrated his inner circle. In July 1996 Saddam's security apparatus swept across Iraq and arrested hundreds of the Wifaq's agents. Saddam's security services then
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Saddam's security services then used CIA communications equipment, captured from the defectors, to contact the CIA station chief in Amman, Jordan, to crow over their victory. July 1996: Iraq provides the third Full, Final and Complete Disclosure of its prohibited missile program.

UN Inspector Scott Ritter attempts to conduct surprise inspections on the Republican Guard facility at the airport, but is blocked by Iraqi officials. By the time UNSCOM inspectors are allowed into the facility a few days later, they find nothing.

July 28, 1996: 72-hour incursion by Iranian forces into Kurdish “safe haven”, focused on Mas’ud Barzani’s KDP camp at Koi Sanjaq. Iraq takes up a stronger stance against Iran’s ally, Jalal Talabani’s PUK. (See also May 1994 above.)

August 1996: "Operation Desert Focus" initiated. US air assets in Saudi Arabia are relocated from Dhahran and from Riyadh to the remote Prince Sultan Air Base during Operation Desert Focus. The move's purpose was force protection, and came in the wake of the 25 June 1996 terrorist bombing at Khobar Towers.

August, 1996: Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper, publishes a Fatwa by Osama bin Laden. Its title "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places" is a reference to Saudi Arabia, where US troops have been stationed since the Persian Gulf cease fire, enforcing the "no-fly zone" and other sanctions on Iraq.

...The latest and the greatest of these aggressions, incurred by the Muslims since the death of the Prophet (ALLAH'S BLESSING AND SALUTATIONS ON HIM) is the occupation of the land of the two Holy Places -the foundation of the house of Islam, the place of the revelation, the source of the message and the place of the noble Ka'ba, the Qiblah of all Muslims- by the armies of the American Crusaders and their allies...

From here, today we begin the work, talking and discussing the ways of correcting what had happened to the Islamic world in general, and the Land of the two Holy Places in particular...

The situation at the land of the two Holy places became like a huge volcano at the verge of eruption that would destroy the Kufr and the corruption and its' sources. The explosion at Riyadh and Al-Khobar is a warning of this volcanic eruption emerging as a result of the sever oppression, suffering, excessive iniquity, humiliation and poverty...

Clearly after Belief (Imaan) there is no more important duty than pushing the American enemy out of the holy land...

Under such circumstances, to push the enemy-the greatest Kufr- out of the country is a prime duty. No other duty after Belief is more important than the duty of had . Utmost effort should be made to prepare and instigate the Ummah against the enemy, the American-Israeli alliance- occupying the country of the two Holy Places and the route of the Apostle (Allah's Blessings and Salutations may be on him) to the Furthest Mosque (Al-Aqsa Mosque).

I would like here to alert my brothers, the Mujahideen, the sons of the nation, to protect this (oil) wealth and not to include it in the battle as it is a great Islamic wealth and a large economical power essential for the soon to be established Islamic state, by Allah's Permission and Grace...

It is out of date and no longer acceptable to claim that the presence of the crusaders is necessity and only a temporary measures to protect the land of the two Holy Places. Especially when the civil and the military infrastructures of Iraq were savagely destroyed showing the depth of the Zionist-Crusaders hatred to the Muslims and their children, and the rejection of the idea of replacing the crusaders forces by an Islamic force composed of the sons of the country and other Muslim people...

Today your brothers and sons, the sons of the two Holy Places, have started their Jihad in the cause of Allah, to expel the occupying enemy from of the country of the two Holy places...

Few days ago the news agencies had reported that the Defence Secretary of the Crusading Americans had said that "the explosion at Riyadh and Al-Khobar had taught him one lesson: that is not to withdraw when attacked by coward terrorists". We say to the Defence Secretary that his talk can induce a grieving mother to laughter! and shows the fears that had enshrined you all. Where was this false courage of yours when the explosion in Beirut took place on 1983 AD (1403 A.H). You were turned into scattered pits and pieces at that time; 241 mainly marines solders were killed. And where was this courage of yours when two explosions made you to leave Aden in lees than twenty four hours!

But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeat

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It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu...

I say to you William (Defence Secretary) that: These youths love death as you loves life.

...Those youths know that their rewards in fighting you, the USA, is double than their rewards in fighting some one else not from the people of the book. They have no intention except to enter paradise by killing you. An infidel, and enemy of God like you, cannot be in the same hell with his righteous executioner.

...Those youths are different from your soldiers. Your problem will be how to convince your troops to fight, while our problem will be how to restrain our youths to wait for their turn in fighting and in operations. These youths are commendation and praiseworthy.

August 23, 1996: Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council strongly reaffirms its full support of the Commission in the conduct of its inspections and other tasks and expresses its grave concern at Iraq’s failure to comply fully with resolution 1060. The Council also states that Iraq’s failure to grant immediate unconditional and unrestricted access to sites and its attempts to impose conditions on the conduct of interviews with Iraqi officials constitute a gross violation of its obligations. The Council also reminds Iraq that only full compliance with its obligations would enable the Executive Chairman to present a report in accordance with section C of resolution 687 (1991) (S/PRST/1996/36).

August 31, 1996: Iraqi forces intervened in fighting between Kurdish factions, helping the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) capture Irbil, the main Kurdish city in northern Iraq - inside the Kurdish haven established above the 36th parallel in 1991.

September - October, 1996: PUK offensive, with Iranian help, recaptures most areas lost in recent KDP offensive, except Irbil, by 21Oct.

September 3, 1996: Operation Desert Strike - retaliating for the Iraqi attack, the US launches 27 cruise missiles against targets in southern Iraq. Two Navy ships launched 14 Tomahawk missiles, while two B-52s fired 13 conventionally armed cruise missiles. The US also extends the Southern Watch no-fly zone to include all areas of Iraq south of the 33d parallel, one degree further north then the original line and just south of Baghdad.

September 4, 1996: A US F-16 patrolling the extended Southern Watch no-fly zone fired a HARM at an Iraqi SA-8 air defense radar after the radar locked onto it. Four Navy ships launched 17 more cruise missiles against targets in southern Iraq.

Following Operation DESERT STRIKE in 1996, Kuwait agrees to a nearly continuous presence of a US battalion task force in Kuwait. (Iris Gold ) These US Army INTRINSIC ACTION rotations and US Marine Corps EAGER MACE rotations conduct combined training with the Kuwaiti Land Forces and other coalition partners. In addition, Special Operations Forces conduct IRIS GOLD rotations to train and assist other Kuwaiti military units. The UN postpones implementation of UNSCR986 (Oil for Food).

September 11, 1996: Iraqi gunners fire an SA-6 missile at two US F-16s over northern Iraq but miss; a fighter and helicopter briefly violate the southern no-fly zone. The US deploys two B-52s to Diego Garcia and orders F-117A fighters to the Gulf.

September 15-18, 1996: Operation Pacific Haven/Quick Transit begins. Combined Task Force Provide Comfort and the 39th Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, assist the US Department of State in Quick Transit I, the evacuation of 2,106 pro-US Kurds from northern Iraq to Guam.

October 7-13, 1996: Combined Task Force Provide Comfort and the 39th Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, assist the US Department of State in Quick Transit III, the evacuation of 3,783 pro-US Kurds from northern Iraq.

October 15-22 1996: Combined Task Force Provide Comfort and the 39th Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, assist the US Department of State in Quick Transit II, the evacuation of 604 pro-US Kurds from northern Iraq.

October 23, 1996: Ceasefire between PUK & KDP, brokered by US & UK.

November 2, 1996: -- A Southern Watch F-16CJ fires a HARM at an Iraqi mobile missile radar near the 32d parallel after the pilot receives radar warning signals.

November 1996: US presidential election, incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton re-elected over Republican challenger Bob Dole.

Nov 1996: Iraq blocks UNSCOM from removing remnants of missile engines for in-depth analysis outside Iraq.

November 19, 1996: President Clinton follows through on earlier statements; the US vetoes a second term for UN Secretary Gerneral Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

December 10, 1996: The oil-for-food program begins operations as oil flows from Iraq for the first time since 1990. The first shipments of food arrive in Iraq in March 1997. The first six months of activity under UNSCR986 (14Apr 95) would result in 1 billion dollars in revenue generated providing food and medicine for 18 million Iraqis living under Baghdad rule. Estimates of the death toll resulting from UN sanctions between 1990 and 1996 vary widely; some indicate that 750,000 people died thro

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Estimates of the death toll resulting from UN sanctions between 1990 and 1996 vary widely; some indicate that 750,000 people died through malnutrition and lack of medicines; and that the rate at this time was 10,000 a month.

However, the program would ultimately become tainted with accusations of corruption. In January 2004, an Iraqi newspaper will publish a list of hundreds of global companies, politicians, writers and UN officials alleging they profited from the illicit sale of Iraqi oil. An October 2005 report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:

It took 20 months for UN Security Council Resolution 986 to become the oil-for-food program that eased sanctions on Iraq enough to allow Saddam Hussein to sell some oil for food and medicine.

The resolution passed in April 1995. The program got underway after the proper paperwork was signed by the government of Iraq and the UN in May of 1996.

In the beginning, Iraq was allowed to sell $2 billion worth of oil every six months. In 1998, the limit was raised to $5.26 billion every six months. In December 1999, the Security Council removed the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports under the program.

But fluctuating oil prices – especially in the early stages – meant Iraq had trouble producing as much oil as it was allowed to sell. Baghdad complained that years of sanctions after the 1991 Gulf War had devastated its ability to pump and ship oil.

Originally, two-thirds of the money raised from the program went to humanitarian programs in Iraq and 30 per cent went to the Compensation Commission in Geneva, which oversees payment for losses and damage as a result of the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The rest went to covering the costs of the program and of the weapons inspection program.

In 2000, the distribution was changed slightly: 72 per cent of revenue going to humanitarian programs, 25 per cent to the Compensation Commission and the rest to administration.

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, an estimated 60 per cent of Iraq's population depended on the food, medicine and humanitarian supplies bought with money from Iraqi oil sales.

The program was suspended during the Iraq war. On Nov. 21, 2003, the program officially came to an end when the Security Council handed over authority for it to the Coalition Provisional Authority that ran Iraq until it handed over power to an interim government seven months later.

In January 2004, accusations of corruption in the $67-billion program surfaced. An Iraqi newspaper published a list of hundreds of global companies, politicians, writers and UN officials alleging they profited from the illicit sale of Iraqi oil. In response to these allegations, the UN, the U.S. Congress and the new Iraqi government all set up inquiries.

Saddam Hussein's government skimmed billions of dollars from the program by collecting kickbacks and illegal surcharges from oil buyers.

A U.S. Senate investigation has implicated politicians including British MP George Galloway and the former French interior minister Charles Pasqua. Both men are accused of kicking back lump sums to Saddam Hussein's government from the profits they made selling vouchers for discounted Iraqi oil to trading and refinery companies.

Both men deny these allegations. Galloway, an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, has accused the Republican-led Senate investigation of bias against the UN and of attempting to divert attention from the illegal invasion of Iraq. Pasqua said the Americans are punishing him for France's opposition to the war in Iraq.

At the UN, the scandal reached all the way to the top, to Secretary General Kofi Annan. His son, Kojo, was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by a key contractor for the program, a Swiss company called Cotecna Inspection SA.

On March 29, 2005, investigators concluded there was not enough evidence to suggest that Kofi Annan knew of the contract bid by his son's employer. But it suggested that the secretary general did not do enough to determine the nature of his son's relationship with Cotecna.

In a subsequent report on Aug. 8, 2005, investigators mentioned the discovery of new e-mails that suggest Kofi Annan knew more about his son's role in the oil-for-food program than he had divulged earlier. The independent panel's final report blamed Annan for mismanagement but found no evidence of wrongdoing on his part. The report, released Sept. 7, 2005, does condemn "illicit, unethical and corrupt" behaviour during the oil-for-food program. Annan has called the findings "deeply embarrassing" for the UN.

December 30, 1996: Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council deplores the refusal of Iraq to allow the Special Commission to remove certain missile engines from Iraq for analysis, and demands that Iraq allow such removal. (S/PRST/1996/49).

December 27, 1996: France announces it will not take part in the successor operation to Provide Comfort (to be called Operation Northern Watch) on the grounds that the new operation did not include humanitarian aid to the Kurds.

December 31, 1996: Operation PROVIDE COMFORT officially ends. The US had flown more than 42,000 fixed-wing sorties during the operation, while the Combined Task Force flew nearly 62,000 fixed- and rotary-wing sorties.

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1997

January 1997: Kofi Annan of Ghana becomes Secretary General of the United Nations.

1997: The Additional Protocol is added to the global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), giving IAEA inspectors more authority to investigate programs in member states. The protocol is in response to the realization that Iraq -- a NPT signatory -- had been able to move swiftly and covertly toward the construction of a nuclear weapon in the late 1980s under the treaty's previous safeguards. Inspections in the 1990s revealed that Iraq was much closer to building a nuclear weapon in the 1980s than had been suspected by IAEA officials.

January 1, 1997: The Turkish government approves a continuing air operation from Turkey, and Operation NORTHERN WATCH begins.

February 1997: Iraq allows UNSCOM to remove the missile engines (See Nov 1996).

March 20, 1997: The first shipment of supplies is cleared for import into Iraq via the Oil for Food agreement.

May 1, 1997: UK general election. The Labour Party led by Tony Blair defeats the incumbent Conservative Party. Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister.

June 1997: The UN Security Council votes to renew the oil-for-food program. The program would be renewed every six months for nearly seven years.

June 1997: Iraq interferes with UNSCOM's helicopter operations, threatening the safety of the aircraft and their crews.

June 18, 1997: Statement by the President of the Security Council expressing serious concern at Iraq’s actions endangering UNSCOM's helicopters, deploring such incidents and demanding that Iraq permit UNSCOM to carry out its air operations anywhere in Iraq without interference of any kind (S/PRST/1997/33).

June 21, 1997: Iraq again blocks UNSCOM's teams from entering certain sites, which have been designated by UNSCOM for inspection.

June 21, 1997: Security Council resolution 1115 condemns Iraq's actions and demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM's team immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any sites for inspection and officials for interviews by UNSCOM. The Council also calls for an additional report on Iraq's cooperation with the Commission and suspends the periodic sanctions reviews.

September 1997: Iraq provides fifth Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited biological weapons program. An international panel of experts is convened in New York to discuss Iraq’s declaration. The panel unanimously finds Iraq’s declaration to be incomplete, inadequate and technically flawed.

September 13, 1997 One of UNSCOM's personnel is manhandled by an Iraqi officer on board one of the Commission's helicopters while the inspector was attempting to take photographs of the unauthorized movement of Iraqi vehicles inside a site declared by Iraq to be "sensitive", that was designated for inspection. Two days later, Iraq again failed to freeze movement inside another "sensitive site" designated for inspection.

September 17, 1997 While seeking access to a site for inspection declared by Iraq to be "sensitive", UNSCOM inspectors witness and videotape the movement of files, the burning of documents and dumping of ash-filled waste cans into a nearby river. The President of the Security Council makes a statement to the media, which, inter alia, deplores the incidents and urges Iraq to cooperate fully with UNSCOM.

September/October 1997: UNSCOM inspection teams are prevented from inspecting three sites designated for inspection, on the basis that the sites are "presidential sites", which Iraq claims are out of bounds to UNSCOM's inspectors.

October 1997: A protracted confrontation with Saddam Hussein begins after Iraq accuses U.S. members of the U.N. inspection teams of being spies and expels the majority of U.S. participants. The U.N. Security Council threatens renewed economic sanctions. The confrontation continues into November as Iraq expels the remaining six U.S. inspectors and the United Nations withdraws other inspectors in protest. Inspectors are readmitted after the United States and Great Britain again begin a military build-up in the Gulf. However, later in November, Iraq announces it will not allow inspectors access to sites designated as "palaces and official residences." U.N. officials protest, having long suspected that such sites were being used to conceal possible weapons of mass destruction.

October 13, 1997 UN Office of the Iraq Program (Oil for Food) established, Benon V. Sevan of Cyprus is appointed Executive Director. He would eventually become a central figure in the UN investigation into corruption in the program.

But Sevan came to world attention as investigations began into the Oil-for-Food program. Sevan reportedly accepted bribes from Saddam Hussein in the form of oil vouchers, and allowed Saddam to garner $11 billion for military and other uses which violated the UN sanctions against his regime, even as Sevan tried to persuade the United Nations Security Council to make concessions to the Iraqi regime.

On 7 February 2005, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, also implicated in the oil-for-food scandal, suspended Sevan and

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On 7 February 2005, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, also implicated in the oil-for-food scandal, suspended Sevan and another UN official with pay ($1 per year, plus benefits including diplomatic immunity from prosecution) because of their roles in the fraud.

On 8 August 2005, a UN-appointed panel, led by Paul Volcker, published a report on its investigation into the scandal. In the report the panel concluded that Sevan had accepted bribes from the former Iraqi regime and recommended that his UN immunity be lifted, to allow for a criminal investigation. Sevan had resigned from the UN on 7 August 2005, just one day before the report was due to be published.

In October 2005 it was reported he had fled the US and returned to his native Cyprus. No treaty exists between the US and Cyprus that would enable Benon to be extradited for any potential trial.

October 23, 1997: Security Council resolution 1134 (1997), demands that Iraq cooperate fully with the Special Commission, continues the suspension of the periodic sanctions reviews and foreshadows additional sanctions pending a further report on Iraq's cooperation with UNSCOM.

October 1997: UNSCOM completes the destruction of additional, large quantities of chemical weapons related equipment and precursors chemicals. Iraq had previously denied that part of the equipment had been used for CW production. Only in May 1997, on the basis of UNSCOM's investigations, did Iraq admit that some of the equipment had indeed been used in the production of VX.

October 27, 1997: The Executive Chairman sends a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, suggesting the agenda for forthcoming meetings in Baghdad. The letter proposes that Iraq address important outstanding issues, including warheads, VX and the biological weapons area. It also mentions the need to review the "modalities for inspection of sensitive sites" to ensure that inspections are conducted in a credible manner.

October 29, 1997: The Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr. Tariq Aziz, sends a letter to the President of the Security Council, informing the Council of policy decisions taken by the Government of Iraq. The letter includes a decision not to deal with personnel of United States nationality working for UNSCOM, a demand that all personnel of United States nationality working with UNSCOM leave Iraq by a given deadline, and a request that UNSCOM withdraw its "cover" for the "spy plane" U-2, provided by the United States. The President of the UN Security Council issues a statement condemning Iraq's decision and terming it "unacceptable". The statement also demands that Iraq cooperate fully, without restrictions or conditions with UNSCOM, and warns of the serious consequences of Iraq's failure to comply immediately and fully with its obligations under relevant resolutions (S/PRST/1997/49).

November 12, 1997: Security Council resolution 1137 condemns the continued violation by Iraq of its obligations, including its unacceptable decision to seek to impose conditions on cooperation with UNSCOM. It also imposes a travel restriction on Iraqi officials who are responsible for or participated in the instances of non-compliance.

November 13, 1997: Iraq requires the personnel of United States nationality working for UNSCOM to leave Iraq immediately. The Executive Chairman decides the majority of the UNSCOM personnel should withdraw temporarily from Iraq. A skeleton staff remains in Baghdad to maintain UNSCOM's premises and equipment. The President of the Security Council issues a statement in which the Council condemns the unacceptable decision of Iraq in expelling personnel of UNSCOM of a specified nationality, demands Iraq to rescind its decisions of 29 October 1997 and demands that Iraq cooperate fully with UNSCOM (S/PRST/1997/51).

November 20, 1997: Following intensive diplomatic activity an agreement is reached between Iraq and the Russian Federation whereby Iraq accepts the return of the Commission (UNSCOM) with its full complement of staff to resume its work in Iraq. The Commission’s personnel, who had been temporarily withdrawn to Bahrain, return to Iraq on 21 November and resume their inspection activities the following day.

November 21, 1997: An Emergency Session of the Special Commission is held in New York in order to discuss and advise on ways to make the work more effective. The report of the Emergency Session is submitted to the Security Council (S/1997/922).

December 3, 1997: Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Emergency Session of the Commission. The Council also stresses that the effectiveness and speed with which UNSCOM might accomplish its responsibilities was determined by the degree to which Iraq cooperated in disclosing the full extent and disposition of its proscribed programs, and in granting UNSCOM unimpeded to all sites, records and individuals. The Council further welcomes the progress achieved by UNSCOM and the IAEA in the various disarmament areas (S/PRST/1997/54).

December 17, 1997: The Executive Chairman returns to New York from Iraq and reports, inter alia, to the Council that Iraq would not permit UNSCOM inspectors into a category of sites (Presidential and Sovereign) hitherto not identified to the Council o

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December 17, 1997: The Executive Chairman returns to New York from Iraq and reports, inter alia, to the Council that Iraq would not permit UNSCOM inspectors into a category of sites (Presidential and Sovereign) hitherto not identified to the Council or the Commission as being off-limits to inspection (S/1997/987).

December 22, 1997: The President of the Security Council issues a statement in which members of the Council call upon the Government of Iraq to cooperate fully with UNSCOM and stress that failure by Iraq to provide immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any site is unacceptable (S/PRST/1997/56).

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1998

1998: The tensions continue. Meanwhile, President Clinton is confronted with a growing domestic scandal that will ultimately become politically interwoven with military actions against Iraq. A more complete timeline of those events can be found here. Excerpts considered essential to this account will be included below.

January 13, 1998: Iraq blocks an inspection by an American dominated team. It accuses the leader of the team, Scott Ritter, of spying for the US. UNSCOM timeline: The Executive Chairman reports to the Council that during the first day of an inspection, Iraq announced that it was withdrawing its cooperation with the inspection team on the pretext that the team had too many individuals of US or UK nationality (S/1998/27 of 13 January 1998).

January 14, 1998: Iraq continues to block the work of the inspection team. The President of the Security Council issues a statement terming Iraq’s actions unacceptable and a clear violation of the relevant resolutions and reiterates its demand that Iraq cooperate fully and immediately without conditions (S/PRST/1998/1).

January 17, 1998: President Clinton, testifying under oath to lawyers in the Paula Jones harassment case, denies having had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

January 19, 1998: Monica Lewinsky's name and the rumours linking her with Clinton are published on the Drudge report internet site.

January 22, 1998: Following a visit to Iraq, the Executive Chairman reports to the Council that, despite the Council’s Statement on the need for unrestricted access to all sites, the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq continues to assert that Iraq would not permit access to eight so-called Presidential sites (S/1998/58).

January 26, 1998: "I want you to listen to me. I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky. I never told a single person to lie, not a single time, never." - President Clinton

Investigations will continue throughout the summer.

January 28, 1998 - President Clinton delivers his State of the Union address, and says the US is prepared to carry out a military attack against Iraq.

January 1998: In a Sep. 14, 2002 Time magazine interview, Scott Ritter describes his visit to a "childrens prison" in Iraq during this month.

You've spoke about having seen the children's prisons in Iraq. Can you describe what you saw there?

The prison in question is at the General Security Services headquarters, which was inspected by my team in Jan. 1998. It appeared to be a prison for children — toddlers up to pre-adolescents — whose only crime was to be the offspring of those who have spoken out politically against the regime of Saddam Hussein. It was a horrific scene. Actually I'm not going to describe what I saw there because what I saw was so horrible that it can be used by those who would want to promote war with Iraq, and right now I'm waging peace.

February 1, 1998: "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction." - US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

Early February, 1998: Two technical evaluation meetings (TEM take place in Baghdad, reviewing 1998 the position with respect to the chemical weapons agent VX. and missile warheads. The report of the outcome of the meetings is submitted to the Council (document S/1998/176). Despite Iraq’s assertions and it having had a full opportunity to present its views on all matters pertaining to the two issues, the team of UNSCOM international experts conclude unanimously that Iraq has still not provided sufficient information for UNSCOM to conclude that Iraq had undertaken all the disarmament steps required of it in these areas. The Commission’s experts provide the Council with an oral briefing of the outcome on these two TEMS in March 1998.

February 4, 1998: "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." - President Bill Clinton.

February 9, 1998: The Arab League puts forward proposals to end the crisis. It says the inspection teams should be chosen by UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

February 11, 1998: The US Navy is poised for strikes against Iraq:

ABOARD THE USS GEORGE WASHINGTON...

As the United States prepares for possible strikes against Iraq, Navy and Marine Corps pilots are set to fly the majority of missions in an operation code-named "Desert Thunder" that will hinge, by all accounts, on downpours of precision munitions...

At the center of any U.S. air assault on Iraq would be the F/A-18 and F-14 fighter jets on this aircraft carrier and another, the USS Independence, along with about 250 Tomahawk cruise missiles spread among eight other ships.

February 13, 1998: Russia objects to US plans for military action. The United States insists it will not walk away from stopping Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction, and Russian objections would not prevent use of force. Russia says diplomatic effort sh
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Russia says diplomatic effort should not end before Kofi Annan visits Baghdad. (BBC)

February 15-18, 1998: In order to understand the scope (size and perimeters) of the eight Presidential sites which Iraq had decided to declare off-limits to the UNSCOM inspectors, the Secretary-General decides to despatch a technical survey team to Iraq. The report of this mission is forwarded to the Council under cover of a letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council (S/1998/166 Add.1).

February 17, 1998: "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Bill Clinton

February 18, 1998: "Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face. And it is a threat against which we must, and will, stand firm." - Secretary of State US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

February 18, 1998: "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser.

February 18, 1998: "If a soldier's life needs to be lost let it start with mine." - an un-named American GI expressing his support for President Clinton's policy on Iraq.

February 20-23, 1998: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan visits Iraq in an effort secure inspections of what Iraq terms "presidential sites." The United Nations and the Republic of Iraq agree on the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding (MO.) (S/1998/166) which was signed on 23 February. The Secretary-General secures Iraq’s reconfirmation of its acceptance of all relevant resolutions of the Council and the reiteration of its undertaking to cooperate fully with UNSCOM and the IAEA. In the Memorandum, Iraq also undertakes to accord to UNSCOM and the IAEA immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access in conformity with the resolutions of the Council. For its part, the United Nations reiterates the commitment of all member States to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq. The Memorandum also includes an undertaking by the Commission to respect the legitimate concerns of Iraq relating to national security, sovereignty and dignity. The Memorandum also provides for the establishment of special procedures which would apply to initial and subsequent entries for the performance of the tasks mandated at the eight Presidential sites. The Memorandum. also makes provisions for the appointment of a Commissioner to head the Special Group established for the mandated tasks at Presidential sites. Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala is appointed to this position by the Secretary-General.

February 20, 1998: Annan arrives in Baghdad, saying he has a "sacred duty" to try to defuse the crisis. In Jordan, a bystander is killed in clashes between police and a crowd of worshippers demonstrating in support of Iraq.

February 22, 1998: The UN secretary general holds a three-hour meeting with Saddam Hussein, and the UN later announces a deal on weapons inspections. The US says it will await Kofi Annan's formal report to the Security Council. "What really matters is Iraq's compliance, not its stated commitments; not what Iraq says but what it does. In the days and weeks ahead, Unscom must test and verify." - President Clinton.

February 23, 1998: Osama Bin Laden, enraged by the presence of US forces in Saudi Arabia enforcing sanctions against Iraq, issues a fatwa with the Islamic Group, Al Jihad, the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh and the "Jamaat ul Ulema e Pakistan" under the banner of the "World Islamic Front," which stated that Muslims should kill Americans including civilians--anywhere in the world.

No one argues today about three facts that are known to everyone; we will list them, in order to remind everyone:

First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.

If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1

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which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.

All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in "Al- Mughni," Imam al-Kisa'i in "Al-Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: "As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life."

On that basis, and in compliance with Allah's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.

February 26 1998: The diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis is not universally well received, and critics of President Bill Clinton respond. The NY Times reports that Senator Trent Lott, (R-Ms) argues against the UN solution, and that he was not alone:
Many lawmakers Wednesday yearned for more than the administration's policy to contain Saddam.

"A democratic Iraq is certainly in our interest," Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb., said in floor speech. "But it is above all for the sake of the Iraqis that we must replace Saddam."

But other Senators disagree:
"The president was in a tough spot, and this may be workable for him," said Rep. Dick Armey, R-Texas, the House majority leader.

Rep. Tillie Fowler, R-Fla., a Republican on the National Security Committee, said, "We need to learn more about the agreement, but let's give it an opportunity to work."

Rep. Constance Morella, R-Md., said, "We should proceed with caution and see if he keeps his word."

As Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the senior Democrat on the House National Security Committee, put it, "Saddam's feet will be held to the fire. We'll see if he complies. If not, we'll thump him."

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he BBC reports:
First, it appears that the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has achieved the optimum objectives of Washington's policy over the past few weeks. President Clinton and his senior foreign policy advisors can boast free and unfettered access for UN weapons inspectors, conceded after diplomatic pressure, not military action. That's what said they wanted all along.

Second, US military commanders privately confide they told the President a diplomatic exit would suit them just as well, given the uncertainties about the possibility of outright military success.
<...>
Trent Lott, the Republican leader in the US Senate, expresses one element of this feeling by accusing the Clinton administration of appeasement. Mr Lott said the outcome of the Iraqi crisis showed that it was the UN calling the shots, not the United States.

This should strike a chord with many Americans nostalgic for the heyday of US power who see no reason why the world's only superpower should not dictate policy to other nations. They find the idea that Washington might have backed down because France or Russia or China were disinclined to go to war an insult to their national self-image.

But, the Clinton Administration itself may have generated some of this sense of anti-climax.

Over the last few weeks the President and his advisors used some tough talk about dealing with Saddam Hussein in their arguments for a military strike. They demonised the Iraqi leader as a "dangerous tyrant" and an "insidious dictator". Now they have to explain to Americans why they'll have to live with this man still in power in Baghdad.

The noisy town meeting in Ohio last week contained some clues as to the confused state of American public opinion.

Sure there were loud voices, reminiscent of the anti-Vietnam protests opposed to any US military action. But the Clinton foreign policy team was also assailed by those who argue that American troop losses are not worthwhile unless Saddam is driven from power.

Attempts to explain that the objectives of military action would be limited and would not include Saddam Hussien's removal didn't seem to capture anyone's imagination.

Now President Clinton must have recourse to subtlety once again to explain the deal cut in Baghdad. Americans weaned on simple truths about evil empires may not respond wholeheartedly.

February 27, 1998 UNSCOM Chief Inspector Richard Butler endorses the agreement, and Kofi Annan dismisses his critics in the US:
The BBC UN correspondent said Mr Butler's endorsement was politically vital for Mr Annan, whose deal with Baghdad has been criticised by some American politicians as a sell-out to Iraq.

As part of a bid to stop UN staff being disheartened by critics of the agreement, Mr Annan told them: "It is the (Security) Council, not a few critics, who will have the last word.

"It was not unexpected that there would be some criticism of us and misrepresentations of what we have done in Iraq, but you must not be disheartened," he said. "The alternative to the agreement would have ended UNSCOM's work."

February 28, 1998: Recap, Operation Desert Thunder - In addition to the U.S. and coalition forces already in Kuwait, a brigade task force from 3d Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., rapidly deployed to Kuwait. Departing from Hunter Army Airfield, the brigade task force deployed 4,000 personnel and 2,900 short tons of equipment on 120 aircraft. Within 15 hours of landing at Kuwait City International Airport, the unit had drawn prepositioned equipment and was in battle positions in the desert. On Feb. 28, Coalition/Joint Task Force-Kuwait was prepared to defend Kuwait with a ground force strength of more than 9,000 personnel.

Argentina, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, United Kingdom, and Kuwait rounded out the C/JTF by providing liaison teams, aircraft support, special operations elements, Chemical/Biological, Base Defense Units, MASH units, and medical personnel.

Added to forces on the ground was equipment for two more brigades (one Army and one Marine) afloat in the Arabian Gulf with the Maritime Preposition Force. These ships were poised to link up with soldiers and Marines who would draw their equipment and head to the front if required. Attack air provided by Navy, Air Force, and Coalition assets rounded out this formidable force.

In February and March USTRANSCOM supported the deployment of troops to Southwest Asia in response to Saddam Hussein's defiance of UN inspections. In all USTRANSCOM flew more than 300 airlift missions and nearly 200 air refueling missions, carrying 10,000 passengers and 11,000 short tons of cargo in about three weeks.

Within days of being notified, USS George Washington (CVN 73) arrived in the Gulf to join the Nimitz (CVN 68) battle group. USS Independence (CV 62) ensured the presence of two carrier battle groups, when she relieved Nimitz on station a few months later. These 5th Fleet forces, combined with allied and coalition ships such as the British carriers HMS Invincible (R 05) and HMS Illustrious (R 06), accounted for a fleet of 50 ships and submarines and 200 naval aircraft, which assembled in a matter of weeks to put some weight behind diplomatic efforts.

While the 366th Air Expeditionary Wing from Mountain Home AFB were waiting to deploy to Bahrain beca

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While the 366th Air Expeditionary Wing from Mountain Home AFB were waiting to deploy to Bahrain because of the continuing problems with Iraq, the 347th Air Expeditionary Wing from Moody AFB GA was in Bahrain as the first true Air Expeditionary Wing in the Air Force. The 366th AEW replaced the 347th AEW on 01 April 1998, after the 347th spent over 120 days in Bahrain supporting Operation Southern Watch and Operation Desert Thunder.

During this large scale contingency deployment of Allied Forces into the theater in the spring of 1998, the size of US Army Forces Central Command (ARCENT), Third US Army increased while at the same time relocating their headquarters from the Eastern Province to its present location in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. ARCENT-SA closed its installations in the Eastern Province and moved soldiers and civilian technicians as well as over a billion dollars of equipment safely without incident.

"Without firing a shot, the combined force flexed enough muscle to bring about Iraqi compliance. In early June 1998 the USS Independence (CV 62) Battle Group returns to Yokosuka, Japan after deploying on short notice to the Arabian Gulf and remaining there four months in support of Operation Southern Watch and Desert Thunder. Ships returning with Independence included USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56)."

March 2, 1998: Security Council resolution 1154 endorses the provisions of the MOU. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright asks Richard Butler to keep Scott Ritter from heading any inspection team that is going to inspect Iraqi "sensitive" sites. But after other leaders of UNSCOM inspection teams show support for Ritter in a memo to the Executive Chairman, Ritter returns to Iraq.

March 20-27, 1998: UNSCOM and Iraq conduct a further technical evaluation meeting (TEM) in Vienna dealing with all aspects of Iraq’s biological weapons program.

April, 1998: Scott Ritter complains to Richard Butler that the US, Israel, and the United Kingdom have stopped providing intelligence reports to him. US officials disagree, stating that only Ritter was cut off from information.

April 4, 1998: The initial entry to the eight Presidential sites is completed by mission UNSCOM 243 (S/1998/326, Appendix III).

April 8, 1998: The report of the biological weapons TEM is transmitted to the Council (S/1998/308). As with the other TEMs, the experts unanimously conclude that Iraq’s declaration on its biological weapons programme is incomplete and inadequate. (BBC: A UN report claims Iraq is continuing to hold back information about its germ warfare programme)

April 15, 1998: The report of the Special Group on the visit to Presidential sites is submitted to the Council by the Secretary-General (S/1998/326).

April 16, 1998: UNSCOM's semi-annual consolidated report is submitted to the Council (S/1998/332).

April 17, 1998: UN inspectors say they have made no progress in verifying whether Iraq has destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.

April 18, 1998: The Iraqi Foreign Minister describes the UN inspector's April 9 report as "baseless and boring" and calls for a time limit to be set on inspections.

April 28, 1998: The UN decides that it is too early to lift sanctions against Iraq, renewing the embargo for another six months. But the US acknowledges progress in the access to presidential and sensitive sites.

May 1, 1998: In an open letter to the Security Council, Iraq warns of grave consequences if UN sanctions against it are not lifted.

May 6, 1998: The Executive Chairman informs the Council (S/1998/377) that its requirements with respect to access to sites are sufficiently implemented to allow for the termination of the travel ban called for in resolution 1137.

May 14, 1998: Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council welcomes the improved access provided to the Special Commission and the IAEA by Iraq, following the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding of 23 February 1998. The Council expresses the hope that the agreement by the Government of Iraq to provide immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to the Special Commission and the IAEA would reflect a new Iraqi spirit with regard to providing accurate and detailed information in all areas of concern (S/PRST/1998/11).

May 1998: Osama bin Laden answers questions posed to him by some of his followers and ABC news reporter John Miller at his mountaintop camp in southern Afghanistan. The "land of the two Holy Mosques" is a reference to Saudi Arabia, where US troops have been stationed since the Persian Gulf cease fire, enforcing the "no-fly zone" and other sanctions on Iraq:

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"Follower": ... What is the meaning of your call for Muslims to take arms against America in particular, and what is the message that you wish to send to the West in general?

Osama bin Laden: The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control. These are the reasons behind the singling out of America as a target.

"Follower": In your last statement, there was a strong message to the American government in particular. What message do you have for the European governments and the West in general?

Osama bin Laden: Praise be Allah and prayers and peace upon Mohammed. With respect to the Western governments that participated in the attack on the land of the two Holy Mosques regarding it as ownerless, and in the siege against the Muslim people of Iraq, we have nothing new to add to the previous message. What prompted us to address the American government in particular is the fact that it is on the head of the Western and the crusading forces in their fight against Islam and against Muslims. The two explosions that took place in Riyadh and in Khobar recently were but a clear and powerful signal to the governments of the countries which willingly participated in the aggression against our countries and our lives and our sacrosanct symbols. It might be beneficial to mention that some of those countries have begun to move towards independence from the American government with respect to the enmity that it continues to show towards the Muslim people. We only hope that they will continue to move in that direction, away from the oppressive forces that are fighting against our countries. We however, differentiate between the western government and the people of the West...

The Western regimes and the government of the United States of America bear the blame for what might happen. If their people do not wish to be harmed inside their very own countries, they should seek to elect governments that are truly representative of them and that can protect their interests. ...

John Miller, ABC: Mr. bin Laden, you have issued a fatwah calling on Muslims to kill Americans where they can, when they can. Is that directed at all Americans, just the American military, just the Americans in Saudi Arabia?

Osama bin Laden: Allah has ordered us to glorify the truth and to defend Muslim land, especially the Arab peninsula ... against the unbelievers. After World War II, the Americans grew more unfair and more oppressive towards people in general and Muslims in particular. ... The Americans started it and retaliation and punishment should be carried out following the principle of reciprocity, especially when women and children are involved. Through history, American has not been known to differentiate between the military and the civilians or between men and women or adults and children. Those who threw atomic bombs and used the weapons of mass destruction against Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the Americans. Can the bombs differentiate between military and women and infants and children? America has no religion that can deter her from exterminating whole peoples. Your position against Muslims in Palestine is despicable and disgraceful. America has no shame. ... We believe that the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets, and this is what the fatwah says ... . The fatwah is general (comprehensive) and it includes all those who participate in, or help the Jewish occupiers in killing Muslims.

John Miller, ABC: Wali Khan Amin Shah was captured in Manila. American authorities believe he was working for you, funded by you, setting up training camps there and part of his plan was to plan out the assassination or the attempted assassination of President Clinton during his trip to Manila.

Osama bin Laden: Wali Khan is a Muslim young man; his nickname in Afghanistan was the Lion. He was among the most courageous Muslim young men. He was a close friend and we used to fight from the same trenches in Afghanistan. We fought many battles against the Russians until they were defeated and put to shame and had to leave the country in disgrace. As to what you said about him working for me, I have nothing to say. We are all together in this; we all work for Allah and our reward comes from him. As to what you said about the attempt to assassinate President Clinton, it is not surprising. What do you expect from people attacked by Clinton, whose sons and mothers have been killed by Clinton? Do you expect anything but treatment by reciprocity?

John Miller, ABC: The federal government in the US. is still investigating their suspicions that you ordered and funded the attack on the US military in Al Khobar and Riyadh.

Osama bin Laden: We have roused the nation and the Muslim people and we have communicated to them the fatwahs of our learned scholars who the Saudi government has thrown in jail in order to please the American government for which they are agents. ... We have communicated their fatwahs and stirred the nation to drive out the enemy who has occupied our land and usurped our country and suppressed our people and to rid the land of the two Holy Mosques from their presence. Among the

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. Among the young men who responded to our call are Khalid Al Said and Abdul Azeez Al... and Mahmud Al Hadi and Muslih Al Shamrani. We hope Allah receives them as holy martyrs. They have raised the nation's head high and washed away a great part of the shame that has enveloped us as a result of the weakness of the Saudi government and its complicity with the American government ... . Yes, we have instigated and they have responded. We hope Allah grants their families solace.

John Miller, ABC: No one expected the mujahedeen to beat the Russians in Afghanistan. It came as a surprise to everyone. What do you see as the future of American involvement in the Middle East, in taking on groups like this?

Osama bin Laden: ... Allah has granted the Muslim people and the Afghani mujahedeen, and those with them, the opportunity to fight the Russians and the Soviet Union. ... They were defeated by Allah and were wiped out. There is a lesson here. The Soviet Union entered Afghanistan late in December of '79. The flag of the Soviet Union was folded once and for all on the 25th of December just 10 years later. It was thrown in the waste basket. Gone was the Soviet union forever. We are certain that we shall - with the grace of Allah - prevail over the Americans and over the Jews, as the Messenger of Allah promised us in an authentic prophetic tradition when He said the Hour of Resurrection shall not come before Muslims fight Jews and before Jews hide behind trees and behind rocks.

We are certain - with the grace of Allah - that we shall prevail over the Jews and over those fighting with them. Today however, our battle against the Americans is far greater than our battle was against the Russians. Americans have committed unprecedented stupidity. They have attacked Islam and its most significant sacrosanct symbols ... . We anticipate a black future for America. Instead of remaining United States, it shall end up separated states and shall have to carry the bodies of its sons back to America.

John Miller, ABC: Describe the situation when your men took down the American forces in Somalia.

Osama bin Laden: After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. ... As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled, and America had to stop all its bragging and all that noise it was making in the press after the Gulf War in which it destroyed the infrastructure and the milk and dairy industry that was vital for the infants and the children and the civilians and blew up dams which were necessary for the crops people grew to feed their families. Proud of this destruction, America assumed the titles of world leader and master of the new world order. After a few blows, it forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. America stopped calling itself world leader and master of the new world order, and its politicians realized that those titles were too big for them and that they were unworthy of them. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered, so was every Muslim. ...

John Miller, ABC: The American people, by and large, do not know the name bin Laden, but they soon likely will. Do you have a message for the American people?

Osama bin Laden: I say to them that they have put themselves at the mercy of a disloyal government, and this is most evident in Clinton's administration ... . We believe that this administration represents Israel inside America. Take the sensitive ministries such as the Ministry of Exterior and the Ministry of Defense and the CIA, you will find that the Jews have the upper hand in them. They make use of America to further their plans for the world, especially the Islamic world. American presence in the Gulf provides support to the Jews and protects their rear. And while millions of Americans are homeless and destitute and live in abject poverty, their government is busy occupying our land and building new settlements and helping Israel build new settlements in the point of departure for our Prophet's midnight journey to the seven heavens. America throws her own sons in the land of the two Holy Mosques for the sake of protecting Jewish interests. ...

The American government is leading the country towards hell. ... We say to the Americans as people and to American mothers, if they cherish their lives and if they cherish their sons, they must elect an American patriotic government that caters to their interests not the interests of the Jews. If the present injustice continues with the wave of national consciousness, it will inevitably move the battle to American soil, just as Ramzi Yousef and others have done. This is my message to the American people. I urge them to find a serious administration that acts in their interest and does not attack people and violate their honor and pilfer their wealth. ...

John Miller, ABC: In America, we have a figure from history from 1897 nam

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John Miller, ABC: In America, we have a figure from history from 1897 named Teddy Roosevelt. He was a wealthy man, who grew up in a privileged situation and who fought on the front lines. He put together his own men - hand chose them - and went to battle. You are like the Middle East version of Teddy Roosevelt.

May 26, 1998: Richard Butler says he intends to draw up a list of outstanding issues that must be addressed by Baghdad to see sanctions lifted by October. On the same day the US announces it is to cut its forces in the Gulf.

June 3-4, 1998: At the UN Security Council’s request, experts from UNSCOM's New York Headquarters staff provide a technical briefing to Council members in informal session. At the conclusion of the meeting the Executive Chairman circulates to Council members for information an informal paper on disarmament issues which the Commission deems necessary to be completed and verified for the formulation of a report pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 687 (1991).

June 14, 1998: The Executive Chairman agrees on a schedule for work on certain outstanding disarmament issues with the Deputy Prime Minister covering the following six weeks (S/1998/529).

June 15, 1998: The BBC reports:

The United Nations' chief weapons inspector has said the completion of a two-month programme on Iraqi disarmament may raise the prospect of an easing in eight-year sanctions on Baghdad.
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He said the light at the end of the tunnel was now more visible that it had been for a long time.
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International pressure has increased following the recent crisis, to bring both the inspections process and sanctions to an end.

Central to the discussions were Mr Butler's "road map" of demands.

It contains a definitive list of information the inspectors say they still need on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The map charts the future course of disarming Iraq's prohibited chemical, biological and ballistic weapons.

Accompanying Mr Butler are 18 UN arms experts who claimed to have satellite images and other evidence that Iraq continues to hide information on its illegal weapons programmes.

Before the talks, Baghdad maintained it has no further information to give the UN about its illegal weapons programme.

But Mr Butler said earlier that if the information he is seeking was forthcoming, he would be able to make a report to the UN Security Council in October which could open the way for the lifting of sanctions.

The UN Special Commission (Unscom) report will be the key to the easing of sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War.

Diplomats say if the UN Security Council endorsed such a report it would trigger the lifting of an embargo on Iraqi oil exports.

However, they say it would not herald the automatic end of wider trade sanctions, despite Iraq's insistence that all sanctions must go when it is declared free of chemical, biological and long-range ballistic weapons.

"There will be strings attached to lifting trade sanctions. It's a political issue," one diplomat in Baghdad was reported to have said. "But this is the best day for Iraq since Kofi Annan's visit."

In a press conference before the talks Mr Butler said there had been a great deal of co-operation from the Iraqis since February when the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, visited Iraq.

He added that UN weapons inspectors were "near the end" of their task. "We have no second list in the backroom," he said.

But Iraqi newspapers have accused the chief UN weapons inspector of overstepping his mandate in his latest visit to Baghdad.

The newspaper Babel, owned by President Saddam Hussein's eldest son, Uday, called for the Australian diplomat to be silenced. "Isn't it time we stopped being courteous and cut off the tongue of this dog?" Babel demanded.

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Comments from Iraq Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz
The Iraqi deputy prime minister repeated Iraq's insistence that it has implemented the provisions of the Gulf War ceasefire resolution and was entitled to see sanctions lifted.

He also complained about a new UN draft resolution on Iraq's oil-for-food agreement which he said was an attempt to turn that deal into a substitute for lifting sanctions.

June 19, 1998: The Security Council approves a resolution allowing Iraq to spend $300m on importing spare parts to improve its oil facilities.
Iraq appears to have softened its stance on the UN Security Council resolution passed on Friday clearing the way for Iraq to import $300m of much-needed industry equipment as part of the UN's oil-for-food agreement with Baghdad.
June 24, 1998 : Richard Butler confirms reports that traces of the nerve gas VX has been found in Iraqi missile fragments. Iraq had always insisted it had not weaponised VX. Iraq dismisses the charges, warning of "grave consequences" if sanctions are not lifted.

June 30, 1998: An American fighter plane opens fire on an Iraqi missile site. The US Department of Desfense says the action was taken after four British Tornado military jets were illuminated by Iraqi radar. Iraq condemns 'US aggression'. The US says it considers the event an isolated incident, and sees no reason to increase the American military presence in the region.

July 10-15, 1998: A team of UNSCOM international experts meets with their Iraqi counterparts in Baghdad to give Iraq an account of the Commission’s VX. findings.

July 14, 1998: As a consequence of the high-level talks between the Deputy Prime Minister and the Executive Chairman in June 1998, a team of UNSCOM international biological experts is assembled in Baghdad to review, for the third time, Iraq’s declaration on its biological weapons program. The experts conclude that the declaration is not verifiable.

July 30, 1998: Iraq again warns that it will take unspecified action unless the UN embargo is lifted.

August 3, 1998: During a visit to Baghdad, the Executive Chairman is told by the Deputy Prime Minister that he must certify to the Security Council that the requirements of section C of resolution 687 (1991) have been met. The Chairman responds that he is not in a position to do so. The Deputy Prime Minister suspends the talks (S/1998/719).

August 4, 1998: Richard Butler leaves Baghdad after talks collapse on proposals designed to ensure Iraq is fulfilling its committments to destroy weapons of mass destruction. Tariq Aziz says it was pointless becoming involved in an unending process to prove what the Iraqis had already shown. He denies Iraq had any weapons of mass destruction and accused the UN Special Commission in charge of disarmament of dragging out its work in order to suit hostile American policy.

August 5, 1998: Iraq halts cooperation with UNSCOM and the IAEA pending Security Council agreement to lift the oil embargo, reorganize the Commission and move it to either Geneva or Vienna. In the interim, Iraq would, on its own terms, permit monitoring under resolution 715 (1991).

August 6, 1998: The Executive Chairman briefs the Security Council on Iraq’s position and the results of his talks in Baghdad (S/1998/719). The Security Council’s President terms Iraq’s actions "totally unacceptable".

August 7, 1998: African embassy bombings This is the eighth year anniversary of the arrival of U.S. troops into Saudi Arabia and the start of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. A bomb explodes at the rear entrance of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 12 U.S. citizens, 32 Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and 247 Kenyan citizens. About 5,000 Kenyans, six U.S. citizens, and 13 FSNs were injured. The U.S. embassy building sustained extensive structural damage. Almost simultaneously, a bomb detonates outside the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing seven FSNs and three Tanzanian citizens, and injuring one U.S. citizen and 76 Tanzanians. The explosion caused major structural damage to the U.S. embassy facility. The US holds Osama bin Laden responsible for these acts.

August 12, 1998: The Executive Chairman informs the Security Council (document S/1998/767) that, in addition to halting all disarmament activities, Iraq’s actions with respect to monitoring have impinged on the effectiveness of the monitoring system and UNSCOM could not continue to provide the Security Council with the same level of assurances of Iraq’s compliance with its obligations not to reestablish its proscribed weapons programs.

August 18, 1998: In a letter from the President of the Council (S/1998/769), the Security Council reiterates its support for UNSCOM in the full implementation of its mandate and notes that Iraq is obliged to provide UNSCOM with cooperation necessary for it to undertake activities, including inspections.

August 19, 1998

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The Washington Post:

...lawmakers from both parties were quick to rally behind Clinton in a deluge of public statements and appearances yesterday, a marked contrast to the relatively sparse and chilly reception that greeted his Monday statement on the Lewinsky matter.

"I think the president did exactly the right thing," House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said of the bombing attacks. "By doing this we're sending the signal there are no sanctuaries for terrorists."
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Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) called the attacks "appropriate and just," and House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) said "the American people stand united in the face of terrorism."

Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) praised Clinton for doing "the right thing at the right time to protect vital U.S. interests against terrorist attacks," and House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said the United States "should respond forcefully when U.S. lives are at stake."
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Gingrich dismissed any possibility that Clinton may have ordered the attacks to divert attention from the scandal. Instead, he said, there was an urgent need for a reprisal following the Aug. 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

"Anyone who watched the film of the bombings, anyone who saw the coffins come home knows better than to question this timing," Gingrich said. "It was done as early as possible to send a message to terrorists across the globe that killing Americans has a cost. It has no relationship with any other activity of any kind."

August 26, 1998. Scott Ritter resigns from UNSCOM. In his letter of resignation, he says the Security Council's reaction to Iraq's decision earlier that month to suspend co-operation with the inspection team made a mockery of the disarmament work, stating they were "hobbled by unfettered Iraqi obstruction and non-existent Security Council enforcement of its own resolutions." Ritter also charges that the U.N. Security Council has become "a witting partner to an overall Iraqi strategy of weakening the Special Commission." UNSCOM chairman Richard Butler accepts Ritter's resignation. Scott Ritter is interviewed for PBS Newshour

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: What was happening in your investigations that made you feel you had to resign?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, basically, is the investigations had come to a standstill were making no effective progress, and in order to make effective progress, we really needed the Security Council to step in in a meaningful fashion and seek to enforce its resolutions that we're not complying with.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Could you describe the most recent investigation that you wanted to undertake. Give us a little detail about it and what happened to derail it.

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, basically, the investigations that I was tasked with carrying out by the executive chairman involved looking at exposing the means by which Iraq hides their prohibited weapons and weapons capabilities from the special commission. We needed to expose this methodology so that they used so we could get at the weapons, themselves.

And the investigation has been going on for several years now, and this summer we were in the process of resuming these inspections, you know, in accordance with the agreement reached by Kofi Annan and Saddam Hussein in accordance with the Security Council resolutions that said Iraq had to comply or face severe consequences, so we're trying to get back on task. We had some very specific information, which led us to believe we could go to locations where we would find aspects of this hidden weaponry, of these hidden components, and also uncover how Iraq actually went about hiding these weapons from the commission.

We had very specific information, and we believe that if we'd been allowed to accomplish this inspection, we could have achieved meaningful disarmament results.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And why weren't you allowed to accomplish it?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, again, we have a problem with this-with the United States. On April 6th, the President of the United States submitted a report to Congress in which he clearly states that a diplomatic solution had been tried. We have a memorandum of understanding, and the marker's on the table now. Iraq must be held accountable for the agreement that they have signed with the Secretary-General and which was endorsed by the Security Council in its Resolution 1154. If Iraq didn't, there would be the severest consequences.

You had this statement on the one hand, but on the other hand, this administration's saying, wait a minute, we can't go forward with aggressive inspections because they will lead to a confrontation with Iraq, but let's understand the confrontation is because Iraq will not comply with the law passed by the Security Council. So we weren't allowed to do our job out of fear of a confrontation in which the United States would not be able to muster the required support of the Security Council to respond effectively or to respond in a manner which they had said they would respond in Resolution 1154.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Who specifically blocked the investigation?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, I mean, now we're getting down to who made the phone calls. The botto

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WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, I mean, now we're getting down to who made the phone calls. The bottom line is the people held accountable are the national security policy team of the United States. Policy is made in policy coordination meetings, where the principal people meet. This would be Sandy Berger, the national security adviser; Madeleine Albright, the secretary of state; and other principal personnel from the State Department, from the Department of Defense, from the intelligence community.

They will meet and they will decide on policy issues. And it's this body that makes a determination that they needed to basically put pressure on the special commission to slow down, to postpone, to cancel certain operations because they would lead to confrontation, which the United States was not willing to step up to.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: And how many inspections were blocked in this way?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Well, I mean, the list is actually quite long over the years. But since November there-since November of 1997, I would say that there have been a half dozen or so inspections, which have been either delayed or postponed or canceled outright, due to pressure exerted on the executive chairman by the United States.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Now, we just heard the UNSCOM chairman, Richard Butler, saying that there had been conversations with the secretary of state and others, but that he was never pressured, that it never crossed the line. Is that untrue?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Look, Richard Butler is the one that has to make that decision. He's the executive chairman. He makes the call. You know, that's his determination. What I will say is that, you know, Madeleine Albright, you just showed a clip of her saying that they've been the strongest supporter of UNSCOM. In fact, they're the ones who stand at the back of UNSCOM. That's absolutely correct.

And you have your friend who's supposed to be backing you up as you carry out implementation of the law that they're encouraging you to execute and that friend calls you up and says excuse me, if you try and do this job, we're not going to be able to back you up, we don't agree with this. I believe Richard Butler would be under an awful lot of pressure, whether he wants to state that that was the case or not, but you just don't go forward with an inspection when the friend that you're requiring to back you up says they won't support it.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Mr. Ritter, as you know, this change has been described by some people as tactical, that the secretary of state and others wanted to wait until they had support in the Security Council to move forward with these more confrontational investigations. What's your response to that?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: This is lunacy. The bottom line is we haven't had-the United States hasn't had this kind of Security Council support for many years now, and Security Council support is eroding, eroding in large part because of a lack of American leadership. I don't know what they're waiting for. The Security Council is on a gradual, even a steep slide downhill in terms of its ability to support, or willingness to support the special commission. And there's no indication that anything the United States has been doing would turn the Security Council around. So I don't know-it sounds an awful lot like an excuse.
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ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Mr. Ritter, does Iraq still have prescribed weapons?

WILLIAM SCOTT RITTER, JR.: Iraq still has prescribed weapons capability. There needs to be a careful distinction here. Iraq today is challenging the special commission to come up with a weapon and say where is the weapon in Iraq, and yet part of their efforts to conceal their capabilities, I believe, have been to disassemble weapons into various components and to hide these components throughout Iraq.

I think the danger right now is that without effective inspections, without effective monitoring, Iraq can in a very short period of time measure the months, reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program.

September 3, 1998: Ritter testifies in a similar manner before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations on U.S. policy regarding Iraq weapons inspection and Iraq's capacity to reconstitute weapons of mass destruction in a very short period of time.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee; last week I resigned my position out of frustration that the United Nations Security Council, and the United States as its most significant supporter, was failing to enforce the post-Gulf War resolutions designed to disarm Iraq. I can speak to you today from firsthand experience about the effectiveness of American policy or lack thereof, with respect to the United Nations's effort to rid Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. I sincerely hope that my actions might help to change things.

It was very sad to hear the secretary of State on Tuesday night giving an interview from Moscow challenging my credentials. She told the world through CNN that Scott Ritter doesn't have a clue about what our overall policy has been, that we are the foremost supporters of UNSCOM. I do have a clue, in fact several, all of which indicate that our government has clearly expressed its policy in one way and then acted in another. Such clues include various statements by the secretary of State, a report to Congress on 6 April by the president of the United States and several statements made to me and to other UNSCOM officials at a variety of inter-agency briefings held at

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the debilitating effect that such interference has on the ability of UNSCOM to carry out its disarmament mission in Iraq and to appeal to the administration and to the Senate to work together to change America's Iraq policy back to what has been stated in the past: full compliance with the provisions of Security Council resolutions, to include enabling UNSCOM to carry out its mission of disarmament in an unrestricted, unhindered fashion.September 3, 1998: The Executive Chairman briefs the Security Council on the status of UNSCOM’s work in Iraq, including three incidents where Iraq has placed further limits on the Commission’s rights and activities with respect to monitoring.

September 9, 1998: Security Council resolution 1194 unanimously condemns Iraq’s decision to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM, terming Iraq’s actions a totally unacceptable contravention of Iraq’s obligations; demands Iraq rescind its decision and decides not to conduct the 60-day sanctions reviews until Iraq does so and the Commission reports to the Council that it is satisfied that it has been able to exercise its full range of activities, including inspections.

September 24-25, 1998: UNSCOM holds a second international expert meeting in New York to discuss the results of 1998 analyses conducted on remnants of Iraq’s missile warheads.

September 29, 1998: Representative Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) introduces H.R.4655, a bill "To establish a program to support a transition to democracy in Iraq". Co-sponsored by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Ca) the bill will ultimately be known as "The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998"

September 29, 1998 Former UN arms inspector Scott Ritter tells BBC radio why he left the international team investigating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

October 5, 1998: HR 4655 passes the House,360 - 38, with 36 not voting. Republicans vote 202-9 with 16 not voting, Democrats 157-29 with 20 not voting, among them are Nancy Pelosi (Ca) and John Murtha (Pa).

October 6, 1998: UNSCOM submits its semi-annual report to the Security Council (S/1998/920).

October 7, 1998: HR4655 passes the Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.

October 8, 1998: The House of Representatives vote for impeachment proceedings to begin against President Clinton. The House judiciary committee will be given wide powers to draw up detailed charges based on 11 allegations by the independent counsel Kenneth Starr in his report on the Monica Lewinsky affair.

October 9, 1998: "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." - Letter to President Clinton. - Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, other
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October 10, 1998: Senator Kerry follows up on the Senate floor

Mr. President, there are two subjects that I wish to bring to my colleagues' attention this afternoon. First, I want to talk about an issue of enormous international consequence--the situation with respect to Iraq. For the last 2 months, as we know, Saddam Hussein has been testing, yet again, the full measure of the international community's resolve to force Iraq to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction. That has been the fundamental goal of our policy toward Iraq since the end of the gulf war and is reflected in the U.N. agreements reached in the aftermath of the war.

Two months ago, on August 5, Saddam Hussein, formally adopting a recommendation that had been made by the Iraqi parliament 2 days earlier, announced that Iraq would no longer permit U.N. weapons inspectors to conduct random searches in defiance of its obligations under those U.N. resolutions that were adopted at the end of the war, and also in violation, I might add, of its agreement last February with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, to give UNSCOM teams, accompanied by diplomatic overseers, unconditional access to all sites where UNSCOM believed that Iraq may be stockpiling weapons or agents to make those weapons.

Let's understand very clearly that ever since the end of the war, it has been the clear, declared, accepted, and implemented policy of the United States of America and its allies to prevent Saddam Hussein from building weapons of mass destruction. And as part of that agreed-upon policy, we were to be permitted unlimited, unfettered, unconditional, immediate access to the sites that we needed to inspect in order to be able to make that policy real.

Iraq's defiance and the low-key--some would say weak--response of the United States and the United Nations initially went unnoticed, in part because of other events, including the dual bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the obvious fascination with domestic events that have dominated the headlines now for so many months. Those events, frankly, have continued to obscure the reality of what is happening in Iraq; and, accordingly, the reality of the potential threat to the region--a region where, obviously, the United States, for 50 years or more, has invested enormous amounts of our diplomatic and even our domestic energy.

Press reports of the administration's efforts to intervene in, or at minimum, to influence UNSCOM's inspection process and the resignation of American UNSCOM inspector, Scott Ritter, focused the spotlight briefly on our Iraqi policy and raised some serious and troubling questions about our efforts to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. The principal question raised was a very simple one: Are those efforts still intact, or has our policy changed?

Last month, press reports suggested that administration officials had secretly tried to quash aggressive U.N. inspections at various times over the last year, most recently in August, in order to avoid a confrontation with Iraq--this despite repeatedly demanding the unconditional, unfettered accesses that I referred to earlier for the inspection teams. Scott Ritter, the longest serving American inspector in UNSCOM, charged at the time that the administration had intervened at least six or seven times since last November when Iraq tried to thwart UNSCOM's work by refusing to allow Ritter and other Americans to participate on the teams, in an effort to delay or postpone or cancel certain UNSCOM operations out of fear of confrontation with Iraq.

Those were serious charges. We held an open hearing, a joint hearing between the Armed Services Committee and Foreign Relations Committee on these charges. There were some protestations to the contrary by the administration and a subsequent effort to ensure that the Security Council would maintain the sanctions against Iraq, but, frankly, nothing more.

In explaining his reasons for resigning, Scott Ritter stated that the policy shift in the Security Council supported `at least implicitly' by the United States, away from an aggressive inspections policy is a surrender to Iraqi leadership that makes a `farce' of the commission's efforts to prove that Iraq is still concealing its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs.

Administration officials have categorically rejected the notion that U.S. policy has shifted, either in terms of our willingness to use force or support for UNSCOM. They have also disputed Ritter's charges of repeated U.S. efforts to limit UNSCOM's work...

The fact of the matter is, in my judgment, the U.S. response and that of the Security Council to Saddam Hussein's latest provocations are different in tone and substance from responses to earlier Iraqi provocations.

Three times in the last 11 months Saddam Hussein has launched increasingly bolder challenges to UNSCOM's authority and work. In November, he refused to allow American inspectors to participate on the teams. Although that crisis ultimately was resolved through Russian intervention, the United States and Britain were leading the effort to push the Security Council to respond strongly. In subsequent weeks, Saddam Hussein refused to grant UNSCOM access to Presidential palaces and other sensitive cites, kicked out the team that was led by Scott Ritter, charging at the time that he was a CIA spy, and threatened to expel all inspectors unless sanctions were removed by mid-May.

By February, the United States had an armada of forces positioned in the gulf, and administration officials from our President on down had declared our intention to use military force if necess

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our President on down had declared our intention to use military force if necessary to reduce Iraq's capacity to manufacture, stockpile or reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction, or to threaten its neighbors.

Ultimately diplomacy succeeded again. In a sense, it succeeded again. It averted the immediate crisis. One can certainly raise serious questions about how effective it was with respect to the longer-term choices we face. But certainly in the short term, Secretary General Kofi Annan successfully struck an agreement with Iraq to provide UNSCOM inspectors, accompanied by diplomatic representatives, full and unfettered access to all sites. There is little doubt that this agreement would not have been concluded successfully without the Security Council's strong calls for Iraqi compliance combined with the specter of the potential use of American force.

Saddam's latest provocation, however, Mr. President, strikes at the heart of our policy, and at the capacity of UNSCOM to do its job effectively. As long as the U.N. inspectors are prevented, as they are, from undertaking random no-notice inspections, they will never be able to confirm the fundamentals of our policy. They will never be able to confirm what weapons Iraq still has or what it is doing to maintain its capability to produce weapons of mass destruction.

Yet, when confronted with what may be the most serious challenge to UNSCOM to date, the administration's response, and that of our allies and the United Nations, has been to assiduously avoid brandishing the sword and to make a concerted effort to downplay the offense to avoid confrontation at all costs, even if it means implicit and even explicit backing down on our stated position as well as that of the Security Council. That stated position is clear: That Iraq must provide the U.N. inspectors with unconditional and unfettered access to all sites.

Secretary Albright may well be correct in arguing that this course helps keep the focus on Iraq's defiance. It may well do that. But it is also true that the U.N.-imposed limits on UNSCOM operations, especially if they are at the behest of the United States, work completely to Saddam Hussein's advantage.

They raise questions of the most serious nature about the preparedness of the international community to keep its own commitment to force Iraq to destroy its weapons of mass destruction, and the much larger question of our overall proliferation commitment itself. They undermine the credibility of the United States and the United Nations position that Iraq comply with the Security Council's demands to provide unconditional and unfettered access to those inspectors. And, obviously, every single one of our colleagues ought to be deeply concerned about the fact that by keeping the inspectors out of the very places that Saddam Hussein wants to prevent them from entering, they substantially weaken UNSCOM's ability to make any accurate determination of Iraq's nuclear, chemical or biological weapons inventory or capability. And in so doing, they open the door for Iraq's allies on the Security Council to waffle on the question of sanctions.

I recognize that the Security Council recently voted to keep the sanctions in place and to suspend the sanctions review process. But, Mr. President, notwithstanding that, the less than maximum level of international concern and focus on the underlying fact that no inspections take place, the continuation of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, and the fact that Saddam Hussein is in complete contravention of his own agreements and of the U.N. requirements--that continues to be the real crisis. And Saddam Hussein continues to refuse to comply.

Since the end of the gulf war, the international community has sought to isolate and weaken Iraq through a dual policy of sanctions and weapons inspections. Or, as one administration official said, to put him in a `box.' In order to get the sanctions relief, Iraq has to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and submit to inspections. But it has become painfully apparent over the last 11 months that there are deep divisions within the Security Council particularly among the Permanent 5 members over how to deal with Saddam Hussein's aggressive efforts to break out of the box.

Russia, France and China have consistently been more sympathetic to Iraq's call for sanctions relief than the United States and Britain. We, on the other hand, have steadfastly insisted that sanctions remain in place until he complies. These differences over how to deal with Iraq reflect the fact that there is a superficial consensus, at best, among the Perm 5 on the degree to which Iraq poses a threat and the priority to be placed on dismantling Iraq's weapons capability. For the United States and Britain, an Iraq equipped with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons under the leadership of Saddam Hussein is a threat that almost goes without description, although our current activities seem to call into question whether or not one needs to be reminded of some of that description. Both of these countries have demonstrated a willingness to expend men, material and money to curb that threat.

France, on the other hand, has long established economic and political relationships within the Arab world, and has had a different approach. Russia also has a working relationship with Iraq, and China, whose commitment to nuclear nonproliferation has been less than stellar, has a very different calculus that comes into play. Iraq may be a threat and nonproliferation may be the obvious, most desirable goal, but whether any of these countries are legitimately prepared to sacrifice other interests to bring Iraq to heel remains questionable today, and is precisely part of the calculus that Saddam Hussein has used as he tweaks the

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, and is precisely part of the calculus that Saddam Hussein has used as he tweaks the Security Council and the international community simultaneously.

Given the difference of views within the Security Council, and no doubt the fears of our Arab allies, who are the potential targets of Iraqi aggression, it is really not surprising, or shouldn't be to any of us, that the administration has privately tried to influence the inspection process in a way that might avoid confrontation while other efforts were being made to forge a consensus. But now we have to make a judgment about the failure to reinstate the inspection process and ask ourselves whether or not that will destroy the original `box' that the administration has defined as so essential to carrying out our policy.

Is it possible that there is a sufficient lack of consensus and a lack of will that will permit Saddam Hussein to exploit the differences among the members of the Security Council and to create a sufficient level of sanctions fatigue that we would in fact move further away from the policy we originally had?

To the extent that his efforts are successful, we will find ourselves increasingly isolated within the Security Council. In fact, it is already clear that some of our allies in the Security Council are very open to the Iraqi idea of a comprehensive review of its performance in dismantling all of its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons--a review which Iraq hopes will lead to a lifting of some if not all of the sanctions.

I think the question needs to be asked as to how long we can sustain our insistence on the maintenance of sanctions if support for sanctions continues to erode within the Security Council. If it is indeed true that support is eroding--and there are great indicators that, given the current lack of confrontation, it is true--then the question remains, How will our original policy be affected or in fact is our original policy still in place?

In April, Secretary Albright stated that, `It took a threat of force to persuade Saddam Hussein to let the U.N. inspectors back in. We must maintain that threat if the inspectors are to do their jobs.'

That was the policy in April. Whether the administration is still prepared to use force to compel Iraqi compliance is now an enormous question. The Secretary says it is, but the recent revelations raise questions about that.

In addition, it seems to me that there are clear questions about whether or not the international community at this point in time is as committed as it was previously to the question of keeping Iraq from developing that capacity to rob its neighbors of tranquility through its unilateral development of a secret weapon program.
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I would point out also that there are experts on Iraq, those in the inspections team, those at the U.N. and elsewhere in our international community, who are very clear that Saddam Hussein's first objective is not to lift the sanctions. His first objective is to keep Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program--that will come ahead of all else.

The situation is really far more serious than the United Nations, the Congress or the administration have made clear to the American people or demonstrated through the level of diplomacy and focus that is currently being placed on this issue. It is not simply about eliminating Saddam Hussein's capacity to threaten his neighbors. It is about eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction--chemical, biological, and nuclear. Failure to achieve this goal will have a profound impact, I believe, on our efforts with respect to our other nonproliferation efforts including completion of our talks with Russia and the ultimate ratification of the START II treaty by the Duma.

In recent conversations that I had with Chairman Butler, he confirmed that Saddam Hussein has only this one goal--keeping his weapons of mass destruction capability--and he further stated with clarity that Iraq is well out of compliance with U.N. resolutions requiring it to eliminate those weapons and submit to inspections and out of compliance with the agreement that he signed up to in February with Kofi Annan.

Mr. President, I believe there are a number of things we could do, a number of things both in covert as well as overt fashion. There is more policy energy that ought to be placed on this effort, and I believe that, as I have set forth in my comments, it is critical for us to engage in that effort, to hold him accountable.

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October 13, 1998: The UNSCOM Executive Chairman briefs the Council on the Commission’s semi-annual report.

October 14, 1998: The House judiciary committee chairman Henry Hyde announces the impeachment inquiry will concentrate its focus on two core charges: that Mr Clinton lied under oath and attempted to obstruct justice.

October 22-23, 1998: UNSCOM convenes a further international expert meeting to discuss the 1998 analysis of samples taken from remnants of Iraq’s special warheads. The report of the meeting is submitted to the Council.

October 27, 1998 - Richard Butler says tests carried out by international scientists confirm that Iraq filled missile warheads with the deadly nerve agent VX before the 1991 Gulf War.

October 28, 1998 - The Iraqi army embarks on a training exercise to enable hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens to defend themselves.

October 31, 1998: Iraq announces that it will cease all forms of interaction with UNSCOM and its Chairman and to halt all UNSCOM’s activities inside Iraq, including monitoring. The Security Council, in a statement to the press, unanimously condemn Iraq’s decision to cease all cooperation with UNSCOM.

October 31, 1998: President Clinton signs the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998:

Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998." This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.

Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.

From the document itself:
Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 - Declares that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.
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Urges the President to call upon the United Nations to establish an international criminal tribunal for the purpose of indicting, prosecuting, and imprisoning Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi officials who are responsible for crimes against humanity, genocide, and other criminal violations of international law.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq's transition to democracy by providing humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people and democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals, including convening Iraq's foreign creditors to develop a multilateral response to the foreign debt incurred by the Hussein regime.

The Congress makes the following findings:

(1) On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting an 8 year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iranian troops and ballistic missiles against Iranian cities.

(2) In February 1988, Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish civilians from their home villages in the Anfal campaign, killing an estimated 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds.

(3) On March 16, 1988, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurdish civilian opponents in the town of Halabja, killing an estimated 5,000 Kurds and causing numerous birth defects that affect the town today.

(4) On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and began a 7 month occupation of Kuwait, killing and committing numerous abuses against Kuwaiti civilians, and setting Kuwait's oil wells ablaze upon retreat.

(5) Hostilities in Operation Desert Storm ended on February 28, 1991, and Iraq subsequently accepted the ceasefire conditions specified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991) requiring Iraq, among other things, to disclose fully and permit the dismantlement of its weapons of mass destruction programs and submit to long-term monitoring and verification of such dismantlement.

(6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14-16, 1993, visit to Kuwait.

(7) In October 1994, Iraq moved 80,000 troops to areas near the border with Kuwait, posing an imminent threat of a renewed invasion of or attack against Kuwait.

(8) On August 31, 1996, Iraq suppressed many of its opponents by helping one Kurdish faction capture Irbil, the seat of the Kurdish regional government.

(9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to deny weapons inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) access to key facilities and documents, has on several occasions endangered the safe operation of UNSCOM helicopters transpo

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(9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to deny weapons inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) access to key facilities and documents, has on several occasions endangered the safe operation of UNSCOM helicopters transporting UNSCOM personnel in Iraq, and has persisted in a pattern of deception and concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass destruction programs.

(10) On August 5, 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM, and subsequently threatened to end long-term monitoring activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNSCOM.

(11) On August 14, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-235, which declared that `the Government of Iraq is in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations.'.

(12) On May 1, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105-174, which made $5,000,000 available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition for such activities as organization, training, communication and dissemination of information, developing and implementing agreements among opposition groups, compiling information to support the indictment of Iraqi officials for war crimes, and for related purposes.

Iraq cuts off all work by U.N. monitors. The United States and Great Britain warn of possible military strikes to force compliance. A renewed military build-up in the Persian Gulf begins.
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October 31, 1998: Denis Halliday, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, resigns his postion in protest. The BBC:

The outgoing co-ordinator of the UN oil-for-food deal in Iraq, Denis Halliday, has launched a scathing attack on the policy of sanctions, branding them '' a totally bankrupt concept''.

In his surprise remarks, Denis Halliday, said his 13-month stint had taught him the "damage and futility" of sanctions. ''It doesn't impact on governance effectively and instead it damages the innocent people of the country,'' he told Reuters news agency.

"It probably strengthens the leadership and further weakens the people of the country.'' Mr Halliday, who has resigned after more than 30 years with the United Nations, leaves his post in Baghdad on Wednesday. He was co-ordinator of the programme that allows Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil to buy food, medicine and other supplies.

He said maintaining the crippling trade embargo imposed on Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait was incompatible with the UN charter as well as UN conventions on human rights and the rights of the child. But Mr Halliday believed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan favoured a fresh look at sanctions as a means of influencing states to change their policies - in Iraq's case making it scrap its weapons of mass destruction, and long-range missiles. "I'm beginning to see a change in the thinking of the United Nations, the secretary-general, many of the member states, who have realised through Iraq in particular that sanctions are a failure and the price you extract for sanctions is unacceptably high.''

His comments follow criticism recently by a top UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, of the US and UK for failing to take a tougher line over the inspections.

November 1998: Publication in the Washington Post and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of investigations into Iraq's quest for nuclear weapons. Both center on events from November 1995 when missile components from Russia were intercepted before delivery to Iraq, and additional parts were discovered submerged in the Tigris River. (See November 1995 entry this timeline.)

November 4, 1998: The UNSCOM Executive Chairman informs the Council (S/1998/1032) that, as a result of Iraq’s actions, the Commission is not in a position to provide the Council with any level of assurance of Iraq’s compliance with its obligations not to retain and not to reestablish proscribed activities.

November 5, 1998: Security Council resolution 1205 unanimously condemns Iraq’s actions and demands that Iraq rescind immediately and unconditionally its decisions of 31 October and 5 August.

November 11, 1998: The United Nations withdraws most of its staff from Iraq.

November 14, 1998: CNN

The United States has rejected Iraq's latest offer as unacceptable. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger said Saturday night that Baghdad's offer to comply was "neither unequivocal nor unconditional."

Berger asserted the terms Iraq placed on its compliance had already been found unacceptable by the United Nations Security Council. And Berger warned that to accept the Iraqi offer now would only lead to another crisis down the road.

Berger also said there was every reason to be skeptical of the offer from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to comply fully with inspections. "We've seen this before, broken and unfulfilled promises," Berger explained. "So-called positive answers that turned negative over time."

The security adviser said the United States was not negotiating with Iraq and that the only acceptable response from Baghdad would be a statement of complete compliance with U.N. resolutions.

When asked how long Hussein had to make an acceptable response of compliance, Berger said he would not comment, but he did say it would not be an unlimited amount of time.

"We were poised to take military action, we remain poised to take action," Berger said when a reporter asked if President Clinton had given the order for attacks to begin.
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British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday if there are any conditions attached to Iraq's offer to allow weapons inspectors to resume their work, then the Iraqi offer is unacceptable.

"There can be no negotiation, no further deals, no more amendments to what they have agreed," said Blair. "In the meantime, our forces remain on alert to the possibility of military action at any time without further warning."

Blair also said experience showed Hussein is not a man to be trusted. "We all know, too, that it is only the threat of force that has ever allowed us to achieve any of our objectives in respect to him," said the prime minister.
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Pentagon sources say Clinton had already ordered a cruise missile strike against Iraq, when Baghdad's last-minute offer to allow U.N. inspections prompted the president to call off the attack.

Sources say B-52 bombers, armed with cruise missiles, were already in the air, having left their base in the United States, when the order came to stand down.

U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf were at "general quarters" and were less than an hour away from launching "hundreds" of cruise missiles, sources say,

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November 14, 1998: With B-52 bombers in the air and within about 20 minutes of attack, Saddam Hussein agrees to allow U.N. monitors back in. The bombers are recalled before an attack occurs. Weapons inspectors return. Just days later, however, another flap ensues, this one over documents demanded by Richard Butler, the chief U.N. weapons inspector -- documents that the Iraqi government says either do not exist or have been destroyed. In a letter to Butler, the Hussein administration calls the request for documents "provocative rather than professional."

November 15, 1998: Press Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council takes note of Iraq’s statement of 14 November to cooperate fully with the Special Commission and the IAEA. The Council members underline that their confidence in Iraq’s intentions needs to be established by unconditional and sustained cooperation with the Special Commission and the IAEA in exercising the full range of their activities. The Council members also reaffirm their readiness to proceed with the comprehensive review once the Secretary-General has confirmed, on the basis of reports from the Special Commission and the IAEA that Iraq has returned to full cooperation on the basis of resolution 1194 (1998) and the Council President’s letter of 30 October to the Secretary-General (SC/65/96-IK258).

December 3, 1998: UNSCOM submits the first of a series of weekly reports on its activities during the period 17 November to 2 December 1998. The report covers inspection activities during that period and also provides an account of correspondence exchanged with Iraq regarding matters such as the provision of documents, clarifications on a number of points previously raised with Iraq and asking that Iraq provide new substantial information on its biological weapons program.

December 8, 1998: Chief U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler reports that Iraq is still impeding inspections. Cooperation ends between Iraq and inspectors when the country demands the lifting of the U.N. oil embargo. UNSCOM and the IAEA pull their staffs out of Iraq in anticipation of a US-led air raid on Iraqi military targets.

December 9, 1998: The Special Commission submits its second weekly report to the Security Council describing monitoring activities and the difficulties encountered in the course of those activities, including blockage at a site.

December 11, 1998: The House Judiciary Committee approves three articles of impeachment on a 21-16 party line vote, passing them to the full House of Representatives. The three articles accuse Clinton of lying to a grand jury, committing perjury by denying he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, and obstructing justice. Clinton declares himself "profoundly sorry" and willing to accept censure.

December 12, 1998: The committee approves a fourth article of impeachment on a party-line vote, accusing Clinton of abusing power in a direct parallel to Watergate-era language.

December 15, 1998: UNSCOM reports to the Security-General concerning UNSCOM’s activities and the status of Iraq’s cooperation with the Commission in the period since 14 November 1998. The Executive Chairman concludes that Iraq did not provide the full cooperation it had promised on 14 November 1998 (S/1998/1172). The report details a repeated pattern of obstructing weapons inspections by not allowing access to records and inspections sites, and by moving equipment records and equipment from one to site to another.

December 15, 1998: With military action looming, France suspends participation in Operation Southern Watch.

December 16, 1998: The United States and Great Britain begin a four-day air campaign against targets in Iraq, Operation Desert Fox. The stated mission: "to strike military and security targets in Iraq that contribute to Iraq's ability to produce, store, maintain and deliver weapons of mass destruction." UNSCOM withdraws its staff from Iraq.

December 16, 1998: CNN reports responses from key congressional leaders:

"I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time," [Senate Majority Leader Trent] Lott [(R-Ms)] said in a statement. "Both the timing and the policy are subject to question."

"The suspicion some people have about the president's motives in this attack is itself a powerful argument for impeachment," [House Majority Leader Dick] Armey [(R-Tx)] said in a statement. "After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons."
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Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-New Jersey) called the GOP reaction "as close to a betrayal of the interests of the United States as I've ever witnessed in the United States Congress. It's unforgivable and reprehensible."

"This is a time for our country to be united, even though we're divided on other matters," said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota).

He and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Missouri) issued a joint statement defending the timing, saying "any delay would have given (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein time to reconstitute his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and undermine international sup

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Saddam Hussein time to reconstitute his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and undermine international support for our efforts."
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Rep. Porter Goss, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he was unaware that U.S. airstrikes were planned against Iraq until he saw them under way on CNN.

Goss (R-Florida) expressed anger that he was never notified by the White House that a strike was imminent and that no members of the House Intelligence Committee were brought into the loop.

"To be cut out at the eleventh hour is annoying, and it's certainly not helpful," Goss said.

He called the fact he was not contacted "a bad mistake of judgment or an oversight by the White House. ... Today the White House should be looking for friends. It's not a good idea to ambush people."

"It's certainly rather suspicious timing," said Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-Florida). "I think the president is shameless in what he would do to stay in office."

Armey ans Fowler had supported the president in his February decision to allow time for a UN solution to work, Lott was reportedly opposed. (See Feb 16 above).

Also quoted was Representative Gerald Solomon of New York, a Marine Corps veteran:

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Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-New York) issued a statement with the headline: "Bombs Away -- Save Impeachment for Another Day?"

"It is obvious that they're (the Clinton White House) doing everything they can to postpone the vote on this impeachment in order to try to get whatever kind of leverage they can, and the American people ought to be as outraged as I am about it," Solomon said in an interview with CNN.

Asked if he was accusing Clinton of playing with American lives for political expediency, Solomon said, "Whether he knows it or not, that's exactly what he's doing. When you put our troops in the air or on the ground, you are risking their lives. This president ought to know better. I don't know if he does or not, because he's so unpredictable."

Solomon complained that key congressmen had not been told of the military strike. He said Clinton should have briefed more members of Congress and delayed the attack until early next week.

"It would still be spontaneous," Solomon said. "He could still launch the attack, but it would not have been political the way it is today."

Upon hearing Solomon's remarks, Democratic Rep. Sam Gejdenson of Connecticut went before CNN's cameras to rip into Solomon for his accusation.

"Gerry Solomon's spent a career here making outrageous statements, but as an ex-Marine, he ought to know better," Gejdenson said. "That was an outrageous, outrageous statement."

Gejdenson said the nation cannot tie a president's hands based on developments on Capitol Hill.

"Think of the message," Gejdenson said. "If we tell every country out there that might want to do harm to America's interests that every time there's a political squabble in Washington, the presidency has to be frozen, that's outrageous."
<...>
Some Republicans also were supportive of Clinton's actions. Outgoing House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Georgia) said the strikes were an example of "the U.S. leading the world by exercising its military power in an appropriate way."

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.

The responsibility of the United States in this conflict is to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to minimize the danger to our troops and to diminish the suffering of the Iraqi people. The citizens of Iraq have suffered the most for Saddam Hussein's activities; sadly, those same citizens now stand to suffer more. I have supported efforts to ease the humanitarian situation in Iraq and my thoughts and prayers are with the innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as with the families of U.S. troops participating in the current action.

I believe in negotiated solutions to international conflict. This is, unfortunately, not going to be the case in this situation where Saddam Hussein has been a repeat offender, ignoring the international community's requirement that he come clean with his weapons program." - Representative Nancy Pelosi (D, CA)

December 17, 1998:The Congressional impeachment vote is postponed until the conclusion of US military action against Iraq.

December 19, 1998: Operation Desert Fox concludes. "On Wednesday when U.S. and British forces launched strikes against Iraq, I stated that we were pursuing clear military goals. And as President Clinton has announced, we've achieved those goals. We've degraded Saddam Hussein's ability to deliver chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. We've diminished his ability to wage war against his neighbors. Our forces attacked about 100 targets over four nights, following a plan that was developed and had been developed and refined over the past year. We concentrated on military targets and we worked very hard to keep civilian casualties as low as possible. Our goal was to weaken Iraq's military power, not to hurt Iraq's people." - Secretary of Defence William S. Cohen

"As the President's principal military advisor, I am confident that the carefully planned and superbly executed combat operations of the past four days have degraded Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programs, his ability to deliver weapons and his ability to militarily threaten the security of this strategically important Persian Gulf region. Gen. Zinni made the same assessment.
<...>
Now that Operation DESERT FOX is over, we will carefully evaluate the forces we need to keep in place in the region to keep an eye on Saddam. Make no mistake about it, we will maintain a significant capability there to defend our national interests and the security of the region as we have for many years. - General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Following the statements above, the Secretary responded to questions from the media:

Q: Do you plan to try to convince the U.N. to send the UNSCOM inspectors back in or is that now a dead issue after the air strikes?

A: It's not at all a dead issue. As a matter or fact, Saddam Hussein will have the burden of demonstrating in some affirmative fashion that he is prepared to allow the inspectors to come back in to be effective. We are not going to simply go through the motions once again where he is able to obst

8 years ago
We are not going to simply go through the motions once again where he is able to obstruct their ability to carry out their mission. And so, he must demonstrate a willingness to allow the inspectors to come back and to complete their job. And barring that, we intend to maintain the containment policy which continues to keep the sanctions in place. We'll continue our military as we have been, in place and ready to take action, if it becomes necessary.

Q: If the UNSCOM inspectors are not allowed back in, will there be further air strikes?

A: We are prepared to carry out such air strikes, but we intend to maintain the containment policy and also to make sure that he doesn't threaten the region again. So we'll have our own intelligence observations and make the kind of determination that would lead us to the obvious conclusions.

Q: You use the [word] diminish to describe --

A: Degrade.

Q: "Diminish" to describe the damage done to the conventional capability. What is diminish in your words versus destroy, eliminate?

A: It's less than what he had before and we think significantly less than what was available before in terms of his capacity to move against his neighbors. We've looked at his Republican Elite Guard, so to speak. We have damaged in substantial fashion, their facilities, some of their housing. We have destroyed his missile production capability, at least, in the factory that we targeted. So there is a significant degradation in our judgment of that.

UN weapons inspectors would not return to Iraq until late November 2002.

The BBC report on the aftermath of the attacks

:...more cruise missiles were fired on Iraq in Desert Fox than during the entire Gulf War in 1991...

Funeral services have been held for 68 people who Iraqi officials say were killed in the raids. But Iraq's Ambassador to the UN, Nizar Hamdoon, said: "I'm told that the casualties are in the thousands in terms of numbers of people who were killed or wounded."

But because the Iraqi authorities control journalists' access to damage sites, confirmation of this has been impossible. The UK Ministry of Defence said it was not certain that the full facts about Iraqi casualties would ever be known.

The Iraqi authorities say the air strikes deliberately targeted civilian facilities including hospitals, colleges, residential areas of Baghdad and food storage areas.

Several weeks after the strikes, the UN children's fund, Unicef, made a first preliminary assessment of damage to civilian facilities. They said a warehouse containing rice was destroyed in Tikrit in northern Iraq, ten schools in the southern port city of Basra were damaged, and an agricultural college in Kirkuk in northern Iraq received a direct hit.

They said that in Baghdad medical and maternity centres, a water supply system and parts of the health and social affairs ministries were damaged.

8 years ago
December 19, 1998: President Clinton is impeached as the Republican controlled House approves two of the four proposed articles of impeachment by narrow partisan majorities: 228-206 and 221-212. Mr Clinton is sent for trial in the Senate.

December 21, 1998: In the wake of his impeachment, President Clinton's approval level with the voters leaps 10 points to a personal all-time high of 73 per cent in a Gallup poll. Sixty-eight per cent believe the Senate should not convict Mr Clinton in the pending impeachment trial, while support for resignation falls to 30 per cent. Other polls confirm the trend. CNN's top news stories of the year will list the attack on Iraq as #9, and the impeachment scandal at #1.

December 28, 1998: DoD press release: At approximately 1:30 p.m., Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were attacked by Iraqi surface-to-air missiles fired from sites in northern Iraq. The Iraqis fired three SAMs at Northern Watch aircraft; all missed. Although initial reports claimed that the planes retaliated by launching three HARMs, in fact three F-15Es each dropped two GBU-12 500-pound precision guided munitions (PGMs). Two of the F-15Es hit the SA-3 target site tracking radar and optical guidance unit. The other F-15E had one bomb hit the SA-3 missile site command and control van, and the other hitting the target site tracking radar and optical guidance unit. The other F-15E in the four-ship formation did not drop bombs because he did not have positive target identification. Video footage from U.S. aircraft responding in self-defense to Iraqi aggression on Dec. 28 show that coalition forces attacked the launch sites only after being fired upon. Video of the Iraqi missile firings clearly shows time of their fire prior to any release of coalition ordnance. The SA-3 site used both radar and optics when firing their offensive missiles.

December 30, 1998: An SA-6 site near Talil fires 6-8 missiles at Southern Watch aircraft. F-16s retaliate by dropping six GBU-12 laser-guided bombs on the site. They also launch two HARMs "as a preemptive measure" to deter Iraqi radar operators.

*****
8 years ago

1998

*****

(Note on sources: Reports of US aircraft attacks on Iraqi positions in this timeline are from US Department of Defense press releases. We include them here verbatim as part of the historical record, the reader should infer no judgment on our part as to the accuracy of the statements. We acknowledge these are one-sided reports.

Excerpts from newspaper articles included here are also simply for the historical record - this was the news of the day. Later events may have proved some information false or cast doubt on some claims, this, however was the news of the day.)

1999

Although no UN weapons inspectors are in Iraq, both humanitarian (oil for food) and military operations continue, with air strikes on Iraqi positions or other incidents in the no fly zones occurring almost daily throughout the year. But in the wake of US and UK attacks in Operation Desert Fox, rifts begin to widen in the UN Security Council regarding sanctions on and monitoring of Iraq. France and Russia break away from the long held consensus position while the US and UK call for continued sanctions - with some modifications. The UN will struggle for a solution throughout the year. In the US, a policy of "containment plus" is the official position, and Iraqi expatriate groups begin to seek aid under the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. But even as the rate of air attacks on Iraq increases dramatically military intervention in other areas of the globe dominate the headlines. Meanwhile, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein begins to echo the radical Islamic sentiments of Osama bin Laden. Some media sources begin investigating possible connections between the two.

By early February the stage is set and most of the major players are positioned for events of 2001-2003. One undisputed fact is that the Iraqi people are suffering after nearly a decade of sanctions, internal struggles, and now seemingly endless air attacks from the US.

January 4, 1999: Iraq declares it will not accept any humanitarian workers from the US or UK, and demands the UN withdraw those currently in Iraq, stating they can not guarantee their safety following the December attacks.

January 5, 1999: The UN refuses Iraq's request to withdraw US and UK aid workers.

Saddam Hussein delivers a fiery Army Day address to all Arabs. His speech echoes Osama bn Laden's call to jihad, urging Muslim youth to rise up and overthrow their governments who are supporting the infidel invaders:

We and you are aware that some of those who rule over countries in our nation were brought to office by the foreigners, who also brought their fathers and some of their grandfathers also in accordance with these foreigner's conditions and interests, particularly Britain and the United States, joined by the evil racist Zionism. Therefore, the talk about the possibility of reforming them, now that they have been immersed in evil and have no desire to abandon this evil, is a waste of time. It will give them a chance to further deceive the people and nation. <...> Look to see how he who did this is attempting to remove the quality of holiness from the land of your holy places by turning it into a field for the foreigner from which he attacks faithful believers and their land, the land of Abraham, and the land of holy places and good prophets, as well as a great, patient, and mujahid people who are afflicted with them because they reject falsehood and tell the truth.

O male and female Arab youths, O faithful believers of the sons of our faithful nation in places of worship, factories, fields, houses, streets, and the armies of Arab and Muslims, look around you to see how the unjust ones exceeded all limits. Rebel against falsehood and its people. Tell the truth in a loud, firm, and lofty voice. Raise your voices louder to resound in the name of God and the nation. By God, there is nothing more honorable than a stand where right overweighs falsehood and where the people of right defeat the people of falsehood.

O Arabs, Muslims, and believers from various faiths, your Jerusalem is a humiliated captive. The Kaaba in Mecca and the prophet's tomb in Medina are injured by the presence of the foreigner and his spears. 0 people of Mecca and Medina and Najd and Hejaz, 0 Arabs and Muslims, your holy places are being insulted. The aircraft of the aggression took off and its missiles were launched and are being launched against your land, people, and holy places in Iraq, from the water, airspace, and the land of the Gulf.

O sons of Arabs and the Arab Gulf, rebel against the foreigner, his army, and armies. Chase them and expel falsehood and its representatives. Take revenge for your dignity, holy places, security, interests, and exalted values. Rebel against falsehood and its people. Great Almighty God will hear your voice.

The idol rulers will be forced to hear you or depart so as to give chance to the people to say their opinion and adopt their stand. Allahu Akbar [God is great]. Damned be the unjust and infidel ones. Allahu Akbar. Long live our glorious Arab nation, long live Palestine, free, lofty Arab. Allahu Akbar and ignominy to the lowly ones.

8 years ago
In two separate incidents, two F-15s and two F-14s fire a total of six missiles at four Iraqi MiG-25s over the southern no-fly zone. None of the missiles find its target, but Pentagon officials state that one Iraqi aircraft may have run out of fuel and crashed during the battle. This is the first clash between US and Iraqi war planes since 1992. The US also claims eight additional no-fly zone violations involving up to 15 Iraqi planes.

US State Department spokesman James Rubin:

QUESTION: As you've said many times, the fundamental policy of the United States is to - one of the fundamental tenants of the policy - is to contain Saddam. Do you think that this has been further complicated by the absence of inspectors on the ground?

MR. RUBIN: Our policy is a mix of tools to achieve an objective. The policy is to contain the threat he poses plus to promote change in Iraq through working with opposition leaders in as an effective way as possible. On the containment side, as opposed to the change side, there are various tools and each of them has different weight at different times. Certainly the no-fly zone tools remain strongly in effect, and we've seen how effective they are by today's action, which is that when Iraq tries to break out of that part of the box they have to turn tail and go home.

On the inspection side - let's remember that containment isn't just about the weapons capability themselves, but it's also about deterring the threat of using them. What was extremely important was that by using military power last month, the United States provided the kind of credibility to our threat to respond to Saddam's action that can only be provided by action. What he saw was, despite a lot of suggestions around the world or his own suspicions about what we would or wouldn't do, that if he pushes the situation too far, the United States will respond and respond decisively. That is a key component of the credibility of containment that needed to be weighed as against the advantages of having a UN inspection team there.

We have said the best way to deal with the discovery and the destruction of weapons of mass destruction is through UNSCOM. Another way to deal with that is through disarmament by force. That was done to a certain extent and to an additional extent, the credibility of our threat to use force if he were to use such weapons, move to the north, threaten his neighbors, was bolstered in a way that can only be done by that kind of action.

QUESTION: But is the US at all concerned that by saying that sanctions cannot be lifted so long as inspectors aren't on the ground to verify whether or not weapons of mass destruction exists or not, that sanctions will remain in place in perpetuity is a policy that will be difficult to maintain over the long-term?

MR. RUBIN: On that point, let me simply say that that is not our choice; that was his choice. Saddam Hussein made a decision to make UNSCOM ineffective by refusing to cooperate with it. UNSCOM was always a tool that required Iraqi cooperation. UNSCOM was never a tool that could, without Iraqi cooperation, force its way into disarming and discovering weapons of mass destruction. It always required Iraqi cooperation.

The fact that Iraq has decided not to cooperate is a decision we don't have control over. But having done so, they have thrown away the key to unlocking the sanctions regime.

As far as international support for that regime is concerned, we do not see evidence or any significant change in the international support for the sanctions regime. As I indicated yesterday, although we see writing and commentary suggesting that the support isn't there, I've never, in all the years that I've followed this - including four in New York at the Security Council - seen any Security Council member propose an easing of the sanctions regime in the absence of UNSCOM declaring their work completed.

So no country is in favor of easing sanctions right now, because UNSCOM's work is so obviously not completed. So the support for the sanctions regime that has been there - that doesn't mean that everyone likes it. We don't like the fact that we have to put sanctions on Iraq, and we try to ameliorate the effect it has by the oil-for-food program. But we don't see any signs of significance that the sanctions regime is eroding.

January 6, 1999: The Washington Post reports that UNSCOM may have provided intelligence on Iraq to the United States. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan denies having received any credible reports supporting this accusation, and further denies reports that he is seeking the resignation of UNSCOM Chief Richard Butler. The US also denies the allegations.

The US denounces Saddam Hussein's destruction of villages of the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq

January 7, 1999: At approximately 11:20 a.m. Iraqi time, Saddam Hussein’s regime locked a surface-to-air missile radar on to coalition forces. An Air Force F-16CJ acted in self defense, and fired a high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) at a Roland surface-to-missile site 15 miles northwest of Mosul after being targeted by the site’s radar to suppress the offensive site.

8 years ago

CENTCOM Commander General Anthony Zinni answers questions regarding the US position on Iraq:

Q I'm Halab Masul (ph) with the Middle East News Agency. There have been several calls for a change on the U.S. policy towards Iraq, either from the far left, by lifting economic sanctions and keeping only military, or from the far right, by overthrowing Saddam Hussein. As the commander of the U.S. forces in the area, do you think that the current containment policy is feasible and sustainable, or do you think changes are in order now, and (where to?)?

GEN. ZINNI: I think, Halab, if you take it from my position, obviously I have responsibilities in the region, military responsibilities. I see our role militarily as one of stability. I would not be in favor of anything that destabilizes the situation in the region.

I think when we look toward a post-Saddam Iraq and one in which the Iraqi people would regain the position they've held before, I would want to see anything that occurs be done in a way that the territorial integrity of Iraq is maintained, that whatever government follows would be one that would be representative of all the ethnic and religious groups in Iraq. And I think that any efforts in this direction should keep those kinds of principles in mind, because the stability of the region is critical here.

And I view our role in this containment, although obviously it's very (difficult?) and it could take time and it does involve at times events like we've seen in Desert Fox in eight years of these kinds of events, it's important that we do it in a way that ensures the stability of the region. We shouldn't only focus on Iraq, but we should focus on the effects and how it affects everything in this region.

This is an important region. The United States and all the countries of the world have vital interests in this region, many of them. And I think we ought to take a regional perspective. And for that reason, I think these principles ought to be kept in mind in anything we pursue in the way of looking at a post-Saddam region or change.
<...>
Q Given that, how long can the U.S. put up with these sort of cat-and-mouse games that are going on right now that could, you know, end up with fatalities in a worst-case scenario? I mean, do you see the U.S. striking air fields or taking some sort of action to make him stand down?

GEN. ZINNI: Well, first of all, obviously every time we fly or have flown into Iraq, either in the north or in the south, for now a period that stretches from 1991 in the north and '92 in the south, we have sent our planes into that area assuming it was a hostile area. We have adequate rule of engagement that allow us to defend ourselves and enforce the no-fly zone.

We go in with the kinds of aircraft, packaged in certain ways, the tactics we use, where we fly, the kinds of procedures we use that are designed to make sure that our pilots are well-prepared for any eventuality. And throughout the past seven or eight years, we have had instances before. We have made adjustments based on this situation -- adjustments in tactics, adjustments in procedures, in the way we do things. I won't go into detail on that, because obviously there's operational security issues involved.

We feel we can handle what we're facing right now. I think that's been evident. You are correct. It is dangerous. Any time we go up there, we assume the risk and danger because of the unpredictability. We do have contingency plans to react if that decision were made to a number of possibilities, and I believe the chairman made that point the other day in his testimony before Congress.

When a decision is made to take further action, of course, that's the president's decision. We feel confident that we're prepared to handle what we have. But I think your point is a good one. This is risky for our pilots. And we do everything to minimize that risk and to make sure they're well-prepared and have everything they need.
<...>
Q Just a follow-up with one short one. Could you capsulize, summarize, the long-term strategy? There's a good bit of criticism inside the Beltway that it hasn't been effectively articulated. Could you, in 25 words or less, just summarize where it is where we're going with this?

GEN. ZINNI: Yeah, I think I can do it in less than 25 words. You know, my mission is to maintain stability in the region. My mission is to ensure the hegemons in the region, including Saddam Hussein, not be allowed to pursue their hegemonic designs. And that can be described in their ability to punish their own people, no-fly, no-drive zones; their ability to threaten their neighbors, move forces to the Kuwaiti border; develop weapons of mass destructions and delivery systems and shoot them.

My mission out there, is to ensure that energy flows, we have access to the region, that our friends in the region are protected and enjoy the stability that we're there as long as there is a threat to preserve.

And what it takes to do that, you know, we are prepared to do it. Is this a short-term, one event, one-threat kind of mission and solution? I think not. I mean, I think that this is an important region of the world. I think we have important friends in this region. I think there's global reliance on things like energy and the markets and access. It is the hinge point of three continents. This will be important for a long period of time.

There is not just one threat out there, or one potential threat. I mean, we see the terrorist and extremist threat out there. We still are wondering which way Iran is going, whether there's moderation or not. I mean, I know you know all the issues and concerns.

Our job

8 years ago

Our job is stability. It's easy to look at Iraq, and look at one problem, and look at a short-term solution. And, as you said, everybody in this town and elsewhere in the world, has a short-term solution, which is about one paragraph and sounds easy on paper. As the guy that might have to execute it, it ain't that easy. And containment is hard. It could be long term. But if in the end it's stability and it keeps all the global interests in there protected, and our friends protected in the region, and the people in the region protected, then I think it's worth the price.
<...>
Q Hi. I'm Tony Capassio (ph) with Bloomberg News. When Desert Fox concluded, you and Secretary Cohen said that the preliminary evidence showed that the U.S. set back Iraq's capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction by about a year.

General Shelton yesterday or two days ago, said it was now two years, it looked like. What evidence have you developed in the last couple of weeks, that allows you to make that extension, in terms of the damage?

GEN. ZINNI: Yes. That's a good question, and we have actually upped it from the one to two years. And we've done that by, again, through our intelligence, looking at the assessments of the missile production facilities, the machinery that was destroyed, the kinds of unique capabilities he had that were in the onesies or twosies that we were able to eliminate. And now we have evidence of destruction or significant damage.

The infrastructure damage, and the time it will take to repair and rebuild that -- again, the unique kinds of facilities that he would have to replace from outside Iraq, that don't exist in duplicate somewhere else, and could be easily reestablished.

So, in doing further, more detailed analysis of all these sorts of things, we made the estimate that the initial cut had been one year, and now we feel it's more one to two years.
<...>
Q Campion Walsh (sp), Dow Jones. There have been a number of stories recently on the relationship between U.S. intelligence on Iraq and UNSCOM. Can you say if data gathered through UNSCOM was used in selecting sites to be in the military strikes?
<...>
GEN. ZINNI: On the first part of your question, on the issue that is now in the press about UNSCOM spying, I have no personal knowledge of anything like that or anything that's going on. The targets that we used and the intelligence we used to gain on these were from a variety of sources, fundamentally our own. Obviously just in UNSCOM's routine work we are aware of what UNSCOM does, I think as much as anybody else on the Security Council is aware of what UNSCOM does and goes and what they do and what they attempt to do. Could any of that been part of the targeting? I can't say that it has been directly, but I wouldn't want to say that everything UNSCOM has ever seen or does we have completely no knowledge of. Just by following UNSCOM like any other members of the Security Council we certainly do.
<...>
Q Haran Kazazi (sp) from Turkish Daily News again. General, you eloquently express your objective to the answer of my VOA colleague. My question is: professionally do you honestly believe all that wonderful objective can be achieved from the air? Don't you think at one point there is some kind of ground troops needed to do something -- not necessarily from America, but some kind of ground troops? Obviously they cannot do it all by themselves what they have to do.

GEN. ZINNI: I didn't want to give the impression that I thought something could all be done by one means -- by air or ground or sea, whatever. As a military man I need all those dimensions in my AOR. I mean, I -- and I could bore you with all the different component parts of everything we do there and how it involves all these forces. We are very careful to state what our capabilities are and very careful to state what our mission is and our tasks are and how well or how not so well we may achieve that. We have emphasized that through these attacks, air attacks, that we could degrade and diminish. We never said words like "eliminate." We've been very careful to say that these attacks, the mission was not, nor could I make any guarantees that through an airstrike you could change a regime or anything like that, although people have tried to infer that or tried to push us to at least even implying that. We have been very careful not to say that. There are limitations on military power, and there's limitations on certain parts of military power. There are certain types of military capabilities that bring more to the table. I think anyone who studies the military art knows that to achieve certain things you might have to walk the ground and be there -- you have to occupy ground and you have to control the situation directly, and you might not be able to do that indirectly through the air.

So from my professional view I am always careful to give the limitations and make sure that when I am given a mission that I interpret that into military tasks that are achievable, and that my political masters understand certainly what I can achieve and what I can't achieve. I would not make the case for any one kind of capability achieving anything, and I would not overstate what that capability could achieve.

January 7, 1999: The Senate formally begins the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton on two charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

January 8, 1999: UN weapons inspection chief Richard Butler says reports that his commission knowingly helped the United States spy on Iraq are false.

January 10, 1999: The Iraqi Parliament issues an official statement critici

8 years ago

January 10, 1999: The Iraqi Parliament issues an official statement criticizing Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, holding them responsible for the December air attacks on Iraq.

January 11, 1999: US Secretary of Defense William Cohen responds to the statement of the Iraqi Parliament by noting that the United States had over 24,000 troops within striking distance of Iraq should that nation decide to move against its neighbors.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. Iraqi time, an Iraqi SAM radar began tracking Northern Watch aircraft and coalition aircraft were illuminated by multiple Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems. The aircrews acted in self-defense and suppressed one ground-based missile launch site because it posed a threat to coalition forces. A flight of two U.S. F-15Es launched two AGM-130s at an SA-6 site near Mosul and an U.S. F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi radar site a short while later.

(Media) Newsweek (see also here):

IN THE NO-FLY ZONES OF northern and southern Iraq, Saddam Hussein's gunners blindly fired surface-to-air missiles at patrolling American and British warplanes. In Yemen, terrorists seized a group of British Commonwealth and American tourists, and four of the hostages died in a shootout. In Tel Aviv, the U.S. Embassy abruptly closed down after receiving a terrorist threat. Perhaps it was just a typical week in the Middle East. But in a region where no one puts much faith in blind coincidence, last week's conjunction of Iraqi antiaircraft fire and terrorism aimed at the countries that had just bombed Iraq convinced some that a new conspiracy was afoot.

Here's what is known so far: Saddam Hussein, who has a long record of supporting terrorism, is trying to rebuild his intelligence network overseas--assets that would allow him to establish a terrorism network. U.S. sources say he is reaching out to Islamic terrorists, including some who may be linked to Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile accused of masterminding the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa last summer. U.S. intelligence has had reports of contacts between low-level agents. Saddam and bin Laden have interests--and enemies--in common. Both men want U.S. military forces out of Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden has been calling for all-out war on Americans, using as his main pretext Washington's role in bombing and boycotting Iraq. Now bin Laden is engaged in something of a public-relations offensive, having granted recent interviews, one for NEWSWEEK (following story). He says ``any American who pays taxes to his government'' is a legitimate target.

Saddam's terrorism capability is still small-time, according to senior U.S. officials. ``He's nowhere close to the level of the Iranians or Hizbullah,'' says one.

Though it was too early to know for sure, the CIA suspected that bin Laden had a hand in the abduction of 16 foreign tourists in Yemen last week. Four of the hostages--three Britons and an Australian--were killed when the police intervened, and two others, including an American woman, were wounded. Most kidnappings in Yemen are strictly cash-and-carry affairs, in which tribal desperadoes raise money without harming their captives. But these kidnappers, who came from a Yemeni group calling itself Islamic Jihad, demanded that the authorities release two of their leaders, who have ties to bin Laden. And they said they were protesting Western "aggression" against Iraq.

The idea of an alliance between Iraq and bin Laden is alarming to the West (what if Baghdad gave the terrorists highly portable biological weapons?). Saddam may think he's too good for such an association. Jerold Post, a political psychologist and government consultant who has profiled Saddam, says he thinks of himself as a world leader like Castro or Tito, not a thug. "I'm skeptical that Saddam would resort to terrorism," says a well-informed administration official. "He can do a lot of other things to screw with us." But Saddam is famous for doing whatever it takes to stay in power. Now that the United States has made his removal from office a national objective, he knows he is fighting for his life. "The worst thing you can do is to wound him, let him know you meant to kill him, and then let him survive," says an Iraqi Shiite leader in London. As his own people know only too well, Saddam is quite capable of fighting dirty.

January 12, 1999: Five Iraqi jets violated the southern no-fly zone and two entered the north, bringing the total violations in both zones since Desert Fox to more than 70, Pentagon officials said.

January 13, 1999: Iraqi SAM systems tracked and fired on coalition planes over northern Iraq. During the morning, coalition aircraft were illuminated by several Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems. The aircraft were fired upon by at least one surface-to-air missile. The aircrews acting in self-defense suppressed the ground-based missile launch sites because they posed a significant threat to coalition forces. A flight of four U.S. Air Force F-15Es fired two AGM-130s, and an F-16CJ and U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B each fired a HARM against a SAM radar. The incident occurred near Mosul. The two AGM-130s were direct hits on the Iraqi SAM sites.

8 years ago

White House press briefing:

Q: There's now -- we have daily skirmishes now with Iraq. Is the United States effectively at war with Iraq?

LOCKHART: No, the United States is continuing to follow a policy they followed since the end of the Gulf War (inaudible) containing the threat of Saddam Hussein.

Q: I mean, we're having these daily --

LOCKHART: My first answer was really good.

Q: I didn't hear it.

LOCKHART: Okay. Trust me. Let me go through the answer and then you can follow up. We've had a policy of containing Saddam Hussein since the end of the Gulf War, and that policy is based on crippling economic sanctions that have cost him $120 billion at least since the end of the war; degrading his ability to threaten his neighbors and to reconstitute or deliver weapons of mass destruction. And that's the policy we're going to continue to pursue until we see some positive change and some indication that Saddam Hussein is willing to disarm.

Q: But we're seeing it going in the opposite direction, aren't you? Every day he is sort of escalating what is -

LOCKHART: Well, I think the policy towards Iraq has moved back and forth over the last six or seven years. That doesn't mean we're any less resolute. There's a credible and robust threat of force in the region; should we determine that that needs to be used, where our pilots vigorously enforce the no-fly zone and take the necessary steps in order to protect themselves to do that -- it's important work that they do in the region; it's important to the neighbors that are threatened by Saddam Hussein, and to his own people, and we'll continue to do it.

Q: You're going to continue this back and forth where they shoot at a plane, we fire back -- you're going to let that go on without taking any further action?

LOCKHART: You can fully understand why I'm not going to get into what options may or may not be available to our force there. But what I will say is that we will continue to pursue a policy that contains the very real threat in the region and to the world of Saddam Hussein's regime.

January 13, 1999: France submits a proposal to the UN Security Council calling for looser inspections and gradual lifting of sanctions against Iraq

January 14, 1999: The US submits a counter proposal eliminating the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports, provided the proceeds are used for humanitarian relief.

January 14, 1999: During the morning, an F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system that posed a threat to coalition aircraft over northern Iraq. In a separate incident, an F-15E launched an AGM-130 precision guided missile at a surface-to-air missile system that threatened coalition forces.

January 15, 1999: Russia submits a proposal to the UN Security Council eliminating UNSCOM, establishing a new inspection body less objectionable to Iraq, and lifting the oil embargo. The US rejects the proposal, saying that UNSCOM must be allowed to carry out its duties.

January 17, 1999: "Mother of all Battles Day" in Iraq - thousands of Iraqis take to the streets of Baghdad on the 16th and 17th shouting anti-American slogans on the anniversary of the start of the Persian Gulf War. Iraq issues a demand for sanctions to be lifted and no-fly zones ended immediately.

January 19, 1999: The Clinton administration identifies several opposition groups that will be eligible for US aid under the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998.

January 21, 1999: US military reports Iraqi planes violated the no-fly zone, but no US aircraft were nearby and no shots were fired.

January 23, 1999: At approximately 1:15 a.m. EST, U.S. aircraft flying in support of Operation Southern Watch dropped laser-guided bombs at two Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area.

An editorial attributed o Saddam Hussein appears in Iraqi newspapers condemning Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for keeping the price of oil too low.

January 24, 1999: Between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again targeted by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems near Mosul. An EA-6B Prowler and two F-16CJs fired HARMs in self defense. The aircraft responded to being targeted by Iraqi radars used to guide anti-aircraft artillery. Another F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system. Earlier in the day, an F-15E Strike Eagle scored a direct hit on an Iraqi SA-3 SAM site with an AGM-130, which posed a threat to coalition forces in the region.

The Iraqi Foreign Minister storms out of a meeting of the Arab League, referring to his fellow ministers as traitors and US lackeys in response to their statement calling on Iraq to cease provocative actions aginst its neighbors.

January 25, 1999: The UNSCOM Executive Chairman submits a report (S/1999/94) to the President of the Security Council on disarmament and monitoring.

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Between 1:57 and 2:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again illuminated and fired upon by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems in several incidents. An F-15E was fired upon by an anti-aircraft artillery system. Two F-15Es then dropped one GBU-12 each on the system. In another incident, an EA-6B launched a HARM at an SA-2 SAM site that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area. An F-16CJ launched a HARM at a different SA-2 SAM site that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area. Coalition forces observed an Iraqi SAM launch in the vicinity of coalition aircraft. Coalition aircraft departed the area and continued operations.

Iraq's news agency says one of the missiles struck a crowded market in Basra, killing civilians. General Zinni says "There is still a need to review the strike. It's possible that we did a have missile that didn't perform as expected."

January 26, 1999: Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister says Iraq no longer recognizes the legitimacy of the country's border with Kuwait.

"We have analyzed yesterday's information and found that an AGM-130 did miss its target and exploded in a residential neighborhood several kilometers away from its target" -- Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon.

National Security Advisor Sandy Berger announces that President Clinton has changed the rules of engagement for US aircraft operating in Iraq, giving them much more authority to attack any part of the Iraqi air defense network. DoD news briefing with spokesman Ken Bacon :

Q: When was this change made, by the way?

A: I think it was made about three to four weeks ago.

Press release: Between 1:25 and 1:50 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were targeted by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems in three separate incidents near Mosul. An EA-6B Prowler, acting in self defense after being targeted by Iraqi radar, launched a HARM at an Iraqi radar site. An F-15E dropped a GBU-12 500-pound precision-guided munition in response to an anti-aircraft artillery system which posed a threat to coalition aircraft. In another incident, two F-15Es fired one AGM-130 each at a radar site which had targeted coalition aircraft. In another incident between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again targeted by anti-aircraft artillery systems near Mosul. Three F-15Es, acting in self defense after being targeted by Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery systems, dropped GBU-12 500-pound precision-guided munitions.

Press conference with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary-General, could you please elaborate to us on your position concerning the position of Iraq for non-recognition of United Nations Security Council resolutions and its borders with Kuwait. The second question: what if the Palestinian authority proclaimed a State next May? What is your position, Sir?

The SECRETARY-GENERAL: I think Iraq is obliged to comply with all Security Council resolutions. All the efforts we have made in the past year or so was to get them to comply, not only with the disarmament aspects but also with the other aspects of the resolutions, including missing Kuwaitis and return of Kuwaiti property. There is a whole range of issues that Iraq must comply with and that has to be done. There has been no change in that. I would still urge and hope that they will do it. I was surprised by some of the latest statements in the press. There seems to be a sense of desperation setting in. But I hope we can find a way of bringing things back. I know the Arab States are trying, and we are trying in New York, and I hope the Iraqis will also be thinking about the way forward.

QUESTION: Sir, the humanitarian situation in Iraq is deteriorating continuously because of the United Nations sanctions and according to your former assistant, Dennis Halliday, these sanctions are causing genocide. In your opinion, will these sanctions with their humanitarian results ever end, assuming the current Government remains in power. Or does Iraq have to be disarmed as you recently wrote in the world press, neglecting to specify if this meant weapons of mass destruction or total demilitarization of Iraq?

The SECRETARY-GENERAL: Let me start with your last point. The Security Council resolutions are clear. We are dealing with weapons of mass destruction. The Security Council does not call for total disarmament of Iraq. Iraq is allowed to keep some defensive weapons, but not so lethal as the types that we are seeking to destroy. Even in missiles, they can keep missiles up to 150 miles but not beyond. And so we are not seeking total disarmament, we are seeking to strip Iraq of weapons of mass destruction to ensure that it is not a threat to its neighbours. On the question of your other sanctions, I cannot argue with the fact that the sanctions have had a negative impact on the conditions of the Iraqi population. I think the Council itself, realizing that sanctions are a blunt instrument, immediately offered oil-for-food hoping that it will help alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people. It has not been a perfect scheme and there are discussions going on now, as you know, on the proposals on the table, some are suggesting that we improve the humanitarian oil-for-food scheme considerably, others are suggesting we lift the sanctions. What has also made matters worse is the price of oil which has dropped perhaps to its lowest level in many many years and also the fact that the Iraqi oil industry is in a state of disrepair and has not been able to pump up to the 5.2 billion dollars worth that it is authorized. So one is looking at all these things and looking at ways and means of helping the population and avoiding the kind of suffering they are going thro

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So one is looking at all these things and looking at ways and means of helping the population and avoiding the kind of suffering they are going through which you refer to.

QUESTION: My question is, recently we have seen the unilateral action by the United States and the United Kingdom in Iraq. Now we see preparation of the NATO Organization for unilateral action in Kosovo. Does it mean, in your opinion, that we are assisting the beginning of the end of the system of international governments established after the Second World War and the end of the role of the Security Council as the global council which is the final instance in the question of the global security?

The SECRETARY-GENERAL: Well I think that conclusion or judgement would be a bit of an exaggeration. Let me say that on Iraq, obviously there are differences in the Council, the United States and Britain maintain that they have the authority on the existing Security Council resolutions. We also know the views of the other Council members, including Permanent Members. So the best one can say here is that there is a difference of interpretation and I hope the Council will overcome this, find this unity and move forward.

On Kosovo, force may be used as you have indicated. I do not know whether it will come to that or not, but I think this is a question that has exercised quite a few of us. If the Council were to be fully faced with the issue, I am not sure whether there would be vetoes on the table or not. But we have to understand in recent history that wherever there have been compelling humanitarian situations, where the international community collectively has not acted, some neighbours have acted. Here for example I have in mind Viet Nam in Cambodia. And that did not destroy, I hope, the international system, and I think given the nature of the regime and what was happening there, the international community came to accept it. I am not making an analogy of implication here, but what I am saying is that those in the middle of the Kosovo conflict should listen to the appeals that are being made and we should not be placed in a situation which you have referred to where the international community may be divided. In my earlier appeals, I indicated that we should find a way of working together and that when we stand together, and put collective pressure, we almost invariably succeed, and I hope we can in this way.

January 27, 1999: US Secretary of State Madeline Albright:
"Our policy toward Iraq is based on hard experience and sound principle. We seek compliance not confrontation. But Iraq's questioning of Kuwait's sovereignty and call for the overthrow of Arab governments are just the most recent indications that Saddam Hussein seeks only to make trouble.

The United States, the Arab nations and the international community have no choice but to continue to contain his potential aggression. At the same time, we will do more to help the Iraqi people get the food and medicine they need through the oil-for-food program."

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, I know we're here talking about Iraq but if I can just switch the subject for a moment to Kosovo, and ask you about a proposed American plan to try to bring about a negotiated settlement in Kosovo. What can you tell us about any momentum that might be developing now on the political and military front, perhaps even within NATO, to issue, reissue the threat of force if Slobodon Milosevic does not comply with the October agreement?

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me say that we obviously have been concerned about the deteriorating situation in Kosovo and a need to act quickly. We have been working to try to quicken some political solution here and also keep in mind what can be done through military pressure and the threat of the use of force.

I have spent some time while I was in Moscow talking to my fellow foreign ministers, to try to have some combined action here in terms of a political settlement which would, in fact, be something that would come about rather quickly because I think we are concerned with how long this has been going on and the necessity for coming up with an early solution. We are looking at a variety of ways to make that happen: To try to get the various places into place and to see how actions at NATO with the Contact Group can be combined, but I have not yet made any final decision about attendance to the Contact meeting.

QUESTION: Last question, please. Why is the U.S. destroying the Iraqi defense system while the U.S. declines to interfere in Kosovo? Which means that the U.S. has two criteria over estimating things.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, there are a number of different situations in the world that require a different approach. We have believed, for now seven years, that Saddam Hussein poses a threat to his neighbors and to us, ultimately our forces, and he has acquired and has used weapons of mass destruction against this own people. That is an entirely different situation than an inter-ethnic struggle in the former Yugoslavia and we need to deal with situations in different ways.

I've just described how we intend to be more involved in trying to get a political settlement in Kosovo, again, as we've said before, the potential threat of the use of force. But these are two entirely different situations. The United States is involved in some form or gathering in many situations. If we would (approach) them all exactly the same, we would be considered naive and not useful at all in the way that we operate.

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That same day the US announces it endorses a proposal by Canada to create three UN panels to study the Iraq situation.

The proposal by Canada -- one of 10 non-permanent members of the 15-member council -- calls for panels on disarmament, humanitarian issues, and POWs and missing Kuwaiti property and archives, each under the chairmanship of the current council president, Ambassador Celso Amorim of Brazil. Those three panels would provide an expert assessment of the current situation in Iraq which council members would then use in deciding how to move ahead.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Minister warns that US warplanes stationed in Turkey are not allowed to take offensive action against Iraqi targets.

January 28, 1999: At approximately 3:45p.m. Iraqi time, two F-15Es observed fire by an anti-aircraft artillery site located north of Mosul. In self-defense, the two F-15Es dropped a total of three GBU-12s on the anti-aircraft artillery site.

US National Security Advisor Sandy Berger in the Washington Post:

If sanctions were lifted, the international community no longer could determine how Iraq's oil revenues are spent. The oil-for-food program would have to be disbanded, not expanded. Billions of dollars now reserved for the basic needs of the Iraqi people would become available to Saddam to use as he pleased. The amount of food and medicine flowing into Iraq most likely would decline.

In contrast, under the current program, we prevent Saddam from spending his nation's most valuable treasure on what he cares about most -- rebuilding his military arsenal -- and force him to spend it on what he cares about least -- the people of Iraq. From Saddam's point of view, that makes the program part of the sanctions regime.

Indeed, Saddam already has rejected our initiative to expand it. He knows that every drop of oil sold to feed the Iraqi people is a drop of oil that will never be sold to feed his war machine. Oil for food means no oil for tanks.

January 30, 1999: At approximately 3 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were targeted by Iraqi radars near Mosul. A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle responded in self defense by launching an AGM-130 at the radar site. A second incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. Iraqi time. A group of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles acting in self defense after being targeted, dropped two GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an Iraqi Skyguard surface-to-air missile site. In a third incident at about the same time, F-15Es acting in self defense dropped two GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an anti-aircraft artillery system and its associated radar which threatened coalition aircraft. The fourth incident occurred close to 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, when F-15Es acting in self-defense dropped GBU-12s on another anti-aircraft artillery site. In a fifth incident at approximately 4:30 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Marine EA-6B Prowler fired a high-speed antiradiation missile in response to being targeted by a radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery system. Finally in the sixth incident a minute later, F-15Es responded defensively by dropping GBU-12s on a separate anti-aircraft artillery site.

The UN Security Council approves the three-panel studies in hopes of achieving forward progress on the deadlocked Iraq issue.

January 31, 1999: Iraq rejects the UN three panel reviews, saying they will take too long and amount to continued sanctions.

At approximately 3:20 p.m. Iraqi time today, a U.S. Air Force F-16CJ Fighting Falcon acting in self defense launched a high-speed antiradiation missile (HARM) at a radar system north of Mosul.

Martin S. Indyk, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, visits Kuwait:

The Clinton Administration has developed a new approach to Iraq, which Indyk called "containment plus regime change." This policy, he said, follows two basic principles: the change must come from the Iraqi people themselves and from inside Iraq and the U.S. will maintain its commitment to the territorial integrity of Iraq.

The Iraq Liberation Act, which became law this past fall, has brought about a change in U.S. policy, Indyk said.

"Our objective is to work for the day when there will be a new government in Iraq. The Congress is going to work with the Administration to try to achieve this objective. Now there is a unique situation," he said. "The Congress and the Administration will be working hand-in-hand in this effort."

February 2, 1999: At 2:20 p.m. Iraqi time, two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped two GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an anti-aircraft artillery battery in response to being targeted by Iraqi radar near Mosul. In a separate incident approximately 15 minutes later, two additional F-15Es, also responding after being targeted by Iraqi radar, dropped GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on the same anti-aircraft artillery site. In a third incident at approximately 3:15 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Marine EA-6B launched a high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) at an SA-2 radar site. In a fourth incident at approximately 3:20 p.m. Iraqi time, F-15Es dropped GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an anti-aircraft artillery site. Finally, in a fifth incident which occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, F-15Es dropped GBU-12s on another anti-aircraft artillery site.

February 6, 1999: (media) The Guardian:

Thus the world's most notorious pariah state, armed with its half-built hoard of chemical, biological and nuclear wea
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February 6, 1999: (media) The Guardian:

Thus the world's most notorious pariah state, armed with its half-built hoard of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, tried to embrace the planet's most prolific terrorist. It was the stuff of the West's millennial nightmares, but United States intelligence officials are positive that the meeting took place, although they admit that they have no idea what happened.

This was not the first time that President Saddam had offered Mr Bin Laden a partnership. At least one approach is believed to have been made during the Saudi dissident's sojourn in Sudan from 1990 to 1996. On that occasion, the guerrilla leader turned the emissaries away, out of a pious man's contempt for President Saddam's secular Ba'athist regime.

But this time round Mr Bin Laden's options have been rapidly diminishing. His hosts, the hardline Taliban militia which rules Afghanistan under Islamic auspices, have vowed publicly to stand by him. But they are at the same time discussing with his worst enemies - the Saudi monarchy and the American government - his eventual departure from Afghan soil.

Mr Bin Laden must surely have felt the noose begin to bite when he heard the news of the Taliban's meeting this week with a US assistant secretary of state, Karl Inderfurth, in Islamabad.

But the most wanted man in the West may be at his most dangerous when cornered. And the increased pressure makes the prospect of a Saddam Hussein-Osama bin Laden alliance, once an improbable marriage of opposites, seem a more credible threat.

And
Saddam Hussein's regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials.
The key meeting took place in the Afghan mountains near Kandahar in late December. The Iraqi delegation was led by Farouk Hijazi, Baghdad's ambassador in Turkey and one of Saddam's most powerful secret policemen, who is thought to have offered Bin Laden asylum in Iraq.
February 11, 1999: Between approximately 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flight observed Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire and was also illuminated by an Iraqi radar system near Mosul. Acting in self-defense, one F-15E dropped; GBU-12s on an Iraqi surface-to-air missile communications site. Two F-15Es launched an AGM-130 and dropped GBU-12s on an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system. At 1:32 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped GBU-12 precision- guided munitions on an Iraqi surface-to-air missile site west of Mosul. Two minutes later, a U.S. Air Force F-16CJ Fighting Falcon launched an AGM-88 high-speed antiradiation missile at an Iraqi radar site northwest of Mosul. Close to 1:38 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Air Force F-15E dropped GBU-12s on a surface-to-air missile communications site east of Mosul.

February 12, 1999 At approximately 1:30 p.m. Iraqi time, an F-15E enforcing the Northern no-fly zone over Iraq was fired upon by an anti-aircraft artillery site north of Mosul. The F-15E dropped a GBU-12 in response to this hostile act.

President Clinton is acquitted of charges in the US Senate.

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2000 - 2003

Washington Post opines:

...of all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous -- or more urgent -- than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade's efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf," including "intelligence photos that show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons."
Sept. 11, 2001: Terrorists attack New York City and Washington, D.C. Among other grievances, al Qaeda cites the presence of US forces on Saudi soil (enforcing the southern no-fly zone) as justification for the attack.

October 7, 2001: US and British forces began an aerial bombing campaign targeting Taliban forces and al-Qaeda. By December the Taliban government of Afghanistan had collapsed as US and Afghan "Northern Alliance" forces rapidly overran the country.

Dec. 5, 2001: "There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." - Letter to President Bush, Signed by Joe Lieberman (D-CT), John McCain (R-AZ) and others.

January 29, 2002: President Bush accuses Iraq of being part of an international "axis if evil" during his State of the Union address.

May 14, 2002: The UN Security Council revamps the sanctions against Iraq, now eleven years old, replacing them with "smart sanctions" meant to allow more civilian goods to enter the country while at the same time more effectively restricting military and dual-use equipment (military and civilian).

June 2, 2002: President Bush publicly introduces the new defense doctrine of preemption in a speech at West Point. In some instances, the president asserts, the U.S. must strike first against another state to prevent a potential threat from growing into an actual one: "Our security will require all Americans…[to] be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives." But where previous confrontations with Iraq were invariably focused on weapons of mass destruction, now another element of the war on terror is frequently expressed:

This war will take many turns we cannot predict. Yet I am certain of this: Wherever we carry it, the American flag will stand not only for our power, but for freedom. Our nation's cause has always been larger than our nation's defense. We fight, as we always fight, for a just peace -- a peace that favors human liberty. We will defend the peace against threats from terrorists and tyrants. We will preserve the peace by building good relations among the great powers. And we will extend the peace by encouraging free and open societies on every continent.
September 4, 2002: “If we wait for the [Iraq] danger to become clear, it could be too late.” -Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del) “Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.” -Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)

Sept. 12, 2002: President Bush accuses Iraq of failing to live up to its obligations to the U.N. during an address to the General Assembly: "We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger."

September 19, 2002: "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." - Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI),

September 23, 2002: "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." - Al Gore

September 23, 2002: "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore

September 27, 2002: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA),

October 3, 2002: "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. W

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October 3, 2002: "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV),

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), October 9, 2002

October 10, 2002: "It is clear that military operations against Saddam Hussein, of the sort that are being discussed, pose serious risks, and we should all admit that. Any military campaign runs very serious risks to our servicemembers.

"...Presumably Saddam Hussein will be more determined to use all the weapons and tactics in his arsenal if he believes our ultimate goal is to remove him from power.

"The Administration assures us our troops have equipment and uniforms that will protect them from that risk, should it arise. We can only hope to God they are right.

"We also have to acknowledge that any military operations against Saddam Hussein pose potential risks to our own homeland, too. Saddam’s government has contact with many international terrorist organizations that likely have cells here in the United States.
<...>
"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources -- something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.

"When Saddam Hussein obtains nuclear capabilities, the constraints he feels will diminish dramatically, and the risk to America’s homeland, as well as to America’s allies, will increase even more dramatically. Our existing policies to contain or counter Saddam will become irrelevant." - Senator Jay Rockefeller (D, WV)

October 10, 2002: "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY),

October 2002: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein "reelected with 100% of the vote".

November 2002: US "mid-term" elections.

Nov. 8, 2002: U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 says Iraq "remains in material breach of its obligations" under various U.N. resolutions and gives the country "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament" commitments.

Nov. 27, 2002: UNMOVIC and IAEA inspections begin again in Iraq, almost four years after the departure of inspectors prior to Operation Desert Fox.

Dec. 7, 2002: Iraq delivers a 12,000-page WMD report to the U.N. in response to Resolution 1441. U.N. chief inspector Hans Blix says the information provided by Iraq is largely recycled material.

December 8, 2002: "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL)

Dec. 21, 2002: President Bush approves the deployment of U.S. troops to the Gulf region. By March an estimated 200,000 troops will be stationed there. British and Australian troops will join them over the coming months.

Jan. 9, 2003: UNMOVIC's Hans Blix and the IAEA's Director General Mohamed ElBaradei report their findings to the U.N. Security Council. Blix says inspectors have not found any "smoking guns" in Iraq. John Negroponte, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., says: "There is still no evidence that Iraq has fundamentally changed its approach from one of deceit to a genuine attempt to be forthcoming in meeting the council's demand that it disarm."

January 23. 2003: "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA)

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Jan. 28, 2003: In his State of the Union address address, President Bush declares that the US will not wait until Iraq becomes an imminent threat to the US:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning.

And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation.

The world has waited 12 years for Iraq to disarm. America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country, and our friends and our allies. The United States will ask the U.N. Security Council to convene on February the 5th to consider the facts of Iraq's ongoing defiance of the world. Secretary of State Powell will present information and intelligence about Iraqi's legal -- Iraq's illegal weapons programs, its attempt to hide those weapons from inspectors, and its links to terrorist groups.

We will consult. But let there be no misunderstanding: If Saddam Hussein does not fully disarm, for the safety of our people and for the peace of the world, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.

Tonight I have a message for the men and women who will keep the peace, members of the American Armed Forces: Many of you are assembling in or near the Middle East, and some crucial hours may lay ahead. In those hours, the success of our cause will depend on you. Your training has prepared you. Your honor will guide you. You believe in America, and America believes in you.

February 5, 2003: “Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.” -Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)

Feb. 5, 2003: U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell goes in person to the U.N. to make the case against Iraq.

Feb. 14, 2003: The IAEA's ElBaradei and chief weapons inspector Blix report to the U.N. Security Council on Iraqi cooperation in the search for WMD. They say they have not discovered any biological, chemical or nuclear weapons activities. Proscribed missile programs are discovered and disabled. Blix does express frustration with Iraq's failure to account for its vast stores of chemical and biological agents it was known to have at one point. Blix says: "This is perhaps the most important problem we are facing. Although I can understand that it may not be easy for Iraq in all cases to provide the evidence needed, it is not the task of the inspectors to find it."

That same day Colin Powell again addresses the United Nations Security Council: “1441 is about disarmament and compliance and not merely a process of inspections that goes on forever without ever resolving the basic problem.”

Feb. 22, 2003: Hans Blix orders Iraq to destroy its Al Samoud 2 missiles by March 1. The UN inspectors have determined that the missiles have an illegal range limit. Iraq can have missiles that reach neighboring countries, but not ones capable of reaching Israel.

Feb. 24, 2003: The U.S., Britain, and Spain submit a proposed resolution to the UN Security Council that states that "Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity afforded to it in Resolution 1441," and that it is now time to authorize use of military force against the country. France, Germany, and Russia submit an informal counter-resolution to the UN Security Council that states that inspections should be intensified and extended to ensure that there is "a real chance to the peaceful settlement of this crisis," and that "the military option should only be a last resort."

March 1, 2003: Iraq begins to destroy its Al Samoud missiles.

7 March 2003: Powell once again addresses the Security Council: "-“The intent of the Iraqi regime to keep from
turning over all of its weapons of mass destruction seems to me has not changed, and not to cooperate with the international community in the manner intended by 1441.”

March 17, 2003: Remarks by President George Bush in an Address to the Nation

"All the decades of deceit and cruelty have
8 years ago

March 17, 2003: Remarks by President George Bush in an Address to the Nation

"All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors, should leave Iraq immediately."
<...>
We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year, or five years, the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now, where it arises, before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities.
<...>
Terrorists and terror states do not reveal these threats with fair notice, in formal declarations -- and responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self-defense, it is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now.

As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country. Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty. And when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.

The United States, with other countries, will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight, but it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land. And the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace.

March 20, 2003: The U.S. military and other members of an American-led coalition invade Iraq.
I know that was a long post...
8 years ago
I hope you can use some of this information to back up your statements when talking with others...

Take care and G_d bless America!
Anonymous
8 years ago

Good job Anton! In fact, it is so good that I am going to red pin here in the group. It will make for some great reference material...

Anyone wish to add to it or discuss?

Interesting!
8 years ago

Thanks for the interesting articles of events! I see now that Saddam was trying to get his hands on WMD's from the moment he entered office and funny how no where does it state that America is after Iraq's oil like most anti Bushers claim!

Nice Little Video Reminder
7 years ago

I thought this would be a good thread to post this link on.  It's a nice little reminder of what some of the Dems said back before they forgot that they forgot that they forgot they supported our President... or is that 4 "forgots"???    Dunno - I've lost track.  Anyhooooo...

http://www.bercasio.com/movies/dems-wmd-before-iraq.wmv