Iraq: February 11, 2001


The UN embargo continues to crumble. Iraq has replaced it's helicopter transport service (between Baghdad and Mosul and Basra) with passenger jets. Oil smuggling, which provides the government with some half a billion dollars a year, is now supplemented by equally illegal "commissions" being extorted from those who buy the $16 billion a year in oil the UN embargo allows. Meanwhile, US officials met with members of the opposition Iraqi National Congress (INC.) This is not very promising, as the INC is split into many factions. Moreover, the basic fact of life in Iraq is that the minority Arab Sunis (led by Saddam or someone like him) either dominate the Kurds and Arab Shias, or in turn get persecuted.


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