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Filed October 17, 2002 By Jeremy Scahill
BAGHDAD—As the United Nations Security Council continues its "open debate" on Iraq, an influential member of Iraq's governing Ba'ath Party has told that Baghdad will not accept the Bush administration's draft resolution, characterizing it as a virtual occupation agreement.

"This Iraq resolution was definitely written not to be implemented," said Dr. Abdul Rezak Al Hashimi, a former federal minister. "The intention of the American administration is to issue a resolution Iraq cannot comply with, so bombs and rockets start to come. That's what they are planning."

"When they [the U.S.] decide to do it, they will do it, and no international community, no public opinion can do anything about it." said Dr. Abdul Rezak Al Hashimi, a former federal minister.

The resolution calls for an armed security force to accompany weapons inspectors should they return to Iraq "to protect them." It also reserves the right to impose additional "no-fly/no-drive zones, exclusion zones, and/or ground and air transit corridors, (which shall be enforced by UN security forces or by member states)." Several sections of the resolution provide authorization for Washington to send in its own operatives, outside of the UN weapons inspection framework, with carte blanche rights to go anywhere they choose. Iraq says this could provide the justification for Washington to openly send in spies to develop target lists for future attacks on the country, as the Clinton administration did covertly in 1998.

The draft resolution says that if Iraq refuses to "comply fully" with these demands, that "all necessary means" can be used to "restore international peace and security."

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council conducted its first day of open debate on Iraq, initiated by the 130-nation "Non-aligned Movement," the majority of whose members oppose any attack on Iraq.

"[The US] might attack tomorrow, they might attack two weeks from now, three months from now, two months from now, a year from now," Hashimi said. "When they decide to do it, they will do it, and no international community, no public opinion can do anything about it."

The session at the UN began as President Bush signed into law the blank check resolution he was granted by the US Congress to unilaterally attack Iraq. Hashimi said the reasons given by the Bush administration for war are baseless, saying if Bush had evidence it would have already been seen "on every television in the world."

Hashimi said that Baghdad is working all possible diplomatic angles, but that if US forces attempt to invade Iraq, "it will be worse than Vietnam:"

"Iraq is a surviving nation, for thousands of years," he said. "It's going to continue to survive. The Mongols destroyed Baghdad 600 years ago and you are in Baghdad now. The Americans tried to destroy Baghdad 12 years ago and you are in Baghdad now, as lively as you are seeing it. I can tell you for sure that Iraqis will never give up. Because if they give up they have a lot to lose and that is Iraq."

Jeremy Scahill is an independent journalist, who reports for the nationally syndicated Radio and TV show Democracy Now! He is currently based in Baghdad, Iraq, where he and filmmaker Jacquie Soohen are coordinating, the only website providing regular independent reporting from the ground in Baghdad.

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