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In this issue: Unconventional Weapons and the Nuclear Option

Meanwhile, the Iraqi people are already accustomed to even greater hardship having endured nearly eight years of war with Iran. Even after five months of economic isolation, their standard of living still exceeds most of their neighbouring nations' including Syria, Iran and Jordan.

Western proponents of the exclusive use of an economic embargo against Iraq have miscalculated, perhaps because of cultural differences, the effect of the hardships Iraqis face. In short, it could be said that the U.N.'s economic sanctions are having a reverse effect, that the resolve of Iraq and the hate for the West within are both hardening as the effects of economic affliction set in.

Admittedly there are two opposing sides to the `sanctions debate', but we find that the proponents are in the minority and seriously lacking informed argument or real sincerity and credibility. Who are they? Jean Chrétien whose political job it is to oppose the government. Svend Robinson, a socialist MP who broke stride with parliamentary tradition to publicly announce his homosexuality and who last fall flew to Baghdad to bargain with (of all people) Yasser Arafat for the release of five Canadian hostages held by Saddam Hussein. One lady in Toronto who was leading a peace demonstration said, "I have no more time to talk to you about this, I have to go to a pro-abortion demonstration." She had been chanting that children can't wear gas masks! A chronic protester?

Yes, war in the Gulf must be averted if possible. But it is no less true that in all matters pertaining to the Persian Gulf crisis, the Minister of National Defence has conducted himself and his department in an exemplary manner, completely above any valid criticism. Certainly Canadians should be proud of him and his department.

One could hardly say the Department of National Defence should have done more, nor can one legitimately say DND should have done less. The small contribution that Canada has made to the coalition of 28 nations opposing Saddam Hussein's aggression is befitting Canada's minuscule military capability; congruent with Canada's

Volume 5, Number 3 January 16, 1991



Splitting hairs over defensive and offensive roles for Canada's CF-18s based in the Gulf region has recently become the stuff of nightly Canadian newscasts and starting yesterday, for House of Commons debaters.

Don't for one second be fooled by the oratory of some opposition members in the debate over the Gulf. Parliamentarians like Jean Chrétien are behaving this way out of ignorance and with unabashed selfish partisanship. A member of the Privy Council, however, Chrétien has the capacity and the moral obligation to properly inform himself. Liberals who elected him leader deserve the grief he will likely bring them.

Sanctions against Iraq will not work alone for the plain reason that the coalition is unlikely to hold together for the duration of the time that it would take for the embargo to force Saddam back into his tree. That may seem overly cynical, but positively accurate in view of the effectiveness of Saddam at manipulating public opinion among coalition nations by exploiting the weak minded.

Persian Gulf Analysis: Opening Pandora's Box

Pearsonian-era birth of a national longing for U.N. peacekeeping missions; consistent with Canada's loyalty to the United Nations and collective security; suited to Canada's western-lifestyle values; in keeping with Canada's current and traditional economic and military alliances; and apropos to Canada's democratic processes.

Canada has at best four naval vessels nominally capable of fulfilling the role Canada has taken in the Persian Gulf. Two ships are doing just that and will be replaced in July by the other two if current plans are accomplished.

Canada could not and should not send land forces to the Gulf region because the CF has no land resources suitably trained or equipped for that operations theatre, nor has the CF the ability to support a Brigade Group in that region of the world. The number of troops that Canada could conceivably offer as a contribution to coalition forces in place there would not be sufficient to make a difference militarily.

But Canada does make a prominent contribution with its CF-18 squadron and accompanying support units in Qatar. The Canadian air force customarily operates its CF-18s in an air-combat role both in Germany and at home. From Qatar, Canadian airmen are doing missions they are familiar with, flying a variety of patrols with a view to detecting and intercepting aggressor aircraft should they invade the protected airspace.

Canada has learned to operate and support the multimission CF-18 in a wide assortment of operating environments in air superiority and attack modes and has done so in a manner that has drawn praise from around the globe. Canadian pilots are certainly among the very best in the world and make a valid contribution to the coalition of forces arrayed against Saddam Hussein.

Canada has committed 24 aircraft to the Gulf and has promised to sustain that level by flying replacements to the Gulf immediately after an asset is lost.

The words of General John de Chastelain sum up the true facts of Canadian participation in the Gulf crisis. The Chief of the Defence Staff was speaking to a group of reporters in the National Press Building last Friday as he announced the dispatch of six additional CF-18s to the existing complement of eighteen aircraft already detached to the Gulf last fall.

"The primary employment of these resources will be to continue the maintenance of combat air patrols in the northern Gulf. The presence of our own dedicated tanker and the additional CF-18s will allow us to keep our fighters continuously in the air in the event of hostilities, as well as to provide backup aircraft should that be needed.

"These are prudent steps... "

Micheal J. O'Brien


As reported in previous issues, sources to The Wednesday Report have confirmed that Iraq, with Libya's help, has developed ABO (agents of biological origin) weapons including strains of cholera, typhoid, anthrax, and botulinum A. On more than one occasion in speeches last fall, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also confirmed that Iraq was in possession of chemical and biological weapons apparatus. More recently, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Webster verified that both weapons are at the disposal of Saddam Hussein.

Extensive anti-ABO innoculations given to military personnel in the Gulf also tell something of the threat, but one of the most touching stories on the matter was fetched back to the U.S. recently by a Washington Post writer, the story about Kuwaiti refugees holed up in a makeshift shelter in "Tent City", Saudi Arabia. The exiles have fabricated a plastic porthole in their crude shelter through which they can view a pretty pair of love birds in a cage left out in the open. If the birds drop dead, the exiled Kuwaitis know they are under attack with otherwise undetectable agents.

Some time late in August, Lybian-marked Illusion-76s and An-22s arrived in al-Nassariyah Air Force base in Iraq transporting ABO artillery rounds among other sinister cargoes. As part of the ongoing tit-for-tat relationships in the Arab world, Mu'ammar al-Quadhafi, Lybia's notorious president has maintained an alliance with Iraq's Saddam Hussein which has entailed a certain amount of Iraqi financial support for Lybian research and development activities as well as Iraq providing safe haven for Lybian and Lybia-supported terrorists.


The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991

Persian Gulf Analysis: Opening Pandora's Box

As well as participation in Iraq's medium range missile projects, Lybia has participated in development projects yielding Fuel-Air Explosive (FAE) weapons, otherwise known as Liquid Petroleum (LP) bombs; chemical weapons; ABO weapons; and radiation weapons which now conceivably exist within the Iraqi arsenal.

Iraq, with outside help, has developed innovative and advanced methods for packing artillery-rocket delivered chemical rounds. It manufactures a derivative family of nerve agents from Tabun (GA) and Sarin (GB) which attack the central nervous system, as well as the blistering agents of the Mustard (H) family. Iraq's French and Soviet-built aircraft are capable of delivering chemical bombs and its Scud B (175-mile range), al-Hussein (400-mile range) and al-Abbas (600-mile range) missiles can deliver a ground-launched chemical attack. Iraq has tested the Tamouz I, an intercontinental ballistic missile with a capability that is as yet ill-defined. Iraq also has what amounts to the best artillery in the world, fully capable of delivering unconventional rounds.

It is widely known that the Libyan chemical and biological warfare establishments at Rabta, Tripoli and Sebha employ foreign scientists including Germans and Soviets with connections that run deep into their respective nations. It is less well known what they are working on although from information gained about and from a myriad of industrial suppliers around the globe, a number of scenarios have been constructed. One of them postulates a deliverable ABO weapons product in a near-production state of development.

Whether or not Saddam would risk using ABO weapons is a matter of conjecture. In his case though, based on The Wednesday Report's psychographic profile of the man, one can safely expect the worst and still be shocked. (See The Wednesday Report, August 15, 1990, page 3, "Saddam Hussein: Dueling With Fear".) The difficulty and therefore impediment to Saddam in using ABO weapons is that they pollute an area permanently thus denying later access to his own soldiers and general populace. The coalition contemplates that main battles would be fought in Kuwait and Iraq and of course Saddam would be forced to employ such area-denial weapons on his own turf if he used the weapons against the Kuwait-liberation troops.

But Saddam has declared to the globe that war will not be fought exclusively in Kuwait and Iraq. Baghdad has threatened to reduce the Arabian peninsula to ashes and to hit Israel first if attacked by the U.S. and allied forces. On Monday, Saddam warned that Iraq had "surprise weapons" which would astound Iraq's enemies and that tens of thousands of its foes would die even before reaching Iraqi defence lines. How much of that is bluff?

"We will not be disclosing a secret when we say that Iraq's arsenal contains surprises which will astonish our enemies and fascinate our friends. This also applies to our military plan," the Iraqi defence ministry newspaper al-Qadisiya said on the weekend.

Although there is a propensity among many in the West to ostracize such statements as flagrant propaganda, there are others who believe that Saddam Hussein has sufficient psychosis, he is so completely two-dimensional that he will open up every conceivable Pandora's box heretofore posed by the breadth of available cheap weapons of mass destruction. He conceivably would do that even at the expense in lives of tens of thousands of his own people to perpetuate his theme of being an Arab hero in the war against his self appointed foe, the Zionist and imperialistic-American invaders of sacred Islamic soil.

Said al-Qadisiya, "It is difficult, if not impossible, to penetrate Iraq before thousands or tens of thousands of American aggressors are killed on the way."

Saddam's confidence has an eerie effect on all of us in the West. Either the man is completely psychotic or he has something horrible up his sleeve, or both. Instead of making preparations for withdrawal, the Iraqi army is enthusiastically bracing itself for an attack.

If that means that Iraq will use chemical and ABO weapons, the West will be compelled to retaliate vigorously to make a clear statement that averts their use by aggressors in future engagements. The Pandora's box that Saddam may open will also contain what U.S. Secretary of State James Baker has called "an overwhelming response" from the U.S.

In his undelivered Jan. 5 letter to Saddam Hussein, George Bush said, "the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical or biological weapons or the destruction of Kuwait's oil fields and installations," and that "the American people would demand the strongest possible response. You and your country will pay a terrible price if you order unconscionable acts of this sort."

Micheal J. O'Brien

The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991


Persian Gulf Analysis: The Nuclear Option


The nuclear threshold in a war with Iraq is pushed ahead by the risk of extreme collateral damage in Iraqi-occupied Kuwait. Further restrictions by the prospect of collateral damage and negative world reaction limit the use of strategic and tactical nuclear devices in Iraq itself.

The group of nations capable of using nuclear devices in the Gulf conflict is comprised of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Israel, and although barely conceivable, Iraq.

If war breaks out in the Gulf and should the Iraqis attack American positions with their diverse range of non-conventional weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein may find himself getting quietly banged with the ER bomb, otherwise known as the neutron bomb or W-70 Mod 3 and recent upgrades. An almost-discriminate, tactical, nuclear weapon, the field is wide open for its use in Kuwait.

The theory behind the neutron bomb is quite simple. Hit enemy troops with a high dosage of X-ray energy in the order of 6,000 REMs, thus immediately (within a few minutes) leaving victims incapacitated and eventually killing them with the extreme radiation overexposure.

The neutron device is predicated on nuclear fusion as opposed to fission. Specifically it relies on a process that involves the combining (fusing) of the nuclei of the very lightest of elements — hydrogen -- two types of heavy hydrogen, deuterium (the hydrogen component of heavy water) and tritium (heaviest form of hydrogen, not found in nature, but produced in nuclear reactors).

A pure-fusion bomb (deuterium/tritium), in contrast to fission weapons, puts most of the fusion energy into the neutrons thus creating instantaneously high radiation. The remainder of the energy goes into the helium nuclei, charged particles which are all absorbed in the weapon to create the blast and heat. In real terms, the pure-fusion or N-bomb device has an energy partitioning of 80 percent prompt radiation and 20 percent blast and heat whereas at the other end of the scale, a pure fission device emits 85 percent blast and heat, 10 percent delayed radiation and 5 percent prompt radiation. A combined fission-fusion device demonstrates a weak compromise of the antipersonnel characteristics of the pure-fusion device.

In tactical usage, a three-thousand-foot altitude burst of a very low yield pure-fusion or even a pseudo-neutron fission-fusion bomb (deuterium/tritium) keeps the fireball and destructive force of the detonation away from the ground. A pure-fusion device can be extremely small and yet have an enormous effect. A blast equivalent to 100 tons of TNT would cause the eventual death of everything living within a half-kilometer radius. That includes Iraqi troops inside even their T-72 tanks. Those troops within the centre half of the circle would be killed instantly.

A one-kiloton device would have the same effect over three kilometers and would instantly kill troops within a thousand meters. The radiation emitted from the blast, particularly in the middle of the X-ray band where most of the neutron bomb's radiation is concentrated, stops on impact with atoms, thus they have a short life and leave nominal residual radiation. Safely, if for only a short period of time, allied troops could occupy an area they had just hit with an N-bomb.

The W-70 Mod 3 is apparently such a weapon according to The Wednesday Report sources. Official U.S. sources would not confirm or deny the existence of the weapon and would only say that "no Pershings or Lances have left Europe". The Lance is widely believed to have an ER warhead.

This low-yield Enhanced Radiation (ER) weapon has been in the U.S. arsenal for some years and was deployed to Europe. In the late 1970s, the Air Force wanted to further develop the neutron bomb, but during the tenure of President Jimmy Carter the ongoing hysteria over radiation and an intense "peace" campaign by the Soviets who had yet to develop their own neutron bomb, reached such a high crescendo it wasn't possible to officially advance the project. Carter was forced to cancel the Mod 4 variant of the W-70 which was to be a device convertible to either structural negation or enhanced radiation, fission-fusion or pure-fusion.

On August 8, 1981, Ronald Reagan's administration reopened the matter and quietly gave the neutron bomb the nod.

Readers may recall the early 1980s' popular-media reaction to occasional reference by Reagan to a "limited nuclear exchange" and the overall argument brewing over the concept of "winnable nuclear war". The neutron bomb was conceived 30 years ago and pursued in the late 1970s as the ultimate in so-called "limited nuclear warfare". It was under that guise that Reagan did in fact approve the project, and it is because of that fact that the neutron bomb is available today for use in the Gulf.

Micheal J. O'Brien


The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991

Gulf Crisis: The Truth About American Diplomacy


The following January 5 letter of U.S. President George Bush was refused by Iraq's foreign minister Tariq Aziz when Secretary of State James A. Baker III asked him to deliver it to Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. In refusing the letter, Aziz broke diplomatic protocol. He disingenuously claimed the letter contained language inappropriate for correspondence between two heads of state. Because readers may have not yet had the opportunity to read the letter, we publish it in its entirety.

"Mr. President: [Saddam Hussein]

We stand today at the brink of war between Iraq and the world. This is a war that began with your invasion of Kuwait; this is a war that can be ended only by Iraq's full and unconditional compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 678.

I am writing you now, directly, because what is at stake demands that no opportunity be lost to avoid what would be a certain calamity for the people of Iraq. I am writing, as well, because it is said by some that you do not understand just how isolated Iraq is and what Iraq faces as a result.

I am not in a position to judge whether this impression is correct; what I can do, though, is try in this letter to reinforce what Secretary of State Baker told your Foreign Minister and eliminate any uncertainty or ambiguity that might exist in your mind about where we stand and what we are prepared to do.

The international community is united in its call for Iraq to leave all of Kuwait without condition and without further delay. This is not simply the policy of the United States; it is the position of the world community as expressed in no less than 12 Security Council resolutions.

We prefer a peaceful outcome. However, anything less than full compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 and its predecessors is unacceptable.

There can be no reward for aggression. Nor will there be any negotiation. Principle cannot be compromised. However, by its full compliance, Iraq will gain the opportunity to rejoin the international community.

More immediately, the Iraqi military establishment will escape destruction. But unless you withdraw from Kuwait completely and without condition, you will lose more than Kuwait.

What is at issue here is not the future of Kuwait - it will be free, its government will be restored — but rather the future of Iraq. This choice is yours to make.

The United States will not be separated from its coalition partners. Twelve Security Council resolutions, 28 countries providing military units to enforce them, more than 100 governments complying with sanctions — all highlight the fact that it is not Iraq against the United States, but Iraq against the world.

That most Arab and Muslim countries are arrayed against you as well should reinforce what I am saying. Iraq cannot and will not be able to hold on to Kuwait or exact a price for leaving.

You may be tempted to find solace in the diversity of opinion that is American democracy. You should resist any such temptation. Diversity ought not to be confused with division. Nor should you underestimate, as others have before you, America's will.

Iraq is already feeling the effects of the sanctions mandated by the United Nations. Should war come, it will be a far greater tragedy for you and your country.

Let me state, too, that the United States will not tolerate the use of chemical or biological weapons or the destruction of Kuwait's oil fields and installations. Further, you will be held directly responsible for terrorist actions against any member of the coalition.

The American people would demand the strongest possible response. You and your country will pay a terrible price if you order unconscionable acts of this sort.

I write this letter not to threaten, but to inform. I do so with no sense of satisfaction, for the people of the United States have no quarrel with the people of Iraq.

Mr. President, U.N. Security Council Resolution 678 establishes the period before Jan. 15 of this year as a `pause of good will' so that this crisis may end without further violence.

Whether this pause is used as intended, or merely becomes a prelude to further violence, is in your hands, and yours alone. I hope you weigh your choice carefully and choose wisely, for much will depend upon it.

George Bush

The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991




Her Majesty's Canadian Ships Nipigon and Kootenay will each receive the same weapons-upgrade treatment as was given Terra Nova and Athabaskan early last August. (See The Wednesday Report, August 22, page 4, "Canada Has Mustered An Impressive Middle East Task Force".) The two combatant ships presently in the Gulf are expected to return to Canada in July. Kootenay and Nipigon are to depart for the Persian Gulf in June.

HMCS Nipigon (266) of the two-ship Annapolis-class was built by Marine Industries Limited and commissioned in 1964. The Annapolis-class is the newest of Canada's steam-driven ASW frigates and the ultimate variation on the basic St. Laurent theme. Unlike the St. Laurent-class, the Annapolis-class vessels were completed from the outset as helicopter carriers and have been extensively updated under the destroyer life extension (DELEX) and related improvement programs. Nippigon underwent a major refit and overhaul in 1989 (see The Wednesday Report, November 15, 1989, "HMCS Nipigon To Sail From Port Weller Today") at the Port Weller drydocks and notably is Canada's first mixed-gender warship as a result of the reconfiguration done at that time. With a beam of 42 feet and its 371-foot length, Nipigon displaces 3,000 tons under full load.

HMCS Kootenay (258), a sister ship to Terra Nova which it relieves in the Gulf, was built in the Burrard yard in Vancouver, commissioned in 1959 and is one of the four remaining Improved Restigouche-class (IR). With a beam of 42 feet, Kootenay is 371 feet in length and displaces 2,900 tons. Apart from Terra Nova, Kootnay is the most fit of the remaining IRs.


The tripping of a fire suppression system onboard the drydocked HMCS Preserver last Wednesday in Halifax has left one man dead and seven others injured. The accident occurred while the Canadian navy replenishment ship was undergoing a refit at the Halifax-Dartmouth Industries Ltd. (H-DIL) shipyard. Carbon dioxide was sprayed into the boiler room where people were working. Halifax Police say that a preliminary medical examination points to asphyxiation as the cause of death when one welder in the work crew was killed. The carbon dioxide sucked oxygen out of the boiler area.

Aside from the police, four other organizations are investigating the accident — H-DIL, Ports Canada Police, the Halifax Fire Department and the Occupational Safety Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour. As well, the Industrial Marine and Shipbuilding Workers' Union plans to conduct its own informal investigation. The provincial government says that it may also set up another inquiry. The H-DIL yard has suffered a spate of accidents over the last five years.

Anonymous union officials have told the local media that they hold either the shipyard or navy responsible for not draining the fire extinguishing systems in advance of the work. But navy and shipbuilding sources say that it is standard practice to leave such units fully loaded and operational in drydock.

Preserver started its $18.5 million, year-long refit on July 9, 1990. Aside from general maintenance work, the twenty year old supply ship will also receive a Mk 15 Phalanx close-in weapon system, four Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff (SRBOC) systems, a new sewage abatement system, and the removal of all asbestos from its hull and structure.

The tragedy occurred just as the navy town was getting ready to celebrate the return of the first Canadian sailors and airmen from Preserver's sister ship serving in the Persian Gulf. Thousands jammed the Halifax International Airport last Thursday to welcome back the 366 crew members of HMCS Protecteur after four months in the Middle East. In a press conference afterwards, Protecteur Commander Captain (N) Douglas MacLean said that his people will receive a well deserved, thirty day leave. After that, some may return to the Gulf to help their replacement crew from Preserver man and maintain their ship.


The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991



The Canadian navy may get its newest and long awaited warship in April. Saint John Shipbuilding Limited (SJSL) says that it is just about ready to hand over HMCS Halifax this spring. SJSL is the prime contractor for the $6.4 billion, twelve vessel programme of which Halifax is the lead ship. James Wood, SJSL senior vice-president says that 167 of 207 of the ship's compartments are done and Halifax is receiving a last-minute paint job and other touch ups at its yard in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The antisubmarine, antiair frigate completed its platform trials in the Bay of Fundy in September 1990 and combat systems tests at the navy's gunnery range at Osborne Head off the coast of Nova Scotia in December 1990.

Although nearly ready for handover, the frigate still has some bugs to be ironed out. Wood said that technicians and subcontractors are trying to trace the source of unwanted hull noise originally thought to be propeller cavitation. Later this year Halifax will steam down to the United States Navy undersea acoustic testing range off the Florida coast in hopes of pinpointing the source, possibly somewhere in the shipboard machinery.

As lead ship, Halifax is already two years behind its contracted delivery date. (See The Wednesday Report, September 26, 1990, page 5, "HMCS Halifax — Waiting For A Good Thing".) SJSL is hoping that the learning curve of experience from the construction of the first three warships in the first batch will shorten construction time on future vessels. The firm is still confident that all twelve ships will be in navy hands by the final delivery date in 1996.

Halifax's commissioning is tentatively slated for July 2 in its namesake port, coinciding with that city's world renowned, annual military tattoo. After that the navy plans to take the next eighteen months to conduct its own sea trials, ranging from weapons firings to environmental tests in the Caribbean and Arctic. Wood said that the trials could be done more quickly, but the navy wanted the flexibility of conducting them over a year and a half.

Although coming on steam at the same time as the Canadian task group in the Persian Gulf is changing over its ships, Wood says it is extremely unlikely that Halifax will go to that Middle East hotspot. The retired Rear-Admiral and former commander of Maritime Command said that the crew and ship will still be in the shakedown phase at that time.


Oerlikon Aerospace Inc. (OA) of Saint Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec has let go nearly 175 employees. OA's parent, Oerlikon Buehrle Holding of Zurich, Switzerland has decided to discontinue funding for Oerlikon's diversification plan due to economic factors and the Persian Gulf crisis.

Sources to The Wednesday Report have suggested that the parent company endured significant economic hardship as a result of a compulsory (under Swiss law) halting of weapons systems deliveries to Mideast nations. Sources further suggest that the OA diversification strategy was proving successful, but like all businesses was feeling the pinch of recently softened markets.

Company officials say that the diversification efforts had enabled Oerlikon President Dr. Marco Genoni to keep all staff intact for a prolonged period despite current economic conditions. But OA was told to stop spending money on diversification. The cuts will save $7 million in salaries. Some $3 million will be spent in severances and employee relocation services, which according to some relieved employees, are very good.

As a result of the lay-offs announced by Genoni last week, Oerlikon Aerospace will focus primarily on meeting all existing contract commitments to the Canadian government and the U.S. Army, including the production of ADATS units for Canada's LLAD (Low Level Air Defence) and the U.S. Army's FAAD (Forward Area Air Defence) programmes. Study contracts for space research already under way will be brought to conclusion.

Among those leaving the company are former LLAD programme office executives Glen Decker, Vice-President New Business and Gaston LaMarre, Vice-President Space. Key executives in charge of corporate diversification who must leave the firm include Emile Laroche, Vice-President Environment and Controls. Oerlikon now employs some 500 persons at its Saint Jean-sur-Richelieu facility.

The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991




The United Nations Security Council met yesterday through the remaining hours prior to the midnight (EST) deadline for Iraq to pull out of Kuwait, seeking a workable plan for peace.

France's last-minute peace plan suggested the Security Council call on Iraq to begin immediately a "rapid and massive" withdrawal from Kuwait under the supervision of a U.N. observer force. The plan proposed that the Security Council agree to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's demand for an international conference on the Israeli-occupied territories and the Palestinian question. The plan was first handed to the new president of the 15-nation council, Zaire's U.N, Ambassador Bagbeni Adeito Nzengeya, on Monday within hours after the Paris government announced its intention to initiate a peace bid to salvage the failed weekend mission of Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar to Baghdad. French President Francois Mitterrand, along with other members of the 12-nation European Community has promised to work to the last minute to try to avert war between Iraq and the coalition of nations opposed to its occupation of Kuwait.

Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid was rumoured on Monday to be on his way to either Iraq or Saudi Arabia with his own ideas for a peace plan.

In Yemen, the official media there said President Ali Abdullah Saleh outlined a plan on Monday aimed at resolving the crisis. The Yemen media quoted Saleh as telling legislators the plan envisages an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, deployment of Arab and international forces in disputed border areas, and the departure of the multinational force.


U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney made joint statements Monday saying that a peaceful resolution to the Gulf crisis must come from Baghdad. "It is the hope... of the United States as the clock ticks down to January 15 that there will be an opportunity to resolve this crisis peacefully and politically," Baker told a news conference in Ottawa. "But that opportunity now must come from Baghdad."


Canadian Forces Unit Commendations have been awarded by the Department of National Defence to all CF units initially deployed to the Persian Gulf. HMCS Protecteur, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Terra Nova, 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron and "M" Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment received the citations "for their determination and professionalism in conducting their activities under harsh climatic conditions in an unfamiliar region," said General John de Chastelain, Chief of the Defence Staff. CF Unit Commendations were awarded on three occasions in 1990 to HMCS Provider, the Snowbirds and 5e Brigade mécanisée du Canada.


Strong rumours have circulated claiming that Saddam Hussein offered Yasser Arafat $1 billion from the bootie heisted in Kuwait in exchange for the unwavering support of the PLO. According to the rumours, Arafat was fully briefed on Saddam's intentions to invade Kuwait as early as July, 1990 by Saddam Hussein.

In Tunis, a gunman killed Saleh Khalaf, a high-ranking PLO official whose nom de guerre was Abu Iyad, also, Hael Abdel-Hamid and Fakhri al-Omari were killed on Monday night.

In Sidon, Lebanon on Monday, a Palestinian leader said American interests around the world would be attacked if U.S.-dominated multinational forces in the Gulf move against Iraq. "Once fire is opened on Iraqi forces, the Palestinian forces will attack American interests inside and outside Palestine as well as in the whole world," Zaid Wehbe said in a statement. Wehbe is Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief Yasser Arafat's representative in Lebanon.


The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991



The Cape Charles (9,296 tons gross), owned by the U.S. Department of Transport has lost all power and is drifting in lat 26 15n, long 52 28e in the Persian Gulf and needs towing, Lloyds Shipping Intelligence reported.

Israeli pilots sat in their aircraft as the IDF on Monday went on their highest alert of the Gulf crisis. "Israel is preparing for the possibility that before January 15 the Iraqis will attack," said Moshe Arens, Israel's defence minister.

In Baghdad, members of Iraq's National Assembly shouted that they were willing to back Saddam "with our blood, our souls, we are ready to sacrifice for Saddam." The 250-member assembly voted unanimously to give Saddam a carte blanche over the Gulf crisis. "Palestine should be liberated and rights of Palestinians restored," assembly Speaker Saadi Mehdi Saleh said.


Arianespace has signed contracts with Société Européenne des Satellites (SES) to launch two additional TV broadcast satellites — Astra 1C and Astra 1D —from the Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana. The satellites will each retransmit 18 television channels and multiple radio programmes to continental Europe and Great Britain. Astra 1C weighing approximately 2.635 kilograms at lift-off is scheduled for launch in early 1993 while Astra 1D, with a lift-off weight of about 2.730 kilograms, is expected to be launched at the beginning of 1994. SES's first satellite, Astra 1A was launched December 11, 1988 on Ariane Flight 27 and Astra 1B is set for launch by Arianespace in February.


The first U.S. Air Force C-17 airlifter — designated T-1 — has been assembled by McDonnell Douglas at the company's new 1.1 million square foot assembly building in Long Beach, California. The C-17 is an advanced jet transport designed to fly Army, Air Force and Marine Corps combat equipment, troops, outsized cargo and humanitarian aid directly to small, austere airfields anywhere in the world. The unique, powered lift technology of the C-17 enables it to operate on very short runways with high payloads.

During the final assembly process, the C-17's flight control system was tested and the operation of the elevators, rudder, ailerons, flaps and the associated electrical and hydraulic systems was demonstrated. After the aircraft has been painted, it will spend several weeks in ground test activities before first flight preparations. A two-year flight test programme is scheduled to begin in June.

There are currently ten production C-17s under U.S. Air Force contract in addition to T-1, the first test aircraft, but the Air Force has plans for a production run of a further 120 C-17 aircraft. Suppliers and subcontractors involved in the C-17 programme include Allied-Signal, Beech Aircraft, Delco, General Electric, Grumman, LTV and Pratt & Whitney.


Nobel Industries/Bofors and FFV of Sweden recently signed a contract creating a new defence materiel company which is expected to be called Swedish Ordnance/FFV/Bofors AB. Both Nobel Industries and FFV will have an equal share in the new company and will take over the manufacturing of artillery systems, ammunition, missile systems and propellants from Nobel Industries. Swedish Ordnance/FFV/Bofors will work as the main defence equipment supplier to the Swedish Defence Forces.

Almost every unit of both FFV and Bofors will be affected by the merger, but until the new company has been fully structured and a permanent management has been installed Bofors and FFV will continue to operate under the leadership of Egon Linderoth and Börje Olsson respectively. Bo Södersten of FFV will be president of the new company — which will initially be based in Stockholm — while Anders G. Carlberg of Bofors will serve as chairman of the board of directors. Bofors predicts that the merger will increase its all-round profitability and strengthen its position in the export market.

January 16, 1991

The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991


News, Coming Events, Calendar


P.T. Gatari Air Services of Jakarta, Indonesia will take delivery this week of a new Challenger 601-3A business jet. Delivery of the jet follows its recently received Type Approval from the Republic of Indonesia's Directorate General of Air Communications. P.T. Gatari — Challenger's first commercial operator in Southeast Asia — plans to use the jet as an executive transport and in air charter service. This order represents the 23rd Challenger to enter service with Asian operators.


Boeing Canada, de Havilland Division of Downsview, Ontario, perhaps soon to be owned by a French/Italian aerospace consortium, started the new year on a positive note with the announcement by Horizon Air of Seattle, Washington that it intends to purchase up to ten Dash 8 aircraft. This order will include five Series 100s and five options that could be either Series 100s or Series 300s. To date, 351 Dash 8s have been ordered by 48 operators in 18 countries.


The Subcontractors IV (SUBCON IV) Exhibition — a special purpose trade show organized by External Affairs and International Trade Canada — will be held April 9 and 10 at the Montreal Convention Centre. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity for Canadian subcontractors to display their products to carefully chosen U.S. and Canadian primes and first-tier subcontractors in the aerospace, electronics and defence industries. Past shows have been very useful in helping Canadian subcontractors penetrate the U.S. market and organizers are confident that SUBCON IV will be another successful event.

To be considered for an invitation to SUBCON IV, those who wish to participate should contact Rose Bechamp, Project Coordinator, International Defence Programmes, Aerospace and Marine Division (TDA), External Affairs and International Trade Canada, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G2. Ms. Bechamp may also be reached by telephone at (613) 992-0746 or facsimile, (613) 996-9265. Interested exhibitors are requested to respond promptly as booth spaces are filling up quickly.


February 11-12 — The Canadian Maritime Industries Association's (CMIA) 43rd Annual Technical Conference will be held in conjunction with the 6th Annual Canadian Shipbuilding and Offshore Exhibition (CSOE'91) at the Ottawa Congress Centre and the Westin Hotel, Ottawa. The technical conference's open sessions on February 12 will be presented on the Capital Hall level at the Ottawa Congress Centre while CSOE'91 will be located in the Congress Hall at the Ottawa Congress Centre. The preliminary list of technical presentations has been drafted and the 150 available booths are quickly being reserved. For more information on the largest technical marine conference held in Canada contact Mrs. Joy MacPherson, Director, Administration and Finance, CMIA, (613) 232-7127.

February 13 — A meeting of the Forum for Industrial Participation (formerly CIBA) will be held at the Ottawa Congress Centre from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm and is open to all who wish to attend. Fees which include lunch are $120 for private sector and $75 for public sector attendees. For further information contact Bob Brown at (613) 733-0704.

March 24-28 — Washington's premier space conference and exposition, Space Expo '91, will take place at the Washington DC Convention Centre. Events include seminars on U.S., Soviet, Pacific Rim and European programmes, business potential and opportunities; Space Education Day; Public Day; and a Gala Congressional Reception. The exposition will explain how to develop a business in space, provide access to space decision makers in Washington, and showcase new ideas, technologies and companies. For more information write to Space Expo '91, 25 South Quaker Lane, Suite 24, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314.


The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991

Persian Gulf Report: Letter From Jerusalem

May 6-7 — The 38th Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute will be held at the Chateau Champlain Hotel in Montreal, Quebec. The meeting will feature a lecture from an outstanding member in the scientific or engineering fields of aeronautics, space or associated technologies; symposiums based on papers; will recognize and reward industry leaders; and discuss the future of CASI. For further information contact the Conference Coordinator at (613) 234-0191.

CASI call for papers: In conjunction with the meeting, CASI has issued a call for papers for two symposium topics including Advanced Technology General Aviation Aircraft, and Simulation and Training. Each symposium has its own specifics regarding guidelines for papers. For additional information on the Advanced Technology, General Aviation Aircraft Symposium contact Mr. D.W. Laurie-Lean at (613) 992-8938; and for the Simulation and Training Symposium, Mr. Phil D'Eon, (416) 792-1981. The meeting will also include a symposium on Aerospace Propulsion which will be based on invited papers.

May 13-16 — The fourth European Aerospace Conference will be held at the Maison de la Chimie in Paris. The Association Aéronautique et Astronautique of France, Germany's Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft-und Raumfahrt and the Royal Aeronautical Society are organizing the conference which will deal primarily with "Launch Bases" and "Satellite Control Systems". Separate symposia will be organized around each topic. This conference, to be attended by well-known specialists, will provide an opportunity to national and multinational agencies, manufacturers, operators and researchers who design, produce, manage or use these large launch and control infrastructures to exchange information and views.


The Wednesday Report


To: Micheal J. O'Brien, Aurora

From: Moshe Karem, Jerusalem

Date: Monday, January 14, 1991

Subject: Life In Jerusalem — Pre-War

Mike, a strange advertisement appeared in a Tel Aviv local newspaper on the weekend. In Hebrew and Arabic text it read: "Saddam Hussein — please take note: Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv — is the capital of Israel, and our Knesset is there!" This, of course, was Tel Avivians' grim attempt at humour, in response to Saddam's continuing threats to bomb Tel Aviv at the very start of any U.S.-Iraq war. As the Jan. 15 deadline approached, newspapers here were filled with notices for "Doomsday Eve" parties, or as one restaurant put it, a "Last Supper" bash. I planned to go to one myself.

It is more tense here in Israel now than it has been at any time since August 2. The panic stampede of students, tourists and other foreigners out of the country; the cancellation of air service to Israel by several large, international airlines; the partial mobilization of air force and civil defence reserves; and the start of special, civil defence educational broadcasts on prime time evening TV have all contributed to the sense of siege and imminent conflict. But it was the future of the Baker-Aziz talks in Geneva and the subsequent Iraqi threats that really set the countdown going in people's minds here. Tariq Aziz and Saddam Hussein have made it perfectly clear: if there is a war, they are going to try, at least, to hit Israel.

On Saddam's part, the attempt to involve Israel makes political sense. Militarily he's got to be nuts to want a second war front. But he is isolated in the Arab world and wants to draw attention away from the fact that he brutally raped a sister Arab country — Kuwait. If he turns this conflict into an Arab-Israel war by directly attacking Israel, it will be difficult for Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Syria to stand with the U.S., which will be backing Israel. Saddam is also counting on the threat of broader regional war to deter the U.S. from launching an offensive against his forces in southern Iraq and Kuwait. Saddam knows that an attack on Israel and the likely Israeli retaliation could draw in the Syrian and Jordanian militaries, turning the whole region into an exploding ammunition dump.

The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991


Letter From Jerusalem & Godspeed to CF Personnel in Gulf

Without question, Israel would like to see Saddam wiped off the face of this earth along with his entire conventional and non-conventional military machine. Under normal circumstances, Israel definitely would have acted to defang Saddam by now. But everyone here understands that Israeli military involvement would not be helpful to the U.S. and that Saddam's attempts to taunt and tempt Israel into battle must be resisted. Israel has already promised the U.S. not to preemptively strike Iraq — in effect, Israel has agreed to absorb a first strike in order to maintain the international coalition. Washington and Jerusalem are now discussing the question of retaliation. In any case, Israel does not want to be viewed as pushing the U.S. to war. Prime Minister Shamir is leaving that to the Saudis and Egyptians.

Be that as it may, every single person here has had to individually deal with the thought that they and their families, neighbours, homes and workplaces could be the target of Saddam's folly. Long ago (September) we received gas masks and syringes filled with antidotes to chemical weaponry (in sealed boxes to be opened only in emergency). Long ago we stacked up on bottled water and canned foods. Long ago we adjusted to the necessity of keeping in frequent telephone contact — several times a day — with other members of our families. In case of emergency, we will want to know where to find each other quickly.

Now, listening to the radio news every hour on the hour is an absolute must. I even stay up late, into the early morning hours, to catch satellite transmissions of CNN's International Hour newscast. One night last week we carefully prepared one room in our home as an air-tight refuge, in case of chemical warfare, just as civil defence authorities have encouraged everyone to do. I sealed the window edges with three layers of tape and covered the window pane with two sheets of heavy plastic. Our personal "combat bunker" is now stacked with food, water, candles, blankets, radio and batteries and first aid equipment, along with toys, books and diapers for the kids. And, wet rags soaked in baking soda with which to seal the doorway.

Despite these grim preparations for the worst, I cannot say that we are all that worried, nor do most of this country's residents appear panicked or overly scared. The Israel Defence Forces rate Saddam's ability to penetrate Israeli defences with bombers as limited. Against his long range missiles Israel does not really have much of a defence, but Iraq's missiles carry a small payload and are notoriously inaccurate — so they say. Two U.S.-made Patriot air defence systems are now here and are operational, but most experts here believe that their effectiveness is limited against missiles. But we take comfort in the knowledge that Saddam's first launch against Israel will also be his last. It is a safe bet that he and his missile launchers will not live to hit Israel a second time.

Might there be a last minute, diplomatic deal over Kuwait? Maybe. But to Israelis the issue is Iraq and its threatening military power, not Kuwait. If President Bush does not take out Saddam's military machine sometime soon, no one should be surprised months from now when Israel swings into action.

Moshe Karem in Jerusalem

To all Canadian Forces personnel serving in the Gulf region and those CF personnel supporting you from Cyprus, Germany and across Canada:

You are deterring a vile evil and standing guard for our shared commitment to the fundamentals of freedom, justice, human dignity and the equal rights of all nations in a world free from the scourge of naked aggression.

Thank you

for your courage and dedication.

God bless and Godspeed.

The staff and readers of The Wednesday Report.


The Wednesday Report - Copyright 1991

January 16, 1991

  • Publisher and Editor In Chief: Micheal J. O'Brien

  • Circulation Manager: Julie K. Kwiecinski

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  • Contributing Editors:

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  • Patrick McManus (Halifax)

  • William Kane (Washington DC)

  • John Reed (London, England)

  • Moshe Karem (Jerusalem, Israel)

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