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By now the West has seen first hand what even Hollywood's most ghoulish screenwriters wouldn't dare package for the theatre.

Many were shocked when a six-year-old British boy was used in a propaganda broadcast by Saddam last fall. A worried world watched as Saddam took civilian hostages and held them as human shields at potential military targets.

No one believed at first when our reporters in the Middle East gave us stories of atrocities in Kuwait City. They told of the lives of infants and young children brutally taken by marauding Iraqi soldiers. Gradually it sunk in and the popular press began to carry the same stories. Today Saddam has depopulated two thirds of Kuwait's indigenous peoples. "Hitler revisited" is how a shocked George Bush described him.

Then came Saddam's threats to gas the Israeli population. Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz, as if stating a ho-hum matter of fact told reporters in Geneva on January 9 of Saddam's determination to gas Israel. That was dismissed as outrageous rhetoric by western populations and the general media until the first volley of al-Hussein missiles exploded in Tel Aviv last week.

Nine battered and psychologically broken pilots, the first Prisoners of War taken by Iraq lost their dignity on Monday before hundreds of millions of television viewers. They along with future PoWs — we think the worst is yet to come — will be used as human shields at Iraq's military targets.

And the West's `reasonable' response:

"We can take Saddam to court."

Right. Let's be decent about all this. Yes, we must abide by our own standards and do so with a cool resolve. And yes, we are bound by our own rules of fair play. But Saddam must be boldly told that as sure as British and American pilots will learn of their mates' torture, Saddam's ass will never make it to any court. Fair is fair. Micheal J. O'Brien

Volume 5, Number 4 January 23, 1991


Comment:

BOUND TO FAIR PLAY

In five years of our Monday midnight shifts, none before brought such anguish. More than fourteen times through the night we heard the broken voices of PoWs held by Saddam Hussein. There was blatant evidence of torture and defiled human dignity. The 14" television monitor and the short wave radio; the familiar droning office fixtures became the heads of an old, haunting, compassionless demon.

Through the hell years of the bloody Viet Nam War, between 1961 and 1973, the U.S. struggled with the concept of fighting fire with fire: playing dirty in the same manner as did the enemy. Inability to return the fire of horror rained upon its own troops finally cost America the war.

Principles of honour, justice, and the right of law are impairments when battles are fought against peoples of extremist cultures with values opposite to the West's code of conduct.

For us at The Wednesday Report, the first suggestion of future horror came during the Iran/Iraq war ("The Emerging Threat"). As Saddam pursued development of the ugliest weapons of mass destruction it became clear that future wars in the Mideast would have appalling dimensions.
Iranians against whom Saddam's atrocities
were unleashed concurred, but their message went unheeded. The Israelis tried to get a message across to us in 1981 when Menachem Begin first stabbed the devil's effort to build a nuclear bomb.

 

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DIPLOMACY FAILS: JANUARY 16, 1991

"The liberation of Kuwait has begun. In conjunction with the forces of our coalition partners, the United States has moved under the code name Operation Desert Storm to enforce the mandates of the United Nations Security Council. At 7 o'clock p.m. Operation Desert Storm forces were engaging targets in Iraq and Kuwait."

— Marlin Fitzwater, White House press secretary

At 3:00am Baghdad time last Wednesday nearly twenty-four hours past the deadline for Saddam to pull his troops from Kuwait, Saudi, Kuwaiti, British and American aircraft began a surgical bombing attack against Iraqi and Kuwaiti targets including Baghdad. In that hour it became stunningly clear to the world that diplomacy had failed. Since that hour, air attacks against Iraqi military assets in Iraq and Kuwait have been unrelenting, day and night. Since that hour, Saddam Hussein has shown that he relishes war and had no intention, as he has declared repeatedly, of leaving Kuwait, respecting the rights of the Kuwaiti people and the rightful demands of the United Nations.

Saddam has hunkered down in deep bunkers within Iraq. The coalition against Saddam failed to flush out his air force and despite initial optimism did not rid the Mideast of the Iraqi missile threat.

Deep bunkers, hardened aircraft shelters, "cardboard" Scud decoys, foul weather and chaotic antiaircraft artillery have baffled U.N. forces. Why did Saddam not unleash his military might? Where has he stashed it? When will he use it?

Saddam has promised that the worst has yet to come. As predicted, he holds out hope for a victorious land battle using his loyal, combat-hardened forces against western troops whom he believes do not have the stomach for a prolonged land-force engagement.

Meanwhile, Saddam has stoicly carried out each of his threats to shock the western world. But he has launched conventionally tipped al-Hussein missiles at Israel without the effect he sought. Israel's leaders showed strength in restraint. Can that continue against what comes next?

Some observers warn, "It may take great fortitude to deal with future developments."

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 678:

"Recalling and reaffirming its resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674 and 667,

"Noting that, despite all efforts by the United Nations, Iraq refuses to comply with its obligation to implement Resolution 660 and the above subsequent relevant resolutions, in flagrant contempt of the Council,

"Mindful of its duties and responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance and preservation of international peace and security, determined to secure full compliance with its decisions, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

"1. Demands that Iraq comply fully with Resolution 660 and all subsequent relevant resolutions and decides, while maintaining all its decisions, to allow Iraq one final opportunity, as a pause of goodwill, to do so;

"2. Authorizes member states cooperating with the government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement Security Council Resolution 660 and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;

"3. Requests all states to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken in pursuance of paragraph 2 of this resolution;

"4. Requests the states concerned to keep the Council regularly informed on the progress of actions undertaken pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3 of this resolution;

"5. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

CANADIANS COMPRISE COALITION COMMAND STRUCTURE

As concerned Canadians repeatedly question officials about who commands CF personnel in the Gulf region, some CF personnel are in fact performing command functions over entire operations of the coalition forces in the Middle East. From Germany, Canadian operations officers came to Saudi Arabia last year to help staff the operations rooms of the allied air command centre. In the


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southern Gulf region Canadians command naval resupply operations. And in every case, say DND officials, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General John de Chastelain commands all Canadian Forces' resources in the Persian Gulf region.

IRAQI CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND THE CANADIAN ANTIDOTE, HI-6

With strong evidence proving existence of a chemical weapons arsenal in Iraq, the use of the antidote HI-6 in combination with the drug atropine is a boon to Canadian Forces personnel and should build confidence among serving men and women in the Persian Gulf region.

Although Canada is not the premier user of HI-6, it is manufactured here by Astra Pharmaceuticals Canada Ltd. of Mississauga, Ontario under contract to DND. The Department of National Defence has played a key role in the research and development of this antidote since the late 1970s. Because of DND's work, Canada is often noted among the scientific community for its extensive testing of this drug of the oxime family.

First synthesized in 1967 by German scientists in West Germany, it is a derivative of toxigonin (obadoxime and pralidoxime) which has recently been issued to the CF in its chemical warfare kit as part of a blended inoculation that also included atropine. Today, in the Persian Gulf, HI-6 replaces toxigonin in the inoculation kits.

The two-part drug treatment is essential. Although the toxic potential of the various nerve agents varies from one to the next, and more critically, depends on the dosage, there are common symptoms which must be treated. Starting with nausea, vomiting, sweating, and excessive salivation, the subject often has visual disturbances, bradycardia, respiratory difficulty and finally respiratory cessation, arythmia and cardiac failure. This is a probable pattern resulting from exposure.

In wartime, the soldier affected by nerve agents is also put at risk by other factors: mortar fire, small arms fire, air attack and the like. Even minor impairment can add to the life threatening impact of nerve agent poisoning by disabling the troop from performing normal defensive actions (ie.: taking cover). It is therefore desirable to not only block the effects of the agent but to address the symptoms as well as the cause to allow the soldier to diminish his overall impairment. That is where atropine has demonstrated considerable value as a symptomatic treatment.

Atropine blocks nerve receptor sites from being ravaged by the agent. It essentially protects the nerve endings and relieves the symptoms. By itself, atropine isn't completely effective, but with HI-6 which activates the enzyme acetylcholinesterase — which nerve agents inhibit — the combined effect is extremely positive.

The new antidote is used to treat subjects exposed to DX, Soman, Tabin, Sarin, and a variety of organophosphates. Tabin (GA) and Sarin (GB) are both known to exist within the Iraqi inventory although how much of the Iraqi manufacturing facilities the "Desert Storm" operation has already destroyed is unknown but suspected to be small. It is extremely likely that stockpiles of these substances exist within Iraqi arsenals in deliverable forms that are both crude and effective.

It is generally believed that anyone manufacturing Tabin and Sarin would also have the ability to manufacture G-series agent Soman (GD). It is a particularly lethal nerve agent emerging from WW II as a result of German research. Soman is relatively easy to produce requiring specialty alcohols. This agent viciously attacks enzymes vital to the central nervous system, quickly causing failure of vital organs.

The CF's new antidote can block the effect of the nerve agent even after the effects have been felt by the victim. The drug must be administered to subjects quickly however. A pre-measured dose of the drug is contained in a hypodermic in the CF chemical warfare kit. The victim inoculates theirself by injecting the drug into their leg. The antidote begins its work instantly.

Experience with insecticides which are nerve-enzyme attacking substances and the resulting treatment of poisonings has been instructive. In peacetime, HI-6 has been useful in treating accidents during the application of organophosphates in the agricultural industry. Pilots and ground handlers employed in aerial application of agricultural chemicals and pesticides are notably put at great risk when proper precautions are not taken and adhered to. Phosphate chemicals are especially dangerous because they, like military nerve agents, also attack the acetylcholinesterase enzymes in the nerve cells. These chemicals can infiltrate the body not just by ingestion but also


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by entering through the skin. Any exposed portion of the body during aerial application makes the pilot or handler vulnerable to quick or slow poisoning depending on how he contacts the substances and the level of concentration of toxic substances within the "dust" or spray.

Some pilots we have spoken to on this subject say that the initial effects of insidiously minor doses of phosphate chemicals induce a certain lethargy and even euphoria evoking a casual or even careless attitude toward safety precautions in an environment where heat and discomfort already tempt the user to throw caution to the wind. That vicious circle has created a desperate need for antidotes to deal with emergency situations wherein the amounts of toxins built up in the body reach a lethal level.

In Yugoslavia during the mid-1980s, crop infestation led to the increased use of pesticides which further resulted in pesticide poisonings. More than 120 of the victims were treated successfully with HI-6 in 1985. Today, HI-6 is being produced and further researched by Yugoslavia, Sweden, China, Canada and the United States.

The risk factor involved in using drugs not widely prescribed and for which there has been minimal testing on humans has recently come under heavy fire from media analysts and others. It should be noted that exposure to nerve agents is roughly equivalent to receiving a death certificate. You will die. The antidote will save your life. How much risk are you willing to take at that particular time?

Testing in Canada has yielded results that favour extensive use of HI-6, but, in one instance of testing out of more than one hundred, when the drug was administered to a hamster in doses between 600 and 1,300 times that which would be administered to a human, renegade cells were generated. Antagonists have claimed that to be sufficient evidence proving the substance is a carcinogenic. DND scientists and industry experts contacted by The Wednesday Report claim that to be an extremist viewpoint.

Laboratories at CFB Suffield, Alberta and Shirley Bay, Ontario have, in conjunction with commercial labs, conducted more than eleven different types of tests which have produced evidence sufficiently conclusive that five Canadians have been tested with the drug by Bio-Research Laboratories of Montreal under contract to DND. According to Dr. Herbert ("Dinny") Madill, DND project manager for HI-6 development, "HI-6 is the most effective medication available against lethal nerve gases and for that reason has been selected to protect CF personnel."

NATIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE LIBERATION OF KUWAIT

SADDAM HAS FRIENDS IN CANADA

Warnings of terrorism have increased the heart rates of more than a few Canadians. Fear of attacks against airlines in Canada has made Canadian travelers jittery and caused hundreds of cancellations. Government offices have invoked tighter security procedures while companies in the defence industry have tightened already stringent rules.


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If you doubt the ability of enemy forces to organize in Canada, perhaps the early experiences of others will be instructive. In a Monday evening phone-in television show focussed on Canada's contribution to the Gulf war and broadcast to a north Toronto region, of 120 callers, all identified themselves as being Islamic and 11 were named Muhammed. All supported Iraq. And several families of CF personnel serving in the Gulf have received phony MIA notices, and worse.

U.N. ALLIES MAKE HEAVY MILITARY CONTRIBUTIONS

Allies are continuing to amass additional military resources in the Persian Gulf region preparing for a tough fight to liberate Kuwait. Perhaps because Canada borders the United States, the popular media in Canada is obsessed with American military contributions. Meanwhile, other nations, particularly Britain have made contributions that also reach toward the maximum of their immediate capability. We set out the current land, sea and air commitments of the armed force contribution of four out of some 31 countries — Britain, France, Italy and Kuwait — allied against Iraq in the United Nations mission to free Kuwait. Other nations will be highlighted in future issues.

BRITAIN

Major Geoff Clyde of the British High Commission's Defence Liaison Staff reported on Monday that Britain has committed approximately 20,000 ground troops. Forty-two Tornado aircraft in two variants — 18 F3 air-to-air interceptors and 24 GR1 fighter/bombers — were deployed to the Gulf region as well as 12 Jaguar, ground attack aircraft. Supporting these aircraft are 12 surveillance and air-to-air refueling aircraft and 15 Puma support helicopters. Clyde estimated that roughly 3,000 personnel are involved in Britain's air effort. The Royal Navy has 8 fighting ships in the Gulf area — among which are Type 42 destroyers and Type 22 frigates — along with 7 support vessels.

FRANCE

According to a spokesperson in the French Military Attache's Office in Ottawa, there are at present 12 French ships in the Gulf. These include the frigate Jean de Vienne; three escort vessels — Doudart de Lagree, Protet and Commandant Bory; the supply ship Marne; the fleet escort vessel Du Chayla; the support vessel Premier Naitre l'Mer; the auxiliary ship Jules Verne; two logistics support ships — Rhin and Rance; and two corvettes — La Motte Picquet and Jean Bart. France has 195 aircraft based in Saudi Arabia of which 150 are combat helicopters. The remaining 45 aircraft include 4 Mirage F1s, 12 Mirage 2000s, 24 Jaguars, and 5 supply aircraft which are C-135s. The embassy official did not specify the number of French aircraft based in Qatar and Djibouti, but did say that the aircraft in Djibouti are armed for air and sea attack.

ITALY

Italy now operates 3 combatant ships as part of the United Nations coalition, said Colonel Vittorio Zardo, Italy's Air, Military and Naval Attache in Ottawa. The two frigates Orsa and Libeccio and supply ship Vesuvio are manned by 694 personnel [all of whom are men]. Ten Tornado fighter/bomber aircraft and 250 personnel make up Italy's air contribution to the multinational force.

Until war broke out in the Middle East, Italian aircraft and ships were limited to a defensive role — the ships enforced the U.N. embargo against Iraq while the aircraft provided cover for the ships. However, a statement made by Italy's External Affairs and Defence ministers during the Western Europe Union conference in Paris and released on January 17 stated that "Parliament approved the full participation to the multinational force action which operates within the U.N. Security Council resolutions, particularly Resolution 678 — without any limitation". Colonel Zardo explained that Italy is "fully committed" and "will do what the multinational force decides".

KUWAIT

A Kuwaiti official in Washington commented that Kuwait's patrol boats were alongside a U.S. vessel when 12 Iraqi Prisoners of War were captured during a raid against Iraqi oil platforms used as military assets. In land forces, Kuwait's contribution to the allied effort amounts to approximately 14,000 ground troops stationed on the front line at Haffer al Batten. The official proudly


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stated that A4 Skyhawks have flown 3-4 sorties daily within Kuwait involving about 150 personnel. Due to their similarity to Iraqi aircraft, Kuwait's F1 Mirages are limited to an air defence role over Saudi Arabia. Other Kuwaiti aircraft based in Bahrain are also used for defensive purposes only.

CANADIAN FIELD HOSPITAL ENROUTE TO THE GULF

The first of two stages of deployment of 1 Canadian Field Hospital (1 CFH) from CFB Petawawa to Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia is under way. An advanced surgical centre with two surgical teams will be in place by month's end, with an immediate capability to treat 16-20 surgical cases daily. The final stage of deployment — involving assembly, preparation and training — will be complete by the end of February. Once fully deployed, 1 CFH will consist of some 550 members and will be prepared to provide both medical and surgical care for up to 100 patients, including PoWs.

Among the 550 Canadian Forces personnel assigned to the field hospital, 120 will be deployed from CFB London, Ontario as a fully trained infantry company who will be responsible for 1 CFH's internal security, according to Lieutenant Marc Walsh, Public Affairs Officer at CFB Petawawa. "This role is similar to that of the infantry company originally deployed with Canada Dry 1, Canada's air base in Qatar," said Lieutenant Walsh.

The deployment of the field hospital, requested by British authorities, has been approved by the Saudi Arabian government. The hospital will be under command of Canadian Forces Middle East, with tactical control being delegated to the Commander, U.K. Forces Middle East.

Defence Minister Bill McKnight said that the decision to deploy the field hospital "allows Canada to make a vital contribution to the medical treatment facilities in the Persian Gulf and also enables the multinational forces to meet the demands of the Geneva Convention for the treatment of Prisoners of War." Last week, McKnight expressed his hope that the war in the Persian Gulf region would be over before the deployment of 1 CFH is complete, but also indicated that DND is "exploring ways to expedite the days it may take" to fully deploy Canada's field hospital.

CANADIAN SHIPS MOVE SOUTH IN PERSIAN GULF

While Canadian CF-18 fighter pilots go eyeball-to-eyeball with the enemy over Iraq, their naval counterparts have moved about 100 miles further down the Persian Gulf away from the zone of conflict. The day after U.S.-led allied forces launched an air assault as the first phase of liberating Kuwait, the commander of Maritime Command said that the three-ship Canadian task group is moving from the central to southern Persian Gulf. Vice-Admiral Robert George said that the ships, which for the last four months have been enforcing the United Nations trade embargo against Iraq, will be used to protect the supply and support lines of naval forces in the area.

Captain (N) Duncan Miller, commander of CATG 302.3, has also received command of a new multinational combat and logistics force. George said that the group is composed of roughly a dozen supply vessels and escorts from other nations which he refused to identify. George said that the original mission of U.N. Resolution 665 — to half all maritime shipping to prevent delivery of non-humanitarian supplies to Iraq — has become irrelevant since the shooting war started. "After all, there aren't too many merchant vessels willing to venture into the Gulf these days."

The timing of the outbreak of war is especially tough for the crews of HMCS Athabaskan and Terra Nova. The sailors on the two destroyers were due to return to Halifax in February and March. That crew rotation is now suspended for the duration of the conflict. It was just over two weeks ago that the crew of HMCS Preserver — in drydock for a year-long refit — arrived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to replace personnel onboard their sister AOR supply ship, HMCS Protecteur. Since then the 366 crew members have worked onboard their new posting in the Gulf of Oman, familiarizing themselves with the equipment and procedures, and shaking off the mental cobwebs of six months of shore duty. Protecteur's new skipper, Captain (N) Dennis Cronk concluded training exercises in good time bringing his ship back into the Gulf to join the task group in timely fashion.

In the meantime, security was visibly tightened outside the base as the admiral spoke. Where the day before sedentary Commissionaires were the only guards on duty at the front gate of the dockyards, armed MPs were now posted. George refused to talk about what security precautions are now in place, enforced because of the heightened possibility of terrorist attack by Iraqi-backed


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groups against allied military installations. But the admiral noted that the increased security was "self-evident". At roughly every 300 meters along the streets of CFB Halifax more MPs could be seen standing vigil.

CAE SUBSIDIARY PARTICIPATES IN $30 MILLION JOINT VENTURE

CAE Electronics GmbH of Stolberg, Germany together with principal shareholder Lufthansa Commercial Holding GmbH and Deutsche Airbus GmbH have formed Zentrum fur Flugsimulation Berlin GmbH (ZFB), a new company which will operate a flight simulation training and research centre in Berlin. Non-equity partners involved in the $30 million enterprise are the Berlin University of Technology and the German Aerospace Research Establishment.

The total cost of the project includes the construction of the facility as well as the provision of one Airbus A340 flight simulator — expected to be in service late next year — by CAE Electronics Ltd. of Montreal, Quebec. The simulator will be located at the university where research will be conducted into flight procedures, data presentation and processing, automated air traffic control systems, aircraft design, man-machine interfaces, flight medicine and training, and instruction methodology. CAE Electronics will have access to all research results, while time on the simulator will be devoted to the university and Lufthansa and sold to other A340 operators for pilot training.

CAE LANDS TWO SIMULATOR ORDERS WORTH $22 MILLION

CAE Electronics Ltd. of Montreal, Quebec has been awarded contracts totaling $22 million from Delta Air Lines Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia and America West Airlines of Phoenix, Arizona. Under the contracts, CAE will provide Delta with three flight training devices — one for the MD-11 tri-jet and the remaining two for the McDonnell Douglas MD-88 twin-jet — and will develop and manufacture an Airbus A320-200 full flight simulator for America West. Delivery of Delta's training devices is expected in 1992, while America West will receive its simulator sometime this fall.

ATHABASKA AIRWAYS BUYS BEECH 1900C

Athabaska Airways of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan has purchased one Beech 1900C airliner from Field Aviation Company Inc., the exclusive Canadian distributor for Beech aircraft. The airline operates a fleet of 28 piston and turbine-powered aircraft as well as nine helicopters on charter services throughout North America and a scheduled route system in Saskatchewan. More than 220 Beech 1900Cs are in service worldwide including eight in Canada.

ROYAL ORDNANCE TO ACQUIRE HECKLER & KOCH

Royal Ordnance plc, a subsidiary of British Aerospace has signed a conditional agreement to purchase Heckler & Koch (H & K) of Germany for an undisclosed amount. H & K primarily manufactures small arms for the German Army and for export, but also provides specialist machine tools for the automotive and other industries. If the agreement is finalized, H & K will become an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Ordnance, strengthening the British company's research and development base on hand-held, automatic weapons. However, previous agreements by Giat Industries of France and Diehl of Germany to take over the company were not concluded.

CALENDAR

February 27-March 1 — The High Technology Export Conference HiTEC '91 sponsored by External Affairs and International Trade Canada will be held at the Ottawa Congress Centre. This unique


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conference will assemble more than 50 trade commissioners from Canadian trade posts abroad and 20 Canadian and foreign government agencies to assist industry in exporting products and services to international markets. Trade commissioners will answer questions on opportunities for the export of commercial and defence products and services to their territories as well as possibilities of sourcing technology. For further information contact Gisèle Laframboise at (613) 996-8040.

LONDON: QUESTIONS OF UNDERSTANDING

One week after the first bombers went into Iraq, London may have subtly changed the direction of its support for a campaign to free Kuwait. Although there is still no official comment on a change, there is a growing belief that the war aim has become the total destruction of the Saddam regime.

Predictably London woke to the news of the bombing in a wave of euphoria which completely swamped the conventional wisdom that air superiority alone would be unable to compel an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. If the ensuing days have seen a change in mood, it reflects a combination of the longer view that has been effectively communicated by Premier Major and his ministers, and what now seems to be in danger of becoming a `Scud fixation'.

More seasoned observers see something of a parallel between the firing of Scuds against Israel and the loss of HMS Sheffield to an Exocet missile during the early stages of the 1982 Falklands War. Thus far the media has made a passable job of describing the technicalities of the search for the Scud mobile launchers, but in its search for headlines has arguably failed to set what has become a high profile issue in context with the other tasks that have to receive attention. There has been a certain amount of speculation about the number of Iraqi aircraft that have been kept out of action by runway damage. If there is a fear, it is that the public does not yet appreciate that should Saddam break out his more obscene weapons, it could be as difficult to deny his artillery access to his supplies of chemical projectiles as it was to find the Scud launchers. The danger is that any such setback — predictable as it might have been to the commanders — will be seen by the T.V.-watching public as a failure.

On the credit side, the U.K. government has shown a far greater degree of openness than it did in the 1982 conflict, with Defence Minister Tom King conducting Whitehall press conferences — a welcome departure from the previous practice of speaking only through a single spokesperson. There are however still comparisons with Washington's greater willingness to discuss technical details.

A poll shows that there is still around eighty percent popular support in favour of the U.K. taking military action to free Kuwait, roughly double the recently measured support in Canada for its government doing the same. London's unaccustomed political consensus is holding well and has been accompanied by marked changes in style by newly-appointed Prime Minister John Major and Opposition Leader Neil Kinnock. In television appearances last week, it was Major who seemed to have effectively ousted Kinnock from his preferred role of talking almost as a `friend of the family'. Kinnock, who until the Gulf crisis had been perceived as having at least a toe in the peace camp, has impressed both sides with his dignified, personal support for the government and for the manner in which he has carried his colleagues with him. On Sunday, Labour's 'shadow' Foreign Secretary Gerald Kaufman confirmed that his party would continue to support the action that had been taken to enforce the U.N. decision, even if the war dragged on for months rather than weeks.

There have been what can only be described as sporadic protests against the war. Predictably, Labour MP Tony Benn and a group of hard-line, left wing colleagues have been at the centre of the criticism, but at this stage the always vocal Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament seems to be so far isolated from the mainstream of politics as to be almost irrelevant. Those with long memories of the U.K. political scene will recollect that its most effective anti-war protest of recent time — against the 1956 Suez adventure — was dominated by high profile Labour politicians and strong trade union support.

On this occasion there has been some trade union support in Scotland, but CND is to be seen as the instigator of the protests. However there are increasing signs that their lacklustre demonstrations have been hijacked by the far left in the form of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). The SWP is so much of a taboo in the Labour movement that few MPs other than the habitual dissidents would risk any form of flirtation with it.

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