- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2003

From combined dispatches
Iraq urged the Arab world yesterday to take inspiration from fellow "axis of evil" member North Korea, as the U.S. military ordered more than 11,000 desert-trained troops to begin heading to the Persian Gulf.
"We Arabs need to revise our behavior towards the United States, as North Korea has done, to be respected," said the daily Babel, owned by President Saddam Hussein's elder son, Uday. The paper was referring to Pyongyang's relaunching of its nuclear program in the face of stiff U.S. criticism.
"Arabs need to learn the lesson from the Korean example to mobilize in order to stop an attack on Iraq and prevent a U.S.-Zionist crusade in the Arab world," Babel said.
"Korea insists on its right to possess a technology used by the United States to raze Japanese cities [during World War II] and which it still uses to blackmail the world and force it to obey its orders."
The U.S. troop movement, including tanks and attack helicopters, was the first deployment of a full combat division of U.S. forces to the area since the 1991 Gulf war. Much of the Army division's equipment is already waiting in the region.
U.S. Army officials said the 1st and 3rd brigades of the 3rd Infantry Division would soon begin moving to join the 2nd brigade of more than 4,000 troops, now training in Kuwait. The division specializes in desert warfare, and its brigades have been rotating through desert-training exercises in Kuwait and Southern California for months.
Meanwhile in Baghdad, there was no new year respite for the U.N. weapons inspectors, who visited four more suspect sites yesterday.
U.N. sources said experts were preparing to launch their first aerial inspections by helicopters and setting up a base to facilitate inspections in northern Iraq. Iraqi officials said the inspectors had discussed the flights with them.
A chemical team visited Al Majd Co. stores south of Baghdad, and a missile team inspected al Hareth factory in Taji, north of the capital.
A U.N. spokesman said the Al Majd site was a store containing some electronics and corrosion-resistant material. It is run by Iraq's Military Industrialization Commission, which oversees development and production of weapons and ammunition.
Khudier Daoud, chief engineer at Al Majd, said the company was involved in mechanical work on cooling and freezing equipment and the inspectors had been given immediate access.
"[The inspectors] made it a point to come on this day, and despite that, we welcomed them," Mr. Daoud said after the one-hour inspection.
The U.N. spokesman said two biological teams inspected a brewery near Baghdad and a soft-drinks plant in the capital.
In Florida, the U.S. Central Command said aircraft taking part in U.S.-British patrols hit the military defense radar after it was moved into a no-fly zone in southern Iraq. Iraq said the planes struck civilian targets, killing one.
The aircraft used precision-guided weapons on the radar, near al Qurnah, 130 miles southeast of Baghdad, a command spokesman said.
An Iraqi military spokesman said Iraqi anti-aircraft and missile batteries fired back.
"The U.S. administration and its servant Britain added a new crime to their black record when their hostile planes attacked today civilian and service installations, killing one citizen and wounding two," the Iraqi spokesman said.
A recent escalation in the number of such incidents has coincided with the U.S. military buildup.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has put thousands of troops on notice and could soon double the nearly 60,000 U.S. personnel including Navy and Air Force troops in the Gulf region.
But the forces ordered to deploy so far are far short of the more than 400,000 U.S. troops sent for the Gulf war.
While President Bush has made no decision to invade Iraq over Washington's accusations that Baghdad is developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, he has warned that war may become necessary.
On Tuesday, he reminded the Iraqi president that the growing U.S. military presence in the Gulf was designed to make sure he "heard the message." The deployment of a full division, which includes foot soldiers, armor, aviation and artillery, was the latest visible signal the Bush administration was moving toward military action to force Iraq to disarm.
A U.N. Security Council resolution passed in November gave Baghdad a final chance to reveal all details of its weapons programs, as required by resolutions going back to the Gulf war, or face "serious consequences."
U.N. weapons inspectors are to report back to the Security Council on Jan. 27 on whether they have found any signs of weapons of mass destruction.


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