Iraqi Airways (Baghdad) today will restore domestic service between the capital of Baghdad and their two largest cities, Mosul and Basra, despite the United Nations-imposed north and south no-fly zones (both the United States and Britain have not opposed this non-military move).
I did not know that Iraqi Airways had any airworthy planes left!
Shinseki From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1420 times:
Here's why they're using converted IL-76's....
Iraq has announced it will soon resume internal flights and begin servicing the cities of Mosul and Basra, both of which lie in “no-fly” zones enforced by U.S. warplanes. Such a move will create an impossible political and military situation for the United States, especially around the time of the U.S. presidential election. Resuming such flights – and the U.S. failure to prevent them – would be a huge victory for Iraq and a tremendous failure of U.S. policy.
Iraqi Transport Minister Ahmad Murtada announced Oct. 30 that Iraqi Airways would resume internal flights on Nov. 5, linking Baghdad with the northern city of Mosul and the southern city of Basra. Both cities lie well within U.S. enforced no-fly zones, which protect the opposition Kurdish population in the north and Shiites in the south from Iraqi air attacks. According to Murtada, both cities’ airports are technically and administratively ready to handle flights, and Iraqi Airways started taking reservations on Oct. 29.
In recent weeks, traffic has increased at Baghdad’s Saddam International Airport, which reopened Aug. 17. Dozens of “humanitarian flights” from several countries have flown into Iraq to protest ongoing sanctions against Iraq. Although prior permission is usually obtained from the United Nations, some flights from France, Russia and Syria have not done so.
A resumption of Iraqi internal flights will create an impossible situation for U.S. warplanes patrolling the northern and southern no-fly zones. On Oct. 26, an Iraqi Transport Ministry official said technicians had begun work to convert Iraqi military planes into civilian aircraft in anticipation of resuming domestic services.
When asked by a reporter on Oct. 31 how one can tell the difference between a commercial and military flight for purposes of the no-fly zones, U.S. State department spokesman Richard Boucher said, “We would try to determine whether [the airplane] posed a threat to our forces, toward Iraq’s neighbors or the Iraqi people.” But it is not that simple if the country in question uses military planes for civilian purposes.
If Iraq converts military planes for civilian use and flies them into the no-fly zones, U.S. military planes will have to stand down or risk a critical, embarrassing and deadly mistake. But for political reasons, Washington can’t back down from Iraqi violations, and it can’t risk shooting down a plane full of Iraqi civilians – especially around election time. Moreover, if the United States backs down and then Iraq uses one of its converted military planes for a sneak attack on Kurds or Shiites, the incident would discredit U.S. enforcement efforts and elicit additional international criticism.
Iraqi cooperation with weapons inspectors is a U.S. condition for ceasing enforcement of the no-fly zones. And Baghdad and Washington know that is unlikely to happen any time soon.
Rather, Washington is trying to tone down its rhetoric and play down the significance that Iraq effectively has the United States in a checkmate. In the same press briefing, Boucher said the no-fly zones are in place so Iraq can’t threaten its neighbors or its people. “Activities that don’t do that – domestic flights – are not subject to the no-fly zones.”
If Iraq follows through with its stated intentions and U.S. warplanes do nothing but watch, it will mark a major blow to the U.S. containment regime. This would come on the heels of an announcement that Iraq and Syria have agreed to reopen an Iraqi oil export pipeline. Not only has economic containment of Iraq failed, but it appears military containment is about to become impotent as well.
Marco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1416 times:
shinseki, how come when turkey kills half the kurdish population in their country america doesn't say anything? kurdish people shouldn't come to iraq to ask for a country but turkey thats where they used to live. americans should stop trying to enforce their policies on anyone and should stop interferring, look whats happenening to you guys here in the middle east: bomb attacks on your navy, embassies, schools (bomb threats alllllll the time here in dubai)....maybe if you would stop causing wars killing millions of people this wouldn't happen....and if you want I'll give you a site to go to and you'll see how the iraqi children are dying then you can judge iraq!
I have nothing against americans and i hate it when something thats american gets bombed...thats what aggravates me!
Shinseki From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1389 times:
The entire point of my post was that there's more to US foreign policy than meets the eye. The "No fly" zones have little to nothing to do with the Kurdish populations within Iraq, and I've acknowledged as much in my previous postings.
While I'm sure there's a demand for domestic air service within Iraq, the choice of converted military aircraft while civilian models remain available is designed to checkmate US foreign policy in the region while keeping the sanctions regime in place (making the US government look bad in the process). Notice how I took pains to differentiate between the people of Iraq and Saddam. The US has no truck with the Iraqi people per se, simply with the nasty dictator who threatens the stability of the world with his agglomeration of biological and chemical weapons. Where do I claim to judge Iraq? Why do you judge the United States?
As much as it may not seem like it on TV and the papers, the governments of the region (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and even Iran) are actually greatful for the US presence there.
Don't you see that Saddam uses his people as pawns in his game of confrontation with the West? Don't you wonder why his palaces have all been rebuilt while infant mortality and starvation skyrocket? I'm not saying the US is an innocent lamb and the sanctions regime is hardly ideal (gives Saddam political cover). I know children are dying, but shifting the blame entirely on the US is exactly the kind of diversion Saddam wants.
The only condition for the lifting of sanctions was the destruction of all weapons of mass destruction. Saddam could easily comply with this, get the sanctions lifted, and start developing the weapons again. But the sanctions give him political cover to suppress his citizens and pit Western nations against each other in a greater ideological game. Saddam WANTS sanctions. If you don't realize this, then you really don't understand the grand game of diplomacy.
To me the long term benefits of keeping nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missles out of the hands of a madman is worth occassional bomb threats and the tragic loss of life. The solution to terrorism and threats is not appeasement.
Shinseki From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (14 years 4 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1367 times:
I wouldn't put too much credence into what the French and Russians are doing, saying. They only care about Iraq because it enables them to play spoiler in the greater ideological battle with the bad 'ol USA.
Brissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 4 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1357 times:
I would put a lot of credence into what Russia and France are doing. They are fairly interpreting the resolutions which the UN have passed in regards to Iraq. Not making up the rules as they go along as America and the UK have been doing for the last few years when it comes to dealing with Iraq.
Let's just wait until towards the end of this year when Aeroflot and Vnukovo Airlines announce they will beginning scheduled service again to Iraq. I doubt we will see the Americans and Brits enforcing the no-fly zone then.
There has been talk out of Russia, that Iraqi Airways will be supplied with Tu-204s once they restart international flights, and a number of smaller aircraft (not too sure which ones) to begin domestic services.
Barnaul Air Enterprise has also been invited by the Iraqi government to look into taking over the day-to-day running of Baghdad Airport. A decision on this is expected to be made soon.
Shinseki From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (14 years 4 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1358 times:
>>>I would put a lot of credence into what Russia and France are doing. They are fairly interpreting the resolutions which the UN have passed in regards to Iraq. Not making up the rules as they go along as America and the UK have been doing for the last few years when it comes to dealing with Iraq.<<<
To what end? Do these nations have a vested interest in restoring commercial aviation to Iraq or is this just another "F*** you" to the US on the part of two nations who's influence (in the region and in the world) has steadily eroded since the end of the Cold War.
>>>Let's just wait until towards the end of this year when Aeroflot and Vnukovo Airlines announce they will beginning scheduled service again to Iraq. I doubt we will see the Americans and Brits enforcing the no-fly zone then.<<<
The no-fly rules don't apply to commercial aviation so I don't see what you're getting at. The US and UK can't afford to back down, so they will still patrol the skies along with commerical traffic. Obviously they will be on tenterhooks to avoid a "Vincennes" style incident which would give Saddam the PR victory he lives for.
>>>There has been talk out of Russia, that Iraqi Airways will be supplied with Tu-204s once they restart international flights, and a number of smaller aircraft (not too sure which ones) to begin domestic services.<<<
I think Saddam likes converted IL-76's. No way to tell what's inside plus they hold more guns than TU-204's.
>>>Barnaul Air Enterprise has also been invited by the Iraqi government to look into taking over the day-to-day running of Baghdad Airport. A decision on this is expected to be made soon.<<<
And why shouldn't they? But I wonder who they competed with to get the contract?
AH727 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 months 16 hours ago) and read 1339 times:
First of all Monsieur Shinseki I would like to explain a few things.
First,the way of living and thinking in the middle east is different from here in the "modern and human" Western Hemisphere. I don´t now what your experiences are but if you take a look at how the situation with the sanctions towards Iraq has developed during the last decade,one can see that the sanctions haven´t had the effect that they were supposed to.
Saddam´s weapons of mass destruction has not been removed etc etc..
The leaders of the western world (who has got the Majority in the UN security council) thougt that if we impose sanctions ,the peolpe of Iraq will get tired of their leader and remove him/they from power.
Ok! I agree that this is a sound argument if you live in Europe or the US.
But people in the Middle East will instead see their leader as a hero ,and as the indigenous leader of their country.That has been proven with the case of Iraq´s Saddam Hussein.
Conclusion:The US (Governement not people) and UN imposed sanctions on Iraq has only resulted in a mass murder of the innocent Iraqi civilan population,and has also helped to strenghten the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
So I find no reason to try to starve the Iraqi peolpe to revolution.The only way to get rid of this problem is to cease the sanctions so that the Iraqi people can return to a normal decent life and then when they are a mentally and physically fit they can organize themselves to overthrow the goverment.
Dont worry about Saddam´s intents to join the arms race again.He has no possibility to threaten you in your home on the other side of the Atlantic.
The only reason he has got his Nuke/Bio/Chemical weapons is to protect himself from his enemies.(That is his domestic enemies:The Iraqi opposition)
If he would really be as crazy as he is portrayed, he would have had used them on the coalition in the Gulf War.
I saw a program on TV regarding Saddam,and his former biographer said that the only time he would use his weapons would be when he is surrounded by his enemies,
and instead of going to trial ,he would rather take his own life and everybody in the vicinity(around the geograhpical area where he is trapped,for example Baghdad City).
And regarding your comment on the IL76 I think you have to understand that this is probably the only servicable acft in the Iraqi inventory due to lack of spares, Iraq cannot use the other nice Boeings they used to have(trapped in Tunis,Amman and Teheran).So I don´t think he has got a military backthought about using the IL76.
The only ones killing the shiite majority living in Southern Iraq is the US and the UK,with their daily attacks in the NO FLY ZONE in Southern Iraq.
So stop talking about the military use of the IL76.
I pray and hope that the poor peolpe of Iraq dont have to suffer anymore.
Peace be with you all out there AH 727 signing out...
Advancedkid From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (14 years 4 months 10 hours ago) and read 1292 times:
Well put AH727! I couldn't have said it better
or even the same! One thing everyone seems
to have totally forgotten. Throughout the 80's
when Saddam was fighting his neighboring Iran
he was the "west's" best friend and no one
even raised a finger to him. In fact most of his
weapons supply came from "western" nations
including the United States. Why didn't "we"
try to stop him back then and enforce no fly zones
for his military aircraft? It seems it was in our best
interest to keep that war between him and the
Iranians aflame. He was the good guy back then
eventhough he was the one who started his
agression against his Iranian neighbors. I wonder
whether those Arabs are really aware of what's happening or are they just in deep sleep.
I am sorry this has turned deeply political in here.
Anyways I d like to see iraqi Airways back in
business and with a fresh attitude with regular
flights back to Europe and elsewhere. I wonder
where their 727s and 747s are stored.