The war in Iraq starts, the war in Iraq starts not
The contradiction between the USA and Iraq is going on. These words would be a start for any article or a review about the complicated relations between George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein. There was a little hope, though, that the Iraqi issue would be deprived of its excessive attention at least for the time of Christmas and New Year holidays. Yet, the hope did not come true.
For example, the American president predicted, what Saddam Hussein was to expect in the nearest future. Needless to mention that it was not a very original prediction. As George Bush said, the Iraqi leader’s “day of reckoning is coming.” Hussein is not supposed to doubt this warning, so the Americans decided to deploy to the Persian Gulf 15 thousand soldiers more. We would like to remind that there are some 60 thousand American military men stationed in the Gulf.
As a matter of fact, any kinds of events or news about Iraq on the whole and Saddam Hussein in particular spur rumors to appear and grow very fast. The German newspaper Die Welt wrote, for instance, that the Iraqi leader might allegedly be granted a shelter in Moscow. However, German journalists referred to the information from the Iranian newspaper Entechab. The reporters of this newspaper found out that German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer told his Iranian colleague Kamal Kharazi in a phone conversation that the USA did not want a war to happen in Iraq. Fischer added that America was eager to make Saddam go. Then he said that this question had already been coordinated with Russia, so Saddam could go to Moscow. To crown it all, it was said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to come to Baghdad to talk to Saddam in order to make him do it faster.
Well, then, what can be said about it? Basically, nothing. It is worth mentioning here, though, that Saddam allegedly transferred a part of his money to Libya. He reportedly moved his family there too. However, no one paid much attention to that piece of news, really. It deems that the story with a Moscow shelter for Saddam is another piece of news like that one.
In the meantime, Russian specialists keep working on the development of a scenario for the coming war in Iraq. RIA Novosti news agency reported that international security experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences made a report, pursuant to which there might be three possible variants for that war to take place. The first variant is the most probable one, as experts see it. This variant stipulates a fast and resolute victory over the Iraqi forces within a period of four or six weeks. The probability of this development of situation is evaluated on the level of 40-60%. Variant number two supposes that Baghdad might use its mass destruction weapon against the armed forces of the United States and against Israel (presumably inefficiently). In this case the military action will last for about twelve weeks. This is 30-40% probable. Variant number three is the worst one from the point of view of the USA and its allies. This variant stipulates successful counterstrikes on the part of Baghdad, including the strikes on the USA and Great Britain with the use of the mass destruction weapon. This will eventually lead to the political instability in the region. This kind of war will last from 90 to 180 days; it is only six or eight percent probable.
According to the report, the United States and its allies will most likely gain a quick victory. No one doubts that there is absolutely no need to compare Iraq’s and America’s opportunities. America obviously gains the advantage. Also, there is probably no need to ask this question: “Why is everyone certain that there will be a war?” UN inspectors are to make their report on January 27th. Maybe, someone knows the conclusions of that report already? Maybe, the White House does not care, which conclusions those inspectors are going to make? In this case, what was the need of the UN Security Council resolution and the beginning of the inspections?
On the whole, the new year has not made anything clear about the solution of the Iraqi issue. Saber-rattling and bellicose speeches can be heard still. There can hardly be a person found, who would seriously believe that Washington and Baghdad will try to settle everything down in a good way.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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