The fate of Iraq is becoming more clear, even against the background of discussions of a possible offensive against Iraq that are being carried out on both sides of the Atlantic. At least, no war is expected until May. Baghdad and the UN secretary general have resumed dialogue. The “axis of evil” proclaimed by George W.Bush seems to have fallen to pieces. This becomes evident after Bush's statement about no plans to attack North Korea and the dismissal of David Fram, the speech writer who the words “the axis of evil” to Bush’s speech. The Washington Post informs that a top-official from the administration says that, now, the USA’s official position on Iraq is the following: Washington will dictate its decisions to Baghdad, and the latter will have no alternative but to obey.
Optimism of the US administration about success in Afghanistan was unjustified: resistance is gaining force in different parts of the country, and the USA is still not sure about the campaign’s conclusion. However, one more thing is also evident: the USA is in for more losses. Americans may give George W.Bush a carte blanche for the prolongation of the military operation only if they are constantly reminded of the dangers threatening them. Washington considers Saddam Hussein’s regime to be one of the threats. That is why the USA will exert pressure on Saddam for admission of UN military experts to the Iraqi sites. Washington does not take seriously the recent statements of the Iraqi leadership about their consent to allow the experts into the country. The White House is doing its best to demonstrate the danger of Hussein’s regime to the world. US’s allies in NATO, Great Britain, and Germany are assisting the USA with this.
Originally, Anthony Blair told of his plan to visit the USA and discuss further activities in Iraq with George W.Bush. “We will talk about the weapons of mass destruction produced in Iraq and the situation in the country on the whole,” he said. In Blair’s words, Iraq invited trouble when it broke the UN international resolutions and expelled the international experts from the country.
Anthony Blair once said that Iraq would experience “catastrophic consequences” if Saddam Hussein kept his program for weapons of mass destruction in secret. In response, Baghdad suggested that Great Britain to send a special delegation to demonstrate this was not the case. The other day, representatives of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s federal intelligence service, circulated a statement that Iraq launched a new missile program. The BND reports that, to achieve the level of the 1990s in this sphere, Baghdad will need from three to five years. It is also reported that the reconstruction is gaining force at Al Qaim, one of Iraq’s most important facilities for producing weapons of mass destruction.
BND spokesmen say that Baghdad is actively purchasing abroad essential components for the production of biological and nuclear weapons. The above may easily dispose the people in the West against Afghanistan, and Washington is planning to profit from this.
The USA asked the UN Security Council to hold a closed session for the discussion of the Iraq problem within the nearest time. America is going to show evidence of Iraq’s violation of the UN sanctions. Western diplomats say that these may be pictures taken from satellites to demonstrate that lorries supplied to Iraq in the network of the UN program “Oil in exchange for foodstuffs” have been reconstructed for launching missiles.
The UN Security Council’s session is to be held on the eve of UN-Iraq top-level talks, the first talks in a year.
The world focuses on Iraq once again. Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri understands it, that is why he is well-prepared for the meeting in the UN. Western diplomats press the UN for realization of the resolutions passed ten years ago after the war in the Persian Gulf.
Kofi Annan’s press-secretary Fred Eckhard says, “The coming talks will concern the realization of the resolutions, but everybody is thinking now about one thing only, military experts are to get back to Iraq.”
Baghdad is likely to allow the UN experts for armament, but even more meetings in the UN will be required for it.
If Saddam Hussein finds the UN resolutions not convincing enough, the Pentagon may interfere with the situation.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
In the photo: Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/03/07/38009.html