George W. Bush is applying the same logic he used in his war against terrorism to the totally different scenario of the Gulf as he steps up his drive to win international support for a military attack on Iraq.
Insisting that Saddam Hussein represents a “serious threat” to regional stability and that “the credibility of the allies is at stake”, George Bush made it clear at his address to the US Congress that he is prepared to use the same line “if you are not with us you are against us” in his newfound bullying style of diplomacy which has gained more criticism than friends.
Bush stated that the process of confronting Saddam Hussein is under way. This will pass through a period of consultations, first with Congress and leading lawyers in the USA, then through a series of meetings with world leaders, among whom is Tony Blair who himself will then travel to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin.
September 12th will be the day on which Bush addresses the United Nations Security Council, at which he promises to make it clear to the world that Saddam Hussein has, in his words, “stiffed” (cheated) the world.
Tony Blair arrives in Camp David for talks on Saturday 6th September, after which he will fly back to the UK to spend the weekend with the Queen. President Bush will have telephone conversations over the weekend with President Putin and the leaders of China and France. On Monday, he will meet Canadian PM Jean Chretien.
The diplomatic offensive is under way. It is hoped that diplomacy and not armed force will win the day, but the fact that the UN is being involved in the process means that there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
John ASHTEAD PRAVDA.Ru LONDON UNITED KINGDOM