Will Washington start the military operation against Saddam Hussein? If yes, then when is it going to start? Politicians, experts and journalists all over the world keep asking this question to themselves. For the time being there are no indications of the coming war with Iraq, the White House simply urges everyone to put an end to the regime of the Baghdad dictator. However, Washington cannot set up the international coalition like it happened in 1990. The USA does not want to deal with Iraq alone, because this will look like aggression against a sovereign state.
This might be the reason why Washington strategists paid their attention to the so-called Iraqi opposition. As a matter of fact, the USA has a choice: there are reportedly up to 90 groups of the Iraqi opposition operating in different countries. There is a very wide range of those groups: political, ethnic, and religious organizations – monarchists, republicans, communists, Kurds, Arabs and so on. However, the majority of them do not have any conspicuous political influence, not to mention the fact that they do not represent anything when it comes to the military question. Only Kurds and Shiahs have the military experience, but it is not very successful either.
Representatives of four largest Iraqi opposition parties conducted negotiations today regarding the preparations to the conference of anti-Baghdad groups and parties. Al-Jazeera reported that the meeting took place in the USA. Representatives of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan ( the leader is Jalal Talabani), the Democratic Party of Kurdistan (the leader is Mustafa Barzani), the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI (Shiah opposition, the leader is Sayed Mohammed Baqir Al-Hakim) and the Movement for the national consent took part in the discussion. For the time being it is not known, where the anti-Saddam conference will take place. However, it has been reported that the conference will make a decision pertaining to the future political organization of Iraq. Kurds and Shiahs will definitely try to preside over the anti-Saddam coalition, since they have their armed groups. In this connection, the fight for the leadership is inevitable. The opposition has been fighting against Saddam for years, but it failed to achieve any significant results, because there are a lot of contradictions within the opposition and this is its sore problem. It would be enough to say that Talabani’s and Barzani’s organizations fought with each other, allying with Saddam Hussein one after another. It is hard to believe that they will forget about that longstanding fight overnight, taking into consideration the fact that Kurds are against Shiah’s claims for the leadership.
There are almost no doubts that the leaders of the Kurd opposition started those negotiations because of the pressure on the part of the United States, which was doing its best to organize something like the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. Who knows, if the USA succeeds or not in this respect, but the Iraqi opposition said that they would not ask even a cent of help from the States, although such statements are rather meant for the public opinion of Arab countries, for which the USA is a headache.
Washington will have a lot of problems with the Kurd opposition. Even if Hussein’s adversaries manage to overthrow him, there will be no peace and welfare in Iraq. Washington has either to overthrow the regime of the Baghdad dictator and arrange anarchy in Iraq, or not to bother Saddam at all. The latter is not likely to happen.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov