Yesterday’s speech by the US president at the UN General Assembly was the main event in international politics. As could be expected, the speech caused rather contradictory comments. Some people say that the speech was made as an ultimatum to Iraq, and others treat it as an ultimatum to the UNO, whose resolutions are successfully ignored by Saddam Hussein. There is also the opinion that the speech is criticism of both the UNO and Iraq. And, finally, some suggest that Bush is trying to win support of the world community for his war against Iraq.
On the whole, the US president probably aimed to cover all these subjects in his speech. The USA evidently won’t give up the idea of another war against Iraq, but, currently, Washington aims to gain the support of the world community for the operation. If the USA starts a war alone, the consequences can hardly be predicted. Therefore, the Iraqi government can and will be overthrown. But what is next? The overthrowing will inevitably increase the popularity of extremist ideas in the Muslim world, and not only the Muslim world. Quite naturally, more and more terrorist organizations will appear as a result. The already existing organizations will receive more and more volunteers ready to wage a jihad all over the world, the USA including.
Saddam Hussein’s regime can hardly called humane; it is disagreeable not only for George Bush, Richard Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, but other politicians as well. On the other hand, the above-mentioned American politicians are sometimes disliked by other people in the world; however, this fact is not a reason to wage a war against the USA.
If the White House had indisputable evidence that Baghdad has weapons of mass destruction, it would be easier for the USA to explain the necessity of a war against Iraq. However, there is no such evidence. Washington seems to be preoccupied with the search for such evidence. It is Iraq itself and not the USA who is to prove that Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction. Everything would be OK if the White House’s militaristic rhetoric hadn’t provoked Baghdad into responding with harsh statements. As a result, UN military inspectors still aren’t allowed into Iraq. This is a reason for the USA, in its turn, to blame the UNO for the ineffectiveness of its solutions.
Attempts of the Bush administration to prove the necessity of an offensive against Iraq sometimes provoke rather strange statements. For example, it was even suggested that Saddam Hussein kept close contacts with al-Qaeda and bin Laden. However, no substantial evidence of this fact can be given, and the White House had to admit the weakness of the accusation. However, it is not ruled out that more statements of this kind may appear in the future.
For the time being, the USA still remains aloof from the rest of the world concerning its military operation against Iraq. Even British Prime Minister Anthony Blair, the most consistent ally of George Bush, recently addressed trade union leaders in Blackpool and said that London wouldn’t join the war without an UN mandate and resolutions by the British parliament.
Probably, even without any special intention, the USA has achieved one goal only: people are afraid of it. To be more precise, America’s unpredictable foreign policy is very striking: today, it dislikes Iraq; and tomorrow it will find someone else.
Although you may say we are high-minded, we venture to say that fear causes hatred. And hatred, in its turn, can’t be liquidated with bombing. It is possible to overthrow Hussein’s regime, which has committed many crimes, but don't rule out that an Iraqi bin Laden might appear and vengeance will start. There is no guarantee that this is impossible.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/13/47016.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969