This time the congress failed because of organizational problems
Washington still fails to gather the Iraqi opposition; a congress of Saddam Hussein opponents frustrates for the third time already. It was planned that oppositionists would gather in Belgium at the end of November, but the congress was cancelled once again. If it goes on like this, the USA won’t be able to gather Iraqi oppositionists into a united front before it launches another “desert storm.”
The Iraqi National Congress based in London was the initiator of the meeting. This time the congress failed because of organizational problems, the agenda of the session and number of members in every delegation, to be more precise. The Agence France-Presse informs, hundreds of delegate cannot get visas to come to the congress. To all appearances, the congress will be postponed for at least two more weeks.
The US Administration is eager to gather Iraqi opposition and soften the process of authority transition after overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Almost none of American politicians doubts that it will happen. However, the White House wouldn’t like to watch sorrowfully how different opposition groups divide the authority in Baghdad. Who knows, probably it will have to start another war campaign, next time against Hussein’s enemies.
US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher doesn’t dramatize the disputes between different Iraqi factions; he says that this “normal political difference of opinions” is typical of such an important event as a congress.
The Iraqi opposition mirrors the ethnic and religious differences in Iraq. That is why it’s not that easy to gather the opposition. Kurd parties and Shiite groups are currently component parts of some of the Iraqi opposition organizations, including the Iraqi National Congress. Mohammed Sabir, the representative of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union in Washington says that the congress is an opportunity to speak with one accord, but not in five or ten voices as currently.
Very likely that the USA needs the congress more than even oppositionists themselves. If Hussein’s enemies get united, it will be possible to demonstrate the world that Iraq has an opposition which can take the authority into its hands and help the Iraqi people. As of now, the USA has nothing to demonstrate yet.
Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2002/5/15/39/3053_Iraq.html