The United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday, 19th December could set in motion a set of actions which will determine the outcome of the Iraqi question.
The British Ministry of Defence has confirmed rumours that up to 10,000 reservists are being called up and that advanced plans are under way for the deployment of field hospitals and telecommunications infrastructures in the Gulf region. Meanwhile, military units have had their “notice to move” reduced and the 7th Armoured Brigade (the Desert Rats) and the 4th Armoured Brigade are on 30 days’ notice to deploy against Iraq, now classified in official communications as “the enemy”.
President Bush prepares to make his speech at the UNO tomorrow, in which he is expected to declare that the failure by Iraq to account for all the weapons programmes in its 12,000 page report constitutes active resistance to the arms inspections programme and as such, Baghdad is in “material breach” of the terms of Resolution 1441. This means that the “serious consequences” threatened by this document might be translated by Washington into military action.
Under international law, the UN Security Council is the proper forum for discussion and is the only legally binding organism which can propose a UN mission against Baghdad. It is not in the jurisdiction of single countries or groups of nations to launch unilateral attacks outside the auspices of this Organisation.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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