On US’s right to use military force
In accordance with the Constitution, the USA can use military force only for self-protection. The right of making decisions on usage of military force is distributed between the legislative and executive authorities. According to the international law, leaders of countries can make decisions on usage of military force only if they think the country is under some real threat. President Bush is sure that Saddam Hussein is a threat of this kind. This is what Christopher A. Preble from the Cato Institute’s Policy Analysis Department says.
Why America Supports Bush
“Total suggestibility plays a great role in today’s America; and the extent of Russia’s fascination for the demon of power is seen from the recent events that are to restrain our peaceful exultation.” Carl Jung, May 1945
Financial aspect of the problem
The first hours of the Iraqi war cost the USA several tens of millions of dollars. As Washington ProFile reports, about 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles were used within the first 24 hours of the war; one missile of this class costs 600 thousand dollars approximately. As the US Navy College calculated, America’s spending on the 1991 Gulf War made up 80 billion dollars in current prices (61 billion in the prices of 1991), which made up 1% of the US’s GDP. The most part of the spending was compensated by then-allies of the USA: Saudi Arabia (16.9 billion), Kuwait (16 billion), Japan (10 billion), Germany (6.5 billion) and South Korea (0.3 billion).
The anti-Iraqi coalition consisted of 38 countries during the Desert Storm Operation in 1991. Now, as the USA asserts, there are much more countries that openly voiced their support of the US-led war campaign against Iraq. On March 21, George W. Bush said that over 40 countries supported war efforts of the USA. White House Spokesman Ari Fleisher specifies that “the anti-Saddam coalition” includes countries where people of all races and regions live. The aggregate population of countries protesting against the incumbent Iraqi regime makes up 1.18 billion people, the total GDP is about 27 trillion dollars.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell mentioned 45 countries supporting the USA. Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Columbia, Czechia, Denmark, Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Great Britain and Uzbekistan were mentioned among those 45 countries. Kuwait, Cyprus, Iceland, Bahrain and Qatar were mentioned as potential allies of the USA. However, Powell adds that the list of US’s anonymous allies consists of 15 countries.
Experts say that non-advertised support to the USA from Arab nations is explained by their desire not to incur anger of the neighbors. Nevertheless, as Washington ProFile reports, there are 4.2 thousand American servicemen in Bahrain, and refueller planes are based on the Shaikh Isa air base. Qatar allowed the USA to its air bases, including the Al Udeid base where weapons, ammunition and military materials are kept. The air base has the longest landing strip where up to 100 warplanes can stand at once. There are 3.3 thousand of US military men on the territory of Qatar. The number of US special force soldiers and officers on the territory of Djibouti is about 1.2 thousand. Jordan allowed the USA to use its air space and to station US troops carrying out rescue operations on its territory.
The main base of American troops is in Kuwait. That is why it is strange that Kuwait remained an anonymous ally in the speech of Colin Powell: it would be incredible to hear that the government of Kuwait didn’t support the point of view of a state stationing its main forces on the Kuwaiti territory. There are two US bases, Ali Salem and Ahmed Al Jaber, with 115 thousand of American and 18 thousand British servicemen stationed there. Besides the contingent, two Patriot anti-missile complexes, about 115 M-1 Abrams tanks, 60 Bradley armored fighting vehicles and a command post are deployed there.
American air force bases are deployed on the territory of the United Arab Emirates; at that, the Al Dhafra base is one of the central fuel storage of the US air force in the region. Besides, there are about 4 thousand soldiers and officers there. The contingent of the two US air force bases in Oman, Al-Seeb and Massirah, and on the Navy base Thumrait makes up 2.4 thousand of American soldiers.
Although Saudi Arabia declared that it “on no conditions will participate in the war against the fraternal people of Iraq”, the US center for space operation control in the Middle East and about 6 thousand US sevicemen are already stationed on the Saudi Prince Sultan base. 600 military men from the USA are stationed in Israel. But Israel, America’s key ally in the Middle East wasn’t mentioned on the list of the Iraqi war supporters. And experts say this is a very serious factor. Portugal is to provide its bases in the nearest time. And Ukraine promised to provide its chemical warfare unit.
Only US’s debtors support it?
And now let’s consider financial aspect of the problem. Jordan didn’t pay 227 million dollars it once got from the USA. The Congress reports that Ukraine’s debt to America is 160 million dollars at least. The debts of other countries, that are not US’s allies, are even higher. For instance, Egypt’s debt to the USA is 2 billion dollars, Pakistan’s – 921 million, etc. And the debts must be paid. As Congress informs, Russia got about 160 million dollars from the USA. But experts say this fact won’t influence development of Russia’s strategy of reaction upon the Iraqi conflict.
As opinion polls reveal, attitude to the USA is changing for the worse all over the world. The rating of sympathies the USA won after the 9/11 tragedy has fallen into oblivion. As Pew Global Attitudes Project reports, 61% Russians, 63% French, 75% British and 79% Poles treated the USA positively in 2002, but now the showing makes up 28%, 31%, 48% and 50% respectively.
Ipsos-Reid asked the following question people in eight countries of the world: “Do you think government of your country must cooperate with the USA closer, or, on the contrary, must keep away from America as far as possible?” 25% of Russian think that Russia must actively cooperate with the USA, 37% think it shouldn’t and 39% gave no response. As for other countries, 22% of French support cooperation with the USA and 67% object to it, in Japan the figures made up 26% and 63% respectively, in Spain – 13% and 60%, in Canada – 38% and 54%, in Great Britain – 36% and 52%, in Germany – 46% and 44%, in Italy – 37% and 40%. The opinion poll was held before the war broke out in Iraq. So, it is obvious that less and less people support establishment of close relations with the USA.
MiK news agency
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://world.pravda.ru/world/2003/5/16/43/8707_USA.html
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