Washington’s allies both in the Middle East and in Europe have added their voices to the growing wave of criticism at the proposed unilateral attack on Iraq by the USA outside the auspices of the UNO.
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has warned of a serious Arab backlash if Iraq is attacked before the Palestinian question is settled. He warned that “If you strike Iraq and kill the people of Iraq while Palestinians are being killed by Israel…not one Arab leader will be able to control the angry outburst of the masses”, he declared to a meeting of students in Alexandria.
His words follow those of the leaders of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Qatar, Syria, Bahrain and Iran, all of whom have expressed their solidarity with Iraq and have called upon the Americans to use diplomatic channels to solve the crisis, using phrases such as “a catastrophe” and “chaos” to describe the probable result of any military aggression.
As Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney sparked off the latest crisis, as defence Secretary Rumsfeld had done with his comments last week, the USA sees all of the countries in the region in which its military forces are based refuse to give permission for an attack.
Meanwhile in Europe, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has stated that while he is in office, Germany will not take part in such an attack, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis as Labour supporters make it clear that they will revolt if there is a strike and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has declared that any action must be taken within the UNO.
Despite the growing list of former allies at arms during the Gulf War and repeated warnings from senior politicians within the USA, Messrs. Cheney and Rumsfeld seem to be so set in their ways that the question arises as to what they have to gain personally from such a venture.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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