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From Kosovo to Iraq

Tony Blair is certain, history will forgive the USA and Great Britain

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to the USA did not have any other goal, but to demonstrate the unity of interests of the British prime minister and the American president regarding the Iraqi issue and the struggle with the international terrorism. Against the background of continuing scandals, connected with the motives that made the leaders of the two countries attack Iraq, they have nothing left to do but to exercise the support to each other. However, in his speech to American Congress, Blair avoided the issue concerning weapons of mass destruction, which have not been found in Iraq. The British prime minister instead focused in higher ideals.

News agencies were happy to quote Tony Blair saying that history would justify the USA and Great Britain for the incursion in Iraq, even if the notorious WMD were not going to be found. "If we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that at its least is responsible for inhuman carnage and suffering," Blair said Thursday in a historic address to Congress. "That is something I am confident history will forgive. "We promised Iraq democratic government. We will deliver it,'' Blair said.
 
It goes without saying, Blair was absolutely right, when he was talking about the brutality of Saddam Hussein's regime. In fact, no sensible person has ever had any doubts about this. Yet, Saddam's regime is unfortunately not something unique in the modern world. In many African and Asian countries, things are even worse than in Iraq. However, it is hard to believe that American and British soldiers will be deployed in Burma or Zimbabwe, for instance. Neither Bush nor Blair are interested in local regimes from the point of view of conducting military activities there. In addition to it, the American administration was not at all interested in the Taliban regime until they decided in Washington that it was time to put an end to it, because it supported al-Qaida. What if Talibs did not back al-Qaida? What would have happen then?

Such things are not really relevant now. Justifying the war in Iraq is a matter for George W. Bush and Tony Blair. On the other hand, there is a problem with Iraq, because the country will most likley not become a democracy. Last week, the Senate demanded George W. Bush should ask the UN and NATO for help for the regulation of the Iraqi issue. Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Yakovenko stated yesterday that the department did not rule out a possibility for Russian peacemakers to be present in Iraq (suppoted by UN Security Council resolution). However, Yakovenko stressed "we are currently not considering any opportunity for Russian peacemakers to be a part of the coalition forces in Iraq." Yet, Russia stands for the UN's more active participation in the stabilizing the  Iraqi problem.

The USA is gradually coming to the same idea too, as there is no other way for Washington to go. India and Pakistan, for example, stated that they would agree to dispatch their soldiers to Iraq only if the UN approved it. Colin Powell has already had consultations on the issue with foreign ministers of several countries. For the time being, American officials continue saying they have not taken any official measures concerning the UN's participation in Iraqi affairs.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said one should pass the new UN resolution on Iraq: "Most likely, an additional resolution will be needed, both about the political regulation and the presence of international security forces," the minister said. Ivanov added, the new resolution "would increase opportunities for a lot of countries to take part in the process."

Clearly many countries would like to see the United Nations given a stronger role in world affairs, especially concerning Iraq. Yet, Russia has certain economic interests in Iraq too – there is no secret about it. Maybe, Russian officials thought that the presence of Russian peacemakers was necessary to guarantee those interests? American officials have already said that before they are not going to put any obstacles for Russian companies in Iraq, but apparently, such statements are not enough.

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