Politicians aren’t confused at all
British Prime Minister Anthony Blair is going to present secret evidence that Osama bin Laden’s key assistants were trained in Iraq on instructions from Saddam Hussein. The ministers will have three hours before possible military operations against Iraq to digest the document. On Monday, the prime minister presented the document to the cabinet, whose session lasted for not more than two hours. After reading the document, Secretary for International Development Claire Short said the discussion had been fruitful and the ministers managed to reach unanimous agreement. However, not everything is as smooth in London as they would have you believe. There is no unanimous opinion concerning the participation of British troops in a war against Iraq at all. Conservatives and Laborites make up one front opposed to the prime minister. That is why Anthony Blair treated today’s session of the Parliament as a last attempt to bring the situation under his control. If he finds convincing arguments to unmask Hussein’s regime, he is a success; if he fails, he is likely to be replaced this year. His ratings are rapidly going down, which that is why he needs a triumphant war against Iraq as never before.
In addition, yesterday , a Gulf War hero expressed his negative attitude towards the intention to start a war against Baghdad. Major-General Patrick Cordingly, DSO Commander of the desert rats during the Gulf War, 57 years old, says he strongly objects to a war against Iraq. He said in an interview to the Mirror: I am sure it is wrong. Deployment of British troops in Iraq can’t be justified. And politicians have provided no convincing arguments in favor of this war.”
According to different estimates, if an offensive launched against Baghdad, losses of attacking troops will make up 15%: 37,000 soldiers out of 250,000 will be killed or wounded. The general, who retired just recently, says that the evidence presented in the dossier compiled against Saddam Hussein is not enough to wage a war.
Yesterday, a Bahrain leader said that the US’s military operation against Iraq would cause damage to the whole region. Representatives of the Jordan government also declared yesterday that Jordan's military bases can't be used for an offensive against Iraq. Jordan Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher doubts that the USA will manage to transform Iraq into a democracy quickly by overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime. “We were asked to allow US troops on our bases. We won’t allow America to use our bases, and we want everyone understand it. This would destabilize the situation in Jordan and entail more domestic problems; there is not a single country, including the USA, which is interested in this.” Such a negative opinion of the Arab world concerning a war against Iraq forces Washington and London to speed up the events. The US national security strategy voiced by President Bush recently supposes that "preventive" blows will be delivered against countries that can be treated as a prospective threat (Iraq is basically meant in this case). The dossier compiled by Mr. Blair resembles this doctrine very much.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/09/24/47505.html