“The old Europe” got stuck in the throat of the Pentagon chief
The personality of Saddam Hussein is demonic indeed. Could anyone guess just half a year ago that leaders of leading western countries would quarrel about him? Powers-that-be in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin have been fulminating very strongly against each other lately because of one man who, by the highest standards, doesn’t deserve such close attention.
US Secretary of Defense Ronald Rumsfeld strictly criticized position of France and Germany that insist that the Iraqi crisis must be settled peacefully. He said that both states were “a problem”; what is more, they are part of “the old Europe” which opinion can be easily ignored under the present-day conditions. On the contrary, opinion of new NATO members, those East European countries that recently joined the alliance, should be taken into consideration. It makes no difference for these countries with whom to wage a war – Iraq or Madagascar. To be precise, it makes no difference for leaders of these countries, not soldiers. At least 27 Czech soldiers refused to fight against Iraq.
Reaction of the countries called “problem” to Rumsfeld’s statements was immediate. Berlin already promised to give a response to Rumsfeld’s revelations, it is highly likely the response will be rather harsh. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General George Robertson says that discussions concerning the role of the alliance in a possible war are still heated in the organization. The controversy mostly concerns the date for beginning of the operation: some countries say that it’s very important to get a report of the UN inspectors first, and others think that preparation for a war must be started in the nearest time, before a report of the UN team is published. In the words of George Robertson, the “quiet discussions” still continue.
While the alliance is debating, US Secretary of State Colin Powell (whose position in the government supposes that diplomatic methods for the conflict settlement must be found) said in an interview to an American TV company that the USA got such information about Iraq’s weapons that none of the countries had. Washington is going to reveal this “trump card” at a discussion of a report provided by UN inspectors which is scheduled for January 27. It is not quite clear why the USA cannot do it right now. Does the White House fear that UN inspectors will refute this super-secret information? The cynicism with which the Bush administration is getting ready for a war is striking. Indeed, over the whole period of the anti-Saddam hysteria no well-founded evidence was presented to prove that Baghdad’s regime posed a real threat to the world community on the whole and to the USA particularly. This is the fact known to everyone. Washington probably thinks that obstinacy is one of the key virtues.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/accidents/34980-rasocharovanie/