The United States of America and the United Kingdom have managed to isolate themselves from the main decision-making centres of international diplomacy and simultaneously, put on stand-by a process of forming a New World Order, based upon the UNO, discussion, diplomacy and a multi-lateral, equalitarian approach to crisis management.
Washington and London stand isolated not only from world public opinion but also from the main poles where policy is made: France, Germany, Russia and China stand firm in their declarations that there are not, at present, any grounds for an attack against Iraq while NATO stands more divided than ever on the issue of applying contingency plans for the defence of Turkey. Although Lord Robertson stated today at a press conference in Brussels that this decision is not connected in any way with a decision to strike at Iraq, the fact that a schism is threatened, if not yet a fact, lends credence to the belief that the position defended by London and Washington needs to be corrected.
On Sunday, Hans Blix, Director of the UNMOVIC team, declared that progress was being made after documentation on biological weapons and missiles were handed over to his team by the Iraqi authorities. “There are some good developments from these two days”, he declared at a Press Conference in Baghdad last night, an opinion shared by Mohammed Al-Baradei, Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who has repeatedly stated that there are no signs whatsoever that Iraq is pursuing a nuclear weapons programme, contrary to the claims by Washington.
These claims, based upon flimsy evidence, were weakened this weekend after it was discovered that an important part of Colin Powell’s speech to the UNO was based upon a 1991 report which had been lifted from the Internet by the British Intelligence services, MI6.
Despite the evidence pointing towards the fact that Washington and London are wrong, President Bush yesterday declared that the United States will attack Iraq alone if the UN Security Council does not back military intervention, simultaneously refusing to accept a Franco-German peace plan, backed by Russia, to increase the number of weapons inspectors inside Iraq from 100 to 300, protecting these with UN troops.
The peace plan goes much further. It includes the setting-up of a permanent UN monitoring agency inside Iraq, the extension of no-fly zones to all Iraqi airspace, the deployment of U2 spy planes, French and German reconnaissance aircraft, the application of smart sanctions whenever Iraq is shown to fail to comply with the demands of weapons inspectors, increased control on exports and oil smuggling, the setting-up of a UN court to try human rights abuses and a massive presence of UN troops inside Iraq, setting up road blocks. The plan also has the backing of the Vatican.
Washington, however, continues to insist on the word “stiffing”. This time it was Colin Powell, who reacted to the peace plan with the words: “I don’t think the next step should be let’s send in more weapons inspectors to get stiffed”.
Washington has already chosen an interim government to be slotted into place, to concede exploitation rights to US oil companies anxious to control Iraq’s vast oil reserves, estimated at 10.7% of the world’s total.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru