US Secretary of State Colin Powell made a really sensational statement. In a Saturday interview to Radio France Internationale Colin Powell said that “the USA gives more time to the inspection process in Iraq” and that a new variant of the resolution on Iraq wouldn’t “be immediately submitted to the UN Security Council for voting”, as “everybody is asking about it”. What does the statement mean? Is it possible that the White House has gone back on its words? It would be incredible if it did. To all appearances, in this situation more rumors will soon appear in the press to say that American administration has once again different points of view on the Iraqi problem. That will be interpreted so that Colin Powell is ready for peaceful settlement of the conflict, but Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld insists that force must be used in this case. In other words, “the fight of bulldogs under the carpet” still continues.
Probably, the situation is different in fact. The USA is lingeing with a military operation for too long. With the desire to win a wide international support for realization of its war plan, the same way like in 1991, the White House wasted the time on useless discussions. When it became clear that the idea of Saddam overthrowing wasn’t as popular in the world as George Bush and his advisors desired it to be, Washington made lots of small diplomatic mistakes that all together grew into one big problem. The most serious mistake was to allow Donald Rumsfeld to make statements concerning international politics on the whole and relations with European allies in particular. The US Secretary of Defense is probably a good leader, but unfortunately he is a poor diplomat. His philippic in the address of Germany and France made so much good to Saddam Hussein that it’s time for the Iraqi leader to consider the issue of putting up a monument to Rumsfeld on a Baghdad square.
Conduct of Donald Rumsfeld causes dissatisfaction even among leaders of those states that support the US-led military campaign against Iraq. Spain Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar even asked George Bush to make so that there were “more Colin Powell and less Donald Rumsfeld” at the recently held negotiations. This wish is quite understandable because London, Madrid and Rome wish to avoid Rumsfeld’s criticism and wouldn’t like to fall victims to his wittiness.
It seems that the White House has employed the old tactics of “kind and cross” investigators. “A cross” one is Donald Rumsfeld, who threatens everyone who disagrees with Washington’s position on any problem. And Colin Powell performs the role of “a kind investigator”, who encourages for making the right decision. Entering the scene one after another, they both will achieve the result they need – overthrowing of Saddam Hussein. If Washington succeeds with this tactics, the White House should apply for a licence for this diplomatic know-how.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: https://www.pravda.ru/world/36067-sledovatel/