Washington became preoccupied with Iraq, but missed Yemen
The George Bush administration is experiencing rather hard times these days: the anti-terrorist coalition is falling to pieces because of the issue of Iraq, but the Pentagon’s military machine is already working at its full capacity and can't be stopped in a moment. Money for a war against Iraq ($200 billion) has already been appropriated and should be spent. In addition, the soldiers and equipment necessary for the offensive have been already been delivered to the region, to Qatar in particular.
Iraq has upset all the plans of Washington once again when it agreed to allow international inspectors into the country. Now, the only thing left is to strive for new UN resolutions on Iraq, which is currently Washington’s main objective. George Bush doesn’t think Baghdad’s official permission to allow military inspections is a serious step. An American version of the resolution will be submitted to Congress for consideration today, as American officials say that not much time is left. It is not clear how things will change in Congress after the November 5th elections. As of now, the US president has managed to enlist the support of several senators; he even claims that republicans and democrats will be working together. The text of a resolution on Iraq will be strict.
US Secretary of DefenseDonald Rumsfeld attempted to persuade Congress of the necessity to launch a war against Iraq. In his words, Washington can avoid a war with Iraq only if Saddam Hussein suddenly quits his post and leaves the country together with his family or if the Iraqi people overthrow the leader.
Washington became preoccupied with Iraq, but missed Yemen. The country was originally mentioned on the US State Department's list of countries that harbor al-Qaeda terrorists. Besides Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and some other countries were also on the list. Americans planned special operations to search for terrorists and their bases in Yemen. The Saudi newspaper Ash-Shark al-Ausat reports that about 800 US special forces, including the Marine Corps and Delta Force are already at the Djibouti military base waiting for further instructions concerning an anti-terrorist operation in Yemen.
However, there will be no instructions, as Yemen has prohibited the USA from launching any anti-terrorist operations on its territory, Vice-Speaker of the Yemen parliament Naji Al told al-Jazeera television Thursday. He said that direct military interference in Yemeni internal affairs would have serious consequences. He also added that Yemen has enough power to detain people who are breaking the law and won't allow other countries to launch operations that may damage its domestic security. As the situation around Iraq is still vague, the last statement has become a telling blow against America’s interests in the region. If the little country of Yemen showed mighty Americathe door, others won’t be afraid to as well.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/09/19/47294.html