Iraq: USA to go it alone

Plans under way for post-Saddam regime

The United States administration has issued tenders to NGOs for the rebuilding of Iraq after a military strike. Isolated from world public opinion, the Bush administration is leading the USA into a diplomatic minefield.

Tenders worth 6.6.million USD to NGOs for the areas of refugee relief, medical care, shelter, water supply, sanitation and education are being opened by the US administration, which is an admission that military action is planned, will be used and will devastate civilian areas inside Iraq.

US National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice gave a further insight into the policy of her government when she declared in an interview to the BBC recently that Saddam Hussein is “evil” and “if” he obtains weapons of mass destruction, he will use them. “We do not have the luxury of doing nothing”, she said, adding that “History is littered with cases of inaction that led to grave consequences for the world”.

It can be concluded that the USA will take action and that it is preparing for contingency plans in a post-Saddam scenario. That Saddam Hussein has broken UN resolutions, there is no doubt. However, in a world where Israel does the same thing and continues to flout international law, the hypocrisy of such an intervention appears to be winning the day for public opinion. The array of international political heavyweights who denounce military intervention as a bad idea is enormous.

Starting with the Bush administration’s staunchest ally, Britain, Prime Minister Blair appears to be isolated even from his own party. The Labour Party’s chief whip has warned of a massive backbench rebellion in Parliament over the issue, which is expected to be debated in September. Ex-Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who supported the Gulf War, is said by friends to have deep misgivings about a military attack against Iraq due to the fact that world public opinion is massively against the notion and the changed scenario ten years later, with wider-ranging and serious issues being involved. An opinion poll conducted by The Daily Telegraph showed that 90% of British people are against military intervention.

To date, not a shred of evidence has been produced linking the Ba’ath regime to terrorist attacks against the USA. The World Peace Movement has declared that an attack outside the auspices of the UNO would be a violation of international law, a view which is backed up by countless NGOs and humanitarian organisations, including the British Anglican Church Association, 2,500 members of which declared that the plan to attack was immoral, illegal and unjustifiable.

As Iraq follows diplomatic channels to try to solve the crisis, political leaders from around the world lend their voice to the call for action within the United Nations Security Council. On 10th August, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Kofi Annan made a joint declaration calling for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, a stance which was backed up last week by President Jacques Chirac of France and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany.

Nearer to the field of action, Turkey, a faithful ally during the Gulf Wart, has declared that it is strongly opposed to any intervention now because of the negative effect it would have on a delicate economic and social situation in the region, while Amrou Mussa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, has stated that the Arab countries are unanimously against any military action against the regime in Baghdad.

The non-use of diplomatic channels by the United States of America speaks volumes about the emaciated and emasculated state of the State Department, where Colin Powell appears as an island of goodwill surrounded by a sea of insanity.