Last Peaceful Moments

It seems that there are just few hours left before a war breaks out in Iraq. As the Associated Press news agency informs, the USA recommended the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to recall its inspectors from Iraq. The same recommendation was sent to UNMOVIC representatives who sum up their inspections and say Baghdad holds neither chemical neither biological weapons. The time for inspections is up. The Bush administration has already recommended all journalists to leave Baghdad as soon as possible; everybody already knows that the USA precisely delivers spot blows against some particular strategic military objects (let’s remember Belgrade), and Americans themselves know it perfectly well.

As it became known, Germany closed the Embassy in Baghdad; German diplomats working in Iraq were evacuated to neighboring Jordan. As Germany’s weekly Die Welt reports, practically all representative offices of European countries and public organizations are closed on the territory of Iraq. For the time being, only embassies of Russia and Vatican, and the International Red Cross Mission are still open. Besides, today Great Britain recommended British citizens to leave Kuwait that is neighboring Iraq. It is explained with “an increased threat of chemical or bacteriological attack from the direction of Saddam Hussein.”

Now the whole of the world is anticipating George W. Bush’s address to the nation. At present, development of the situation in Iraq depends upon Bush’s speech only: Americans have already made a decision to act passing over the UN Security Council, they won’t submit the resolution on Iraq developed by the USA and Great Britain for consideration of the world community. In his speech George W. Bush will have to give Baghdad an exact ultimatum, “the last chance” to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as the Bush administration calls it. Washington insists that Iraq must disarm completely and deliver up key political figures of Iraq, including Saddam Hussein (the list of persons to be extradited was published by Americans at the end of the past week). Now experts are making assumptions what period of time George W. Bush will give to the world. This highly likely will be 48 or 72 hours, the period within which all international representatives will have to leave Iraq.

After the meeting of George W. Bush with prime ministers of Great Britain and Spain on the Azores there are hardly any illusions concerning the soonest beginning of a large-scale military campaign in Iraq. We would like to mention that Monday, March 17, was declared “deadline of the international diplomacy”. After that, powers that be will consequently proceed to “realization of the policy with different methods”, as the late Clausewitz said. Today Iraqi Minister of Information Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf declared that the Azores summit was “a complete failure”. He said that everything the leaders of the three countries could offer the world was “lies and black propaganda”. The minister of information confirmed once again that Iraq was and would be doing everything possible for cooperation with the UN Security Council to tell “the whole truth to the world.”

Certainly, the military powers of Iraq depressed with sanctions and international isolation and of America, the only superpower of the world are incommensurable. Under such conditions the only thing for Hussein to hope for is “a close combat”, the kind of a long partisan war that Americans experienced in Vietnam. The citizens of Baghdad promise Americans “another Stalingrad battle.”

Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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