Dmitri Litvinovich: The US anti-Iraqi coalition - myths and reality

The US believes that Saddam Hussein’s regime presents a potential threat for its security. The White House has never made a secret of its plans, meaning that its war against terrorism will not be confined to Afghanistan’s territory. Also, among the countries backing terrorism, Iraq has repeatedly been mentioned. You may ask, "why Iraq?" It is simple and plain: Iraq for America is like an aching tooth, which aches but is hard to remove. Since the time of Desert Storm, Iraq has given no rest to America and its allies. The victorious war, which brought Iraq virtually to its knees a decade ago, is now seen by Pentagon analysts under a completely different angle. Then, Iraq was perceived by the entire civilized community as an aggressor, and there was no sympathy for it. Many Arab countries also turned away from Iraq, disapproving of its policies towards Kuwait. Today’s situation is quite different. Repeated accusations against Iraq have been noticed very well not only in the Arab world but also in Europe. America accuses Iraq of backing terrorists and even using biological weapons against the US. Washington does not have any proof. However, who needs it? Why prove anything to anyone? Isn’t Saddam a “bad guy,” didn’t he threaten America? Naturally, he should be punished. Tarik Aziz, the Iraqi foreign minister, has told the world how America is going to punish Saddam. He says Iraqi secret services have information of an impending bombardment of 300 objects on the Iraqi territory. Apart from military installations, economic targets have also been selected. Mr. Aziz adds that the Iraqi army is ready to counter the likely aggression. While wearing the toga of a fighting terrorism, the US wants to solve its economic problems. In the first place, it is oil. Iraq is one of the largest players on the international oil market, and one cannot help but reckon with this country. Having settled accounts with Iraq, America will clear the way for Iran, which will then dominate in the region, the more so that US relations with this country are now quite acceptable. Neutralizing Saddam would also bring certain benefits to America in the geostrategic context: Russia’s role would diminish, while America’s would grow. However, we’d better wait and see. The present-day situation will hardly allow Americans to forge an anti-Iraqi coalition of the 1991 type. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has made it clear that about 50% of Muslim anger levelled at America can be explained by America’s backing of Israel, the country which has for a long time been oppressing Palestinians. Mr. Mubarak is echoed by the leader of a comparatively moderate Marocco. The US policies have been widely condemned in the region. Instead of punishing Saddam and his regime, the US has only succeeded in punishing the Iraqi people. Besides, any such action would hardly be successfully carried out amid the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian violence. Denis Ross, a former US negotiator, has recently put it this way: “Our Arab allies would not have to so heavily to vindicate themselves for their ties with us, if it was not for the strong sentiments of anger and discontent being there with the Palestinian situation.”

Dmitri Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

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