The George Bush “narrow” coalition being put together for war with Iraq cannot be compared with broad coalition formed by Bush senior for the Gulf War
The NATO summit in Prague is over, seven new NATO members (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania) have breathed with relief being glad Russia’s empire ambitions are conquered (What ambitions? What was inherited from the USSR should be kept at least!). Former Warsaw block has been gradually transformed into the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization, so Americans are satisfied, while Russians have one more reason to be concerned.
Though, the US President is not glad with this victory, all his thoughts, both before and after the summit, were devoted to Iraq. The Czech capital beauty highly praised by Vatslav Havel did not inspired Bush. For, Iraq is more important. At the summit the US President tried to persuade his NATO colleagues to participate in the Iraqi campaign, as a result he got it in the neck from one of these same colleagues (the question is about Mr Ducraut, the Canadian Prime Minister first adviser). The angry Canadian called the US President “idiot.” He explained it simply: the Prague summit was gathered to invite new members to the alliance, while the US President can talk only about Iraq…
Though, Bush was not stopped with these words (however, the Bush list of enemies was widened: once Bush was compared by a Germany official with Hitler, and now the Canadian). Though, Bush vindicated himself, while remembering the reason, why he had come to Prague. Too late, but he understood it in Lithuania. While appearing Saturday in the Vilnus square and addressing to thousands of the Lithuania capital citizens, Bush said that the alliance was ready to protect its members. “That who will choose Lithuania for the enemy, will be the US enemy,” – Bush said. – “Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia will never fight alone in the face of aggression.”
Though, let us return to the Bush beloved subject – to Iraq. The “coalition of willing” which is being put together by Bush for the possible war is really “narrow” in comparison with the broad coalition formed once by his father for the Gulf War. This time around, America will focus its coalition on the basic players and logistical arrangements it needs, neglecting the PR aspects.
This means that in addition to Britain, and maybe Australia, helping in the fight, the US will focus on getting what it considers essential for the war. The question is about Turkey: its bases and its crucial political considerations are very important, then forward positioning in the Persian Gulf and some essential flyover rights.
As for other countries, Bush has great problems with them. According to Quatar TV channel Al-Jazeera, Egypt decided to reject the US demand to participate in the anti-Iraqi coalition headed by the US, if even Iraq does not cooperate with the UN weapon inspectors. The Al-Jazeera correspondent to Cairo said that the US foreign ministry had demanded from Egypt to determine its position within a month and to give the answer about its participation in the coalition.
Sources in Egypt, in their tern, said that already within two days Cairo would officially inform about its rejection of the US demand. The Al-Jazeera corresponded also informed that 11 Arab countries were demanded the same by Washington, among which there are Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gulf Cooperation countries, whose number totally makes 11.
Translated by Vera Solovieva