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With thanks again to Rick Rozoff of STOP NATO. Friends - this seems to fly in the face of the caution - largely - expressed by Europe - even Blair now saying he would not back an attack without UN approval (but he did also says EU!) I am unaware of this Conference and the names - right wing hawks or a genuine reflection of concensus? I note Haine's comment re the killing of the French engineers - but how does this bring Iraq into the equation. "Round up the usual suspects' comes to mind. What is it Iraq has done, other than have Saddam as leader - after all, Israel has Sharon ... best, f. Conference: Europeans 'ready for Iraq' By Martin Walker UPI Chief International Correspondent >From the International Desk Published 5/11/2002 1:28 PM FLORENCE, Italy, May 11 (UPI) -- A majority of the European Union's 15 nations are now expected to support President George Bush's plans for "regime change" in Iraq, and many of them are prepared to offer military support, a conference of American and European scholars on transatlantic relations concluded Saturday. "The mood in France has changed after the dramas of the presidential election campaign and the bombing in Karachi that killed 11 French naval engineers last week," said Jean Haine, who teaches international relations at Paris's prestigious Sciences Po Institute. "Indeed, I expect France to seek to rejoin NATO's unified military command later this year." Despite widespread forebodings of a serious split between the United States and its European allies over military action against Iraq, and public warnings against it by both French and German political leaders, a broad range of European experts agreed that their governments would comply. "There may still be problems with European opinion, but those problems will not outlast TV images of cheering Iraqis -- just as the swift victory in Afghanistan stilled earlier European qualms," Michael Cox of the University of Wales told the Villa Le Balze conference in Florence. Europeans expressed readiness to support a U.S.-led operation against Iraq, at least in part, after it was presented by Bush administration officials as a litmus test of the loyalty of European allies at a time when America felt itself at war. "On this litmus test, it is yes or no. There is not question of negotiation. For the Bush administration the question is: are you with us or against us?" Haine said. This did not leave the Europeans with many options, Haine added. Organized jointly by the U.S.-based universities of Dartmouth and Georgetown, with widespread European participation, the Le Balze conference concluded that up to half of the 15 EU member states, led by Britain, could be expected to offer some military backing. Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Portugal and France were all seen as "likely participants" in a U.S.-led coalition. "We could see a majority of the EU members back the operation against Iraq," said Roberto Menotti of Rome's Center for International Political Studies, noting the elections had put conservative governments in power in Italy, Austria, Denmark and Portugal who were more in tune with the Bush administration. "A great deal will depend on the manner of presentation," said Steven Everts, a Dutch scholar at the London-based Center for European Reform. "An argument by Vice President Dick Cheney that Iraq is a menace will carry less weight than an argument by Secretary of State Colin Powell that Iraq is defying a United Nations resolution demanding the return of international inspectors into Iraq's development of weapons of mass destruction. "Now that there is a U.N. resolution on 'smart sanctions' against Iraq, the task of rallying an international coalition to enforce inspections becomes considerably easier," Everts said. "Europeans will still have questions about what -- or who -- comes after Saddam Hussein, and how long the Americans are prepared to stay for the necessary work of reconstruction." The group in general stressed there were wider and longer-term concerns about American "unilateralism," its readiness to go it alone in working with allies, and its reluctance to take part in international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and the International Criminal Court. But Europe's reluctance to build up its own modern military forces and the high degree of economic interdependence between the U.S. and Europe meant that the Atlantic Alliance was likely to continue broadly unchanged. Indeed, the alliance broadly expected NATO to be enlarged at a summit later this year by as many as seven new member states from Eastern Europe. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? LAUNCH - Your Yahoo! Music Experience http://launch.yahoo.com _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk