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[casi] FW: US NATO Cohorts 'Ready For Iraq'

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
"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
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.

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