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News, 10-17/8/02 (5) US OPINION * Don't need Saudis to deal with Saddam * Bush hears war naysayers * US opposition to Iraq attack grows * Democrats face 'tricky issue' with Iraq * Iraq policy risky, says Kissinger * Spain Official Cautions U.S. on Iraq * Saddam an 'evil man,' Rice says * War on Iraq is not inevitable * Don't Attack Saddam It would undermine our antiterror efforts * Republicans break ranks over Bush's Iraq policy US OPINION http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/story/10026p-9444c.html * DON'T NEED SAUDIS TO DEAL WITH SADDAM New York Daily News, 11th August No, the Saudis say, the U.S. can't use the kingdom's bases to attack Saddam Hussein. It doesn't matter that we built those multibillion-dollar facilities, or that we saved the Saudis from Saddam in 1991. That was then and this is now, and the Saudis want no part of a second war against Iraq. Let diplomacy contain him, they say - even though they know full well that an agreement with Saddam is worth less than a used copy of the Koran. Well, I'm like most everyone else: I'd like to strangle those ungrateful hypocrites. The Saudis may not be "active at every level of the terror chain," as a Rand Corp. analyst recently told the Defense Policy Board. They may not be the "kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent" in the terror game, as he charged. But as American allies, there's no question: The Saudis are no good. Still, I know the unsentimental first rule of geopolitics: Nations have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. They just have permanent interests. And the Saudi regime's core interest is survival. As a dictatorship threatened from within by religious fanatics and from the many less fortunate Saudis shut out of the kingdom's enormous oil-based wealth, the Saudi princes have concluded that Muslim hatred of the West demands that they dial back their 70-year alliance with Washington. So the Saudi stance is understandable, if infuriating. But, most importantly, it is not the end of the story. In strategic terms, the Saudi "no" is little more than a tactical complication. Ever since the kingdom's inflexibility surfaced almost immediately after Sept. 11 - when the Saudis refused to crack down on the nation's many Al Qaeda sympathizers - the U.S. has been quietly transferring weapons, equipment and communications gear to friendlier regional states, such as Kuwait and Qatar. And when looked at carefully, the Saudi "no" isn't a full-stop slap in the face. When the kingdom's foreign minister recently said, "We don't [want the U.S. using] Saudi grounds" to attack Iraq, he pointedly didn't rule out U.S. war planes flying over Saudi Arabia on their way to war. "That was a key omission," a U.S. general said. "When the battle starts, we expect we'll have the flyover rights we want - and that, combined with the power we'll muster from Turkey and the other [Persian] Gulf states, will be enough to do the job." But what happens later? A successful war against Iraq - defeat isn't an option - will undoubtedly affect both internal Saudi politics and the kingdom's relations with the U.S. Some experts fear a regional uprising if the U.S. attacks Iraq, turmoil generated by Al Qaeda to repel an infidel occupation of Baghdad - and an equally fierce fight to depose Saudi Arabia's overstuffed royals. Others believe a U.S. victory will inhibit the radicals. Many in the region, they argue, will welcome Saddam's end, and they predict that any discontent that follows will be minimal. Assuming Muslim anger can be contained, U.S. relations with the Saudis might actually improve. Without Saddam in their nightmares, the Saudis might reassert their pro-Western ties and even actively join the war against Al Qaeda terrorism. But - and this is the really good part - America will be less reliant on Saudi oil. With access to Iraqi crude, which could be pumped in greater quantities, given Western technology and an end to the current embargo, the U.S. will have less need of Saudi oil and will be less susceptible to the Saudi manipulation of world oil prices. This outcome - which many rate likely - helps explain the Saudis' panicked hostility to a war against Saddam: If Iraq's oil flows, Saudi Arabia's hold on Washington will diminish - a classic win-win for the U.S. Also, ousting Saddam will represent a defeat for the Palestinians, and there's absolutely no downside to that. Facing the day after Saddam without one of their staunchest allies, Yasser Arafat and his lackeys will be more amenable to a just peace with Israel. Beyond saying it wouldn't be good, which is putting it mildly, I don't know what might happen if a cornered Saddam lashed out against Israel - and others - with his chemical and biological weapons. But the risk of such a holocaust seems worth taking. Avoiding a fight because we fear Iraq's response would only give Saddam further time to add nuclear weapons to his arsenal. Only a fool could think Saddam wouldn't use everything he's got someday, unless he's stopped. The job today is to act before that someday arrives, with or without the Saudis' help - or anyone else's, either. http://www.suntimes.com/output/novak/cst-edt-novak12.html * BUSH HEARS WAR NAYSAYERS by Robert Novak Chicago Sun-Times, 12th August While Saddam Hussein's raving from Baghdad built war fever in Washington last week, calming forces worked behind the scenes. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage have had a heart-to-heart talk with President Bush about the difficulties of initiating war with Iraq. Other influential voices were cautioning against an imminent attack to drive Saddam from power. The climate is not propitious for a major U.S. military initiative. Official opposition from Germany, Saudi Arabia and Jordan underlined the isolation of American power. A deteriorating situation in Afghanistan builds the one-war-at-a-time argument. The steadfast Republican voices of Jack Kemp and Brent Scowcroft urge restraint. So do members of Congress from both parties, with House Majority Leader Dick Armey last Thursday warning against an unprovoked attack on Iraq. None of this erases George W. Bush's commitment to change the regime in Baghdad. Nor does it dilute the immense influence of Vice President Dick Cheney, who broke his silence last week to warn against permitting Saddam to develop weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, there was a palpable muffling of American war drums. The influence of Powell and Armitage is most important. Their war hawk critics have been spreading rumors that they are on their way out after two years. In fact, their meeting with the president explaining the pitfalls of an Iraq attack was productive. In Madison, Miss., last Wednesday, Bush declared: "I promise you that I will be patient and deliberative, that we will continue to consult with Congress, and, of course, we'll consult with our friends and allies." Powell and Armitage, who normally do not spend much private time with the president, are described as having walked Bush through consequences of a unilateral U.S. attack with little support from European allies and hostility from moderate Arab states. Their meeting followed the effective visit of Jordan's King Abdullah. He made clear to Bush that though few tears would be shed over Saddam's eventual demise, an American attack on an Arab state should not be launched amid Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed. Precisely that point has been made by a prestigious non-Arab. As a pillar of the Republican foreign policy establishment, Gen. Scowcroft for months had been turning down invitations from Sunday televised talk shows because he did not want to oppose the administration led by his former chief's son. But by Aug. 4, he was concerned enough to go on CBS' "Face the Nation." "To attack Iraq while the Middle East is in terror and America appears not to be dealing with something which to every Muslim is a real problem. . ." said Scowcroft, "I think could turn the whole region into a cauldron." Jack Kemp felt inhibitions, similar to Scowcroft's, about breaking away from Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other old colleagues. But in his Aug. 6 newspaper column, the former vice presidential nominee demanded "incontrovertible evidence of Iraqi participation or complicity in 9-11"--evidence that is lacking. "I don't believe we are ready to start another war," added Kemp, "when Afghanistan has yet to be pacified and the Middle East, as King Abdullah said, remains in chaos requiring our attention." The sentiment is spreading. Sen. Carl Levin, a liberal Democrat from Michigan, has moved toward the skepticism of Sen. Chuck Hagel, a conservative Republican from Nebraska. Levin calls Saddam a "survivalist" who would not employ any available chemical or biological weapons that would sign his own death warrant but would lash back in desperation if attacked. Hagel now embraces that view. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, a well informed Republican, wonders when "pre-emption" replaced "deterrence" as basic U.S. strategy. Doughty cold warrior Richard Perle, a hero of the victory over Soviet Russia, at the moment terrorists struck Sept. 11 laid out a strategy enjoying strong support in the Bush administration: the United States, aligned with Israel against Islam and the Arab world, with the removal of Saddam Hussein even more important than pacifying Afghanistan. That strategy was pursued by Perle as head of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board when he recently invited a briefer who depicted Saudi Arabia as a terrorist state. President Bush is now being implored by friends and supporters to turn away from this dangerous course. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2187772.stm * US OPPOSITION TO IRAQ ATTACK GROWS BBC, 12th August An influential US senator has added his voice to growing opposition to a military strike against Iraq. Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the US military was much more cautious about going to war with Iraq than civilian officials. He said "containment of Saddam is working". "It's almost certain that if we did attack Saddam that he then would use the weapons of mass destruction because he'd have nothing to lose in response to that kind of an attack," the Michigan senator said. [....] Mr Levin, who is familiar with the thinking of America's top generals, said it was unlikely that Saddam Hussein would strike first. "He would not, in my judgment, initiate an attack with a weapon of mass destruction, because it would lead to his own destruction. ... He's a survivalist. He is not a suicide bomber," he told NBC television's Meet the Press. [.....] http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/08/12/democrats.iraq.ap/index.html * DEMOCRATS FACE 'TRICKY ISSUE' WITH IRAQ CNN, 13th August WASHINGTON (AP) -- While Democratic presidential hopefuls say they support the toppling of Saddam Hussein, they express reservations about the timing and motivation for the military action being considered by the Bush administration. Still, their consideration of the issue is complicated because Democratic voters have mixed feelings about war with Iraq, polls suggest, and some Republican leaders are showing even more doubts than the Democrats. "It's a very tricky issue for the Democrats," said political analyst Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution. "Some have been downright hawkish, but none have been as cautious about this as some Republicans." Democratic strategist Jim Duffy countered: "It's a trickier issue for the president. He's the one who has to build a case for invading Iraq." While the Democrats always preface comments on Iraq with a general statement that Saddam must go, they differ on the conditions that would make a military attack appropriate. Al Gore, the 2000 nominee, told young Democrats in late July that he would like to see Saddam replaced, but he added: "If the rest of the world does not see what it regards as a sufficient provocation to justify an invasion by the United States, then the diplomatic costs would be extremely high." Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut senator who was Gore's running mate, has been more supportive of military action. "Congress should be asked to give authorization to the president before he, as commander in chief, takes any military action in Iraq," Lieberman, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Monday. He said a congressional debate would build public and international support by airing important issues, barring an urgent need for a pre-emptive strike. Gore and Lieberman were among a handful of Democratic senators who supported the 1991 military action against Iraq after it invaded Kuwait. Other potential candidates like Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry say they want to see Saddam gone, but they also have raised questions about the timing of military action and they want congressional involvement in any decision. Those three opposed the use of force against Saddam a decade ago. North Carolina Sen. John Edwards has said Saddam's refusal to allow unrestricted weapons inspections means the United States is going to have to act. "I think people will be very supportive of whatever action is necessary," said Edwards, who was not in Congress a decade ago. Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said if Saddam is shown to have atomic or biological weapons, the U.S. must act. But he also said Bush must first convince Americans that Iraq has these weapons and then prepare them for the likelihood American troops would be there for a decade. Prominent Republicans have been raising concerns about the Bush administration's consideration of military action against Iraq. Some of the strongest words came from House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas. Armey said last week that striking Iraq without a clear and easily understood provocation would isolate the United States. Other Republicans urging caution have included Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Richard Lugar of Indiana. For the Democrats pondering a run for the White House, the debate over Iraq is likely to get more complicated. "I believe as the public explores this more, they are going to get more concerned," said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. "I think there's room for some thoughtful debate on it." Democratic voters appear to have mixed feelings about military action. Asked whether the removal of Saddam was worth the cost to the United States, Democrats in a CBS News poll this month said "no" by a 52-37 margin. An ABC News-Washington Post poll released Monday said people are about evenly divided on whether Bush has a clear policy on Iraq. Two-thirds of Republicans said he does, but only one-third of Democrats and independents said they felt that way. There might be other political considerations for potential candidates. "Iowa and New Hampshire have been hotbeds of the anti-war movement," Lake said, referring to Vietnam and anti-nuclear efforts. Iowa and New Hampshire are likely to be the first two states to hold presidential contests in 2004. Veteran Democrats say Iraq will provide an opportunity for potential candidates to spell out their differences and demonstrate their competence with foreign affairs. "If you're going to be president, you have to look like somebody who's on top of this," said Democratic consultant David Axelrod. "It appears this train is beginning to leave the station and you can't ignore it when it's roaring down the tracks." http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/08/13/1029113929194.html * IRAQ POLICY RISKY, SAYS KISSINGER Sydney Morning Herald (from AFP), 14th August Washington: Toppling Iraqi President Saddam Hussein militarily could alienate America's allies and set a precedent that would not be in US interests, says former secretary of state Henry Kissinger. "America's special responsibility, as the most powerful nation in the world, is to work toward an international system that rests on more than military power - indeed, that strives to translate power into co-operation," Kissinger wrote this week in The Washington Post. Mr Kissinger, who served as national security adviser to disgraced former president Richard Nixon starting in 1969, and then as secretary of state from 1973 to 1977, published his column as President George Bush and members of his administration push for an invasion of Iraq to depose President Saddam Hussein. "American military intervention in Iraq would be supported only grudgingly, if at all, by most European allies," he said. The Middle East would be split between those glad to be rid of Saddam and those afraid of reprisals from radical Islamic groups, he said. Russia, too, would fear the radicals while mourning its economic loss in Iraq, and China could reassess its recent moves to join the international economy. "The most interesting and potentially fateful reaction might well be that of India, which would be tempted to apply the new principle of pre-emption to Pakistan," Mr Kissinger wrote. "It is not in the American national interest to establish pre-emption as a universal principle available to every nation," he advised. http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-me/2002/aug/13/081308001.html * SPAIN OFFICIAL CAUTIONS U.S. ON IRAQ by Barry Schweid Las Vegas Sun, from Associated Press , 13th August WASHINGTON- Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio said Tuesday a U.S. attack on Iraq was only hypothetical at this point and urged that any action to depose President Saddam Hussein be guided by international rules of law. After a briefing by Secretary of State Colin Powell on U.S. policy, the Spanish minister said "the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein." But she gave no indication President Bush was about to make a decision on whether to employ military, economic, diplomatic or other means. "This is a hypothesis that I don't think that we should address now. It's not realistic," Palacio told reporters in a joint news conference with Powell. "Having said that, Spain and the United States are committed to what I would call the rule of law in the world and the fight for the rule of law in the world, but are committed to the community of states within the United Nations," the minister said. Last week, Powell and other senior Bush administration officials met with a group of political opponents of Saddam, and Powell said Monday that further meetings would be held. He said the aim was to measure the effectiveness of the opposition elements to see whether a representative form of government could be put in place in Baghdad after Saddam. Powell said he was not sure this was possible, stressing the Bush administration was looking for successors to Saddam who "will reflect the best values of the 21st century world and not the criminal values represented by Saddam Hussein." [.....] http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/world/1535776 * SADDAM AN 'EVIL MAN,' RICE SAYS Houston Chronicle, from Associated Press, 15th August LONDON -- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice called Iraq's Saddam Hussein an "evil man" in a broadcast interview today, saying he would wreak havoc on the world if the West does nothing to stop him. In an apparent attempt to sway sagging British public support for any U.S. move to oust the Iraqi president, Rice told the British Broadcasting Corp. the U.S. believes it has a "moral case" for removing the Iraqi leader. There is mounting speculation the United States soon will launch a military campaign to remove Saddam. "This is an evil man who, left to his own devices, will wreak havoc again on his own population, his neighbors and, if he gets weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, all of us. (It) is a very powerful moral case for regime change," she told BBC radio. "We certainly do not have the luxury of doing nothing." Iraq has offered conflicting signals in recent weeks about allowing the return of U.N. weapons inspectors who have been refused access for four years after leaving in advance of U.S. and British airstrikes. Echoing President Bush, Rice said that Saddam's pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons in defiance of its disarmament pledge after the 1991 Gulf War was a powerful case for a regime change. "He has used chemical weapons against his own people and against his neighbors, he has invaded his neighbors, he has killed thousands of his own people," Rice said in the interview for the BBC's Sept. 11 anniversary radio series, "The Diplomatic Jigsaw". "He shoots at our planes, our airplanes, in the no-fly zones where we are trying to enforce U.N. security resolutions." Rice said breaking down the al-Qaida network was the priority after the Sept. 11 attacks "because we did not know how many more World Trade Centers were already planned and ready to go" but Saddam was now a focus. "Clearly if Saddam Hussein is left in power doing the things that he is doing now this is a threat that will emerge, and emerge in a very big way," she said. "History is littered with cases of inaction that led to have grave consequences for the world. We just have to look back and ask how many dictators who ended up being a tremendous global threat and killing thousands and, indeed, millions of people, should we have stopped in their tracks," she added. http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=B66A053A-3D6A-4E66 A96BA6594BADCCBA&title=Rice%20says%20US%20Morally%20Obligated%20to%20Overthr ow%20Iraqi%20Regime&catOID=45C9C78D-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C * WAR ON IRAQ IS NOT INEVITABLE by Philip Stephens Voice of America, 15th August Saddam Hussein is the right thing to do. More than that, it would allow George W. Bush to settle an old family score. George senior really should have marched on Baghdad when he had the chance back in 1991. George W can put that right. Neat. Too neat. Something's missing. It's the politics, stupid. Does George W really want to bet the White House on beating Saddam Hussein? All first-term presidents share one ambition: to stay on for another four years. There is nothing ignoble about that. If a president is really going to change things, he needs eight years in the Oval Office. For George W, though, the precedents are particularly acute. Sure, avenging the humiliation of his father implicit in Mr Hussein's hold on power more than a decade after the Gulf war would be nice. But far more important for the family's self esteem is that George W wins in November 2004. As George senior has discovered, one-term presidencies are history's footnotes, interesting mostly for what might have been. We must assume his son does not want to be remembered as the Bush family's second presidential interlude. So will putting GIs in Baghdad help George W keep hold of the White House? It is hard to say with any confidence that it will. Much easier to see how a war that went wrong, or even one that went right, could hand back the presidency to the Democrats. The angriest warriors in Washington have one thing in common. They are yesterday's politicians. The 70-year-old Donald Rumsfeld first served in his present role at the Pentagon more than 25 years ago under President Gerald Ford. The 61-year-old Mr Cheney, whose patched-up heart makes him a one-term vice-president, was defence secretary under George Bush senior. Mr Wolfowitz is another of these veterans of previous Republican administrations whose main aim in life seems to be to put right the wrongs of the past. For the president, though, history carries different lessons. His father won the war and lost the presidency. His defeat had nothing to do with the fact that Mr Hussein was still in power. Desert Storm was a great success. But the voters decided that George senior should have paid more attention to the economy. So they backed Bill Clinton. George W. has other reasons to know that victory on the battlefield does not necessarily secure the affection of the people. One of his political heroes is Winston Churchill. A bronze bust of the great British prime minister sits below one of the president's prized West Texas paintings in the Oval Office. We all know what happened to Churchill even as he basked in the glory of Britain's finest hour. An ungrateful electorate turned him out of office. The strategy of the Washington hawks, of course, has been to close down the president's options: to create a climate in which Mr Bush has no option but to invade Iraq. They are nearly, but not quite, there. Only the other day the president sought to calm some of the frenzy. War wasn't imminent, he said, and he intended to be "patient and deliberate" before proceeding against Iraq. That meant he would consult closely with America's allies - and no doubt wi th Karl Rove, the White House political strategist charged with securing his re election. Mr Bush also sought to protect his domestic flank by summoning friendly business folk to Texas to talk up prospects for the American economy. Mr Rumsfeld's response has been to ratchet up the let's-go-to-war rhetoric. Mr Cheney, meanwhile, has promised the motley band of Iraqi exiles which pretends to be a government in-exile that the US is indeed set on getting rid of Mr Hussein. You can almost hear the defence secretary and vice-president whispering in George W's ear. "You can't back down now, Mr President. Too much has been said - not least by us. The American people would say you had gone soft on terrorism." The opinion polls, though, tell a different story. Americans (and Europeans could not disagree) are certain that Mr Hussein is a bad guy. They are in favour of military action to remove him. But behind that headline judgment there is a great deal of uncertainty. Support for war falls sharply once the prospect of heavy casualties is raised. The same happens when it is suggested that America might have to fight alone. And if most Americans see Mr Hussein as a threat, they are far from sure that he represents a clear and present danger. Mr Bush, every one of the polls suggests, has yet to make the case for risking thousands of American lives on the road to Baghdad. The risks are real, pointed up in the recent hearings in Congress. No one knows what sort of fight the Iraqis would put up to defend the present regime. But if he has weapons of mass destruction, Mr Hussein would never have a better reason for using them. The prospect of house-to-house fighting in Baghdad appals military strategists. So too does the risk of an Iraqi missile attack on Israel. War against Iraq might well be seen by voters as a distraction from the task of defeating the al-Qaeda terrorist network. We still do not know the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. Western intelligence services believe the threat of another terrorist outrage is high. Iraq is a danger but a more distant one. How would the president look if al-Qaeda attacked again as he waged war against Mr Hussein? Then, of course, there are the economic risks. Even if the Middle East stayed relatively calm and the war went smoothly, the oil price could double and send middle America back into recession. George W won't have forgotten Mr Clinton's presidency-winning slogan. It's the economy, stupid. The politics of war are almost always asymmetric. Victory brings uncertain gains, defeat more predictable retribution. At some stage the US - and its allies - will certainly have to confront Mr Hussein. But as yet there has been nothing to show that the threat is immediate enough to demand his instant removal. Until that changes, war is not inevitable. Unless, of course, Mr Bush is happy to follow in his father's footsteps. NO URL (sent through list) * DON'T ATTACK SADDAM IT WOULD UNDERMINE OUR ANTITERROR EFFORTS. by Brent Scowcroft Wall Street Journal, 15th August Our nation is presently engaged in a debate about whether to launch a war against Iraq. Leaks of various strategies for an attack on Iraq appear with regularity. The Bush administration vows regime change, but states that no decision has been made whether, much less when, to launch an invasion. It is beyond dispute that Saddam Hussein is a menace. He terrorizes and brutalizes his own people. He has launched war on two of his neighbors. He devotes enormous effort to rebuilding his military forces and equipping them with weapons of mass destruction. We will all be better off when he is gone. That said, we need to think through this issue very carefully. We need to analyze the relationship between Iraq and our other pressing priorities--notably the war on terrorism--as well as the best strategy and tactics available were we to move to change the regime in Baghdad. Saddam's strategic objective appears to be to dominate the Persian Gulf, to control oil from the region, or both. That clearly poses a real threat to key U.S. interests. But there is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks. Indeed Saddam's goals have little in common with the terrorists who threaten us, and there is little incentive for him to make common cause with them. He is unlikely to risk his investment in weapons of mass destruction, much less his country, by handing such weapons to terrorists who would use them for their own purposes and leave Baghdad as the return address. Threatening to use these weapons for blackmail--much less their actual use--would open him and his entire regime to a devastating response by the U.S. While Saddam is thoroughly evil, he is above all a power-hungry survivor. Saddam is a familiar dictatorial aggressor, with traditional goals for his aggression. There is little evidence to indicate that the United States itself is an object of his aggression. Rather, Saddam's problem with the U.S. appears to be that we stand in the way of his ambitions. He seeks weapons of mass destruction not to arm terrorists, but to deter us from intervening to block his aggressive designs. Given Saddam's aggressive regional ambitions, as well as his ruthlessness and unpredictability, it may at some point be wise to remove him from power. Whether and when that point should come ought to depend on overall U.S. national security priorities. Our pre-eminent security priority--underscored repeatedly by the president--is the war on terrorism. An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counterterrorist campaign we have undertaken. The United States could certainly defeat the Iraqi military and destroy Saddam's regime. But it would not be a cakewalk. On the contrary, it undoubtedly would be very expensive--with serious consequences for the U.S. and global economy--and could as well be bloody. In fact, Saddam would be likely to conclude he had nothing left to lose, leading him to unleash whatever weapons of mass destruction he possesses. Israel would have to expect to be the first casualty, as in 1991 when Saddam sought to bring Israel into the Gulf conflict. This time, using weapons of mass destruction, he might succeed, provoking Israel to respond, perhaps with nuclear weapons, unleashing an Armageddon in the Middle East. Finally, if we are to achieve our strategic objectives in Iraq, a military campaign very likely would have to be followed by a large-scale, long-term military occupation. But the central point is that any campaign against Iraq, whatever the strategy, cost and risks, is certain to divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism. Worse, there is a virtual consensus in the world against an attack on Iraq at this time. So long as that sentiment persists, it would require the U.S. to pursue a virtual go-it-alone strategy against Iraq, making any military operations correspondingly more difficult and expensive. The most serious cost, however, would be to the war on terrorism. Ignoring that clear sentiment would result in a serious degradation in international cooperation with us against terrorism. And make no mistake, we simply cannot win that war without enthusiastic international cooperation, especially on intelligence. Possibly the most dire consequences would be the effect in the region. The shared view in the region is that Iraq is principally an obsession of the U.S. The obsession of the region, however, is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If we were seen to be turning our backs on that bitter conflict--which the region, rightly or wrongly, perceives to be clearly within our power to resolve--in order to go after Iraq, there would be an explosion of outrage against us. We would be seen as ignoring a key interest of the Muslim world in order to satisfy what is seen to be a narrow American interest. Even without Israeli involvement, the results could well destabilize Arab regimes in the region, ironically facilitating one of Saddam's strategic objectives. At a minimum, it would stifle any cooperation on terrorism, and could even swell the ranks of the terrorists. Conversely, the more progress we make in the war on terrorism, and the more we are seen to be committed to resolving the Israel-Palestinian issue, the greater will be the international support for going after Saddam. If we are truly serious about the war on terrorism, it must remain our top priority. However, should Saddam Hussein be found to be clearly implicated in the events of Sept. 11, that could make him a key counterterrorist target, rather than a competing priority, and significantly shift world opinion toward support for regime change. In any event, we should be pressing the United Nations Security Council to insist on an effective no-notice inspection regime for Iraq--any time, anywhere, no permission required. On this point, senior administration officials have opined that Saddam Hussein would never agree to such an inspection regime. But if he did, inspections would serve to keep him off balance and under close observation, even if all his weapons of mass destruction capabilities were not uncovered. And if he refused, his rejection could provide the persuasive casus belli which many claim we do not now have. Compelling evidence that Saddam had acquired nuclear-weapons capability could have a similar effect. In sum, if we will act in full awareness of the intimate interrelationship of the key issues in the region, keeping counterterrorism as our foremost priority, there is much potential for success across the entire range of our security interests--including Iraq. If we reject a comprehensive perspective, however, we put at risk our campaign against terrorism as well as stability and security in a vital region of the world. Mr. Scowcroft, national security adviser under President Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, is founder and president of the Forum for International Policy. http://www.iht.com/articles/67964.html * REPUBLICANS BREAK RANKS OVER BUSH'S IRAQ POLICY by Todd S. Purdum and Patrick E. Tyler International Herald Tribune, from The New York Times, 17th August WASHINGTON: Leading Republicans from Congress, the State Department and past administrations have begun to break ranks with President George W. Bush over his administration's high-profile planning for war with Iraq, saying the administration has neither adequately prepared for military action nor made the case that it is needed. These senior Republicans include former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to Bush's father, former President George Bush. All of them say they favor the eventual removal of Saddam Hussein, but some say they are concerned that the president is proceeding in a way that risks alienating allies, creating greater instability in the Middle East, and harming long-term American interests. They add that the administration has not shown that Iraq poses an urgent threat to the United States. At the same time, Secretary of State Colin Powell, who summoned Kissinger for a meeting Tuesday, and his advisers have decided that they should focus international discussion on how Iraq would be governed after Saddam. Powell and his aides are taking this approach not only in an effort to assure a democratic regime but also as a way to outflank administration hawks and slow the rush to war, which many in the State Department oppose. "For those of us who don't see an invasion as an article of faith but as simply a policy option, there is a feeling that you need to give great consideration to what comes after, and that unless you're prepared to follow it through, then you shouldn't begin it," a senior administration official involved in foreign policy said Thursday. In an opinion article published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, Scowcroft, who helped build the broad international coalition against Iraq in the Gulf War, warned that "an attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counterterrorist campaign we have undertaken." An attack might provoke Iraq to use chemical or biological weapons in an effort to trigger war between Israel and the Arab world, he warned. Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, said that Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, had recently told the president of their concerns about the risks and complexities of a military campaign against Iraq, especially without broad international support. But senior White House and State Department officials said they were unaware of any such meeting.Also Thursday, Lawrence Eagleburger, who was briefly secretary of state for Bush's father, told ABC News that unless Saddam "has his hand on a trigger that is for a weapon of mass destruction, and our intelligence is clear, I don't know why we have to do it now, when all our allies are opposed to it."In an opinion article published Monday in The Washington Post, Kissinger made a long and complex argument about the international complications of any military campaign, writing that American policy "will be judged by how the aftermath of the military operation is handled politically.""Military intervention should be attempted only if we are willing to sustain such an effort for however long it is needed," Kissinger added.Far from ruling out military intervention, he said the challenge was to build a careful case that the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction calls for creation of a new international security framework in which preemptive action may sometimes be justified. Through his office in New York, Kissinger relayed a message that his meeting with Powell had been scheduled before the publication of his article and was unrelated.But a State Department official said Powell had wanted Kissinger's advice on how to influence administration thinking on both Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.In The Wall Street Journal, Scowcroft wrote that if the United States "were seen to be turning our backs" on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute "in order to go after Iraq, there would be an explosion of outrage against us."He added: "There is a virtual consensus in the world against an attack on Iraq at this time. So long as that sentiment persists, it would require the U.S. to pursue a virtual go-it-alone strategy against Iraq, making any military operations correspondingly more difficult and expensive."Richard Perle, a former Reagan administration official and one of the leading hawks who has been orchestrating an urgent approach to attacking Iraq, said Thursday that Scowcroft's arguments were misguided and naive."I think Brent just got it wrong," he said. "The failure to take on Saddam after what the president said would produce such a collapse of confidence in the president that it would set back the war on terrorism."The United States and other countries have little choice but to seek the removal of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said in an interview with the BBC, citing "a very powerful moral case" for action, The Washington Post reported."This is an evil man who, left to his own devices, will wreak havoc again on his own population, his neighbors and, if he gets weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, on all of us," Rice said in the interview broadcast Thursday. "There is a very powerful moral case for regime change. We certainly do not have the luxury of doing nothing."Rice noted that after Sept. 11, the most immediate threat was Al Qaeda. But she said Saddam posed a looming threat that could not be ignored. "Clearly, if Saddam Hussein is left in power doing the things that he is doing now, this is a threat that will emerge, and emerge in a very big way," she said.Her comments represent one of the strongest and most detailed explanations by a senior U.S. official of the need to remove Saddam.Rice's remarks came in response to questions by a British reporter and do not appear to be part of a new campaign to convince U.S. allies or the American public that war is necessary or inevitable. But they offer a clear guide to the case the administration will make if Bush decides to launch a war.Rice taped the interview for a BBC special on the Sept. 11 attacks, to be broadcast Sept. 6, and the BBC released portions of the interview. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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