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Re:[casi] UK could push for Saddam inspections deadline

Anai Rhoads wrote: "Even with the possible deadline proposed by the Ministers to
place UN inspectors back into Iraq - one has to wonder if the US will still
continue on with plans for an attack?"

I think the US has more than once stated that it doesn't care for inspections
or world opinion. This article from Reuters supports that.


U.S. Threats to Iraq Contested by Friend and Foe

August 28, 2002 05:32 PM ET

By Alistair Lyon, Middle East Diplomatic Correspondent

LONDON (Reuters) - No sooner had Donald Rumsfeld declared that the
international community would back an eventual U.S. attack on Iraq than the world
begged to differ.

"When our country does make the right judgements, the right decisions, then
other countries do cooperate and participate," the U.S. defense secretary said in
California on Tuesday.

Speaking a day after Vice President Dick Cheney had contended that the risk
of inaction on Iraq was "far greater" than the risk of action, Rumsfeld said
President Bush had not yet chosen to launch an invasion, but predicted that any
such decision would elicit broad international backing.

 No way, chorused politicians from Beijing to Berlin.

"Whether Saddam Hussein remains or is removed from power is up to the Iraqi
people," said Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, whose country was
the main launchpad for the U.S.-led forces that ended Iraq's occupation of Kuwait
in 1991.

"It has never been shown in history...that anybody removed from the outside
and another person put in instead has made for the stability of the region," he
told the BBC.

"What makes us so gullible as to think we know what is better for the Iraqi
people than the Iraqi people themselves?"

Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said his country, a NATO member whose
facilities Washington would certainly covet in the event of war, had left the
Americans in no doubt about its misgivings about any U.S.-led campaign to topple

"We have used every opportunity to tell our friends in the U.S.
administration we are opposed to military action against Iraq," Ecevit told a news
conference on Wednesday.

Turkey shares a border with Iraq and has allowed U.S. warplanes to use its
airbases to patrol a "no-fly" zone over northern Iraq in place since the end of
the 1991 Gulf War.

In the United States, officials kept up the pressure on Iraq on Wednesday.

One U.S. official said Washington will seek Saddam's ouster regardless of
whether he allows U.N. specialists to resume inspections of Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction capability, a requirement for lifting U.N. sanctions on Iraq.

"The case for regime change is broader than just WMD (weapons of mass
destruction)," the official told Reuters, speaking on condition that he not be

He called Saddam a supporter of terrorism and a threat to the region, saying
that these were also crucial parts of the U.S. case against the Iraqi leader.

Separately, the top Republican on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee,
John Warner, increased pressure on the White House to make its case for an
invasion of Iraq, saying he wants Rumsfeld to testify before the committee.


In Europe, dissenting voices rose in Germany and Britain, traditionally among
America's staunchest NATO allies.

Germany's conservative opposition unexpectedly reversed course and issued a
warning to the United States against launching a military strike on Iraq without a
U.N. mandate.

Edmund Stoiber, conservative candidate for chancellor in the September 22
election, made the about-face on Wednesday when he endorsed anti-war warnings from
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Stoiber said Cheney's remarks about a pre-emptive strike against Iraq
prompted him to issue his warning against unilateral U.S. moves. "The monopoly on
the decision and action in this question lies with the United Nations," Stoiber

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, a leader of the pacifist Greens
party, called Cheney's suggestions "highly risky and wrong."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing a major revolt within his ruling
Labour Party over his support for Bush's threats of action against Iraq, according
to a new opinion poll.

The ICM poll published in Wednesday's Guardian newspaper showed that 52
percent of Labour supporters believed Britain did not support any military action
against Iraq, which Bush has lumped into an "axis of evil" with Iran and North

China, a permanent U.N. Security Council member, said Iraq should implement
U.N. resolutions, but force was not the answer. "Using force or threats of force
is unhelpful in solving the Iraq issue and will increase regional instability and
tensions," Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan Tang was quoted as saying in a meeting
with his Iraqi counterpart Naji Sabri in Beijing.

In Tokyo, visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said
Washington was confident it could persuade skeptical allies to back military
action against Iraq.

But Kyodo news agency quoted Taku Yamasaki, secretary-general of the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party, as saying Tokyo had a duty as an ally to oppose

"If the U.S. attacks alone it will produce distrust of the United States
throughout the world. As an ally, we should oppose this," Yamasaki was quoted as

India, a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement, said its opposition to
a war on Iraq had not wavered. "There is a consistency in our policy, and it is
not going to change in the next few days or weeks," a foreign ministry official


In the Middle East, U.S. foes, or nations branded by Washington as sponsors
of international terrorism, denounced American threats against Iraq in predictably
harsher terms.

Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa Mero said his country, along with Iraq
and all Arabs, would view any U.S. strike as part of "policies that seek more U.S.
hegemony and to inflict harm not just on the people of Iraq but the Arab nation as
a whole," Syria's state media reported.

Mero, speaking during a meeting with Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin
Ramadan, called for the United Nations to resume dialogue with Iraq on applying
U.N. resolutions.

Ramadan said in Damascus that there was still room for a diplomatic way out,
but that Baghdad had to prepare for conflict because Washington did not want a
peaceful solution.

"We believe that dialogue has not totally been cut off, but it is being
blocked by American pressure," he told Reuters. "We believe dialogue is the
correct way to solve any problem."

Bush's administration accuses Baghdad of trying to acquire weapons of mass
destruction in violation of U.N. resolutions imposed after the Gulf War. Iraq says
it has dismantled all such programs and wants an end to punitive U.N. sanctions.

Iraq has refused to allow U.N. weapons inspectors into the country since a
U.S.-British bombing campaign in December 1998.

Neighboring Iran, a fellow-member of Bush's "axis of evil" reiterated its
opposition to any U.S. attack on Iraq.

President Mohammad Khatami urged an "arrogant" Washington to drop its
hostility and improve ties with Iran, saying his country would defend itself if it
too came under threat.

"We hope Iraq will not be attacked, and if this occurs we hope that (America)
will not try its luck by attacking other countries and realize that American
public opinion will not tolerate this policy for very long," Khatami said.

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