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[casi] FW: Iraq Resolution: Dollars, Threats Yielded Unanimous Vote

thanks again to Rick Rozoff - 'Stop NATO' - for this sickening epitaph to

Dawn (Pakistan)
November 11, 2002

Dollars yielded unanimous vote: Resolution against
By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS: Friday's unanimous vote in the UN
Security Council supporting the US resolution on
weapons inspections in Iraq was a demonstration of
Washington's ability to wield its vast political and
economic power, say observers.

"Only a superpower like the United States could have
pulled off a coup like this," an Asian diplomat told
IPS on Friday.

The unanimous 15-0 vote, he said, was obtained through
considerable political and diplomatic pressure. The
lobbying, he added, was not done at the United
Nations, but in various capitals.

Besides its five veto-wielding permanent members, the
Security Council also consists of 10 non-permanent,
rotating members who hold office for two years.

France, China and Russia, in almost a single voice,
said they decided to back the resolution because of
assurances by the United States that it would return
to the Security Council before launching a military
attack on Iraq. The resolution, they argued, does not
provide the United States with the automatic use of
military force. But the 10 non-permanent members -
Cameroon, Guinea, Mauritius, Bulgaria, Colombia,
Mexico, Singapore, Norway, Ireland and Syria - voted
under heavy diplomatic and economic pressure from the
United States.

Nine votes and no vetoes were the minimum needed to
adopt the resolution. Of the five big powers, Britain
had co-sponsored the US resolution. In a worst-case
scenario, US officials were expecting the other three
permanent members - Russia, China and France - to
abstain on the vote.

That meant the votes of the 10 non-permanent members
took on added significance. Of the 10, the two Western
nations, Ireland and Norway, were expected to vote
with the United States.

Syria, a "radical" Arab nation listed as a "terrorist
state" by the US State Department, was expected to
either vote against or abstain. So the arm-twisting
was confined mostly to the remaining seven countries,
who depend on the United States either for economic or
military aid - or both.

All these countries were seemingly aware of the fact
that in 1990 the United States almost overnight cut
about $70 million in aid to Yemen immediately
following its negative vote against a US sponsored
Security Council resolution to militarily oust Iraq
from Kuwait.

Last week, Mauritius' UN ambassador, Jagdish Koonjul,
was temporarily recalled by his government because he
continued to convey the mistaken impression that his
country had reservations about the US resolution
against Iraq.

The latest incarnation of that reality, Bennis said,
came from the island nation of Mauritius, which joined
the Security Council last year under US sponsorship.

The US aid package to the impoverished country,
authorized by the US African Growth and Opportunity
Act (AGOA), demands that the aid recipient "does not
engage in activities contrary to US national security
or foreign policy interests".

Fear of being accused of acting contrary to US foreign
policy interests plays a role "not only for Mauritius,
but also for any country dependent on US economic
assistance", added Bennis.

Colombia, one of the world's leading producer of
cocaine and an important supplier of heroin to the
U.S. market, received about $380 million in US grants
under the International Narcotics Control and Law
Enforcement (INCLE) programme this year. The proposed
amount earmarked for 2003 is $439 million.

Under the same programme, Mexico received about $10
million last year and $12 million this year. It also
received $28.2 million in US Economic Support Funds

Guinea, another of the non-permanent members in the
Security Council, received three million dollars in
outright US military grants last year and is expected
to get $20.7 million in development assistance next

Cameroon is not only entitled to receive free surplus
US weapons but also receives about $2.5 million in
annual grants for military education and training.

After Colombia, the largest single beneficiary of US
aid is Bulgaria, which received $13.5 million in
outright military grants (mostly to buy US weapons
systems) last year and an additional $8.5 million this
year. The amount earmarked for 2003 is $9.5 million.

Additionally, Bulgaria has received $69 million in aid
under a US programme called Support for East European
Democracy (SEED). Next year's proposed grant is $28

Besides Syria, Singapore is the only country in the
Security Council that does not receive economic or
military aid from the United States. But the United
States is the biggest single arms supplier to
Singapore, selling the Southeast Asian nations weapons
worth $656.3 million last year and an estimated $370
million this year.

Could any of these countries easily stand up to the
United States or refuse to fall in line with their
benefactor or military ally?

James Abourezk, a former US Senator, said he seriously
doubts that any country receiving US government aid
could withstand the economic pressure to vote for a US
resolution at the Security Council.

"It would be a tragedy," he told IPS, "if a war were
to be declared based on such pressure".-Dawn/The
InterPress News Service.

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