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[ Converted text/html to text/plain ] Gaps Widen Within Security Council over Iraq Tuesday, January 21 2003 @ 10:34 AM GMT "A week ahead of a report from arms inspectors that could set the stage for military action, Washington and London warned time was running out for Baghdad .." UNITED NATIONS - Differences appeared to widen Tuesday, January 21, among key members of the UN Security Council over how to deal with Iraq, while support for war with Iraq amongst Britons fell to its lowest level yet. However, the U.S. and Britain intensified their military build-up in the region, with the British press seeing war “looming”. (image) "The size and scale of the allied force being deployed has reinforced the growing consensus of the inevitability of an impending war on Iraq," Independent A week ahead of a report from arms inspectors that could set the stage for military action, Washington and London warned time was running out for Baghdad to comply with demands it dismantle its weapons of mass destruction. However, France said nothing would justify an immediate attack, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP). France suggested Monday it would wage a major diplomatic fight, including possible use of its veto power, to prevent the U.N. Security Council from passing a resolution authorizing military action (against Iraq), according to the Washington Post. France's opposition to a war, emphatically delivered by Villepin, is a major blow for the Bush administration, which has begun pouring tens of thousands of troops into the Gulf region in preparation for a military conflict this spring. The administration had hoped to mark the final phase in its confrontation with Iraq when U.N. weapons inspectors deliver a progress report Monday, January 27, the Post said. However, in what the U.S. daily described as “a diplomatic version of ambush”, France and other countries used a high-level Security Council meeting on terrorism Monday, to lay down their markers for the debate that will commence next week on the inspectors' report. Russia and China, which have veto power, and Germany, which will chair the Security Council in February, also signaled today they were willing to let the inspections continue for months. "If war is the only way to resolve this problem, we are going down a dead end," Villepin told reporters. "Already we know for a fact that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs are being largely blocked, even frozen. We must do everything possible to strengthen this process." The United Nations, he said, should stay "on the path of cooperation. The other choice is to move forward, out of impatience over a situation in Iraq, towards military intervention. We believe that today nothing justifies envisaging military action." In the face of such comments, U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, departed from his prepared text on terrorism and implored his colleagues to remember that the Security Council resolution passed unanimously Nov. 8 gave Iraq "a last chance" to meet its obligations. "We must not shrink from our duties and our responsibilities when the material comes before us next week," Powell said. He used a variation of the phrase "must not shrink" three more times as he addressed the council, the daily reported. China, another permanent member, said the inspectors should be given more time, insisting the report they are to present January 27 on the first two months of work should be seen as "a new beginning," not the end of the process. Russia, also a permanent member and a traditional Iraq ally, supports the same position. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, however, identified Iraq as "the leading rogue state" offering weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. "Let us make no mistake, if they can get their hands on such weapons, they will use them," he said. However, the United Nations' atomic agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei plans to tell the UN Security Council next week that weapons inspectors in Iraq are only halfway done with their mission. "We will report to the Security Council that the inspection is in mid course," ElBaradei told reporters Monday after meeting with Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, whose country currently holds the rotating six-month EU presidency. British Support for War Hits Bottom Level "The size and scale of the allied force being deployed has reinforced the growing consensus of the inevitability of an impending war on Iraq," Independent In another sign of war chances losing ground, at least, on the popular level, a public opinion poll published Tuesday suggested that support for war with Iraq amongst Britons has fallen to its lowest level yet. Just 30 percent of those quizzed by ICM (British) polling company said they would approve of a war - down six points from a similar poll four weeks ago and lower than at any point since the company began testing opinion on the subject in August. Some 47 percent said they opposed a war, up three points over the same period. Only 10 percent said they would support military action if it was launched without the backing of the United Nations. Despite British government insistence that a second Security Council resolution would not be needed for war, some 81 percent said they would oppose the use of force without a fresh UN mandate. ICM interviewed 1,002 adults between January 17 and 19. War Looming: British Press However, British press commentators said Tuesday that the mobilization of a quarter of Britain's army to join U.S. forces in the Gulf means that war with Iraq is increasingly likely. "The momentum of military deployment means time is fast running out," the Independent reported, after Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon told the House of Commons that some 30,000 troops would be heading to the Gulf in the next few weeks. "The size and scale of the allied force being deployed has reinforced the growing consensus of the inevitability of an impending war on Iraq," the newspaper said. The right-wing Daily Telegraph noted that the numbers being mobilized were far greater than expected, and matched the British force which saw action in the Gulf War in 1991. The Guardian said that the mobilization is the "clearest sign yet that (the British government) believes the U.S. is preparing to call time on the UN weapons inspectors' mission and launch an invasion." The size of the force reflects "the Pentagon's advice that as large a force as possible is needed to give the military a wide range of options for an invasion of Iraq," the left-wing newspaper reported. Britain's military commanders are determined that if Prime Minister Tony Blair sends his troops and decides to go to war, "Britain's contribution must be more than a token one," it added. According to a commentary in the paper, London has pushed for a highly visible role in any campaign despite the Pentagon's request for "light" British forces. "You really share the burden, you take risks and not just on the periphery," said a senior military source, quoted in the article. US Trying To Kill Saddam Hussein: report In a separate related development, the daily U.S.A. Today reported the United States is vigorously trying to track and possibly kill Saddam Hussein with a military campaign that includes special forces troops and intelligence operatives inside Iraq. The report, citing unnamed intelligence officials, said the effort to “get Saddam” involves Central Intelligence Agency paramilitary units, special forces troops, satellite imagery, radio intercepts and airborne reconnaissance. It is part of a strategy designed to either convince Saddam to leave power, or provide options for ousting him, the daily said. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Monday condemned Saddam Hussein as the world's most deadly living dictator. "No other living dictator has shown the same deadly combination of capability and intent, of aggression against his neighbors, pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, the use of chemical weapons against his own people as well as against his neighbors," Rumsfeld told a gathering of army reserve leaders Monday. Yemen Warns against Saddam Exile In Sana'a, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh warned that sending Saddam Hussein into exile would create a "dangerous precedent". "The question of deposing the regime or the leadership in Iraq would set a dangerous precedent and it's irresponsible to consider the possibility of the leadership going," Saleh told students at Sana'a university late Monday. Plots to exile senior Iraqi officials were a "flagrant interference in the affairs of a Muslim Arab country," he added, quoted by the official SABA news agency. "In Yemen we totally reject any interference in the affairs of Iraq. "If there is a unilateral war, the UN will have to close and leave all countries, big or small, without any protection," Saleh said. The Yemeni leader said "the deployment of (U.S.) troops in the region is the work of the Jewish lobby to turn public opinion away from the massacres (of Palestinians) ... carried out by the government of (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon." Saleh urged Arabs and Muslims to tell the United States, "No to a war against Iraq, yes to the dispatch of international protection for the Palestinian people." Iraq categorically rejects Saddam's exile to avert war, but Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has said the possibility could be raised at a regional conference of Egypt, Jordan, Iran and Saudi Arabia set to be held shortly in Turkey. -[IslamOnline & News Agencies (islamonline.net).] Published at the Palestine Chronicle. http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20030121103452580&mode=print 82% Vote U.S. Greatest Danger to World Peace: Time Tuesday, January 21 2003 @ 11:11 AM GMT "The answer came as a severe blow to Bush’s policies, seen by many observers as very dangerous, not just to world peace, but also to humanity itself .." WASHINGTON - More than 82.6% of those who replied to the question: who really poses the greatest danger to world peace, chose the United States of America, not Iraq or even North Korea, the open, international poll was conducted by the U.S. weekly magazine Time, Monday, January 20. (image) The answer came as a severe blow to Bush’s policies, seen by many observers as very dangerous The weekly started its website poll with a few paragraphs saying: “Iraq and North Korea are certainly high on President Bush’s list though Iraq is still working hard to deny him a reason to attack. “A 12,000-page report on its nuclear, chemical and biological programs has been given to the United Nations but Bush and his dependable friend Tony Blair say they have “solid evidence” that Saddam is lying and have called for weapons inspection teams to step up their work. “Meanwhile, as the fuel rods go in and U.N. inspectors go away, the specter of a nuclear-armed North Korea is keeping the reclusive regime on everybody’s radar. “Washington and Pyongyang are talking tough but is the biggest danger to peace closer to home? “European antagonism towards Bush’s robust stance is now being mirrored in the U.S., with even those he might normally consider his allies now urging caution. “So, TIME asks you: which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?” The answer came as a severe blow to Bush’s policies, seen by many observers as very dangerous, not just to world peace, but also to humanity itself. North Korea, a nation that declared its nuclear ambitions defiantly, with some analysts asserting the Stalinist state already possesses nukes, may be cornered to launch a pre-emptive strike against the 37000 strong U.S. force stationed in South Korea, according to observers. Such an attack is sure to send not just the future but also the very existence of humanity into deep doubts. According to the Time poll, Iraq came very far second ( as a danger to world peace), with just 9.4% of the votes, while North Korea came third with 8.2%. -[IslamOnline & News Agencies (islamonline.net).] Published at the Palestine Chronicle. http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20030121111132127&mode=print * -- _______________________________________________ Sign-up for your own FREE Personalized E-mail at Mail.com Meet Singles ===References:=== 1. http://palestinechronicle.com/ 2. http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20030121103452580&mode=print 3. http://palestinechronicle.com/ 4. http://palestinechronicle.com/article.php?story=20030121111132127&mode=print 5. http://www.mail.com/?sr=signup 6. http://corp.mail.com/lavalife _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. 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