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[casi] France may use veto; 82% see US as greatest threat to world peace

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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”.
"The size and scale of the
allied force being deployed
has reinforced the growing
consensus of the inevitability
of an impending war on Iraq,"
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
Russia, also a permanent member and a traditional Iraq ally, supports the same
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
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,"
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
"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
"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
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
"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
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
-[IslamOnline & News Agencies (] Published at the Palestine

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.
The answer came as a severe
blow to Bush’s policies, seen
by many observers as very
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
“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
“So, TIME asks you: which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in
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 (] Published at the Palestine

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