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Archbishop of Canterbury issues warning on Iraq
(Stephen Bates, The Guardian, July 24, 2002)
The words of the man who is is to become Archbishop of Canterbury later this year, in succession to George Carey, are likely to have wide resonance since, as head of the 70 million-strong worldwide Anglican communion, he will have oversight of the US Episcopalian church, whose members include many members of the US political establishment. . . . "I would only support military action that the UN had cleared. As far as Iraq is concerned, I want to contribute to the discussions before decisions are made."
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posted by Lorenzo 5:18 PM
U.S. may be Sowing the Seeds of Worldwide Anarchy
(The Indedpedent, 21 July 2002)
US preparations for an attack continue in almost surreal disregard of what is happening elsewhere in the Middle East. The connection between Arab fury over Israel's treatment of the Palestinians and Arab reluctance to back the attack on one of their fellows is ignored; so too is the likelihood that an unprovoked attack on a Muslim country will merely fuel the existing resentment of America within parts of the Islamic world. . . . There is no real public discussion . . . Instead there are leaks. Almost every week brings more of them. Some suggest a massive air and land assault involving 250,000 or more troops; others point to an "Afghan" campaign, relying on aerial bombardment, special forces infiltration . . . The overall message, though, is unmistakable: that planning for Gulf War II, of which the administration was talking even before 11 September, is now at an advanced stage. . . . America is now claiming the right to attack before it is attacked – a concept extending far beyond the right of self-defence enshrined in Article 51 of the United Nations charter, and amounting to carte blanche for Washington to intervene as and when it chooses. . . . But if the US can do that, why cannot any other country with a score to settle? A number of states used the American war on terror as an excuse to act aggressively against old rivals last year. "Pre-emptive response" could easily be a recipe for anarchy. . . . Since 11 September, the concept of America as a "New Jerusalem" with its age-old sense of manifest destiny has been merging with America as a militarily irresistible "New Rome". Put more simply, America believes it is right, and is in no mood to let anyone stop it.
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posted by Lorenzo 5:00 PM
US 'to attack Iraq via Jordan' within months
(Jason Burke, Martin Bright, & Nicolas Pelham, The Observer, July 7, 2002)
Although leaked Pentagon documents appear to show that Turkey, Kuwait and the small Gulf state of Qatar would play key roles, it is believed that Jordan will be the 'jumping-off' point for an attack that could involve up to 250,000 American troops and forces from Britain and other key US allies. . . . Jordan, with good roads and communications, would be perfect for the launch of an American armoured force, military analysts say. Its capital, Amman, is linked to Baghdad by a 600-mile motorway that cuts through a virtually featureless desert - perfect terrain for US tanks and high-precision air-launched munitions. . . . Iraqi dissidents in Amman have told The Observer that hundreds of American advisers have arrived in Jordan in the past few months. . . . News of a military build-up coincides with a US attempt to wean Jordan from its deep economic ties with Iraq, and some observers see a growing military role for Jordan in the country once ruled by its Hashemite royal family. . . . Jordan will pay a heavy price for co-operating with an attack. 'A US strike against Iraq will increase the influence of radicals [in Jordan],' said former Prime Minister Taher al-Masri. 'The feeling that the US is an enemy will be enhanced.'
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posted by Lorenzo 11:48 AM
U.S. Plan for Iraq Is Said to Include Attack on 3 Sides
(Eric Schmitt, The New York Times, July 4, 2002)
The document envisions tens of thousands of marines and soldiers probably invading from Kuwait. Hundreds of warplanes based in as many as eight countries, possibly including Turkey and Qatar, would unleash a huge air assault against thousands of targets, including airfields, roadways and fiber-optics communications sites. . . . None of the countries identified in the document as possible staging areas have been formally consulted about playing such a role, officials said . . . the concept for such a plan is now highly evolved and is apparently working its way through military channels. Once a consensus is reached on the concept, the steps toward assembling a final war plan and, most importantly, the element of timing for ground deployments and commencement of an air war, represent the final sequencing that Mr. Bush will have to decide. . . . senior administration officials continue to say that any offensive would probably be delayed until early next year, allowing time to create the right military, economic and diplomatic conditions. . . . Nonetheless, there are several signs that the military is preparing for a major air campaign and land invasion. . . . After running dangerously low on precision-guided bombs during the war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has said it has stepped up production of critical munitions. The Air Force is stockpiling weapons, ammunition and spare parts, like airplane engines, at depots in the United States and in the Middle East. . . . By emphasizing a large American force, the document seems to reflect a view that a successful campaign would require sizable conventional forces staging from Kuwait, or at least held in reserve there. . . . Any mention of using bases in Saudi Arabia, from which the United States staged the bulk of the airstrikes in the gulf war, is conspicuously missing from the document, said an official familiar with the briefing slides.
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posted by Lorenzo 9:41 AM