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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Will a new deal break the Iraq deadlock?
The United States has said it will soon submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council "with clear and immediate requirements" for Iraq if it does not co-operate with UN weapons inspections.
This comes as the five permanent members of the Security Council - China, France, Russia, the US and UK meet on Friday to try to end weeks of wrangling over the wording of any new resolution.
It is believed that the new American proposal is designed to overcome France's insistence that military action should only be used after the Security Council passes a second resolution.
Now that the US has won the support of the Russians, France is isolated and can either back down or cast its first veto against the Americans for nearly 50 years.
Can the UN deadlock over Iraq be broken?
A history teacher of mine once told me that the importance of studying history is so that we don't make the same mistakes twice. The "policy of appeasement" failed miserably with Hitler, why would it succeed with Saddam?? I realise the situation is somewhat different, but by slacking sanctions we are in effect appeasing Saddam.
Iraq began a war with Kuwait and was defeated by a coalition of forces with UN authorization. As a result of that alliance victory, terms of the surrender included inspections which were ultimately interfered with by Iraq. The use of force should already be viable under the terms of the previous. This sends a message that UN resolutions have no weight; disguised by resolution atop of resolution.
Mike, Irvine, USA
Thanks to J. Chirac, there is now a real political debate at the UN council. Each country shows its personal viewpoint and a global debate is now raging. In this very democratic and sane debate, the UK chose once again to blindly join the American position.
From selling exocets to Argentina and bombing the Rainbow Warrior, France's foreign policy has never been based upon principled morality. Chirac's obstructionism owes more to his desire to demonstrate that France still has a role in global politics and is able to wield authority rather than any ethical concern about a war on Iraq. France is a minor player on the global stage and, as such, no longer warrants its place on the Security Council.
It is said that whether or not the resolution is passed is a moot point because the US will do what it wants anyway. However, many governments have made it clear that they will only take part in war if it is endorsed by the UN. It will be a more difficult job for the US to attack Iraq without the international support enjoyed in previous Gulf Wars.
The tactics of the Bush administration are old, old hat to our weary world. The so-called developed world supposedly learned long ago that belligerence and militant nationalism are dangerous, solve nothing, and only result in escalating violence and increased animosity. Mr. Bush needs his Iraq policy to go forward to keep US citizens distracted from his disastrous handling of our economy, his support for corrupt corporations, not to mention the prize of all that Iraqi oil (how much CO2-generating capacity will that add?). I pray that the UN will stand up to the US.
I have great respect for Chirac and Putin. The UN is an agent of US, and Blair is blindly supporting Bush. UN sanctions and US actions overseas have killed more civilians than by any dictator on earth.
Let's not be innocent about this. It is about money from all sides, including the U.S. and Russia.
The US is in constant breach of international law and the atrocities it is committing against the civilian population of Iraq far exceed anything Saddam has ever done.
As a French citizen living in the USA I am so disgusted at France's long history of neutrality I can think of nothing else but dropping a citizenship that means absolutely nothing to me.
Americans are criticised when they do involve themselves in world politics but criticised even more when they don't. When will people realise that diplomacy with terrorists does not work? Delay only allows for the terrorists to regroup and strike another fragile economy like Indonesia.
Is Brendan, UK in the correct Talking Point? Saddam may be an evil, warmongering despot, but there is no evidence that he has ever engaged in international terrorism. It seems that the US administration's attempts to associate him with such acts are succeeding with some people. Unfortunately, when it comes to terrorism, the CIA does not have such a clean record as Saddam.
The only reason the US is intervening in Iraq is to create another puppet regime similar to the one in Saudi Arabia. September 11 has only provided them with an excuse by building a link between al-Qaeda and Saddam, a link that only the US government can imagine of course, since no other nation has seen it. Personal interest or not, France and Russia are defending international law. It is time for the US to go learn what international law is all about.
Chirac is just dancing around trying to avert war and preserve Saddam's tyranny because France is trying to get reconstruction contracts in Iraq. That is France's primary concern rather than the continued suffering of the Iraqi people under Saddam and his weapons. Tom, USA
I think we'll see the US military in Iraq with or without the resolution. It seems that this is just another way of making the US look like its done its bit of co operation first.
Anthony Jones, UK
I don't think Chirac is too worried, Anthony Jones. Compared to the help the US gave Saddam when he was killing Iranians, it won't amount to much.
The idea that George Bush is passionately concerned about the welfare of the Iraqi people is hilarious - has he ever met one?
Resolution, or no resolution, is it really going to make any difference? Bush has had his mind set for a long time... and it is not the UN that is going to stand in his way. When has the United Nations ever stood in the United States' way?
The deadlock can be broken if the US learns to put aside its instant gratification attitude and learns to compromise. What is wrong with the French proposal? Nothing except that France thought of the idea before the Americans. And heaven forbid the US allows itself to be outdone by anyone else.
France and Russia are only looking after their business interests. Both countries have signed lucrative oil contracts with Iraq. If Saddam Hussein is removed, their contracts will be meaningless. Their opposition to sanctions is because they can only start making money in Iraq when the sanctions are lifted. Those who believe that France and Russia are acting on behalf the Iraqi people are foolish.
The French are being their usual stubborn, pedantic selves. I simply don't see what their problem is with a single resolution that clearly warns Iraq of the pending use of force.
The UN hardly seems deadlocked. There is widespread agreement on the right course of action with Iraq. Only two countries want an all out war and regime change. The UN has to unite again US unilateralism with the UK playing a minor supporting role to the US.
Vinay Chitnis, Poona, India
It does not matter how many times we go back and forward to the UN seeking new resolutions or discussing old resolutions the US will do what IT, or more accurately, what Bush wants to do. He wants a war and he is going to instigate one regardless.
I don't think any deal is going to break this cat and mouse game deadlock. Neither side can be fully trusted in this issue from what I can make out of it. America often lets its business interests influence its foreign policies, and Iraq has a bad track record when it comes to living in peace with its neighbours.
I agree with Anthony. I have immense respect for the French politicians in the way that they are standing up for what they believe, and not getting bullied into a resolution by Bush.
I have never been a great admirer of Chirac, but I must say, on this particular issue, I am all behind him and hope he will stick to his demands and refuse any deals...
18 Oct 02 | Middle East
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