Euro-Troika Threaten To Veto US War Plans
By Selwyn Manning Scoop Deputy Editor
France, Germany and Russia said today they will block any US attempt to get UN approval for war against Iraq. The announcement came after an emergency meeting in Paris and caused a diplomatic crisis between the White House and Europe.
United States Secretary of State Colin Powell has demanded that the United Nations security council make its position clear when member countries vote on the US-Iraq crisis next week.
In any event, Powell insisted that the United States has the right to strike pre-emptively and solely irrespective of the outcome of next week’s security council meeting.
In Paris, diplomats said it was increasingly likely that France and Russia would veto the resolution in an attempt to assert their independence and show that other powers, and not just the USA, must have influence in global affairs.
Within hours, Powell spoke to the US-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies. There, he said his problem with the position of the European troika is that they have failed to recognize that Saddam still has not made a decision to comply with Security Council demands.
White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer was asked what the US President’s position was on hearing the threat. Fleischer said today: “I think the best way to understand the President's point of view is, he created this process in the first place by asking the United Nations to get involved. And he's pleased they have gotten involved. He hopes they will play a productive role. But whether they agree or disagree, the President is determined to protect peace by making certain that one way or another, Saddam Hussein is disarmed.”
With the UN Security Council bitterly divided on war and peace in Iraq, Britain, with its isolated and almost broken Prime Minister Tony Blair, is working on a compromise that would give Baghdad more time to account for any weapons of mass destruction, diplomats reported.
The heart of the British proposals are to leave time between authorizing war, as the resolution is now intended, and actually going to war, leaving "a window for a last turn around by Iraq," diplomat reportedly said.
The European troika of France, Germany and Russia have remained solidly determined to scuttle UN endorsement for a United States and Britain led war against Iraq – the tri-partite pact bonded stronger after US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the countries as the old Europe and less significant to the United States’ foreign policy.
Bush US President George Bush is cornered politically and expectation is rife that he is ready and determined to strike. Bush has discussed a possible timeline for war with his congressional leaders and held a meeting with his National Security Council to discuss strategy. The Hawks gathered at the White House included: Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who would command U.S. forces against Iraq, attended with Powell, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, and Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.
The United States
and Britain have almost 300,000 troops stationed and ready
to strike in the Persian Gulf region.