Cablegate: Media Reaction Iraq; Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Under headline "War on Iraq a threat to world peace
and security" the independent "Daily News" dedicated its
January 9 editorial to discouraging the United States from
using force against Iraq, saying "going to war with Iraq
does definitely endanger world peace because it has the
potential to spark a Third World War." Excerpts:

2. "Since the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York's
World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington,
the U. S. Government has, through its `war against
terrorism' campaign, behaved as if it is entitled to
attack any country it perceives to pose a threat to
its own security, and to a lesser degree, that of
the world at large. Its military campaign against
the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was a direct
response to what was obviously an embarrassing
humiliation for a country that is the undisputed
superpower of the world in both economic and
military terms. It has been said that the manner in
which the U. S. security apparatus was caught
napping on 11 September 2001 was almost like a re-
enactment of its Pearl Harbor humiliation by Japan
nearly 62 years ago. Opinions vary on the success
or otherwise of Washington's Afghanistan campaign,
especially considering that the U. S. failed in what
was its second biggest mission: to capture, dead or
alive, Osama bin Laden, believed to be the chief
architect of the 11 September infamy. But that,
perhaps, is neither here nor there as the U. S.
probably found sufficient consolation in its success
in removing from power one of the most intolerant
regimes ever to rule an Asian country. It must have
been that success which gave George W. Bush the idea
that might was right and that the U. S. was
entitled, as the world's only superpower, to remove
from office any individual or regime that refused to
do its bidding.

3. "The U. S. administration's obsession with removing
Saddam Hussein from power through the use of force
smacks of that same notion - might is right. This
has not always been true and Bush must be quickly
disabused of that notion. It is a dangerous idea
that seriously threatens world peace. And British
Prime Minister Tony Blair's strangely enthusiastic,
almost lavish, support for that idea is deplorable,
to say the least. Former South African President
Nelson Mandela may no longer be in power, but the
fact remains that he is probably still the most
respected opinion maker in the world. And Mandela
has come out openly against America's dangerous
ultimatum that it will attack Iraq unless it
satisfies itself that all plants in that country
suspected to be used to produce weapons of mass
destruction are dismantled. No sane person could
argue in favor of Iraq being allowed to produce
those weapons, especially given Saddam's
questionable judgment of events in the past.
Nevertheless, cognizance must be taken of the real
danger to world peace that an attack on Iraq might
pose. While Iraq's weapons production program may
constitute a danger, real or imagined, to the U. S.
's national security, it does not necessarily follow
that it poses a danger to world peace. On the other
hand, if the chilling truth be told, going to war
with Iraq does definitely endanger world peace
because it has the potential to spark a Third World
War. So far, only the British government has come
out openly in full support of Bush's declared
intention to wage war against Iraq. No other nation
has shown much enthusiasm over the idea. And all
indications are that public opinion in both Britain
and the U. S. is largely against the idea. That
fact alone, if nothing else, should have been
sufficient to make both Bush and Blair reconsider
their positions on Iraq. . .There must be other
means, other than going to war, of ensuring that
Iraq does not produce those weapons."


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