Report says a decision to attack Iraq has already been taken
Iraq-USA, Politics, 2/14/2002
The US continues to send varying signals on its readiness to attack Iraq -- a country that is described as posing strategic threats to US policy in the Middle East.
Today however, the UK Guardian daily said "US allies in the Middle East have been informed that a decision to attack Iraq has already been taken, and diplomats from the region said yesterday they were resigned to the inevitability of a war that may threaten the stability of a string of Arab regimes."
The Guardian said "The Pentagon and the CIA have begun preparations for an assault on Iraq involving up to 200,000 US troops that is likely to be launched later this year with the aim of removing Saddam Hussein from power, US and diplomatic sources told the Guardian yesterday."
The report adds that the US has concluded that its policy of containment against Iraq has failed and "that active steps should be taken to topple the Iraqi leader," adding "CIA and special forces will launch a campaign of sabotage and information warfare in the next few months."
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said earlier this week that the Bush administration has no plan for conflict with Iran, Iraq or North Korea. But, he said the administration is looking at a variety of options for regime change in Iraq, the State Department reported.
President Bush "has no plan before him right now that is a plan for a conflict," Powell said in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington February 12.
"Most people understand the president is not looking for a war, we're looking for peace. But you don't get peace by sticking your head in the sand and ignoring evil where it exists," Powell said.
The secretary said the United States seeks dialogue and peaceful solutions but will not ignore its ultimate responsibilities if diplomacy and political action are not successful.
Powell said the United States is working to improve the sanctions on the Iraqis "to make sure they do not succeed in their horrible quest to develop weapons of mass destruction."
He added the United States is examining its options with respect to regime change because the Bush administration believes "the people of the region, the people of the world, and the people of Iraq would be better off with a new regime." Powell did not elaborate on the kind of "new regime" that would replace the current one.
Worth mentioning that Iraq has said it is willing without precondition to enter into discussions with the UN over weapons' inspectors entry into the country, an issue that the US says is its main concern.
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Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction, president says
Fruitful American- Russian talks concerning Iraq
Bush administration is examining a full range of options on Iraq
Iraqi desire for dialogue with UN without any preconditions
US: Iraq is a strategic threat to implementing US policy in the Middle East
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