Al Gore criticizes Bush plans on Iraq
US President George W. Bush's rival in the 2000 presidential election has warned that America's enemies "will be legion" if it embarks on the path of seeking world dominance instead of partnership and cooperation.
Former US vice president Al Gore issued his warning three days after Bush unveiled a national security strategy that calls for ensuring US military dominance in the world.
"If what America represents to the world is leadership in a commonwealth of equals, then our friends are legion," Gore said. "If what we represent to the world is an empire, then it is our enemies who will be legion."
The former vice president added he was deeply concerned by what the new strategy meant in view of the administration's intention to oust Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein. "To begin with, the doctrine is presented in open-ended terms, which means that if Iraq is the first point of application it is not necessarily the last," he warned.
According to AFP, he claimed that the very logic of the strategy disclosed by the White House suggested a string of military engagements against a succession of sovereign states such as Syria, Libya, North Korea and Iran.
"It also means that if the Congress approves the Iraq resolution just proposed by the administration, it would be simultaneously creating the precedent for preemptive action anywhere, anytime this or any future president, as a single individual, albeit head of state, decides that it is time," Gore said.
Gore questioned President Bush's strategic priorities, saying that the course of action the United States was presently pursuing with respect to Iraq could seriously jeopardize the US "war against terrorism".
Washington should first focus on tracking down the leaders of the al-Qaeda network and eliminating the terrorist threat to the United States before embarking on a risky new campaign, he said. "If we end the war in Iraq the way we ended the war in Afghanistan, we could easily be worse off than we are today," Gore said.
In his speech on the Iraq situation, Gore accused Bush of abandoning the goal of a world where nations follow laws. "That concept would be displaced by the notion that there is no law but the discretion of the president of the United States," he said. "If other nations assert the same right, then the rule of law will quickly be replaced by the reign of fear," and any nation that perceives itself threatened would feel justified in starting wars, he said.
Gore stated the lack of support for an attack on Iraq by US allies could shatter the international coalition Bush drew together last year to fight terrorism following the deadly September 11 attacks. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)