Report: US Plans to Topple Saddam Hussein Underway
The move of pursuing the war against international terrorism to Iraq and Saddam Hussein has gained important support in recent weeks both inside the Bush administration and among some major allies in the Islamic world, according to administration officials and diplomats from the region, The New York Times reported in its Tuesday editions. According to this report, US President Bush's senior national security advisers have made no recommendation to strike Iraq. But serious consideration to topple President Saddam Hussein, and planning how to do so, are under way in the State Department and at the Pentagon, officials said.
Most Arab governments share the US view that toppling the Iraqi president Saddam Hussein could much improve stability of the region. But there is little public support for watching the United States hit another Islamic nation. The New York Times reports that Arab regimes believe that the US priority in the Middle East should be halting the bloodshed between the Israelis and the Palestinians rather than trying to rewrite the end of the Persian Gulf war more than a decade after President Hussein's government survived in Baghdad.
"Most countries would like to see Saddam go," said one senior Egyptian official. "But attacking Iraq will not solve the problem of Saddam Hussein. It will just attract sympathy for him." Many Arabs accuse Washington for Palestinian killings because it supplies advanced weapons to Israel, and also see America as the prime factor behind the embargo that have brought hardship to the Iraqi citizens. If more Iraqis die under American bombs, many in the region project, radical Arabs will gain more popularity and American allies will feel undermined.
"It will add to the frustration and anger that is rampant in the Middle East," said Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League told the New York Times. "If you continue to pressure people and act regardless of the feelings of people, you shouldn't blame them if they oppose the United States."
Gen. Wafiq Sumarahi, the former head of Iraqi military intelligence who defected in 1994 and at presentlives in Europe, stated he thought the 400,000- member armed forces might rebel if there were clear-cut statements from the outset that Saddam Hussein, and not the military, was the target.
"When you declare this intention clearly, this would make most of the commanders cooperate with this plan against Saddam," the general said. "But if you say you want to destroy the weapons of mass destruction and some targets within Iraq and Saddam would remain after that, not one of the military commanders would help." (Albawaba.com)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)