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[] Independent 04.10.02: Nato used the same old trick,

Robert Fisk:
Nato used the same old trick when it made Milosevic an offer he could only 

04 October 2002

It's the same old trap. Nato used exactly the same trick to ensure that it 
could have a war with Slobodan Milosevic. Now the Americans are demanding 
the same of Saddam Hussein  buried well down in their list of demands, of 
course. Tell your enemy that you're going to need his roads and 
airspace  with your troops on the highways  and you destroy his 
sovereignty. That's what Nato demanded of Serbia in 1999. That's what the 
new UN resolution touted by Messrs Bush and Blair demands of Saddam 
Hussein. It's a declaration of war.

It worked in 1999. The Serbs accepted most of Nato's Interim Agreement for 
Peace and Self-government in Kosovo, but not Appendix 8, which insisted 
that "Nato personnel shall enjoy ... free and unimpeded passage and 
unimpeded access throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."

It was a demand that Mr Milosevic could never accept. US troops driving 
through Serbia would have meant, in these circumstances, the end of 
Yugoslav sovereignty.

But now we have the draft UN resolution which Presidents Bush and Blair 
insist the UN must pass. Arms inspection teams, it says, "shall have the 
right to declare for the purposes of this resolution ... ground and 
air-transit corridors which shall be enforced by UN security forces or by 
members of the UN [Security] Council".

In other words, Washington can order forces of the US (a Security Council 
member) to "enforce" these "corridors" through Iraq  on the ground  when it 
wants. US troops would thus be in Iraq. It would be invasion without war; 
the end of Saddam, "regime change", the whole shebang.

No Iraqi government  even a Baghdad administration without the odious 
Saddam  could ever accept such a demand. Nor could Serbia have accepted 
such a demand from Nato, even without the odious Slobodan. Which is why the 
Serbs and Nato went to war.

So here it is again, the same old "we've-got-be-able-to-drive 
through-your-land" mentality which forced the Serbs into war and which is 
clearly intended to produce the same from Saddam.

America wants a war and here's the proof: if the United States truly wished 
to avoid war, it could demand "unfettered access" for inspectors without 
this sovereignty-busting paragraph, using it as a second resolution only if 
the presidential palaces of the Emperor Saddam remained off-limits.

Saddam can open his country to the inspectors; he can open even his 
presidential palaces. But if he doesn't accept the use of "Security 
Council" forces  in other words, US troops  on Iraqi roads, we can go to 
war. There's also that other paragraph: that "any permanent member of the 
Security Council may request to be represented on any inspection team." In 
other words, the Americans can demand that their intelligence men can 
return to become UN inspectors, to pass on their information to the 
Israelis (which they did before) and to the US military, which used them as 
forward air controllers for their aircraft once the inspectors were withdrawn.

All in all, then, a deal which President Saddam  yes, Saddam the wicked, 
Saddam the torturer, Saddam the lover of gas warfare  could never, ever accept.

He's not meant to accept this. Which is why the Anglo-American draft for 
the UN is intended to give us war, rather than peace and security from 
weapons of mass destruction.

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