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     MARCH 1998      


Saddam Wins Again

Herbert Zweibon

During his mission to Baghdad, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, assured Saddam Hussein that the member-nations of the United Nations will "respect the dignity of Iraq." Dignity? As Professor Louis Beres asked in a recent essay, where was that "dignity" when the Iraqis invaded Kuwait, engaged in the mass torture and murder of Kuwaiti citizens, and fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel?

What Annan has achieved is simply to postpone the inevitable confrontation with an even stronger and more dangerous Saddam a few months or years from now.

Eight years ago, when the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait demonstrated the menace that Saddam poses to the Free World, an editorial in Outpost warned that the real threat from Baghdad lay in Saddam's desire to extend Iraq's hegemony over the entire region and appropriate the area's vast array of economic and military resources. His weapons of mass destruction were simply tools to that end.

President Clinton has yet to take any action to deal with the serious problems left by his predecessor's failure to finish off Saddam. Indeed, Clinton has made matters worse. He has endorsed tripling the amount of oil Saddam can sell, and allowed him to pursue a policy of what William Safire calls "guerrilla peace," where he uses a new version of 'salami tactics' to whittle away at the inspection teams.

While Kofi Annan was in Baghdad, an impressive bipartisan coalition of scholars, former Congressmen, and former government officials issued a letter to President Clinton, urging him to adopt a different approach to Iraq. The signatories included Stephen Solarz, formerly a liberal Democratic Congressman; former Defense Secretaries Caspar Weinberger, Frank Carlucci, and Donald Rumsfeld; former Defense Department officials and National Security Advisers such as Robert McFarlane, William Clark, Richard Allen, Fred Ikle, and Richard Perle; and New Republic editor Martin Peretz.

Their letter called for "a determined program to change the regime in Baghdad." The steps they recommended include:

* Recognizing Iraqi dissidents as Baghdad's government-in-exile and funding them with the $1.6-billion in frozen Iraqi assets in the U.S. and England;

* Restoring and enhancing the safe haven in northern Iraq, which the Iraqi dissidents could rule, and establishing a similar zone in southern Iraq from which Saddam's army would be banned;

* Lifting international sanctions specifically in the areas to be ruled by the Iraqi dissident forces;

* Indicting Saddam as a war criminal and challenging his regime's U.N. membership;

* Establishing a Radio Free Iraq to beam anti-Saddam broadasts to the Iraqi people

* Launching an air war against Saddam's Republican Guard divisions, which prop him up;

* Positioning U.S. ground forces in the region, in case they are needed.

According to the New York Times, the Central Intelligence Agency recently provided the President with a blueprint, in a similar spirit, focusing on building up an Iraqi opposition in order to overthrow Saddam.

This is the right approach. The question is whether President Clinton will follow it. There are already glimmerings of a disastrous alternative policy, namely even more pressure on Israel for further retreats, in the vain hope that this will solidify support for the U.S. in the Arab world in time for the next showdown with Saddam.

Herbert Zweibon is chairman of Americans For a Safe Israel.


Palestinian Arabs Support Saddam ...2

Woe Until Them Who Call Evil Good ...3

Strange Bedfellows ...7

The Folly of Appeasement ...8

March 1998               - 1 -               Outpost


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