A difference in language used by Tony Blair and Colin Powell over the powers of a future Iraqi government has led to speculation of a split between
the two coalition nations. Blair said that Iraqis would have ultimate control over whether contraversial operations such as that undertaken by the
U.S in Fullujah would take place.Colin Powell ,on the other hand, insisted that the U.S and they alone would decide which operations were needed to
protect their troops.
A statement later released by Downing Street tried to repair any damage caused by apparently clarifying that the Prime Minister had been refering to
British troops only.
The slip ,though effectively painted over, seems to indicate a widening policy gap in this important time leading up to the 30th of June handover of
sovereignty and the crucial UN resolution that must precede it.
France and Russia who's votes or abstentions are needed for the UN resolution, which would legally end the occupation status of Iraq,are expected to
play hardball over the details.Innitially it was thought that the main sticking point would be the inclusion of a date for coalition troop withdrawal
instead of the open ended wording of the draft resolution produced by the U.S and UK which was published recently.It is unclear if the publicatoin of
the draft means that France and Russia have accepted that wording or if the publication was a tactic to try and bulldoze that wording through.
Certanly,what is known is that after a telephone conversation yesterday with President Bush,Chirac told the press that although they agreed in
principle to the draft there were still different viewpoints over some details.
One of those details now appears to be ultimate Iraqi political control over coalition military opperations.A point that the UK seems to have acceded
to while the U.S fiercely resists.
U.S intransigence on this point is understandable especially when popular public perception in the U.S and UK are compared.In the UK generally the UN
is still held in esteem and the importance of this resolution to Tony Blair can not be underestimated.Blair must have this resolution.
Bush ,on the other hand, has the luxury of a low public regard of the UN amoungst most Americans.Athough not getting a new UN resolution would be a
huge blow,Bush must believe that he can explain effectively a lack of resolution by claiming that some Security Council members were making
This would explain the differences between the UK and the U.S being seen now.The drafting of this extremely important resolution can be compared to a
dog swimming.Above the water,what we hear from the media,the dog appears to be gliding effortlessy towards the shore,below the water,in the murky
world of international diplomacy, there are frantic and desperate maneouvers just to keep afloat.
Sorry if this has turned into an OP/ED.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has insisted that US forces in Iraq will remain under American control after the 30 June handover of
Mr Powell said that while the Americans would consult the Iraqi authorities, US military units would do whatever was necessary to protect
[Edited on 26-5-2004 by John bull 1]
[Edited on 5-26-2004 by Valhall]
[Edited on 27-5-2004 by SkepticOverlord]