taken from www.rense.com
article site: rense.com...
US, UK, Spain Set
Monday Iraq Deadline
By James Harding and James Blitz in the Azores
The Financial Times - London
War against Iraq appeared to be all but inevitable after the leaders of the US, Britain and Spain on Sunday night set a deadline of Monday night for
fading diplomatic efforts to win United Nations support for their hardline stance.
At an emergency summit in the Azores islands in mid-Atlantic, President George W. Bush and prime ministers Tony Blair and JosČ Maria Aznar said they
would abandon the quest for a new Security Council resolution authorising military action if agreement had not been reached by the end of Monday.
"Tomorrow is a moment of truth for the world," said a sombre President George W. Bush. He said it was time for the international community to stand
by its commitment to peace and security "by supporting the immediate and unconditional disarmament of Saddam Hussein".
"We have reached the point of decision," said Mr Blair.
With bargaining at the UN over a British-sponsored resolution at a near standstill since last Friday, the hastily-arranged summit had the air of a
council of war rather than a final push for a diplomatic solution.
All the signs were that Mr Bush was readying to launch military action, possibly later this week. He spoke of US plans for rebuilding Iraq after a
war, including supplying humanitarian relief and economic support. "Clearly the president is going to have to make a very, very difficult decision
here in the next few days," said Dick Cheney, vice-president, in Washington.
The chief remaining hope for the avoidance of war appeared to be if Mr Hussein agreed to go into exile, something to date he has shown no sign of
accepting. "If Saddam Hussein and his sons and a number of other leaders leave . . . war can certainly be avoided," said Colin Powell, US secretary
War would be the riskiest venture of Mr Bush's presidency. But it poses a huge immediate political threat to Mr Blair, Mr Bush's closest
international ally. He needed a new UN resolution to overcome widespread domestic opposition to war and avert a damaging rebellion within his own
The chances of a last-minute agreement at the UN appeared slim. Britain has made little headway in the push for a second resolution setting a deadline
of days for Iraq to disarm - in compliance with last November's resolution 1441 - since France said it would veto the proposals "whatever the
France, Russia and Germany issued a joint statement ahead of the Azores summit saying there remained room for diplomacy - and warning against force.
Jacques Chirac, French president, signalled in an interview with US television that he would be prepared to shorten the deadline for Iraq to disarm to
as little as 30 days. He called for a meeting of foreign ministers at the Security Council today to discuss the issue. France had earlier suggested a
But the proposal was abruptly dismissed by US officials who said giving Mr Hussein any more time would make no difference. "Right now I don't see
what purpose is to be served by another meeting when the disagreements are so fundamental," said Mr Powell. "Iraq is playing the United Nations and
playing some of our friends in the permanent membership of the Security Council like a fiddle."
The military build-up continued over the weekend. US officials insisted they were ready for action if ordered with 225,000 US and more than 40,000
British troops massed mainly in and around Kuwait. A total of 1,000 warplanes and 130 warships are also in place to join any attack.
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We shall see eh?
I imagine the Bush Clan is ready and tapping their toes