News



      DATE=2/19/98
      TYPE=WORLDWIDE ENGLISH FEATURE
    NUMBER=7-18014
     TITLE=CONFLICT RESOLUTION: IRAQ -- THE DIPLOMATIC OPTION
    BYLINE=JUDITH LATHAM
 TELEPHONE=619-3464
  DATELINE=WASHINGTON
    EDITOR=GARY EDQUIST

CONTENT = (TAPE CUTS IN AUDIO SERVICES)

INTRO:   OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS, THE WORLD HAS WITNESSED A 
         BREAKDOWN IN DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS AT RESOLVING THE ISSUE 
         OF U-N INSPECTIONS OF WEAPONS SITES IN IRAQ.  PRESIDENT 
         CLINTON HAS SAID HE WOULD USE FORCE IF IRAQ DOES NOT 
         "SOON" AGREE TO "FREE, FULL, UNFETTERED ACCESS TO THOSE 
         SITES."  THERE HAS BEEN A NATIONAL DEBATE OVER THE 
         WISDOM OF MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ.  VOA'S JUDITH 
         LATHAM HAS TALKED WITH TWO MIDDLE EAST EXPERTS ABOUT THE
         CHANCES OF RESOLVING THE CONFLICT WITH DIPLOMACY.  
         HERE'S _____ WITH A REPORT.

TEXT:    MARY-JANE DEEB [DEEB], EDITOR OF THE "MIDDLE EAST 
         JOURNAL" AND PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AT 
         AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN WASHINGTON, D-C, BELIEVES THERE 
         IS "STILL A CHANCE FOR A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION."  SHE SAYS
         THAT CHANCE LIES WITH KOFI ANNAN, SECRETARY GENERAL OF 
         THE UNITED NATIONS, WHO WILL SOON BE MEETING [EDS: ANNAN
         ARRIVES IN BAGHDAD FRIDAY] IN BAGHDAD WITH SADDAM 
         HUSSEIN AND OTHER IRAQI OFFICIALS. 

TAPE:    CUT ONE -- DEEB (0:24)

         "THE SECRETARY GENERAL HAS BEEN PUSHING ALL ALONG FOR A 
         DIPLOMATIC RESOLUTION.  HE'S ALSO SAID THAT HE WOULD NOT
         GO TO BAGHDAD IF HE THOUGHT THERE WAS NO HOPE FOR SUCH A
         SOLUTION.  SO, THE FACT THAT HE'S GOING WITH THE 
         BLESSING OF THE FIVE PERMANENT MEMBERS OF THE SECURITY 
         COUNCIL IS A SIGN THAT A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION IS STILL 
         POSSIBLE."

TEXT:    PROFESSOR DEEB SAYS WHETHER OR NOT USING MILITARY FORCE 
         IS JUSTIFIED IS A "MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE."  

TAPE:    CUT TWO -- DEEB (1:14)

         "FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE UNITED STATES, THE FACT 
         THAT AFTER 7 YEARS THERE ARE STILL WEAPONS OF MASS 
         DESTRUCTION BEING FOUND, THERE IS STILL THE POSSIBILITY 
         THAT HE [SADDAM] IS INCREASING HIS STOCK OF SUCH WEAPONS
         JUSTIFIES AN ATTACK, WHICH SIGNIFIES THE WEARINESS OF 
         THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WITH THE DIPLOMATIC APPROACH
         TO THIS PROBLEM OF PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF MASS 
         DESTRUCTION. AND, IN THE ARAB WORLD, AN ATTACK IS SEEN 
         AS COMPLETELY UNJUSTIFIED. THE GENERAL FEELING IS THAT 
         PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY SUFFERED SIGNIFICANTLY FROM 7 
         YEARS OF SANCTIONS SHOULD NOT BE BOMBED BECAUSE THAT 
         WOULD SIMPLY INCREASE THE INJUSTICE OF WHAT IS SEEN AS 
         BEFALLING THE IRAQI PEOPLE, [OPT] WHO HAVE NOT ELECTED 
         SADDAM AND WHO HAVE NOT CHOSEN HIM AS THEIR LEADER AND 
         WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ASKED WHETHER THEY WANT OR THEY DON'T 
         WANT THE U-N INSPECTORS.  SO, FOR THEM TO PAY THE PRICE 
         WOULD BE SEEN AS A VERY GRAVE INJUSTICE IN THE ARAB 
         WORLD. [END OPT] SO, DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU STAND, IT 
         MAY OR MAY NOT BE JUSTIFIED TO USE FORCE."

TEXT:    PROFESSOR DEEB SAYS THAT, FROM A STRATEGIC POINT OF 
         VIEW, A DIPLOMATIC RESOLUTION TO THE CONFLICT IS VASTLY 
         PREFERABLE TO A MILITARY ONE.

TAPE:    CUT THREE -- DEEB (1:24)

         "IF THE BOMBING IS MEANT TO FORCE SADDAM TO COMPLY WITH 
         THE U-N RESOLUTION AND ALLOW INSPECTORS TO VISIT 
         UNRESTRICTED ANY SITE THEY WISH TO, BOMBING IRAQ WILL 
         HAVE THE OPPOSITE EFFECT.  SADDAM WILL PROBABLY SAY, 
         'WELL THEN, FINE, NO MORE INSPECTIONS, AND ALL THE 
         INSPECTORS OUT FROM HERE!'   THE RESULT IS THAT THE 
         PRESENT LEVEL OF CONTROL THAT WE HAVE OVER THE 
         PRODUCTION OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION -- CHEMICAL 
         AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS -- WE WILL LOSE.  HITTING A FEW 
         PALACES MAY NOT ACHIEVE ANYTHING STRATEGICALLY.  AND 
         THIRD, IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, THE GOAL IS TO OVERTHROW 
         THE REGIME OF SADDAM HUSSAIN. BOMBING HIM FROM THE AIR 
         IS CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO DO THAT. ALL MILITARY EXPERTS 
         WILL TELL YOU THAT IN ORDER TO OVERTHROW THE REGIME, YOU
         NEED GROUND FORCES, AND I DON'T THINK ANYONE IS 
         ADVOCATING SENDING GROUND FORCES.  SO, THE BOTTOM LINE 
         IS, NONE OF THESE OBJECTIVES CAN BE ACHIEVED BY BOMBING.
         AND POLITICALLY, IT WILL CERTAINLY STRENGTHEN THE FORCES
         WHICH ARE MORE ANTI-WESTERN AND ANTI-AMERICAN IN THE 
         ARAB WORLD. IN OTHER WORDS, BOMBING WOULD BE 
         DESTABILIZING TO THE REGION AS A WHOLE.  AND THAT TO ME 
         IS THE MAJOR FALLOUT FROM SUCH AN ATTACK ON IRAQ."

TEXT:    HOWEVER, PROFESSOR DEEB SAYS, THE THREAT OF FORCE MAY BE
         ABLE TO ACHIEVE WHAT MANY PREFER -- NAMELY, A NEGOTIATED
         SOLUTION.

TAPE:    CUT FOUR -- DEEB (0:37)

         "IN OTHER WORDS, WERE THERE NOT THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS 
         IN THE GULF, WERE THERE NOT THOSE THREATS EMINATING FROM
         WASHINGTON, THEN THE POSSIBLE NEGOTIATED SOLUTION MIGHT 
         NOT BE FOUND.  I BELIEVE THAT KOFI ANNAN COULD FIND A 
         SOLUTION. [OPT] THERE'S ALREADY A SOLUTION THAT IS BEING
         MAPPED OUT -- NAMELY, THAT THE U-N INSPECTORS WOULD BE 
         ALLOWED TO GO AND VISIT ALL THE PALACES AND ALL THE 
         SITES THEY WANT TO, IF THEY WERE ACCOMPANIED BY 
         DIPLOMATS FROM THE COUNTRIES OF THE PERMANENT MEMBERS OF
         THE SECURITY COUNCIL.  AND THERE APPEARS TO BE A 
         SOLUTION LYING IN THAT FORMULA." [END OPT]

TEXT:    PROFESSOR ABDUL AZIZ SAID [SY-EED], DIRECTOR OF THE 
         CENTER FOR GLOBAL PEACE AT AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, ALSO 
         FAVORS EXHAUSTING THE DIPLOMATIC OPTION. HE THINKS THE 
         U-N SECRETARY GENERAL'S TRIP TO BAGHDAD MAKES A "GOOD 
         DEAL OF SENSE," ESPECIALLY BECAUSE, UNLIKE THE 1991 GULF
         WAR, MANY ARABS TODAY VIEW SADDAM HUSSEIN 
         SYMPATHETICALLY WHILE THEY VIEW THE UNITED STATES WITH 
         GREATER SKEPTICISM.

TAPE:    CUT FIVE -- SAID (0:44)

         "BEAR IN MIND, ARABS IN PARTICULAR AND MUSLIMS IN 
         GENERAL ARE FINDING THEMSELVES UNWITTINGLY BEGINNING TO 
         VIEW SADDAM HUSSEIN AS A HERO.  SADDAM HUSSEIN IS NO 
         HERO.  HE'S A BRUTAL DICTATOR.  HE'S SOMEONE WHO HAS 
         INDEED USED ALL SORTS OF WEAPONS, INCLUDING GAS, AGAINST
         HIS OWN PEOPLE.  BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT.  CERTAINLY HE
         HAS BEEN A THREAT TO HIS NEIGHBORS, NO QUESTION ABOUT 
         THAT.   ON THE OTHER HAND, WITH WHAT WE ARE DOING, 
         PRETENDING THAT WE ARE DOING IT TO REDUCE THE THREAT OF 
         IRAQ, TO REDUCE HIM AS A THREAT, IT IS REALLY ENHANCING 
         HIS POSITION AMONG ARABS AND AMONG MANY MUSLIMS THAT, 
         'HEY, THIS IS A PERSON WHO STANDS UP TO THE UNITED 
         STATES.'"

TEXT:    PROFESSOR SAID SAYS HE IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECT OF 
         THE LONG-RUNNING CRISIS ON U.S. STANDING IN THE MIDDLE 
         EAST.

TAPE:    CUT SIX -- SAID (0:27)

         "AS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN TEACHING FOR 41 YEARS, WHO HAS 
         LIVED IN THE UNITED STATES FOR 45 YEARS, WHO 
         CONTINUOUSLY TRAVELS TO THE REGION, U.S. PRESTIGE AT 
         THIS TIME IN THE ARAB WORLD IS THE LOWEST THAT I HAVE 
         SEEN.  FOR ME, THAT'S OF GREAT CONCERN, PARTICULARLY 
         WHEN THE [MIDDLE EAST] PEACE PROCESS HAS COLLAPSED.  AND
         I'M TALKING ABOUT ARAB STATES THAT ARE PRO-U-S."

TEXT:    MIDDLE EAST EXPERTS MARY-JANE DEEB AND ABDUL AZIZ SAID 
         ACKNOWLEDGE THAT, IF THE DIPLOMATIC OPTION FAILS, THE 
         UNITED STATES AND ITS ALLIES MAY WELL GO TO WAR AGAINST 
         IRAQ.  IN THE LONG-TERM INTERESTS OF PEACE IT THE 
         REGION, THEY -- LIKE MANY OTHER PEOPLE AROUND WORLD -- 
         HOPE THE DIPLOMATIC OPTION WILL SUCCEED.  [OPT]  IF IT 
         DOES NOT AND THE CONFLICT IS ULTIMATELY RESOLVED BY 
         FORCE, WE WILL TALK AGAIN WITH THESE EXPERTS ABOUT THE 
         AFTERMATH OF WAR AND THE PROCESS OF REBUILDING THAT WILL
         THEN BE NECESSARY. [END OPT]

19-Feb-98 1:19 PM EST (1819 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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