OPINION

US policy backlash

The countdown to a US war on Iraq has already started, not only because adverse weather conditions from early April on will undermine the operational capability of US-led troops but also because the clock is ticking against the Bush administration. Washington has thrown itself into a diplomatic marathon for approval of the second resolution in the UN Security Council so as to win some political legitimacy for an attack and to ease pressure on British Prime Minister Tony Blair. This situation cannot go on for much longer. The manner in which the Bush administration has dealt with the situation does not leave it much room to back down. For this reason, it will attempt a forward push. This can be achieved by asserting control over Iraq as quickly as possible. No doubt Washington is militarily capable of achieving this goal. The worst scenario for the US troops would be to be drawn into prolonged warfare on the ground in order to occupy Baghdad. Victory would again be certain but a Pyrrhic one. With his arrogant and imperial policy, US President George W. Bush has achieved the impossible. First, he squandered the worldwide sympathy engendered by September 11. Second, he triggered a globalized anti-war movement with the inevitable diplomatic fallout. And third, he estranged the Franco-German axis. The rift within the West has opened a can of worms. Russia and China have not missed out on that golden opportunity. They joined Europe’s anti-war bloc, building up an unprecedented front against the superpower. It would be an exaggeration to make talk of political isolation, but Washington has certainly never found itself in such a position before. It’s no coincidence that even within the USA, the number of people who think Bush is causing the greatest possible damage to American interests grows by the day.