AMERICA’S National Security Adviser during the Gulf War warned President Bush
yesterday that invading Iraq would cause an “explosion” in the Middle East and
consign the United States to defeat in its War on Terror.
Brent Scowcroft, who remains close to the Bush family, urged the President
to concentrate on trying to broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians
while separately pursuing terrorist threats to the United States. But he said
that by going to war with Iraq without linking President Saddam Hussein and September
11, Washington was risking a conflagration in the Middle East that would also
engulf its efforts to defeat global terror groups.
have license to attack someone else’s country just because you don’t like the
leadership. We are supposed to be taking a lead on the moral issues of the world.
former British Chief of Defense Staff
His warning came as a former British Chief of Defense Staff said that Britain
risked being dragged into a “very, very messy” and lengthy war if it supported
a US military assault on Iraq. Field Marshal Lord Bramall called on Tony Blair
to exercise caution, saying that an invasion to topple Saddam may not be morally
or legally justified.
“You don’t have license to attack someone else’s country just because you don’t
like the leadership,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World This Weekend. “We are
supposed to be taking a lead on the moral issues of the world.”
Mr Scowcroft, chairman of the President’s foreign intelligence advisory board,
said: “It’s a matter of setting your priorities. There’s no question that Saddam
is a problem. He has already launched two wars and spent all the resources he
can working on his military. But the President has announced that terrorism is
our number one focus. Saddam is a problem, but he’s not a problem because of terrorism.”
Mr Scowcroft added that he had no doubt a US military campaign could dislodge
Saddam. But he added: “I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East.
It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror.”
Mr Scowcroft pointed to the “almost consensus” around the world against the
United States going to war with Iraq. British officials have since September 11
repeatedly warned the US not to use the War on Terror as an excuse to attack Saddam.
Joseph Biden, Democrat chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
which is hearing expert evidence on Iraq, said yesterday: “I believe there probably
will be a war with Iraq. The only question is, is it alone, is it with others
and how long and how costly will it be?’ "
Copyright 2002 Times Newspapers Ltd