"A military strike against Iraq will be suicidal for the United States and its interests in the region." Dubai's Al-Bayan newspaper
MID-EAST REALITIES © - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 8/02: Eleven long bloody years. In the years just before the Gulf War there was the destruction of Lebanon, the terrible bloodletting of the U.S.-instigated Iran-Iraq orgy, the Kissinger-legacy of the Kurdish sell-out. Since the Gulf war there has been the raging Intifada, horrific bloodletting in Algeria, nuclear weapons emerging in the subcontinent, ballistic missiles and chem-bio-nuke mass destruction weapons creeping into the region, the U.S.-Israeli-Turkish unnamed military alliance, the World Trade Tower bombing, fortress Washington, star wars reborn, imprisonment of academics and journalists in Egypt, enhanced surveillance and repression everywhere...the list seems endless in just a decade. For some previous MER articles about Iraq and the continuing Gulf War: http://www.MiddleEast.Org/archives/Iraq.htm One way or another the Americans are likely to muddle through all this for the moment, despite the dire warnings, regardless how much pain and suffering the Arab people are forced to endure. Washington has a huge investment in "client regimes" and covert capabilities throughout the region, and after all Rome didn't fall in a day. One way or another the Israelis are likely to remain military and economically dominant in the foreseeable, not just over the Palestinians but over the whole Arab world. Their strength and capabilities are vast at the most moment while Arab weakness and impotence are omnipresent.
But the seeds of even greater hatred and revenge are being sown by today's fierce raging storms and the omens for the future are now potentially cataclysmic.
It is exactly 11 years since Iraqi President Saddam Hussein ordered his army into neighbouring Kuwait.
BBC News - 8/02/1001 - CAIRO: The fallout from the invasion is continuing - with a war of words now underway between Iraq and the United States, and fears of renewed confrontation. Over the past few days Iraq has said it is preparing for an American military strike, as it continues to challenge the no-fly zones that were imposed by the US and Britain in the north and south of the country in the wake of the Gulf War.
PHOTO CAPTION: Strong Iraq will not retreat or accept that it is to stay in a dark corner
Iraq has always disputed the legitimacy of the zones, but American officials say it has recently stepped up its efforts to hit Western planes patrolling the area. A Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday that Saddam Hussein was "trying his darndest to bring down a coalition aircraft".
Last week, after Washington announced that an Iraqi missile had narrowly missed hitting an American U2 spy plane, the US National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice, said Iraq was on the US "radar screen". Washington, she said, was working with its allies to craft a policy that looked at the use of "military force in a more resolute manner and not just a manner of tit-for-tat with them every day".
PHOTO CAPTION: Saddam Hussein: Analysts say he is going from strength to strength
Iraq remains as defiant as ever. A headline in the state-run Al-Iraq newspaper on Wednesday trumpeted: "We are the strongest." The Babel newspaper, meanwhile, reported this week that Washington wanted to attack Iraq "because of the success it had made in developing its anti-aircraft defences". The paper said: "Strong Iraq will not retreat or accept that it is to stay in a dark corner."
Kuwaitis celebrated the 10th anniversary of the end of the Gulf War back in February. Arab analysts agree that Saddam Hussein is gaining political strength in the region, as American influence continues to be battered over the mounting Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed.
Over the past few months, the Iraqi leader has succeeded in improving ties with several key Arab countries, and has signed free trade agreements with Syria and Egypt - which both fought against it in the Gulf War coalition.
To Baghdad's delight, joint American-British proposals for "smart sanctions" against Iraq had to be put on hold at the Security Council last month, because of Russian opposition.
Now, in a regional climate poisoned by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, any American attack on Iraq will stoke Arab anger. "A military strike against Iraq will be suicidal for the Untied States and its interests in the region," wrote the Dubai-based Al-Bayan newspaper.
Even Kuwait seems to have little appetite for an attack on its former occupier. The Kuwaiti foreign minister, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, has said Baghdad "still represents a danger and a threat." But he also declared: "No-one wishes any harm to brotherly Iraq."