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|Straw: 'Iraq is Not a Target'
- Sadam safe for now as Allies stay with narrow war aims
BRITAIN and America appear to have pulled back from plans to extend the so-called War Against Terrorism from Afghanistan to Iraq.
Rumours that US President George Bush was ready to try to oust Iraqi leader Sadam Hussein have been played down, especially by British government representatives. "There is no such action on the agenda at present," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said. "So far as Iraq is concerned, we have seen no evidence for the culpability of what happened in the United States in September."
Prime Minister Tony Blair echoed Straw's caution, but also refused to rule out strikes against Iraq in the future. Both men appear to have forgotten that the US and Britain have made regular air raids on Iraq over the last ten years.
The fear among officials on both sides of the Atlantic is that any widening of the military operation to include 'rogue' states such as Iraq could ignite pan-Arabic nationalism, threatening the 'friendly' ancien regimes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and a host of military dictatorships including Pakistan and Syria, not to mention throwing whatever passes for peace in Israel-Palestine into further turmoil.