Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Europe balks at Iraq bailout: "'There is a deep conviction in Europe that if you keep a dominant American role in Iraq, the stabilization effort will not work ... because of the constant flavor of an occupation force,' says Christoph Betram, head of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. 'A dominant role for the UN is the essential condition for getting things right in Iraq.'"

"It is hard to see how even the intense backroom horse-trading expected over the next ten days can bridge that chasm of principle. "The Americans are not going to let go of Paul Bremer's primacy, so that essentially makes it impossible for Europeans to join in," says Francois Heisbourg, director of the Strategic Research Foundation in Paris, referring to the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority that runs Iraq."

"The fate of the UN resolution, "depends partly on the Europeans, but also on the neo-conservatives in America" occupying important posts in the Pentagon and the White House, says Georges LeGuelte, head of research at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris. "So long as they defend the idea that the US is all-powerful and can impose its will by all means, including military, so long as they are not ready to give up the idea that Iraq is their terrain, we will get nowhere," he argues."

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