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`US, Britain, heading to disaster'
- British Mideast expert

Agence France Presse, 29 March 2003


CAIRO (AFP - 29 March) - Washington and London "have lost the war politically" and their campaign in Iraq is "heading to a disaster", British Middle East expert and journalist Patrick Seale wrote in an article published Friday. "Whatever the military outcome ... the Americans and the British have lost the war politically and morally,"....

"The invasion has not filled the hearts (of the Iraqis) with joy ... the US and the British forces are now facing the nightmare of urban warfare," he ...."As they prepare to attack Baghdad, military planners are surely asking: Would it be possible to capture the city at a reasonable cost in US and British lives," he said.

Seale also mentioned the "pressure exerted" on the coalition by "the humanitarian crisis" that threatens the 25 million population, and by the high numbers of expected civilian casualties.

"Whatever the result, the Iraqis are the focus of Arab admiration," said Seale, referring to the stiff resistance shown in the face of the US-led force, despite 12 years of "harsh international sanctions."

He said the war has led to "a dangerously widening gap between Gulf governments that are loyal to the United States and the broader Islamic and Arab nationalist current."

"The governments in Egypt and Jordan, torn between their loyalty to the United States and the anger of their public opinion against war, have started to fear."

Seale charged the United States with "deceitful propaganda" to justify the war....

"The real target of the war is to make US supremacy prevail on a strategic oil-rich region, and to protect Israel's regional superiority and its monopoly over weapons of mass destruction" in the Middle East, he alleged.

Seale, known for his biography of the late Syrian president Hafez Al Assad, criticised British Prime Minister Tony Blair ....

"Blair tried to build a bridge between Europe and the United States. The bridge crumbled when buildings in Baghdad collapsed. It is the worst diplomatic defeat for British diplomacy in modern history," he said.

Copyright © 2003 Agence France Presse
Reprinted for Fair Use Only.

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