NOTIZIARIO del 18 marzo 2004


IRAQ: una guerra pensata gia' nel 1998
a cura di Giulia Alliani

Chi continua a raccontare che la guerra in Iraq e' la conseguenza dell'attacco alle Torri Gemelle dell'11 settembre 2001, dimentica o finge di ignorare che gia' il 26 gennaio 1998 lo statunitense PNAC (Project for the New American Century) chiedeva con una lettera a Bill Clinton - all'epoca presidente degli Stati Uniti - di intervenire militarmente contro Saddam Hussein.

Tra le firme di quell'appello c'erano alcuni dei nomi più influenti dell'attuale governo degli Stati Uniti, e cioè:

Dick Cheney, vicepresidente; Donald Rumsfeld, ministro della difesa; Paul Wolfowitz, vice di Rumsfeld; Lewis Libby, capo dello staff di Cheney; Peter Rodman, responsabile delle 'questioni di sicurezza globale'; John Bolton, segretario di stato per il controllo degli armamenti; Richard Armitage, vice ministro degli esteri; Richard Perle, ex vice ministro della difesa dell'amministrazione Reagan ed ex presidente della commissione difesa Bush; William Kristol, capo del Pnac e consigliere di George W. Bush; e Zalmay Khalilzad, gia' ambasciatore speciale di Bush presso l'opposizione irachena.

Nella lettera costoro lamentavano l'inadeguatezza della politica attuata fino a quel momento nei confronti di Saddam Hussein, e auspicavano una svolta nella politica estera degli Stati Uniti, il cui scopo doveva diventare quello di abbattere il regime iracheno con un'azione militare, dal momento che le armi diplomatiche avevano fallito.

Gli scriventi invitavano Bill Clinton ad attuare una strategia che comprendesse sforzi politici, diplomatici e militari, e si dichiaravano convinti che gli Stati Uniti, in base alle risoluzioni dell'ONU esistenti, avessero il diritto di prendere tutte le iniziative necessarie, comprese quelle belliche, per garantire i loro interessi vitali nel Golfo.

Secondo i firmatari della lettera la politica degli Stati Uniti non avrebbe dovuto in nessun caso essere paralizzata dall'insistenza del Consiglio di Sicurezza sull'unanimità.

Questa circostanza rivelatrice era gia' stata commentata nel marzo 2003 dalla stampa internazionale (Der Spiegel, Internazionale, Le Nouvel Observateur, The Observer. etc.), ma e' come se oggi, stranamente, si volesse operare una sorta di revisionismo storico a breve scadenza.

Ed ecco il testo completo della lettera del 26 gennaio 1998:

The Honorable William J. Clinton President of the United States Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President: We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein?s regime from power.

We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor. The policy of "containment" of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections.

Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq's chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam's secrets.

As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons. Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East.

It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world?s supply of oil will all be put at hazard.

As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat. Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate.

The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.

We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf.

In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council. We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.


Elliott Abrams Richard L. Armitage William J. Bennett Jeffrey Bergner John Bolton Paula Dobriansky Francis Fukuyama Robert Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad William Kristol Richard Perle Peter W. Rodman Donald Rumsfeld William Schneider, Jr. Vin Weber Paul Wolfowitz R. James Woolsey Robert B. Zoellick .