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Friday, February 21, 2003
Hounds of War
Unleashed on Baghdad!
By Marc Clark, For The Daily Republican

    WASHINGTON -   The George W. Bush administration has apparently begun moving along a broad front to pound Iraq with a deadly first strike that may cast the world into major economic distuption by early next week.
     The Bush offensive plans to open a northern front against Baghdad. But, word reached our bureau by late last night that Turkey has not signed-on with the Bush offensive. And, this just in, US troop deployments will run US taxpayers in excesss of $100 billion dollars for the first month of the operation.
     White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer, went public today with a blunt warning to Ankara that it's share of the cost of the invasion would be in excess of $26 billion. Fleischer told reporters, "There comes a moment when plans must be made, decisions must be made, and it cannot stretch on indefinitely."
     In the meanwhile, Britain has postponed any action on their part until next week when there is a scheduled UN resolution intended to carry support in the security council for a pre-emptive military strike.
    However, it now appears the resolution will not even be scheduled for a vote until sometime in March, and only if there is finding by the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, that invasion is necessary.
     It is doubtful that the UN could be expected to support such an act of war. Yesterday UN officials said there is an open rift between the US and France and Germany. Colin Powell responded by inferring that France and Germany were "cowardly" andf afraid to go to "war."
     In the meanwhile, Turkey has indicated it may not open its military bases to the US. If that were the case, it would mean that war materials essential to a successful war effort could be substatially delayed, or even lost enroute to the Gulf. In that event US forces would have to be scaled back dramatically. In that event, the US could be denied critically needed infrastructure.
    Worse yet, the latest Turkish public opinion polls indicate resistance to Bush's unpopular war, fearing it will undermine Turkey's weak economy. Public Opinion has been bolstered by the strength of anti-war protests around the world last weekend.
     UN officials in Baghdad told reporters yesterday they have seen a breakdown of former support in Baghdad's position. This in the face of mass protests may have energized Iraq's continued hostile stance.

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