Skip to comments.France sees "explosion" of terrorism in Iraq as US unveils new resolution
Posted on 10/02/2003 1:34:41 PM PDT by presidio9
France said a formerly terrorist-free Iraq has seen as "explosion" of terrorism since the war, as the United States rallied support for a rejigged UN resolution to bolster reconstruction efforts.
And while Iraq's interim government was to take a major bow on the international stage at the United Nations, the diplomatic flurry made little or no impression on the ground in Iraq where and Americans and Iraqis continue to die on a daily basis.
Three US soldiers were killed in a span of hours Wednesday as the Americans pressed their drive to root out resistance to their nearly six-month-old occupation.
The deaths took to 88 the number of US soldiers killed in combat here since US President George W. Bush (news - web sites) declared major hostilities over on May 1.
And on Thursday, two US soldiers were wounded and four Iraqi civilians hurt by return fire when a patrol was hit by a drive-by shooting in the flashpoint town of Fallujah, witnesses said.
In another incident near the town, an apparent roadside bomb targeted a convoy of US army tanker trucks, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.
The US military said it was unaware of both incidents.
France said Iraq has gone from being a terrorist-free country under Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) to seeing an "explosion" of terrorism since the US-led war this year.
"There was no verified link between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's regime, no terrorism before the regime fell," Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told a Paris conference.
"And yet, afterwards, there has been an explosion (of terrorism), an increase in opportunities (of attacks) and a more fragile situation," he said.
Washington, which partly justified the war by claiming Saddam had ties to al-Qaeda, has denied that Iraq has descended into chaos and insisted that the country has become the frontline in the war against terrorism launched after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
It also justified the war with claims that Saddam's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction.
US arms expert David Kay is expected to give a much-awaited first progress report to Congress Thursday on his search for signs of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in Iraq.
In New York, the United States gave fellow permanent powers on the UN Security Council a new draft resolution, hoping it will convince other nations to provide money and troops to help rebuild Iraq.
The revised draft, seen by AFP, appears to make concessions to sceptics such as France, which are calling for a speedier handover of power, by fine-tuning the wording on the UN role and specifying when the US occupation might end.
US Ambassador John Negroponte released the draft at a meeting with fellow veto-wielding members Britain, China, France and Russia. He also gave it to Germany, a current council member.
"The day when Iraqis govern themselves must come quickly," says the draft, which alters an earlier version that met resistance on the council when presented in September.
It underlines that the US occupation is "temporary" and will last "until an internationally recognised, representative government is established by the people of Iraq."
France has said six months should be enough time for the United States to give sovereignty to Iraqis. The United States says that deadline is unrealistic.
Instead, the draft says control in Iraq should be "progressively undertaken" by the US-appointed Iraqi governing council, which should set its own timetable for writing a constitution and then holding elections.
The draft also appears to expand some UN responsibilities but does not lay out the central role that France, Germany and Russia have been demanding for the world body in Iraq.
France has said it will not block the new resolution and diplomats say there is a strong desire to come to a consensus and avoid the bitter divisions that split the council before the war.
But differences remain and it is unclear if the new text offers enough changes to win full backing from sceptics on the council.
German government sources said the draft resolution shows signs of progress but "still needs more work" if it is to secure a consensus on the UN Security Council.
The United States wants a maximum of yes votes, rather than abstentions, from the full 15-member council, which is to hold new talks on the Iraq situation Thursday.
Washington wants the resolution to give an international mandate for a multinational force -- in which other nations would help handle an increasingly bloody guerrilla-style uprising.
The new text was handed out on the eve of the Iraqi address to the UN general assembly on Thursday, a significant credibility milestone for the US-installed governing council.
Bush made his case for international participation at the general assembly last week, but did not win commitments for troops in Iraq.
Much of the assembly's annual meeting, which ends this week, has centred on the UN role in Iraq. This is a tricky issue since UN Secretary General Kofi Annan ordered most international staff out last week, citing security concerns in the wake of two deadly attacks on the UN offices in Baghdad.
"Do u 'ave a lah-zenze for zat minkey?"
I guess the 10,000 or so butchered by Saddam every year doesn't count. That's just good governing and keeping the streets safe French-style. Give me a break. If I every drink another bottle of French wine or Evian water any Freeper is authorized to have me committed. The French lost it several centuries ago (ten of them at least) and they still haven't figured it out.
Abu Nidal was just there for the waters?
Who in the hell is this guy 'FRANCE' and just where does he live? Apparently, he hasn't been to Iraq, before or after the intervention, and he hasn't talked to any of the Iraqi's who were tortured,raped,killed, had their children's eyes plucked out of their sockets, their tiny skulls slammed into brick walls, etc.
If this is France's official position, then France is already done. Get the fork.
It has already drifted into the Muslim Mass Murdering alternate universe.