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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-09

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and




    Thessaloniki, 9 February 2003 (12:04 UTC+2)

    France and Germany will find themselves marginalized if they do not return to the European mainstream, according to the statements of Mr. David Philips, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Preventive Action, currently working as a political advisor of the Iraqi opposition, in an interview with

    Mr. Philips called the view that the war in Iraq is going to be a "war of blood for oil" as "baseless, specious and cynical". "It has nothing to do with oil. The Iraqi oil industry is decrepit and run down. It is now producing just a little more than 2 million barrels a day, oil is being pumped and sold through the UN. If the US wanted to have access to Iraqi oil they would lift the sanctions on the Iraqi regime and let it pump all the oil it wants. In fact it is going to require -20 billion of investment just to refurbish the oil industry, to get it back to where it was in the 1980s. That's going to be private investment and then an additional -40 billion to get the Iraqi oil industry up to peak capacity, which is about 5 million barrels a day. They claim that this is a blood for oil campaign. Its completely baseless and specious and cynical. The oil assets of Iraq should be spent to the betterment of the Iraqi people. The UN oil for food programme is doing that to some extent."

    Mr. Philips stated that for Iraq to disarm of its own will, it must see a globally united platform against its weapons of mass destruction. "It is key that the US and the UN Security Council send a unified message, which is that Iraq has to fulfill its international obligations otherwise there will be serious consequences."

    If on the other hand Saddam was to be removed by a force on the interior, such as a coup, the US would not stand for any other regime enforcing a form of "Saddamism"; It would not look kindly upon a new dictator. In his estimation the Saddam regime has "a few numbered days".

    Regardless of the way the Saddam regime falls, the government to follow it, always according to Mr. Philips will be a combination of outside intervention and powers of "Free Iraqis" inside Iraq, such as Iraqi Kurds in the north as well as Iraqis living abroad, however their aid in overthrowing Saddam will not be military. The main military power in a war against Iraq would be the US, however after a change of regime, "Free Iraqi" militias would play a very important role if the regime were to be overthrown.

    Mr. Philips supported that the democratic regime of the Kurds in North Iraq would not stir nationalistic sentiment in Kurds living in Turkey, but in fact show them how moderate and democratic experiences can have a positive effect. In addition, a war in Iraq would boost the income of the Turkish economy by approximately billion, if sanctions were to be lifted after the war is over. He believed that Turkey will be incorporated to Europe, and that the EU will not become a "Christian European Union".

    Meanwhile, the decision of the "8" last week and the decision of "10" yesterday, were seen by Mr. Philips as the main trend in Europe, who pointed out that, "the division is between France and Germany and the rest of Europe. Its quite clear that the center of gravity has shifted away from Paris and Berlin and the French need to do something to get back in step with the mainstream, not only in Europe, but with international opinion. Since France is a permanent member of the Security Council, the primary responsibility for that resides with France."

    He stated that the source of the deadlock is France and Germany, but that the solution is clear: Either France and Germany have to "bear some of the burden of responsibility at this stage", "otherwise, they marginalize themselves in the present and will continue to in the future." Mr. Philips stated that French and Germany have isolated themselves from European countries, have contributed to discord in transatlantic relations and have caused problems in NATO.

    When told that Greece's position on the war in Iraq is very similar to that of France and Germany, Mr. Philips stated that Greece, being the President of the EU in this rotation, will not isolate itself from the European mainstream.

    On the Balkans, Mr. Philips stated that the situation has improved enormously since the 1980s, despite the fact that there are still some sources of nationalism. Nevertheless, if Balkan countries want to be rid of problems that have recently come to light (criminality, human trafficking, drug smuggling), must be given "a clear roadmap through the stabilization association process, they all aspire to EU membership, they all want to be integrated into European and NATO security structures. The closer that you can hold Balkan countries to the European mainstream, the more you will be able to accelerate the forces of reform." Mr. Philips added that it is a long journey but there has been significant progress so far.

    The next areas that would require "normalization", which took 10 years for some Balkan countries, would be East Timor and Afghanistan according to Mr. Philips. After the request of the Indonesian government for an international security force to intervene in East Timor, he stated, many of the lessons learned in the Balkans will be implemented there.

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