Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

"No Convergence" between Bush, Blair on Post-War Iraq

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

"No Convergence" between Bush, Blair on Post-War Iraq

Article excerpt

Even at the beginning of war, newspapers questioned what would be done with Iraq after a presumed coalition victory. France-still trying to repair the damage to its relationship with the U.S. and Britain after refusing to back the war-was urged by Liberation on March 27 to "accept the fact of the invasion": "It would be a mistake by France and the others to block U.N. involvement in Iraq," said the newspaper. "So we must wish 'good luck' to Tony Blair," it continued, in his endeavors to "convince Bush to leave his imperial isolation and entrust the U.N. with managing the aid as well as the administration and reconstruction of Iraq." Concluded the paper, "This is the only way to prevent the open wounds of Iraq and the Middle East from becoming even more dangerously infected."

On March 28 Switzerland's Le Temps wrote, however, that Blair's trip to Camp David, outside Washington, had "failed to bring about the consolidation that the British prime minister had the right to expect with regard to both military strategy and the diplomatic and humanitarian field." Switzerland's Tribune de Geneve on the same day also saw "no convergence" between the views of Bush and Blair on post-Saddam Iraq. "The view from London," it said, "is that the U.N. must not be sidelined into humanitarian operations but must also participate in the reconstruction of Iraq." "Whereas," the paper continued, "there is every indication that America is not prepared to delegate" the running of the country "to an international organization."

The U.S. "occupation of Iraq" should be as "short as possible," wrote The Financial Times March 28. …

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