Plans being drawn for war against Iraq

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Dec 2 09:38:42 MST 2001

Secret US plan for Iraq war
Bush orders backing for rebels to topple Saddam

Peter Beaumont, Ed Vulliamy and Paul Beaver
Sunday December 2, 2001
The Observer

America intends to depose Saddam Hussein by giving armed support to
Iraqi opposition forces across the country, The Observer has learnt.
President George W. Bush has ordered the CIA and his senior military
commanders to draw up detailed plans for a military operation that
could begin within months.

The plan, opposed by Tony Blair and other European Union leaders,
threatens to blow apart the increasingly shaky international
consensus behind the US-led 'war on terrorism'.

It envisages a combined operation with US bombers targeting key
military installations while US forces assist opposition groups in
the North and South of the country in a stage-managed uprising. One
version of the plan would have US forces fighting on the ground.

Despite US suspicions of Iraqi involvement in the 11 September
attacks, the trigger for any attack, sources say, would be the
anticipated refusal of Iraq to resubmit to inspections for weapons of
mass destruction under the United Nations sanctions imposed after the
Gulf war.

According to the sources, the planning is being undertaken under the
auspices of a the US Central Command at McDill air force base in
Tampa, Florida, commanded by General Tommy Franks, who is leading the
war against Afghanistan.

Another key player is understood to be former CIA director James
Woolsey. Sources say Woolsey was sent to London by the hawkish Deputy
Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, soon after 11 September to ask
Iraqi opposition groups if they would participate in an uprising if
there was US military support.

The New York Times yesterday quoted a senior administration official
who admitted that Bush's aides were looking at options that involved
strengthening groups that opposed Saddam. Richard Armitage, the
Deputy Secretary of State, said that action against Iraq was not
imminent, but would come at a 'place and time of our choosing'.


Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 12/02/2001

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