Moscow is working on a plan to overthrow Saddam Hussein shortly in order to avoid an American military intervention, Moscow western sources told New Europe. The Russian pre-emptive coup d’etat is worked with military officers in Baghdad and is scheduled to materialise in November as the US attack is expected between the end of the year and at the latest by next April when the American military will be prepared to engage in a generalised war in the Middle East.
By Basil A. Coronakis
Should the US attack Iraq, although the Iraqi theatre will be a “piece of cake,” it is highly likely that a spill-over will be unavoidable, if not pursued, involving the entire area including Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and not excluding Iran which is in the back of the minds of many people in the American administration. The Russian initiative will unlikely please US president George W. Bush, who will not only interpret the Russian move as “stealing his glory,” but it will change his global plan for the Mideast. In this case, starting from Iraq, the US will have to ease its expectation to fully control Iraqi oil resources and be prepared to enter a negotiation to at least limit its cut to half, going on a 50:50 influence over Baghdad, shared with Russians. To this end, the Russians have already significant oil concessions and the real reason for the pre-emptive coup is to maintain and possibly increase such concessions and actively return in the Mideast.
A second question is the replacement of the Saddam Hussein regime. In the case of an American takeover, a totally new Iraqi ruling class including a full cabinet and the basic administrative structure, at the moment kept outside the country, will be appointed. Should the Russian coup materialise, the replacement of Saddam Hussein will be done with Russia-connected locals from the old Soviet days, mostly generals and army officers — some if not most of which will unavoidably be Saddam Hussein relatives.
Last Thursday, George W. Bush called the Russian president on the phone to potentially discuss this matter and as a result the American and Russian secret services launched talks, but Moscow seems to be determined to proceed with the coup.
Analysts say that last month’s “performance” of Vladimir Vladimirovich in the Dubrovka Theatre Centre with the use of chemical weapons prohibited by the 1972 global ban treaty and his declared intention to fight international terrorism on its own depriving Americans of the exclusivity of uncontrolled global intervention signify Moscow’s attempt to actively return to world affairs. Finally, although Washington insinuates that if Russia carries out the coup d’etat in Iraq the US will equally proceed with its programmed landing should any relative of Saddam Hussein be included in the new administration, this menace should be ruled out.
Indeed, if the Russia coup prevails and a new government opens its doors to Russia, Europe, the United States and the world, there will be no room for anything else, unless ….
(Basil A. Coronakis is New Europe Editor)