U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, fresh from meetings with
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, says that America's allies "are of one
mind on this crisis caused by Iraq's defiance of the Security Council." But
while they may agree on the cause, they disagree on a solution:
Who's on board for air strikes:
Britain - America's staunchest supporter.
Bahrain - If Iraq can threaten Saudi oil fields, it can do the
those in this tiny Persian Gulf sheikdom. It also serves as home to the
U.S. 5th Fleet.
Kuwait - Still bitter after Iraq's brutal invasion and occupation.
Israel - As it distributes gas masks, Israel welcomes any
action to reduce
the Iraqi threat. If attacked, retaliation can be expected -- unlike
during the Gulf War.
France - Conflicted as always. Eager to re-establish lucrative
with Iraq, France has agreed that Iraq's flouting of the Security Council
can not go unchallenged.
Saudi Arabia - The Saudis would be happy to see the leader of their
menacing neighbor to the north go. But, mindful of local anti-American
sentiment, has yet to give permission for American jet fighters to launch
raids into Iraq from its bases.
Turkey - Looks forward to substantial oil deals with Iraq once the
sanctions are lifted.
Jordan - While condemning Iraq for defying U.N. resolutions, a senior
Jordanian official has stated that his country's "airspace and land are
completely shut in the face of any side which plans attacks . . . against
Iraq." Iraq used to be a major Jordanian market.
Egypt - President Hosni Mubarak is strongly against a military
Most Egyptians are sympathetic to the Iraqi cause.
Russia - Iraq still owes Russia billions of dollars for weapons
eager to cut huge oil deals with the former Soviet patron. Not
surprisingly, it's leading the diplomatic effort to avoid any military
showdown and is eager to see the sanctions lifted.