No Great Coalition This Time

  • Share
  • Read Later
CAIRO: Unlike the broad Arab coalition that supported the U.S during Operation Desert Storm, most Arab nations view Tuesday's attacks on Iraq with consternation. Egypt and Syria said that they fear the U.S attacks will make an already bleak situation in Iraq worse. "The developments do not augur well for the people of Iraq or stability in the region," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa. Egypt, he declared, was "really disturbed" by the situation. Syria's Foreign Ministry issued an even stronger statement, calling the attack "an action that violates the U.N charter and international law." Only Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the countries that benefited most from the Gulf War, appeared to give U.S. actions support. But the Saudi government would not allow U.S. planes based in the Kingdom to participate in the strikes, probably out of fear of retaliation. Many Arab countries feel that the attacks will cause needless suffering to an already impoverished Iraqi population. Others, like Toujan Faisal, a Jordanian member of parliament, view the U.S. strike in the context of President Clinton's re-election campaign. "It is a petty election game between Clinton and Dole," he said. "They are like kids, only they are playing with fire."--Lamia Abu-Haidar