Netanyahu Says Iraq Is
Next US Target
By Amnon Barzilai

Despite official American protestations to the contrary, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that the United States' next target in the war against terror will be Iraq, while former prime minister Ehud Barak says the U.S. will attack Somalia, Sudan or Yemen.
Speaking at the Herzliya Convention for National Security, Netanyahu said yesterday that the U.S. is planning to attack Iraq soon and that Israel must ask Washington for time to prepare itself. It is not enough for Israel to get a warning of an imminent attack, Netanyahu said; the U.S. must give Israel time to get ready, and Israel knows how to do so.
Only a day earlier, America's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had told the convention in a satellite address that the U.S. has no plans to attack Iraq at present. Despite this, Netanyahu said, he was sure there would be an attack, even if not immediately, because the combination of nuclear power and terror was intolerable.
Netanyahu also said that Israel must work toward toppling the Palestinian leadership headed by Yasser Arafat. He said it would be replaced by more pragmatic leaders, not the Hamas.
He said the U.S. had established three principles in the wake of the September 11 bombings:
l A moral differentiation between terrorism and self-defense through military action that could inadvertently affect civilians;
l A strategic decision to fight terror without distinguishing between terrorist organizations and those who send them, although the order of importance may be different when deciding to attack them;
l The importance of victory, namely that the end justifies the means.
A different sequence of events was envisaged by Barak in his later address to the convention, which is being sponsored by the Institute for Strategy and Policy at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center.
The next chapter after Afghanistan will be Somalia, Sudan or Yemen, all of which harbor terrorism, Barak told the defense establishment heads attending the convention. This will be followed by a U.S. campaign against Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and Syria, and the mopping up of 11 or 12 terrorist organizations operating out of Damascus, he said.
Only in the fourth stage will the U.S. turn to Iraq, Barak said, since there is no way to establish world order, stability and normalization, as well as economic growth, if Saddam Hussein remains in power as if nothing happened.
The UN will be asked to present the conditions to Iraq, he said, and Israel and the U.S. will have to cooperate "intimately" on the subject.
As for Iran, a new order appears to be emerging there, and the U.S. will be less eager to attack that nation, also in view of the fact that Iraq and Iran together produce some 6-7 percent of the world's oil.
Turning to Palestinian terrorism, Barak said it should be countered by persistent IDF action; by a plan for gradual separation, over a four-year period; and by an open-door policy toward renewing negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions other than the cessation of the violence.

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