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A quick, decisive war in Iraq would help the US economy, according to a report published today by a British business leaders' group. The Institute of Directors a nonpolitical organization with 55,000 members said a short, successful war forcing Iraq's prompt capitulation could result in oil prices quickly falling by a third to $20 a barrel and the U.S. economy growing by 2.9 percent in 2003. (US Navy photo)...

 

 

 

 


Group says war could aid economy


LONDON A quick, decisive war in Iraq would help the U.S. economy, according to a report published today by a British business leaders' group.

The Institute of Directors a nonpolitical organization with 55,000 members said a short, successful war forcing Iraq's prompt capitulation could result in oil prices quickly falling by a third to $20 a barrel and the U.S. economy growing by 2.9 percent in 2003.

"In economic terms, a short war is better than no war, or no regime change, because of the removal of uncertainty," said the report, titled "War and the World Economy."

It said prolonged military action could see oil prices more than double to $80 a barrel, the U.S. stock market fall by 30 percent and gross domestic product shrink by 2 percent this year.

Iraq says its troops have anti-chemical-warfare gear

LONDON Iraq acknowledged yesterday that it had equipped its troops with protective suits against chemical and biological weapons.

Equipping troops with such protective gear could be a sign that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein might use such weapons if attacked.

But Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tariq Aziz, told Britain's Channel 4 that the suits were "part of our preparations for the aggression."

"And any army you see, any modern army, does have clothes and masks for chemical and biological weapons," he said. "We are doing that to protect ourselves from the other side."

Asked whether he could guarantee "no first use" of chemical or biological weapons, Aziz answered quickly: "Yes. Because we don't have them."

U.S. must not rush into war, France's foreign minister says

PARIS France said yesterday that U.N. inspectors need more time and reiterated that the United States should not rush into an invasion.

Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said inspections were proceeding "as expected" and should continue for "several weeks or a few months."

"The information to which the international community has access today is more extensive than it was two months ago ... we want to go further," he said. "Force can only be a last resort."

Kuwait official describes U.S. attack as 'inevitable'

CAIRO, Egypt Kuwait's deputy prime minister, Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, said yesterday that he thinks an American-led military strike on Iraq is "inevitable" but hopes that a change in regime in Iraq could "spare Iraqi people the evil of a military attack."

"We hope he (Saddam) goes out to any country, (along with) those with him, so the problem ends and the entire world will be relieved," Sabah said in an interview with the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

Sabah also said his country, which borders Iraq to the south, is "obliged" by U.N. resolutions to allow U.S. forces to launch military action from its territory if a decision is made to go to war.

His pessimism was echoed by Jordan's King Abdullah, who said yesterday in Switzerland that there was little chance of avoiding war.

"We're a bit too little too late," he said. ... "It would take a miracle to find dialogue and a peaceful solution."

War in Iraq would devastate children, team of experts says

BAGHDAD, Iraq Death, disease and starvation await Iraq's children should war break out, and casualties in the thousands or even in the hundreds of thousands cannot be ruled out, according to a report released yesterday by an independent team of European and American experts.

A "grave humanitarian disaster" is predicted in the report prepared by 10 experts from the International Study Team. The team is an independent group of academics, researchers, physicians and psychologists founded in 1991 to examine the effect of military conflicts on civilians.

The International Study Team's backers include World Vision Canada, Oxfam Canada, United Church of Canada and the University of Bergen.

The report said children as young as 4 and 5 had clear concepts of the horrors of war, speaking of the threats posed by bombs, guns, destruction of houses and killing of people.

Also ...

Scores of U.N. weapons experts yesterday searched 10 Iraqi sites, including a former research laboratory suspected of developing deadly biological agents. ... Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday accused the United States of wanting to attack Iraq "to take control of Iraq's oil, found in abundance." ... Carrying peace signs and chanting "Drop Bush, not bombs," an estimated 3,000 people marched through snowfall in Pittsburgh yesterday to protest a possible war with Iraq.

Copyright 2003 The Seattle Times Company

 


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