- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

Iraq will be disarmed
The United States yesterday assured a nervous India, which has 100,000 citizens in Iraq, that U.S. troops will occupy Iraq for only as long as necessary to promote a democratic government, if the showdown with Saddam Hussein comes to war, according to the U.S. ambassador in New Delhi.
Ambassador Robert Blackwill, in several news interviews, also promised that the Iraqi dictator will be disarmed, one way or another.
Mr. Blackwill told the United News of India wire service that the U.S. goal is to establish a democratic government in Iraq, if the United States has to invade.
"If we have to use military force to disarm Iraq, if there is a change of regime in Iraq, we want to leave as soon as we possibly can by turning over the government of Iraq to the democratic process," he said.
In an interview with the Hindu daily newspaper, Mr. Blackwill said Saddam has "come to the end of the road."
"Saddam Hussein is going to be disarmed. He's not going to slip away again," he said, adding that the Bush administration prefers to see Saddam disarmed peaceably but is prepared to use force.
Mr. Blackwill dismissed Saddam's decision to destroy some of the recently discovered missiles that violate the range allowed by the United Nations.
"This is classical Saddam Hussein behavior, which is to wait until the last moment and then give a small compromise, hoping that the United Nations will become distracted," he said.
"My worry is that he may have decided that this has worked for him 16 previous times, and he may think it's going to work again. It won't work again."
Colors don't run
A senior State Department official yesterday opened a second new embassy in Africa, completing the replacement of two diplomatic missions destroyed in terrorist attacks in 1998.
Grant Green, undersecretary for management, dedicated the embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the day after he opened one in Nairobi, Kenya.
Mr. Green said the opening of the embassies show that the United States will not give in to terrorism.
"The terrorists' cowardly attack could not and did not destroy the United States' resolve to maintain our presence here," he said. "Rebuilding our embassy … shows that the old saying about our flag is still true. These colors do not run."
Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network took responsibility for the attacks, which killed more than 200 people, including 12 Americans, in Nairobi and 11 persons in Dar es Salaam.
Both new embassies were built by J.A. Jones Construction Co. of Charlotte, N.C., which is also constructing U.S. embassies in Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, the Ivory Coast, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.
The construction cost $28 million for a 46,3500-square-foot embassy on a 10-acre site in Dar es Salaam and $36 million for a 76,190-square-foot embassy on 10 acres in a Nairobi suburb. Both diplomatic compounds are heavily fortified to protect against the kind of car bombs that destroyed the old embassies.
Romania invites troops
Mircea Dan Geoana was an aggressive diplomatic promoter of his country when he served here as Romania's ambassador to the United States.
Now, as foreign minister, he is displaying the same spirit in promoting Romania as a friendly spot for U.S. troops.
Mr. Geoana yesterday said Romania is eager to host American soldiers, if the United States wants to end its Cold War strategy of stationing large contingents of troops in Germany.
He told reporters in Bucharest that a redeployment of U.S. troops in smaller units in Eastern Europe "would mean abandoning the worn out Cold War concept of huge, permanent bases and replacing it with flexible and more easily deployable command posts."
Romania is one of the Eastern European countries closer to the Middle East tinderbox than Germany, which has angered the Bush administration by its opposition to a possible war in Iraq. Romania, on the other hand, has strongly endorsed the U.S. position.
Gen. James Jones, NATO's supreme allied commander, has said he is considering repositioning some of the 70,000 troops in Germany into smaller units in other countries but has denied the plan is in retaliation for Germany's criticism of U.S. policy on Iraq.

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