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Carrot in One Hand, Whip in the Other

Posted March. 13, 2003 22:24,   


On the brink of war with Iraq, the United States is making its best diplomatic efforts using support and retaliation measures.

The US is exercising its right as economic `superpower` and is offering various economic incentives to countries that support the US attack on Iraq, but those countries that veto the attack will face US economic sanctions.

Although the US government is denying any strategic existence of this playing of cards, in fact there are quite a number of countries that have experienced the US` support and retaliation.

For instance, Russia has abstained from new resolution as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and their recently improved relationship with the US, after the September 11 attacks, is in jeopardy.

According to the Financial Times, in an interview with Izvestiya, a Russian newspaper, Alexander Vershbow, US ambassador to Russia said that “Co-operation in spheres such as space exploration, energy deals and security, which were boosted could be jeopardized” and bluntly suggested economic retaliation from the US if Russia decides to use its veto right.

Also Turkey was last week scratched a bill in the House of Representatives that offered new benefits to rug-makers in Pakistan after its vote to deny US troops access to bases in Turkey.

However, for those counties who have not yet made their decision or are in silent support, the US is offering hot deals.

Bulgaria, which has already said it would support the US at the UN, was rewarded last month when the US Commerce Department designated it a "market economy".

The designation of “market economy” means lifting obstacles to Bulgaria`s exports to the US, so now Bulgaria can expect to gain trade profit with the US. Romania which expressed their support for the US attack on Iraq, although not a permanent member of the Security Council, is also expected to be rewarded “market economy” status.

Angola which is also not a permanent member of the Security Council has been offered a similar deal from the US. The country which has failed to meet benchmarks on human and labor rights is likely to gain membership into the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, US officials said. This came just after Angola expressed support for the US attack on Iraq. If Angola becomes a member of AGOC in which the US has great influence, the country will gain various intangible and tangible economic benefits.

Jung-Ahn Kim credo@donga.com