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Bush v. Saddam, page 2

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 9/29/02
The president's real goal in Iraq By JAY BOOKMAN

Excerpt from The Baltimore Sun - Op/Ed: Originally published October 8, 2002
If we back war, where's the enlistment? By Alexander E. Hooke
" ... A scholar on civil-military relations, sociologist James Burk, points out that an all-volunteer army cannot alone sustain a lasting war. Sooner or later it requires the physical support, not just the lip service, of the citizenry. Whether stagnant on the front lines, holed up in makeshift shelters, or scouting the area for snipers or guerillas, soldiers tend to reach a threshold.
To displace Mr. Hussein, American soldiers can expect a lengthy presence, making them vulnerable to counterattacks from loyalists and patriots. Though Mr. Hussein has been painted as a villain in the likes of Hitler or Stalin, we should not forget how they nevertheless garnered the devotion of some of the population. That means millions of potential threats lurking about in a country the size of Iraq.
Hence, the question posed to Americans should be more direct. And if you or I hem or haw about the unlikelihood of our physical contribution, then we are doing more than underestimating the myriad repercussions possible in the Middle East. We are also denying our own civic responsibility.
Being unwilling to offer our flesh and blood is tantamount to confessing that overtaking Iraq has nothing to do with democracy or freedom. If content that a volunteer army should suffer all the wounds and casualties for this enterprise, then we are donning the mantle of an international ogre who consigns its soldiers to mercenary status.
Such a scenario involves more than the slogan that talk is cheap or that the Bush administration is committed to satisfying our appetite for cheap energy. Rather, it indicates that Americans desire a still stranger bargain -- war on the cheap."
Alexander E. Hooke teaches philosophy at Villa Julie College.

From The Guardian (UK): Wednesday October 9, 2002
White House 'exaggerating Iraqi threat' By Julian Borger in Washington
Bush's televised address attacked by US intelligence

From Oxford Research Group:
"Iraq: Consequences of War". Professor Paul Rogers, October 2002

At Oct. 10, 2002
"The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his advisors"
Not every Democrat has caved to Bush's martial fervor. Rep. Pete Stark makes it stunningly clear why he voted against the Iraq war resolution.
Editor's note: Below is the fiery statement delivered on the floor of the House Wednesday by veteran California Democrat Rep. Pete Stark.

Oct. 10, 2002 | "Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution (authorizing military force against Iraq). I am deeply troubled that lives may be lost without a meaningful attempt to bring Iraq into compliance with U.N. resolutions through careful and cautious diplomacy.
The bottom line is I don't trust this president and his advisors.
Make no mistake, we are voting on a resolution that grants total authority to the president, who wants to invade a sovereign nation without any specific act of provocation. This would authorize the United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our history. It sets a precedent for our nation -- or any nation -- to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to international law or international consensus.
Congress must not walk in lockstep behind a president who has been so callous to proceed without reservation, as if war was of no real consequence.
You know, three years ago in December, Molly Ivins, an observer of Texas politics, wrote: 'For an upper-class white boy, Bush comes on way too hard. At a guess, to make up for being an upper-class white boy.'
'Somebody,' she said, 'should be worrying about how all this could affect his handling of future encounters with some Saddam Hussein.' How prophetic, Ms. Ivins.
Let us not forget that our president -- our commander in chief -- has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. In fact, he admits that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height of that conflict in 1968 he didn't notice 'any heavy stuff going on.'
So we have a president who thinks foreign territory is the opponent's dugout and Kashmir is a sweater.
What is most unconscionable is that there is not a shred of evidence to justify the certain loss of life. Do the generalized threats and half-truths of this administration give any one of us in Congress the confidence to tell a mother or father or family that the loss of their child or loved one was in the name of a just cause?
Is the president's need for revenge for the threat once posed to his father enough to justify the death of any American?
I submit the answer to these questions is no.
Aside from the wisdom of going to war as Bush wants, I am troubled by who pays for his capricious adventure into world domination. The administration admits to a cost of around $200 billion!
Now, wealthy individuals won't pay. They've got big tax cuts already. Corporations won't pay. They'll cook the books and move overseas and then send their contributions to the Republicans. Rich kids won't pay. Their daddies will get them deferments as Big George did for George W.
Well then, who will pay?
School kids will pay. There'll be no money to keep them from being left behind -- way behind. Seniors will pay. They'll pay big time as the Republicans privatize Social Security and rob the Trust Fund to pay for the capricious war. Medicare will be curtailed and drugs will be more unaffordable. And there won't be any money for a drug benefit because Bush will spend it all on the war.
Working folks will pay through loss of job security and bargaining rights. Our grandchildren will pay through the degradation of our air and water quality. And the entire nation will pay as Bush continues to destroy civil rights, women's rights and religious freedom in a rush to phony patriotism and to courting the messianic Pharisees of the religious right.
The questions before the members of this House and to all Americans are immense, but there are clear answers. America is not currently confronted by a genuine, proven, imminent threat from Iraq. The call for war is wrong.
And what greatly saddens me at this point in our history is my fear that this entire spectacle has not been planned for the well-being of the world, but for the short-term political interest of our president.
Now, I am also greatly disturbed that many Democratic leaders have also put political calculation ahead of the president's accountability to truth and reason by supporting this resolution. But, I conclude that the only answer is to vote no on the resolution before us."
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., represents the Fremont, Calif., congressional district.

From CNN: Friday, October 11, 2002 Posted: 12:35 PM EDT (1635 GMT)
Senate approves Iraq war resolution - Administration applauds vote
"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions. Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133. The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice." "The Congress has spoken clearly to the international community and the United Nations Security Council," Bush said in a statement. "Saddam Hussein and his outlaw regime pose a grave threat to the region, the world and the United States. Inaction is not an option, disarmament is a must."
While the outcome of the vote was never in doubt, its passage followed several days of spirited debate in which a small but vocal group of lawmakers charged the resolution was too broad and premature. The resolution requires Bush to declare to Congress either before or within 48 hours after beginning military action that diplomatic efforts to enforce the U.N. resolutions have failed. Bush also must certify that action against Iraq would not hinder efforts to pursue the al Qaeda terrorist network that attacked New York and Washington last year. And it requires the administration to report to Congress on the progress of any war with Iraq every 60 days. The measure passed the Senate and House by wider margins than the 1991 resolution that empowered the current president's father to go to war to expel Iraq from Kuwait. That measure passed 250-183 in the House and 52-47 in the Senate.
The Bush administration and its supporters in Congress say Saddam has kept a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons in violation of U.N. resolutions and has continued efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Bush also has argued that Iraq could give chemical or biological weapons to terrorists. Iraq has denied having weapons of mass destruction and has offered to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to return for the first time since 1998. Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Tawab Al-Mulah Huwaish called the allegations "lies" Thursday and offered to let U.S. officials inspect plants they say are developing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. "If the American administration is interested in inspecting these sites, then they're welcome to come over and have a look for themselves," he said. The White House immediately rejected the offer, saying the matter is up to the United Nations, not Iraq. ...
Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, attempted Thursday to mount a filibuster against the resolution but was cut off on a 75 to 25 vote. Byrd had argued the resolution amounted to a "blank check" for the White House. "This is the Tonkin Gulf resolution all over again," Byrd said. "Let us stop, look and listen. Let us not give this president or any president unchecked power. Remember the Constitution." But Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said the United States needs to move before Saddam can develop a more advanced arsenal. "Giving peace a chance only gives Saddam Hussein more time to prepare for war on his terms, at a time of his choosing, in pursuit of ambitions that will only grow as his power to achieve them grows," McCain said. In the House, six Republicans -- Ron Paul of Texas; Connie Morella of Maryland; Jim Leach of Iowa; Amo Houghton of New York; John Hostettler of Indiana; and John Duncan of Tennessee -- joined 126 Democrats in voting against the resolution. ...
But Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said the 133 votes against the measure were "a very strong message" to the administration. ... "

From Reuters: Wed Oct 16, 8:14 PM ET
U.S. Fumes at U.N. Resistance on Iraq
By Evelyn Leopold and Nadim Ladki
" ... At the United Nations, nation after nation lined up before the Security Council to warn Washington against military action before U.N. inspectors had a chance to determine if Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. ...
Iraq's U.N. ambassador, Mohammed Aldouri, said his country was not guilty of any of the accusations against it. The Bush administration "unabashedly declared plans for an invasion of Iraq" and wanted the council "to give it a blank check to occupy Iraq," Aldouri told the council. ... "

From AP: Oct 26, 1:35 PM (ET)
Bush: U.S. Can Bypass U.N. on Iraq By RON FOURNIER
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) - President Bush said Saturday that the United States will lead a coalition against Iraq if the United Nations does not pass a strong resolution insisting Saddam Hussein disarm. ...

From Reuters: Oct 28, 7:31 pm ET
U.S. Vows to Disarm Iraq with or Without U.N. By Patricia Wilson & Evelyn Leopold
DENVER/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Boosted by apparent support from top U.N arms inspectors, the United States on Monday demanded that the United Nations disarm Iraq or watch the world's superpower do it. ... "The message from America is this," President Bush told Republican supporters. "If the United Nations doesn't have the will or the courage to disarm (Iraqi leader) Saddam Hussein and Saddam Hussein will not disarm ... the United States will lead a coalition and disarm Saddam Hussein." ...

From The Washington Post: Wednesday, October 30, 2002; Page A01
U.S. Would Seek to Try Hussein for War Crimes By Peter Slevin

From The NYT: November 9, 2002
Security Council Votes, 15-0, for Tough Iraq Resolution By JULIA PRESTON
UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 8 — The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution today that President Bush called a "final test" of Saddam Hussein's willingness to disarm, saying the Iraqi president's response must be "prompt and unconditional, or he will face the severest consequences." "Any act of delay or defiance will be an additional breach of Iraq's international obligations, and a clear signal that the Iraqi regime has once again abandoned the path of voluntary compliance," Mr. Bush said in the White House Rose Garden. The president praised the United Nations for meeting its leadership responsibilities, but he put the Council on notice that the United States would be watching the weapons inspections very closely, and expected a strong and swift response to any Iraqi violation. "The outcome of the current crisis is already determined: the full disarmament of Iraq will occur," Mr. Bush said. "The only question for the Iraqi regime to decide is how. The United States prefers that Iraq meet its obligations voluntarily, yet we are prepared for the alternative." ... United States officials said that language gave Washington the legal basis to go to war unilaterally if the Council could not agree how to respond to new violations by Baghdad. ...

From Reuters: Sat Nov 9, 6:47 PM ET
Bush Approves Iraq War Plan; Large Force Seen By Charles Aldinger
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has approved a war plan for Iraq to initially capture parts of the country for footholds to thrust in 200,000 or more troops, U.S. officials said on Saturday. The officials, who asked not to be identified, stressed the plan was flexible but that Bush had in recent weeks accepted Army Gen. Tommy Franks' advice that smaller numbers of troops could not capture and hold Iraq if invasion became necessary. They confirmed a New York Times report in its Sunday edition that any attack ordered by Bush and led by Franks, head of the U.S. Central Command, would begin with "a rolling start" of smaller numbers of troops while B-1 and B-2 bombers led an air campaign against Saddam's palaces, air defenses and bases. "Those are the right words -- a rolling start," said one of the officials. "I doubt you would see this all come at once." The officials said any attack was unlikely until early next year unless Iraq refused to comply with Friday's unanimous U.N. resolution ordering Saddam to end any chemical, biological and nuclear programs and give arms inspectors unfettered access to his country. The officials refused to discuss precise details but said the air strikes would be spearheaded by the big bombers using 1,000-pound (1,600 kg) satellite-guided bombs to destroy Saddam's power base. ...

From Reuters: Sun, Nov 10, 2002
U.S. Says Any Iraqi False Step Could Lead to War By Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq will be held to a "zero tolerance" standard in meeting a new U.N. disarmament resolution, and any breach could be met with overwhelming military force with or without Security Council approval, Bush administration officials said on Sunday. The officials said Washington would initially seek U.N. backing for any military action if Iraq violates the resolution, but President Bush reserves the right to use force without Security Council approval. "The U.N. can meet and discuss, but we don't need their permission," White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said on NBC television's "Meet the Press." ...
U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said she was "very skeptical" the Iraqi president would meet all the terms of the resolution. Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Rice predicted the council would treat seriously any violation, and that any military action would be done in "a quite multilateral way." "We have to have a zero-tolerance view of the Iraqi regime this time," Rice said. "The next material breach by Saddam Hussein has got to have serious consequences. I think it's pretty clear what that may mean."
Said Secretary of State Colin Powell: "... serious consequences -- that's a nice term, but what it means is force to disarm him." ...
Iraq has until Dec. 8 to make a full declaration of its weapons of mass destruction programs. Anything less than a complete accounting of the programs would violate the resolution, and a denial that such programs existed would not be accepted, the U.S. officials said. "The next time Saddam Hussein demonstrably gives false information he will be held in material breach," Rice said. Said Powell, "We have to see cooperation right away, not wait until February." Powell said on CNN's "Final Edition" that if Saddam failed to cooperate, Washington would seek Security Council backing to use "all necessary means" against him. "If the U.N. isn't willing to do that, the United States, with like-minded nations, will go and disarm him forcefully," he said. ...

From AP: Mon, Nov 11, 2002
Bush Says Iraq War May Be Necessary By RON FOURNIER
WASHINGTON (AP) - In somber tribute to soldiers of wars past, President Bush said Monday he will commit "the full force and might of the United States military" against Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to disarm swiftly. ... "The time to confront this threat is before it arrives, not the day after," he told several dozen veterans during an East Room ceremony. ... "We will not permit a dictator who has used weapons of mass destruction to threaten America with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons," the president said. "This great nation will not live at the mercy of any foreign plot or power." ... "The dictator of Iraq will fully disarm or the United States will lead a coalition to disarm him." ... "No enemy that threatens our security or endangers our people will escape the patient justice and the overwhelming power of the United States of America," he said in the East Room. "Should military action become necessary for our own security, I will commit the full force and might of the United States military, and we will prevail." ...

From The Independent (UK): 12 November 2002
US warns war on Iraq may start before Christmas By Andrew Buncombe
President Bush issued a tough new warning to Saddam Hussein yesterday as administration officials said that a war could begin before the end of the year. ...
Colin Powell, the American Secretary of State, told CNN: "We're not going to wait until February to see whether Iraq is co-operating or not.'' ...

From AP: Wed, Nov 13, 2002
Iraq Accepts U.N. Demands By EDITH M. LEDERER
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Facing a tight deadline and the threat of war, Iraq accepted a tough, new U.N. resolution on Wednesday that will return weapons inspectors to the country after nearly four years. Iraq's U.N. ambassador said his country hadn't placed any conditions on the resolution's terms. In an argumentative and sometimes threatening nine-page acceptance letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri attacked the United States and Britain, the co-sponsors of the resolution, and called the U.N. action unjust and illegal. But he declared nonetheless that Baghdad would abide by the resolution. "We hereby inform you that we will deal with resolution 1441, despite its bad contents. ... The important thing is trying to spare our people from any harm," Sabri wrote. The letter went on to add that Iraq is "prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable." ...

From The NYT: November 13, 2002
U.S. Scoffs at Iraq Claim of No Weapons of Mass Destruction
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 — The White House dismissed Saddam Hussein's contention today that he possesses no weapons of mass destruction as a fabrication. But President Bush's advisers said they would not be taunted into revealing the intelligence they had gathered to contradict him until after Iraq delivered a full accounting of weapons stores in early December. ... the United States has a reasonable chance, White House officials believe, of making a case that his detailed inventory due on Dec. 8 is deliberately deceiving. But other officials noted that American forces in the Persian Gulf would not be sufficiently large to risk a confrontation for another month or so. ...
U.S. Disputes Iraqi Denial That It Has Weapons Banned by U.N.
Iraq Tells the U.N. Arms Inspections Will Be Permitted

Iraq’s ‘acceptance’ cast in doubt
Nov. 14 — As U.N. weapons inspectors readied for a return to Iraq, Baghdad’s bitterly worded acceptance of Security Council demands that it disarm has cast in doubt President Saddam Hussein’s intentions to submit to an intrusive weapons verification program. ...
Deadlines for Saddam
Dec. 8: The deadline to provide a "full and complete declaration" on all aspects of its alleged program to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
Dec. 23: The deadline for the resumption of U.N. weapons inspections.
Feb. 21: Last possible date by which inspectors must update the U.N. Security Council. Under resolution 1441, the U.N. must be briefed 60 days after the start of inspections.
Administration officials suggested that Iraq may already be flouting the spirit of the resolution, first by declaring Wednesday it has no weapons of mass destruction. If Saddam continues to make that claim after the Dec. 8 deadline to declare his weapons program, he would be inviting war, U.S. officials said. ...

From AP: Thu, Nov 14, 2002
Former weapons inspector says war with Iraq inevitable
PASADENA, California - Former United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter says the U.N. resolution on disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction makes war inevitable. "We're going to war, and there's not a damn thing the inspectors can do to stop it, and that's a shame. Inspections worked once and they can work again," Ritter said Wednesday night during a speech at the California Institute for Technology. The wording of the U.N. resolution will allow the United States to attack by mid-December, said Ritter, who was chief weapons inspector for the U.N. Special Commission in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. ... "The U.S. has a policy regarding Iraq of regime removal. The last thing Bush wants is a weapons inspection regime that works. That would mean lifting economic sanctions and Iraq coming back into the fold with Saddam Hussein still at the helm," Ritter said. ...

From Reuters: Thu, Nov 14, 2002
Powell Says U.S. Will Punish Any Iraqi Violations By Jonathan Wright
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it would be patient in judging Baghdad's compliance with U.N. disarmament demands but once an Iraqi violation was clear, military action would follow to overthrow the government of President Saddam Hussein. ...

From The NYT: November 19, 2002
U.S. Warns Iraq Over New Attacks on Patrol Planes
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 — The Bush administration warned the Iraqis today that they had breached the latest United Nations resolution by firing on American and British warplanes patrolling no-flight zones over Iraq, but it stopped short of casting the violation as sufficient reason to go to war. Faced today with the latest in a recent string of attempts by Iraq to shoot down allied aircraft in the zones, the administration insisted that the confrontations violated terms of the resolution, adopted by the Security Council on Nov. 8. The resolution bars "hostile acts" toward any United Nations representative or member state seeking to uphold the world body's efforts to contain Iraqi aggression. But the administration left its position on the seriousness of the incidents deliberately ambiguous, administration and Pentagon officials said. The administration sought both to underscore the seriousness of the threat to American and British pilots, they said, and to reserve the idea that Iraqi attacks on allied warplanes were part of a pattern of intransigence that ultimately could be used to make the case for war. ...

From AP: Fri Nov 22, 8:52 AM ET
U.S. Wouldn't Believe Iraq's Denials By MATT KELLEY
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday the United States would not believe Saddam Hussein if he claimed Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. But Rumsfeld did not say whether that assertion would trigger a military response. ... Rumsfeld said "the future of the United Nations is at stake." "Is it interested in having its resolutions recognized and complied with or not?" ...

From The NYT: November 23, 2002
Turks, Fearing Flow of Refugees, Plan Move Into Iraq By DEXTER FILKINS
IYARBAKIR, Turkey, Nov. 22 — Turkish officials are preparing to send troops up to 60 miles into northern Iraq on what they say is a mission to prevent an influx of refugees in the event that a war there sets off a mass movement toward Turkey's borders. The plan, which is being circulated among top government officials, is giving rise to fears that it could be used as a cover for the Turkish military to snuff out any attempt by Iraqi Kurds to set up their own state if President Saddam Hussein falls from power. Turkey has been battling its own Kurdish insurgency for years, and Turkish leaders are concerned that a war in Iraq could lead to an independent Kurdish state on their own borders. ...

From AP: Nov 24, 6:49 PM (ET)
Iraq: U.N. Plan Is Pretext for War By CHARLES J. HANLEY
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - In a point-by-point protest, the Iraqi government complained to the United Nations Sunday that the small print behind the weapons inspections beginning this week will give Washington a pretext to attack. ...

From The Mirror (UK): November 2002
WAR, WHATEVER Bush aide: Inspections or not, we'll attack Iraq
Exclusive By Paul Gilfeather, Whitehall Editor
GEORGE Bush's top security adviser last night admitted the US would attack Iraq even if UN inspectors fail to find weapons. Dr Richard Perle stunned MPs by insisting a "clean bill of health" from UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix would not halt America's war machine. ...

From AP: Fri Dec 13, 6:43 PM ET
White House Rejects Iraqi Weapons Report By BARRY SCHWEID
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration dismissed Iraq's weapons declaration Friday as woefully short of facts. "We know that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and has programs to create more," the State Department said. The 12,000-page declaration to the United Nations does not account for a number of missing chemical and biological weapons and fails to explain purchases of equipment for a nuclear arms program, U.S. officials said. "What's not in the document may be as important as what is in the document," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said. ...
State Department spokesman Boucher would not critique the declaration, but did not hesitate to denounce Iraq's record. "We know that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and has programs to create more," Boucher said. "We know that from previous inspections. We know that from our own information. We know that from what Iraq has bought in recent years." ...
The tentative U.S. conclusion that the report was far off the mark sets the stage for a critical set of decisions by Bush, who views the declaration as Saddam's last chance to come clean, officials said. The president's options include providing U.S. intelligence on suspected weapons programs to U.N. inspectors. For the time being, Bush could simply seek more information from Iraq. Or after a more thorough review of the declaration, the president could declare Saddam was in "material breach" of the Security Council's unanimous Nov. 9 resolution that authorized a new round of inspections. That could trigger a decision to go to war to disarm Iraq. ... a senior U.S. official told The Associated Press last week that the United States was not inclined to engage in prolonged debate in the council and might act on its own, especially if a veto loomed from one of the permanent members to block action.

From AP: Dec 18, 12:42 AM (ET)
Bush to Declare Iraq in Violation of U.N. By RON FOURNIER
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush's advisers are recommending that he declare Iraq in violation of a U.N. resolution on disarmament, administration officials said Tuesday night, but they do not consider the offense an immediate cause for war. ...
The strategy gaining most support on Bush's team is to push the U.N. to demand interviews with Iraqi scientists outside of Iraq, a prerogative given international body under the resolution. Bush believes Saddam will resist, giving him a case for "material breach" that U.S. allies and the American public may find more justified than hastier action. ... The strategy under consideration would, as a matter of course, mean military force could not be contemplated for several more weeks, pushing a possible showdown into the new year. ...

U.S. hints at January decision on Iraq
Dec. 19 — The Bush administration has set the last week in January as the go-or-no-go point in the protracted standoff with Iraq — a period that falls within the time frame that U.S. planners have said is optimal for a military strike, the Washington Post reported Thursday. Top U.N. arms inspectors, meanwhile, were expected to tell the Security Council on Thursday that Iraq’s recent weapons declaration leaves many unanswered questions — a view already expressed by Washington. ...
In revealing their plans, administration officials have presented the clearest timetable yet of how they would like to see the inspections process brought to a head, the Post reported. U.S. officials are pointing to Jan. 27, when Hans Blix, the United Nations’ chief weapons inspector, is scheduled to make his first substantive report to the Security Council on Iraq’s weapons declaration as well as the Baghdad government’s level of cooperation with inspectors ...
Ahead of his Security Council briefing Thursday, Blix told Reuters in an interview that Iraq’s new declaration contained little information that had not been declared by Baghdad before 1998 when U.N. arms experts were last in Iraq. ...

From Reuters: Thu Dec 19, 8:49 PM ET
U.S. Declares 'Material Breach' Against Iraq By Evelyn Leopold & Arshad Mohammed
UNITED NATIONS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday declared Iraq was in "material breach" of a U.N. resolution by failing to disclose its weapons of mass destruction, increasing the risk of military action. ...
A material breach was first declared by Washington's U.N. ambassador, John Negroponte, to the Security Council on Thursday in an assessment of the arms declaration Iraq had to submit under the new resolution. ...
Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix bolstered Negroponte's analysis, telling the council in his initial report that Iraq's declaration, submitted on Dec. 7, did not include data on some chemical and biological agents, such as anthrax, that inspectors wanted clarified. "An opportunity was missed in the declaration to give a lot of evidence," Blix said. But he said he had no evidence to prove Iraq still had weapons of mass destruction and challenged countries, particularly the United States, to back up their charges. ...
Britain said more than falsifications or omissions in the document were needed under the Nov. 8 council resolution 1441 for a material breach. And Russia said only the council, and not just the United States, could declare a breach. ...

From AP: Dec 20, 9:15 AM (ET)
U.S. Urges U.N. to Authorize War in Iraq By BARRY SCHWEID
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration, concluding that Saddam Hussein is not serious about disarmament, turned to convincing the U.N. Security Council that it should declare Iraq in violation of world demands and authorize war. ...

From AP: Dec 25, 1:16 AM EST
Saddam Says U.S., Israel Fomenting Chaos By NADIA ABOU EL MAGD
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Saddam Hussein said Tuesday that Iraqis were ready to fight a holy war against the United States, and he accused Washington of using lies and military might in a bid to rule the world. In an address read by a television announcer marking Christmas Eve, Saddam said the world was entering a new year "under unique circumstances ... which have been manufactured by the forces of evil and darkness in order to create a situation of instability, chaos and tension." Saddam said the United States and Israel were bent on waging war against Iraq in a first step to spread their authority "across the world and control fortunes and futures" of other countries. ...

From Reuters: Jan 2, 4:23 pm ET
Bush Warns Saddam of 'Day of Reckoning' By Adam Entous
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Thursday his "day of reckoning is coming" ...
Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tareq Aziz, had earlier accused Washington of "an imperialist design" to invade his country regardless of the verdict of U.N. weapons inspectors who are combing Iraq for alleged weapons of mass destruction. ...
"When they continue their preparations for the war of aggression, what does that mean? It doesn't mean that they are genuinely afraid of an imaginary Iraqi threat. It means that they have an imperialist design," he said in English. "That design is to invade Iraq, to occupy Iraq and use the national resources of Iraq for the purposes of...the American capitalist regime," he said. "When America becomes stronger economically, when America takes over the whole oil of the region and puts it in its hands it is going to pressure politically and economically every country that needs oil," Aziz said. ...

From CBS News: January 2, 2003 16:39:40
Iraq: It's All About Oil

From The Scotsman: Fri 3 Jan 2003
Iraq says real goal of US is oil fields

From CBS News: January 6, 2003 11:32:25
Revving Up The War Machine
NEW YORK, Jan. 6, 2003 (CBS) Twelve years after driving Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait, the massive might of the United States military is steadily preparing for another war in Iraq. ... And the administration is not preparing just for war, but also for its aftermath. The New York Times reports the president's advisers are close to finalizing a plan for an 18-month occupation of Iraq by a large American military force ... Iraq's oil would be sold to help pay for reconstruction ... Mr. Bush Friday spoke at length about the potential conflict. "You'll be fighting not to conquer anybody but to liberate people," should force be required in the Persian Gulf, Mr. Bush said, his voice swelling with emotion. ...

From Reuters: Thursday, January 09, 2003 2:42 p.m. ET
U.S. Says Knows 'For a Fact' Iraq Has Weapons By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House insisted on Thursday that it knows "for a fact" that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction but provided no evidence, saying it will wait to see where U.N. inspections lead. "The heart of the problem is Iraq is very good at hiding things" said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. U.S. officials took little comfort in the latest report from chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix saying arms experts after two months of looking have found no "smoking gun" proving Iraq has banned weapons. "Well, the problem with guns that are hidden is you can't see their smoke. And so, we will still wait to see what the inspectors find in Iraq and what events in Iraq lead to," Fleischer told reporters. ... "We know for a fact that there are weapons there," he said, and added that the burden was on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to disarm. ...

From Reuters: Jan 13, 11:20 am ET
U.N. Experts Want Up to a Year for Iraq Inspections
By Hassan Hafidh and Louis Charbonneau
BAGHDAD/VIENNA (Reuters) - U.N. arms experts said on Monday they wanted up to a year to complete their inspections in Iraq, even as Washington masses a force in the Gulf that will be ready to wage war within weeks. ...
the Pope ... declared on Monday war would be a "defeat for humanity." ...
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) spokesman Mark Gwozdecky told Reuters in Vienna U.N. resolutions gave timelines of "somewhere between six and 12 months" for inspections. ...
"It is a far better option to wait a little bit longer than to have to resort to war," Gwozdecky told CNN separately. He stressed that January 27, when inspectors are scheduled to report to the U.N. Security Council on Iraq's compliance with disarmament demands, was not a final deadline. "There's a little bit of misunderstanding about this January 27 reporting date. The Security Council is asking us to report but not to have all the answers at that point," Gwozdecky said. ...
"No to war!" Pope John Paul said in an address on Monday. ...
Germany, a new Security Council member, is strongly opposed. ...
Saudi Arabia is mounting a diplomatic drive to ask fellow Arab states to unanimously oppose an attack on one of their own. ...

From AP: Tue Jan 14, 4:54 PM ET
Bush Sees No Evidence Saddam Disarming By BARRY SCHWEID
WASHINGTON - President Bush expressed impatience with Saddam Hussein on Tuesday and said "time is running out for him" to disarm. U.N. weapons inspectors planned for months more of searches for hidden chemical and biological arms in Iraq. ...
"He must disarm," Bush said. "I'm sick and tired of games and deceptions. And that's my view of timetables." ...
The chief U.N. weapons inspector, Hans Blix, meanwhile, is describing the Jan. 27 report as an interim update. It would mark "the beginning of the inspection and monitoring process and not the end of it," Blix said Monday. ...

From Reuters: Mon January 20, 2003 11:30 AM ET
Iraq Promises to Help U.N. Hunt for Its Own Weapons
By Hassan Hafidh and Andrew Hammond
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq promised U.N. weapons inspectors more help Monday, saying it was even forming its own teams to search for banned weapons. ... President Saddam Hussein's adviser Amir al-Saadi read a joint statement at a news conference in Baghdad with visiting inspection chiefs Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei. It said Iraq had handed more documents to inspectors, was clarifying others and was forming its own teams to search for suspicious items. U.N. inspectors discovered empty chemical warheads last week which Iraq had failed to report to the United Nations; Iraq said it had forgotten about them. The statement said Iraq would also encourage inspections of "private sites" -- an apparent reference to places like the homes of leading scientists -- and to "private interviews" -- referring to talks between U.N. inspectors and Iraqi technical experts without the presence of Iraqi government minders. ...

Bush fumes over allies’ Iraq stance
France threatens veto at U.N., sees no justification for war
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 — President Bush expressed frustration Tuesday with allies reluctant to wage war against Iraq, saying Saddam Hussein has been given “ample time” to disarm and pledging anew to join with like-minded world leaders to confront Baghdad. He was responding to suggestions from allies, including France and Germany, that they would wage a major diplomatic fight to prevent the U.N. Security Council from passing a war resolution against Iraq.
THE UNITED STATES and Britain have insisted that no new U.N. resolution is required to launch an attack — the current resolution approved in November warns of “serious consequences” if Iraq fails to disarm — but most opinion polls show that the public would prefer U.N. backing for any strike.
“This business about more time — how much time do we need to see clearly that he’s not disarming?” Bush told reporters after meeting with economists to tout his $670 billion tax-cutting plan. Bush said he will lead a “coalition of the willing” to disarm Iraq, if necessary, as aides said he is willing to do so without the United Nations. “Time is running out,” Bush said. He said Saddam possesses weapons of mass destruction and is a “serious threat” to the United States and its allies, many of whom want U.N. inspectors to have more time to do their work. “It appears to be a rerun of a bad movie. He is delaying. He is deceiving. He is asking for time. He’s playing hide and seek with inspectors. One thing for sure is, he’s not disarming,” Bush said. “So the United States of America, in the name of peace, will insist that he does disarm, and we will keep pressure on Iraq.” ...
On Monday, the foreign minister indicated that France was ready to take a leading role in attempting to slow U.S. and British war plans. ... Germany, for its part, joined the Security Council on Jan. 1 and has said any military action against Iraq requires a new U.N. resolution. ...

From AP: Tue, Jan 21, 2003
Bush Scolds U.N. Member Nations on Iraq By RON FOURNIER
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Tuesday scolded world leaders who are demanding more time to search Iraq for illegal arms, and a top U.S. diplomat warned that war is fast approaching as America's only option. ...

From Reuters: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 8:28 p.m. ET
Bush Dismisses Calls for More Time for Iraq By Steve Holland and Andrew Hammond
WASHINGTON/BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President Bush, describing U.N. arms inspections of Iraq as "a re-run of a bad movie," says President Saddam Hussein has failed to disarm and his time is running out. ... Bush made no secret of his impatience with nations that want to give U.N. weapons inspectors looking for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction more time. "It's clear to me now that he is not disarming ... He's been given ample time to disarm," Bush said of Saddam. "Time is running out." ... Asked how much more time he would give Saddam to comply with U.N. demands to disarm or face military action, Bush said: "I will let you know when the moment has come." ...

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