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Our goal is disarmament. The only purpose of any inspections would be to prove that Iraq has disarmed, which would require Iraq to reverse its decades-long policy of pursuing these weapons. Something they are unlikely to do.
There are serious concerns about whether an inspections regime could be effective. Even the most intrusive inspection regime would have difficultly getting at all his weapons of mass destruction. Many of his WMD capabilities are mobile and can be hidden to evade inspectors. He has vast underground networks and facilities to hide WMD, and sophisticated denial and deception techniques. It is simply impossible to 'spot check" a country the size of Iraq. Unless we have people inside the Iraqi program who are willing to tell us what they have and where they have it-as we did in 1995 with the defection of Saddam's son in law, Hussein Kamel it is easy for the Iraqi regime to hide its capabilities from us.
Indeed, Hans Blix, the chief UN Weapons inspector, said as much in an interview with the New York Times last week. According to the Times, (quote) " (Mr. Blix) acknowledged that there were some limitations to what his team could accomplish even if it was allowed to return. Mr. Blix said his inspectors might not be able to detect mobile laboratories for producing biological weapons materials, or underground storehouses for weapons substances, if the inspectors did not have information about such sites from the last time they were in Iraq or have not seen traces of them in satellite surveillance photography." (Unquote).
When UNSCOM inspectors were on the ground, they did an admirable job of uncovering many of Iraq's violations, which is undoubtedly why Iraq had them expelled. But despite the UN's best efforts, from 1991-1995 Saddam was able to conceal some of his nuclear program and his biological weapons program. Some aspects were uncovered after his son-in-law defected and provided information that allowed inspectors to find them. And even then, Iraq was able to hide many of those activities from inspectors - capabilities he most likely still has today, in addition to what he has developed in recent years.
There is a place in this world for inspections. They tend to be effective if the target nation is cooperating-if they are actually willing to disarm and want to prove to the world that they are doing so. They tend not be as effective in uncovering deceptions and violations when the target is determined not to disarm. Iraq's record of the past decade shows the regime is not interested in disarming or cooperating. Their behavior demonstrates they want weapons of mass destruction and are determined to continue developing them.
Some ask: now that Iraq has agreed to "unconditional inspections," why does
Iraq has demonstrated great skill at playing the international community. When it's the right moment to lean forward, they lean forward. When it's a time to lean
back, they lean back. It's a dance. They can go on for months or years jerking the U.N. around. When they find that things are not going their way, they throw out a proposal like this. And hopeful people say: "There's our opportunity. They are finally being reasonable. Seize the moment. Let's give them another chance." And then we repeatedly find, at the last moment, that Iraq withdraws that carrot and goes back into their mode of rejecting the international community. And the dance starts all over again.
The issue is not inspections. The issue is disarmament. The issue is compliance. As the President made clear in his UN address, we require Iraq's compliance with all 16 UN resolutions that they have defied over the past decade. And, as the President said, the UN Security Council - not the Iraqi regime-needs to decide how to enforce its own resolutions. Congress's support for the President is what is needed to further generate international support.
Some have asked whether military intervention in Iraq means the U.S. would have to go to war with every terrorist state that is pursuing WMD?
The answer is: no. Taking military action in Iraq does not mean that it would be necessary or appropriate to take military action against other states that possess or are pursuing WMD. For one thing, preventive action in one situation may very well produce a deterrent effect on other states. After driving the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, we have already seen a change in behavior in certain regimes.
Moreover, dealing with some states may not require military action. In some cases, such as Iran, change could conceivably come from within. The young people and the women in Iran are increasingly fed up with the tight clique of Mullahs—they want change, and may well rise up to change their leadership at some point.
Some say that there is no international consensus behind ousting Saddam-and most of our key allies are opposed.
First, the fact is that there are a number of countries that want Saddam Hussein gone. Some are reluctant to say publicly just yet. But, if the U.S. waited for a consensus before acting, we would never do anything. Obviously, one's first choice in life is to have everyone agree with you at the outset. In reality, that is seldom the case. It takes time, leadership and persuasion. Leadership is about deciding what is right, and then going out and persuading others.
The coalition we have fashioned in the global war on terror today includes some 90 nations – literally half the world. It is the greatest coalition ever assembled in the
annals of human history. It was not there on September 19th. It was built, one country at a time, over a long period of time. If we had waited for consensus, the Taliban would still be in power in Afghanistan today. The worldwide coalition was formed by leadership.
During the Persian Gulf War, the coalition eventually included 36 nations. But they were not there on August 2, 1990 when Saddam invaded Kuwait. They were not there on August 5th, when the President George H. W. Bush announced to the world that Saddam's aggression “will not stand." That coalition was built over a period of many months.
With his UN speech, President George W. Bush began the process of building international support for dealing with Iraq. The reaction has been positive. We will continue to state our case, as the President is doing, and I suspect that as he does so, you will find that other countries in increasing numbers will cooperate and participate. Will it be unanimous? No. Does anyone expect it to be unanimous? No. Does it matter that it will not be unanimous? No. But does the U.S. want all the support possible - you bet. Just as we have in the coalition supporting the Global War on Terrorism.
The point is: if our nation's leaders do the right thing, others will follow and support the just cause – just they have in the global war against terror.
Some say that our European allies may reluctantly go along in the end, but that U.S. intervention in Iraq would spark concern in the Arab world- that not one country in that regions supports us, and many are vocally opposed.
That is not so. Saddam's neighbors are deathly afraid of him-and understandably so. He has invaded his neighbors, used weapons of mass destruction against them, and launched ballistic missiles at them. He aspires to dominate the region. The nations of the region would be greatly relieved to have him gone, and that if Saddam Hussein is removed from power, the reaction in the region will be not outrage, but great relief. And the reaction of the Iraqi people will most certainly be jubilation.
Some ask, but will they help us? Will they give us access to bases and territory and airspace we need to conduct a military operation?
The answer is that the President has not decided to take military action, but, if he does, we will have all the support we need to get the job done. You can be certain of it.
Another argument is that military action in Iraq will be expensive, and will have high costs for the global economy.
a out there are also dollar costs to not acting-and those costs ater. Consider: the New York City Comptroller estimates that
Ji the Sept. 11 attacks to New York alone were between $83 wurther estimated that New York lost 83,000 existing jobs and site city estimates would have been created had the attacks not chemical or biological weapons, how will the UN feel when one day, when Iraq demonstrates it has a deliverable nuclear weapon? The risks will only grow worse. If we are deterred today, we could be deterred forever-and Iraq will have achieved its objective. Or will the world community be deterred until Iraq uses a weapon of mass destruction, and only then decide it is time to act.
cute puts the cost to the national economy at $191 billionin jobs lost as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks. Other --as much as $250 billion in lost productivity, sales, jobs, - revenue and the like. And that is not to mention the cost in
e suffering of those who lost fathers and mothers, sons and und brothers that day.
forget that the costs of a nuclear, chemical or biological weapons
ngested that if the U.S. were to act it might provoke Saddam
S. troops and allies because he saw our goal was not to oust him, hack his aggression. This time, the argument goes, the opposite would I he would have nothing to lose by using WMD.
mportant point. And the President made clear on March 13, 2002 the cores of such an attack. He said: "we've got all options on the table
* want to make it very clear to nations that you will not threaten the ates or use weapons of mass destruction against us, our allies, or our
3 ways to mitigate the risk of a chem-bio attack, but it cannot be entirely
d-it is true that could be a risk of military action. But consider the unces if the world were to allow that risk to deter us from acting. We en have sent a message to the world about the value of weapons of mass on that we would deeply regret having sent. A country thinking about g WMD would conclude that the U.S. had been deterred by Iraq's chemical logical weapons capabilities, and they could then resolve to pursue those 7s to assure their impunity. The message the world should want to send is act opposite. The message should be that Iraq's pursuit of WMD has not ot made it more secure, it has made it less secure - that by pursuing those ons, they have attracted undesired attention to themselves.
if he is that dangerous, then that only makes the case for action strongercause the longer we wait, the more deadly his regime becomes. If the world Immunity were to be deterred from acting today by the threat that Iraq might use
But I would suggest that even if Saddam Hussein were to issue an order for the use chemical or biological weapons, that does not mean his orders would necessarily be carried out. Saddam Hussein might not have anything to lose, but those beneath him in the chain of command most certainly would have a great deal to lose – let there be no doubt. He has maintained power by instilling fear in his subordinates. If he is on the verge of losing power, he may also lose his ability to impose that fear-and, thus, the blind obedience of those around him. Wise Iraqis will not obey orders to use WMD.
If President Bush were to decide to take military action, the U.S. will execute his order and finish the job professionally-Saddam Hussein and his regime would be removed from power. Therefore, with that certain knowledge, those in the Iraqi military will need to think hard about whether it would be in their interest to follow his instructions to commit war crimes by using WMD, and then pay a severe price for that action. The United States will make clear at the outset that those who are not guilty of atrocities can play a role in the new Iraq. But if WMD is used all bets
I believe many in the Iraqi Armed Forces despise Saddam Hussein, and want to see him go as much as the rest of the world does. Those who may not despise him, but decide they would prefer to survive, may desert and try to blend into the civilian population or escape the country. This is what happened in Panama, when it became clear that Noriega was certain to be on his way out.
Some say that Saddam might succeed in provoking an Israeli response this time possibly a nuclear response--and that this would set the Middle East aflame.
We are concerned about the Iraqi regime attacking a number of its neighbors, and with good reason: Saddam Hussein has a history of doing so. Iraq has attacked Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Iraq is a threat to its neighbors. We will consult with all of our allies and friends in the region on how to deal with this threat.
But the fact that they have blackmailed their neighbors makes the case for action stronger. If we do nothing, that blackmail will eventually become blackmail with weapons of mass destruction-with significantly new consequences for the world.
Some have said the U.S. could get bogged down in a long-term military occupation, and want to know what the plan is for a post-Saddam Iraq?