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Article by Madeleine Albright

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 11:40:42 -0400 (EDT)
     The following lies, threats, racist imagery, etc. are from Albright's
OpEd piece in yesterday's New York Times.  Letters to the editor are
critically needed  (

     August 17, 1998
               The U.S. Will Stand Firm on Iraq, No 
               Matter What
               By MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT
                    At the end of gulf war, conventional wisdom had it that 
     Saddam Hussein would not last six months. Unfortunately, conventional 
     wisdom was wrong and we have had to live and deal with the 
     consequences ever since. For seven years, we have successfully 
     contained Saddam by maintaining the toughest multilateral sanctions in 
     history, while the United Nations special commission on arms 
     inspections, or Unscom, has managed to find and destroy many of 
     Saddam's missiles and weapons of mass destruction. 
                    Periodically, Saddam rattles his cage, hoping that by 
     provoking a crisis he can wear away at the will of the international 
     community while we either stop paying attention or end up spending our 
     precious defense dollars dispatching and recalling our forces. We will 
     keep our eye on the ball: the threat to our national interests posed 
     by Iraq. We will decide how and when to respond to Iraq's actions, 
     based on the threat they pose to Iraq's neighbors, to regional 
     security and to U.S. vital interests. 
                    Our assessment will include Saddam's capacity to 
     reconstitute, use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In 
     considering our response, we have ruled nothing out, including the use 
     of force. We have reconfigured our forces in the gulf so that we can 
     react swifly and forcefully when necessary. 
               In the meantime, Saddam's decision to suspend cooperation 
     with the International Atomic Energy Agency and U.N. special 
     commission violates the agreement he reached with Secretary General 
     Kofi Annan less than six months ago and represents a direct challenge 
     to Security Council authority. This is a confrontation between Iraq 
     and the United Nations. It is therefore up to Mr. Annan and the 
     Security Council to make sure that Saddam reverses course and 
     cooperates with Unscom. And if they fail to persuade him to back down, 
     we will have laid the foundation for taking our own decisive action. 
               Supporting Unscom is at the heart of our efforts to prevent 
     Saddam Hussein from threatening his neighborhood, and the United 
     States has always been its strongest backer. Because the U.N. special 
     commission has been so effective in disarming Iraq, despite Iraq's 
     elaborate efforts to hide and lie about its weapons of mass 
     destruction programs, Saddam has sought to discredit the organization. 
     Unfortunately, while this is patently untrue, some in the Security 
     Council have lent support to this effort. 
               We have taken the opposite approach, staunchly defending 
     Unscom and its chairman, Richard Butler. We have supported his conduct 
     of intrusive inspections while seeking to insure that Saddam was not 
     able to exploit this effort to the disadvantage of the U.N. inspection 
     team in the Security Council. Since the last crisis, Unscom has in fact 
     been very effective. It has carried out a range of inspection 
     activities, some of which turned up very serious evidence that Saddam 
     has still not accounted for many undeclared chemical warheads. Other 
     evidence demonstrated that Iraq had weaponized deadly VX gas, directly 
     contradicting Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz's claims to have fully 
     disclosed Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. 
               This month, Unscom had intended to follow up with some 
     particularly intrusive inspections, which he supported. However, when 
     Iraq suspended all inspections on Aug. 4, it was clear to us that 
     Saddam Hussein had done something which even his backers in the 
     Security Council could not defend. It was in that context that I 
     consulted with Mr. Butler who came to his own conclusion that it was 
     wiser to keep the focus on Iraq's open defiance of the Security 
     Council. Had Unscom gone ahead with the intrusive inspections, they 
     would have been blocked anyway, but that would have allowed some in 
     the Security Council to muddy the  waters by claiming again that 
     Unscom had provoked Iraq. 
               Our purpose now is to get the Security Council to face up to 
     its responsibilities to the U.N. special commission and the 
     International Atomic Energy Agency. These organizations have been 
     clearly mandated by the Council to carry out the necessary measures to 
     disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery 
     systems. If the Council fails to persuade Saddam to resume 
     cooperation, then we will have a free hand to use other means to 
     support Unscom's mandate. 
               Let's be clear: what Saddam Hussein really wants is to have 
     sanctions lifted while retaining his residual 
     weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities. We will not allow him to 
     achieve these objectives. As long as Saddam refuses to comply with the 
     Security Council resolutions, the comprehensive sanctions on Iraq will 
     remain in place. 
               This denies Saddam one of his most urgent objectives: to 
     regain control of Iraq's revenues so he can reconstitute his ability 
     to threaten his neighbors.  His lack of cooperation with Unscom may 
     delay the day when Iraq is fully disarmed. But this same lack of 
     cooperation will also help us insure that the sanctions are 
     maintained, thereby doing much to prevent Saddam from rearming Iraq. 
               Some will argue, as they did in the last crisis, that this 
     imposes an inhumane burden on the Iraqi people who are not to blame 
     for Saddam's behavior. But this time, Iraqis are benefiting from the 
     expansion of the "oil for food" arrangements which are now insuring 
     that every Iraqi receives a daily ration basket equivalent to the 
     recommended caloric intake of the average American. 
               Under this arrangement, however, Saddam is denied access to 
     the oil revenues. Instead, the money is escrowed in a U.N. account, 
     and released only for supplies approved by the U.N. sanctions 
               In short, Saddam may be rattling his cage again, but he has 
     no way to  break out of it. Through his latest actions he has thrown 
     away the key and only helped us to keep his cage in place. One way or 
     the other, his latest effort to blackmail the international community 
     into accepting his false claims of compliance will not be allowed to 
               Madeleine K. Albright is the Secretary of State.

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