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---------- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). ========================================= 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 committee. 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 succeed. Madeleine K. Albright is the Secretary of State. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html