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Media Alert - Write the Washington Post!

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Media Alert - Write the Washington Post!
1. Background
2. Letters to the Editor address
3. Richard Butler Op/Ed

The Washington Post editorial page has consistently
supported both military action against Iraq and Sanctions.
That is their right. However, the information they continue
to base their opinions on is seriously flawed (see:

Regardless, it is the Post's refusal to allow an anti-Sanctions
viewpoint on their Opinion page that is most troubling. The
Opinion page is supposed to be a clearing house of
alternative views on the issues in our public life. It seems
the Washington Post does not believe that there is any
opposition to Sanctions in the United States. Please write
the Washington Post and urge them to allow a anti-Sanctions
Op/Ed to be published in their paper.

Letters to the Editor addresses:
Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street NW
Washington, DC 20071

Guess Who's Back
By Richard Butler

Monday , July 17, 2000 ; A17
So you thought Saddam Hussein was out of your life? Sorry--he's
back, manufacturing the weapons of mass destruction with which
he threatens the Iraqi people, his neighbors and, by extension, the
safety of the world.

Two separate developments have returned Saddam Hussein to the
headlines. Earlier this month the administration revealed that its
satellites had detected Iraq test-firing Al-Samoud missiles,
home-grown, smaller versions of the Scuds last used against Israel
during the 1990 Gulf War. The chief of U.S. Central Command,
Gen. Tony Zinni, said that the range of the Al-Samoud easily could
be increased.

The administration also revealed that Saddam Hussein has been
hiding between 20 and 30 Russian Scuds as well as working
through front companies outside Iraq to acquire the machine tools
needed to build more missiles.

None of this is new. In my last report as executive chairman of
UNSCOM, the agency charged with disarming Saddam, I warned
the U.N. Security Council about Iraq's missile-development
activities. That was almost two years ago, just before Iraq shut
down all international arms control and monitoring efforts. I've also
publicly detailed Iraq's refusal to yield or account for its holdings of
at least 500 tons of fuel usable only by Scud-type missiles. Iraqi
officials told me that a complete accounting for this fuel was
unnecessary because, after all, Iraq had no Scud missiles. I
disagreed, stating that the reverse was true: As long as Iraq
refused to yield the fuel, it clearly had concealed Scuds or planned
to acquire or build them.

Presumably unconnected with the administration's revelation but
simultaneous with it, former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter, in an
article in Arms Control Today, claimed that Iraq is "qualitatively
disarmed." He failed to offer any new information or evidence to
support this dubious concept.

There were two levels of deception in Iraqi dealings with UNSCOM:
concealment and false declarations on the weapons Iraq was
prepared to put in play in the disarmament process. When
Ritter worked for me, he was in charge of the UNSCOM unit
responsible for finding and destroying the concealed weapons, and
he was vilified by Iraqi leaders as their major persecutor. Now he
says he has had private conversations with unspecified Iraqi
officials that have persuaded him they are "qualitatively disarmed"
and will accept a new monitoring program if the Security Council
first lifts all sanctions against Iraq.

The facts are clear and alarming, and they do not support this
assertion. Iraq has been free of any arms control or monitoring
regime for almost two years, a consequence of the breakdown of
consensus among the permanent members of the Security
Council. Now Saddam Hussein is reconstituting his capability to
deploy weapons of mass destruction. I've seen evidence of Iraqi
attempts to acquire missile-related tools and, even more chilling, of
steps the Iraqis have taken to reassemble their nuclear weapons
design team. After the Gulf War, experts assessed Iraq was only
six months from testing an atomic bomb. It retains that know-how.
It also has rebuilt its chemical and biological weapons
manufacturing facilities.

If the United States is serious about addressing the threat current
developments raise, it should insist to its fellow permanent
members of the Security Council that there be a new consensus
on enforcing arms control in Iraq. Selective revelations such as
those recently issued by the administration need to be
accompanied by a robust policy within the Security Council,
making clear particularly to Russia and France that the United
States is not prepared to accept their patronage of Saddam

The writer, diplomat in residence at the Council on Foreign
Relations in New York, was chairman of UNSCOM from 1997 to

                       2000 The Washington Post Company
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