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The following appeared in the Evening Standard earlier this week. ********************************************************** Blair dossier on Iraq 'nuclear arms threat'. TONY BLAIR is preparing to publish a devastating dossier of Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities as the West gears up for military action against Iraq. The Prime Minister is determined to provide clear evidence of the enormous threat he and President George Bush believe Saddam's regime represents. It is expected that the dossier, built up by the intelligence services, will be published ahead of Mr Blair's trip to Washington next month to discuss the next phase of the war on terror with Mr Bush. The document is thought to reveal Saddam's attempts to amass a rudimentary nuclear capability, including the power to make "dirty" nuclear bombs - basic devices capable of wreaking havoc. Intelligence sources believe Saddam is also developing biological and chemical weapons capable of killing thousands. Mr Blair warned that the West had to be ready to act against Iraq - and possibly other regimes belonging to what Mr Bush calls an "axis of evil" - before it was "too late". Citing the example of Afghanistan, he said nothing had been done to prevent the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda for the 10 years prior to last year's 11 September atrocities. It was important not to make the same mistake again, the Prime Minister told Australian television during his trip to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting. His comments represent a deliberate attempt to raise the stakes ahead of his talks with President Bush. The US and Britain aim to use stronger rhetoric to try to force Saddam to let banned United Nations weapons inspectors back into Iraq. However, both Washington and London are clear that they must be ready to back up their words with military force if that proves necessary. Military advisers are understood to have told Mr Blair the best time for a full-scale attack would be the autumn, after the fierce summer heat has abated. Publication of the dossier will represent a major step in the Prime Minister's drive to persuade doubters in his own party that Saddam must be defeated. Many Labour backbenchers, including former defence minister Doug Henderson, are highly sceptical about the need for military action and warn that it could easily go wrong, strengthening Saddam's position. There are also fears that taking on Saddam could mean the end of the international coalition against terrorism painstakingly built up after weeks of jet-setting diplomacy by Mr Blair and senior US politicians following the 11 September attacks. Action against Afghanistan was strengthened by support from Islamic nations including Pakistan and Iran - which could fall away rapidly if Iraq comes under direct threat. But Mr Blair told Australian television: "If chemical, biological or nuclear capability falls into the wrong hands, we know what some of these people are capable of. These are not people like us. "They are not people who are democratically elected, they are not people who abide by the normal rules of human behaviour. If these weapons fall into their hands, and we know they have the capability and the intention to use them, then I think we have got to act on it. If we don't act, we will find out too late the potential for destruction." Source: EVENING STANDARD 04/03/2002 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk