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[casi] Iraq and Bush

Well it looks like we will be going to war. Bush and Company, as we have
seen, refuse to accept Iraq's offer for unconditional return of the weapons
inspectors. We found Bush castigating Iraq for not following the UN
resolution to allow inspectors yet now when the UN and Iraq are agreeing on a
plan to resume inspections, it is Bush who is saying that it is irrelevant.
Perhaps the U.S. government can be charged with obstructing and preventing
inspections and threatening a nation that wants to follow the UN's call for
inspections (Iraq) with weapons of mass destruction and perhaps biological or
chemical weapons. Lest we forget, the US used thousands of pounds of depleted
uranium in the Persian Gulf War which led to the Gulf War Syndrome amongst US
soldiers and diseases never before seen in Iraq to be found. Bush called for
inspections, but now he's saying that even though Iraq is agreeing, they
can't be trusted. Well, why did he call for inspections in the first place?
He could not have changed his mind in the space of 2 or 3 days that suddenly
Iraq was not to be trusted and that inspections are irrelevant. One would
think that calling for inspection presupposes that Bush would want
inspections, but it has been made readily apparent that to trust Bush or his
administration is to trust a pathological liar. We now see that all his
speech before the UN was meant to do was to put Iraq on the hot seat with a
demand that we think Bush assumed Iraq would not accede to. However, Saddam
and Iraq have passed the proverbial hot potato to Bush with their acceptance
of the inspections as seen in their statements and meeting with Hans Blix,
the head of UNMOVIC, the new inspections team. Bush has decided to drop the
hot potato as it is obviously scalding his hands and he knows not how to
handle it besides dropping it and screaming, "Bomb them! Bomb them! Liberty
for the Iraqis!" To listen to Bush and his advisers (especially spokesman Ari
Fleischer) is to listen to raving idiots, but then again we all knew from the
get-go that Bush has the IQ of a decapitated chickenhawk. Let's realize that
oil is playing a key role in their plans and don't forget that Halliburton
(Cheney is the former CEO) is the major contractor for foreign US military
bases. Don't think Cheney won't profit from this in some way. We need to
question this war and tell those we know what we know and why this war is
perverse. Before I forget, the US will go to war even without UN approval.
Bush is not the multilateralist like he would like us to think. Let's hope
anyhow that Russia and France and China (3 of the 5 members of the UN
Security Council) don't give in to Bush. At least it will make Bush an
isolated imperialist... Two article follow.

Saddam to U.N.: Iraq Is Weapons-Free

.c The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Iraq is free of nuclear, biological and chemical
weapons, Saddam Hussein told the United Nations in a speech read Thursday by
his foreign minister. The White House dismissed the speech as a
``disappointing failure.''

It was the first comments attributed to the Iraqi leader since Iraq's
surprise announcement this week that it would accept the unconditional return
of international weapons inspectors nearly four years after they left. The
decision, which followed a tough speech on Iraq last week by President Bush,
has divided the major powers on the U.N. Security Council.

``Our country is ready to receive any scientific experts, accompanied by
politicians you choose to represent any one of your countries, to tell us
which places and scientific installations they would wish to see,
particularly those about which the American officials have been fabricating
false stories, alleging that they contain prohibited materials or
activities,'' Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told the world body, quoting the
Iraqi president.

``I hereby declare before you that Iraq is clear of all nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons,'' Sabri said, further quoting Saddam.

The speech to the U.N. General Assembly - one week after Bush addressed the
gathering - was greeted with loud applause by diplomats from around the world.

But in Washington, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the speech
``presented nothing new and was more of the same.''

``The speech is an attempt to lure the world down the same dead-end road that
the world has traveled before and, in that, it represents a disappointing
failure by Iraq,'' Fleischer said.

The Iraqi president said he wanted a comprehensive solution to its problems
with the United Nations to ``bring to an end the cyclone of American
accusations and fabricated crises against Iraq.''

The speech heavily criticized the United States and Bush for trying to link
Iraq in some way to the tragedy of Sept. 11.

It charged that ``the American propaganda machine, along with official stat
ements of lies, distortion and falsehood'' was being used for ``inciting the
American public against Iraq, and pushing them to accept the U.S.
administration's schemes of aggression as a fait accompli.''

Iraq called on the United Nations to help protect its sovereignty in the face
of possible U.S. military action.

And it charged that the United States was working in concert with Israel and
was trying to control the Middle East oil supply.

``The U.S. administration wants to destroy Iraq in order to control the
Middle East oil and consequently control the politics as well as the oil and
economic policies of the whole world,'' the foreign minister said.

He also charged that the United States was fomenting problems with Iraq to
prevent the Security Council from lifting economic sanctions and to keep the
Middle East from becoming a nuclear-free zone as called for in council

The United States, he said, does not want to embarrass Israel - which he
referred to as ``the Zionist entity'' - or deprive it of the nuclear,
chemical and biological weapons it possesses.

Despite Iraq's offer to admit the inspectors, the United States and Britain
have begun crafting a draft resolution that would tighten the timetable Iraq
has to comply with previous resolutions and authorize force it fails to do so.

But the two English-speaking allies will need to overcome strong opposition
from France, Russia and Arab states, which believe there is no need for such
a move before inspectors can test Iraq's sincerity on the ground.

The Security Council was set to discuss Iraq later Thursday.

In Washington, Bush asked Congress for authority to use military force to
disarm and overthrow Saddam, saying the United States will take action on its
own if the Security Council balks.

The president sent to Capitol Hill his proposed wording for a resolution, a
late draft of which would, according to White House officials, give him
permission to use ``all means he determines to be appropriate, including
military'' to deal with Saddam.

``If you want to keep the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use
force,'' Bush told reporters in the Oval Office.

And Bush lashed out talks Iraq is holding with the United Nations about
resuming inspections: ``There are no negotiations to be held with Iraq. ... I
don't trust Iraq and neither should the free world.''

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan met late Wednesday with Sabri, who said
Iraq hoped the return of inspector would be a ``first step toward a
comprehensive solution to the crisis in the relations between the United
Nations and Iraq and the lifting of the brutal regime of sanctions which has
been killing our people for 12 years.''

In a statement, Annan said that Sabri had pledged his government's full
cooperation on finalizing arrangements for the swift return of inspectors.

U.N. sanctions were imposed and inspectors sent to Baghdad at the end of the
1991 Persian Gulf War to disarm Iraq and certify that the country's weapons
of mass destruction have been destroyed.

But after seven difficult years, often peppered with crisis over access to
sites and cooperation, inspectors left Iraq in December 1998 ahead of
punishing U.S. and British airstrikes.

At the time, the United Nations disbanded the first inspections team amid
allegations that some members were spying for the United States. A new
inspection team was established and Hans Blix of Sweden was appointed to head
the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission.

Blix has said he could have people on the ground as soon as he is able to
complete details for their return with Iraq in talks scheduled later this
month in Vienna.
09/19/02 14:12 EDT

Bush Sends Iraq Text to Congress

.c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush asked Congress Thursday for authority to use
``all means he determines to be appropriate, including force'' to disarm and
overthrow Iraq's Saddam Hussein, saying the United States will take action on
its own if the U.N. Security Council balks.

The president sent to Capitol Hill his proposed wording for a resolution that
would give him such broad war-making authority. He told reporters in the Oval
Office that the power to use force was all-important. ``If you want to keep
the peace, you've got to have the authorization to use force,'' he said.

The president immediately began trying to build support for the proposed
resolution that he wants Congress to approve before lawmakers go home to
campaign for the Nov. 5 elections.

A letter to Congress from White House counsel Al Gonzales and congressional
liaison Nicholas Calio, hoping for ``early agreement,'' accompanied the
president's proposed wording. It was submitted to Congress as a ``White House
discussion draft.''

Essentially a two-page indictment of Saddam's regime, including a reference
by name to its assassination plot against Bush's father, the resolution

``The president is authorized to use all means that he determines to be
appropriate, including force, in order to enforce the United Nations Security
Council resolutions (on disarmament), defend the national security interests
of the United States against the threat posed by Iraq, and restore
international peace and security in the region.''

Meantime, Saddam told the United Nations that Iraq is free of nuclear,
biological and chemical weapons.

``Our country is ready to receive any scientific experts, accompanied by
politicians you choose to represent any one of your countries, to tell us
which places and scientific installations they would wish to see,'' Foreign
Minister Naji Sabri told the world body, quoting the Iraqi president.

Appearing in the afternoon at the homeland security command center, Bush told
reporters he had not heard the speech by Iraq's foreign minister.

``Let me guess, the United States is guilty, the world doesn't understand, we
don't have weapons of mass destruction - it's the same old song and dance
we've heard for 11 years,'' he said, calling anew for the United Nations to
pass a get-tough resolution.

At the White House, nine Democratic and Republican lawmakers emerged from a
morning audience with Bush predicting bipartisan support for the commander in
chief. ``I think we have no choice but to have the strongest support possible
for the president's efforts here,'' said Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash.

But the president also stressed he is not on the verge of declaring war, said
Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y.

``The most important word I heard inside today from the president was the
word 'if.' He made it repeatedly clear that this resolution is not intended
as a declaration of war, it is not intended as an immediate prior step to
aggression,'' said McHugh.

Bush spoke to reporters after meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell on
his difficult diplomatic effort to draft a U.N. Security Council resolution
against Iraq. The administration has to overcome strong reservations by
Russia and France, which have veto power in the Security Council.

``The United Nations Security Council must work with the United States and
other concerned parties to send a clear message that we expect Saddam to
disarm,'' Bush said.

``And if the United Nations Security Council won't deal with the problem, the
United States and some of our friends will,'' he declared.

By telephone, he thanked leaders of Japan, Poland and the Philippines for
standing with the United States.

The gap between Russian and American viewpoints was underlined Thursday in
comments by Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov. Upon arriving at the Pentagon to
meet with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Ivanov said he believed U.N.
weapons inspectors will succeed in settling the question of whether Iraq has
weapons of mass destruction.

``Being experienced in that sort of business - both Americans and Russians -
I think we can easily establish (whether) there exist or not weapons of mass
destruction technology,'' Ivanov said. Rumsfeld, who stood by silently as
Ivanov spoke, has said repeatedly that inspections cannot be 100 percent
reliable because Iraq has a long history of deceiving inspectors.

And Bush lashed out at the notion that Iraq is in talks with the United
Nations about resuming inspections: ``There are no negotiations to be held
with Iraq. ... I don't trust Iraq and neither should the free world.''

He declined to name any of the allies he's counting on for support in the
event of war, saying only that ``time will tell.''

In what some at the Pentagon interpret as Iraqi precautions against a
possible surprise U.S. attack, Saddam in recent weeks has moved some military
forces into civilian areas, officials said. They said it did not appear to be
the kind of large-scale movement of forces that would indicate Saddam expects
an imminent American-led attack, but rather a precaution against a
short-notice assault.

As Bush spoke, White House advisers were behind the scenes telephoning
congressional leaders with notice that Bush's proposal was on its way to
Capitol Hill.

Following his meeting with Powell, Vice President Dick Cheney and National
Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Bush lobbied the small group of lawmakers
- something Rice, too, planned to do with other groups later Thursday.

Bush said he wanted the legislature to give him not only the power to make
war with Saddam, but also an explicit restatement of U.S. policy that Saddam
must be overthrown. The wording he asked for expressed support ``for efforts
to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a
democratic government.''

On Capitol Hill Thursday, a group of House Democrats condemned the move
toward military action, with Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, calling it
``unjustified, unwarranted and illegal.''

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said she was introducing a resolution with 20
cosponsors calling on the United States to work with the U.N. to carry out
weapons inspections in Iraq. ``A preemptive, unilateral first strike would
set a terrible international precedent,'' she said.
09/19/02 15:06 EDT

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