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11/3/02 - THE U.S. AND IRAQ - 2002-11-07

In 1991, America led an international force to Kuwait to reverse the invasion of that Muslim nation by another Muslim nation, Iraq. In 1999, U.S. troops joined those of the NATO countries to help rescue the Muslims of Kosovo. Today American troops are in Afghanistan helping to protect that Muslim country after freeing it from oppressive Taleban rule. The U.S. did not go to these places as a conqueror. The U.S. went as a liberator.

Now there is another threat. And once again it comes from Iraq. Iraq has a history of aggression and a program to develop weapons of mass destruction. In 1991, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein’s regime was required to disarm and to stop supporting terrorist groups. The United Nations passed resolutions requiring Saddam Hussein to destroy his chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles, and to halt his nuclear weapons program.

The Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein has violated all its obligations. It has given shelter and support to terrorists, and practices terror against the Iraqi people. Iraq’s Kurdish minority has been subject to chemical warfare attacks. “The entire world has witnessed,” said President George W. Bush, “Iraq’s eleven-year history of defiance, deception, and bad faith.”

The U.S. wants the U-N Security Council, as U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell put it, to pass “a tough resolution that puts inspectors back in with the toughest set of standards to see if Iraq will cooperate. If Iraq cooperates,” said Mr. Powell, “then we can find a peaceful solution to this if it results in disarmament. But we also know that Iraq will not cooperate unless the element of pressure in the form of potential military force is there, and we want to make sure that that pressure is there.”