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2/14/03 - POWELL ON SADDAM'S BRUTALITY - 2003-02-14

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has failed to give up his weapons of mass destruction. He harbors terrorists. And he has repeatedly shown "an utter contempt for human life." As U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the United Nations Security Council on February 5th, "For more than twenty years, by word and by deed, Saddam Hussein has pursued his ambition to dominate Iraq and the broader Middle East using the only means he knows, intimidation, coercion, and annihilation of all those who might stand in his way."

In the most comprehensive indictment yet of Saddam Hussein, Mr. Powell used newly declassified evidence to show Iraq's systematic efforts to thwart U-N weapons inspectors by concealing and continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction and prohibited missile systems. These are serious violations of U-N Security Council resolution fourteen-forty-one, which requires the Iraqi dictator to disclose Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. "By its failure to seize on its one last opportunity to come clean and disarm," said Secretary of State Powell, "Iraq has put itself. . .closer to the day when it will face serious consequences for its continued defiance of this council."

Saddam Hussein's campaign against the Kurds in northern Iraq from 1987 to 1989 included mass summary executions, disappearances, arbitrary jailing, ethnic cleansing, and the destruction of some two-thousand villages. Saddam Hussein's use of mustard gas and nerve gas against the Kurds killed five-thousand men, women and children.

Saddam Hussein has also conducted ethnic cleansing against Shi'a Iraqis and Marsh Arabs in the south. His police state ruthlessly eliminates anyone who dares to dissent. Iraq has more forced disappearance cases than any other country. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been reported missing in the past decade.

As Secretary of State Powell told the U-N Security Council, "Nothing points more clearly to Saddam Hussein's dangerous intentions and the threat he poses to all of us than his calculated cruelty to his own citizens and to his neighbors. Clearly, Saddam Hussein and his regime will stop at nothing until something stops him."