Bush says Saddam must be contained
U.S. President-elect George W. Bush said on January 18th that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is a “big threat” and should be contained.
When asked whether he would employ force against Hussein, Bush said that: “If he crosses the line, the answer’s yes. If we catch him developing weapons of mass destruction, the answer’s yes.”
The incoming president said that he would reassess the effectiveness of U.N. sanctions against Iraq “with the intention of rallying support among our friends and allies” in order to keep the Iraqi leader “in check.”
Recent months have seen sanctions, levied against Iraq for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, eroding further, with a host of European countries violating flight bans and calling for an end to the embargoes, which they say only hurt innocent Iraqi people.
U.N. resolutions stipulate that weapons inspectors must certify that Iraq has destroyed all of its weapons of mass destruction before sanctions can be eased or lifted, but Baghdad continually refuses to allow disarmament workers to resume inspections, saying that it has totally destroyed its weapons capabilities.
Bush said that: “I do think he [Saddam Hussein] is a big threat to our friends in the Persian Gulf and he’s a threat to Israel.”
He added that: “Yes, we must continue to contain Saddam Hussein and we must watch his money and we must make sure that he doesn’t develop weapons of mass destruction.”
The president-elect also turned his attention to OPEC’s decision to slash production on January 18th, refusing to blame U.S. allies in the cartel for the reduction. He said that: “I think it’s too complicated to blame our friends. To the extent that prices are unstable, there are some who can affect the price who aren’t friends of ours.”
Bush added that: “One of the real wild cards in the world today is Saddam Hussein. He controls a lot of the output of oil and he is certainly not our friend.”
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)