Bush gives final ultimatum to Saddam
Abandoning diplomacy, U.S. President Bush gave Saddam Hussein a final ultimatum Monday to leave Iraq or face a U.S.-led war. Later in the day, Bush planned a White House address at (0100 GMT on Tuesday) to explain his decision.
"He will say that to avoid military conflict Saddam Hussein must leave the country," spokesman Ari Fleischer said. The White House scheduled the address after U.S. and British diplomats announced at the United Nations that there would not be a vote on their resolution to give Saddam an ultimatum or face war.
"The diplomatic window has closed as a result of the U.N.'s failure to enforce it's own resolutions for Saddam to disarm," Fleischer said. He declined to say whether Saddam would be given a deadline. "I will not get into any discussions about when military hostilities may or may not begin," he said. According to some press reports, the ultimatum will expire in 72 hours.
Fleischer said U.S. officials were reviewing whether to raise the national terror alert.
First thing Monday, several senior administration officials filed into the White House. The group included Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert Mueller. (Albawaba.com)
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