Bush indirectly warns Iraq; Rice: no decision to remove Saddam by force
US President George W. Bush, in a possible allusion to Iraq, repeated his warning that states developing weapons of mass destruction would soon face US wrath.
Bush, in a speech to business leaders, said: "These people -- these terrorists still want to hit us. They're cold-blooded murderers; that's just what they are. And we're denying them places to hide, and slowly but surely we're going to get them. ... I feel the same way, by the way, about nations that are going to develop these weapons of mass destruction who have got a history of hating America, hating freedom and using these weapons against their own people, for example. Got one country in mind, as I laid out that characteristic."
Iraq, along with Iran and North Korea, form what Bush calls an "axis of evil," mainly for their efforts to develop nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
According to AFP, the U.S. president has repeatedly threatened military action against Baghdad, pointing to a possible extension of the US-led anti-terror campaign launched last October following the September 11 attacks on the United States.
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed doubts Monday that weapons inspectors in Iraq could find solid evidence that Saddam Hussein is building weapons of mass destruction. "I can't quite picture how intrusive something would have to be," he said.
However, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice told the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview to be published Wednesday that Bush has made no decision to remove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by force. (Albawaba.com)
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