Powell: U.S. not to be '\'handcuffed'\' by U.N.; Pentagon deploys B-2 Stealth bombers near Gulf region
Secretary of State Colin Powell declared Wednesday the United States would not permit itself to be "handcuffed" by the world organization as the United States reported progress in UN Security Council talks on a new tough weapons control regime for Iraq.
"At no time will the United States foreclose its ability to act in its interest in accordance with its constitutional obligation to protect the nation and protect the people," Powell said. Powell said the United States was agreeable to holding talks in the Security Council as soon as inspectors encounter resistance from President Saddam Hussein.
But at any point along the way, President Bush retains the authority to use force against Iraq, Powell made plain in a joint news conference at the State Department with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.
"There is nothing that we would propose in this resolution or we would find acceptable in a resolution that would handcuff the president of the United States in doing what he feels he must do," Powell said.
Condoleezza Rice, Bush's assistant for national security, also said "we'll not be handcuffed" by whatever decision the Security Council might make.
Meanwhile, Washington stepped up its military preparation in the region in a new display of determination to act alone, if security council support were not forthcoming.
Pentagon will deploy B-2 Stealth bombers closer to the Gulf region to increase the US firepower there amid mounting pressure on Iraq, a US Air Force commander said. The Air Force B2 Bomber Wing, began practicing Tuesday for the deployment to the British Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia and an air base at Fairford in England, said Colonel Doug Raaberg, commander of the 509 Bomb Wing. (Albawaba.com)
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