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Administration says time is short to act against Iraq
Mon Sep 9,10:51 AM ET
By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Bush administration officials, trying to build a case for action against Iraq, are warning that the world can't afford to wait to see whether President Saddam Hussein ( news - web sites) has weapons of mass destruction.
"The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice ( news - web sites) said Sunday on CNN television's "Late Edition."
President George W. Bush ( news - web sites) is making his case Monday to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, who said last week he has yet to see evidence that would justify Canadian support for a military campaign against Iraq. Officially, the two leaders were meeting in Detroit to discuss border security.
Before leaving the White House for Detroit Monday, Bush continued his diplomatic efforts on Iraq in telephone calls to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer of Turkey, United Nations ( news - web sites) Secretary General Kofi Annan ( news - web sites) and the current president of the European Union ( news - web sites), Denmark's Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, along with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ( news - web sites) and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
"The president is calling as part of his ongoing consultations with leaders around the world about the situation in Iraq and also urging them to listen carefully to his speech to the United Nations" on Thursday, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer ( news - web sites) said, while declining to further describe the conversations.
Fleischer would not comment directly on a two-step proposal by French President Jacques Chirac that could lead to military action, but only through the approval of the U.N. Security Council.
"It does appear that a movement is budding to put some force into previous U.N. resolutions," Fleischer said. He cautioned later that he was not referring specifically to greater support from allies for military action, but perhaps for some kind of coercive inspection policy.
Vice President Dick Cheney ( news - web sites) said intelligence gathered in the last 12 to 14 months suggests the "the United States may well become the target" of an attack.
Cheney and top administration officials took to Sunday's television talk shows as part of Bush's effort to convince the public, Congress and other countries that action against Saddam is urgently needed. The officials cited the Sept. 11 attacks in making the case that the world cannot wait to find out whether the Iraqi president has weapons of mass destruction
"Imagine, a September 11 with weapons of mass destruction. It's not 3,000; it's tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said on CBS television's "Face the Nation."
In an interview published Monday in The New York Times, Chirac condemned as "extraordinarily dangerous" a pre-emptive U.S. strike against Iraq.
"As soon as one nation claims the right to take preventive action, other countries will naturally do the same," the French president said. "If we go down that road, where are we going?"
Chirac told the Times that he wants to see Saddam ousted, but said any military action must be approved by the U.N. Security Council.
In London, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, a top independent think tank, reported Monday that Iraq is developing equipment to make nuclear bomb components and could have an atomic weapon within months if it could get its hands on radioactive material.
Rumsfeld, appearing Monday on ABC' tlevision's "Good Morning America," said criticism of the failure of the government to anticipate the Sept. 11 attacks helps advance his argument that the United States cannot wait for Saddam to act.
Rumsfeld noted congressional hearings, still under way, "to connect the dots" of what happened last September. "The task today is to connect those dots before a weapon of mass destruction is used against us, and that's a difficult task," he said.
-- (sold her soul to satan @ now using. fear tactics), September 09, 2002
Jeez, that bitch will do anything for money and fame. She's worse than Paula Jones.
-- (sucking up @ to. Dick and Dumbya), September 09, 2002.
Geeze, maybe WE AMERICAN CITIZENS don't want him to start WWIII, It is after all OUR country and even hard core Bush sr. people are speaking out against pissing of 1/5 of the world. If he goes ahead with his stupid agenda, we will never be safe from the new terrorists he will create. There isn't much that can stop every city in this country from becoming the target of terrorist attacks.
-- Cherri (email@example.com), September 09, 2002.
If these repug assholes would focus on stopping weapons from coming into the country at our borders there would be absolutely no reason to go out and attack other countries.
But NOOOOOOO, they're so SMART they could never do something so OBVIOUS! (And of course, there's the oil.)
-- (dumbshit pugs @ always sticking their fat nose. where it doesn't belong), September 09, 2002.
Vote the Pugs out of office in November. We are ticked and we are taking over!
-- Kathy Krapapples (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 09, 2002.
You can either fight them over there or fight them here. They're not going away just because you're a thweetheart.
-- (email@example.com), September 09, 2002.
I wouldn't expect someone with your neanderthalic brain to understand. You better go back to slowboard and see if you can process more than one word per hour in the word association game. Real life moves too fast for you, you blow another circuit if you stay here where we talk reality.
-- lol (you're too dim @ to. understand), September 10, 2002.