Bush demands compliance as U.S.-Iraqi tensions mount

HBy Beth Fukumoto
Ka Leo O Hawaii
University of Hawaii

hONOLULU (UWIRE) – President George W. Bush went before the United Nations General Assembly in New York Thursday to ask that Iraq be forced to disarm all of its weapons, which he believes they are planning to use for mass destruction.

“The United Nations was born in the hope that survived a world war — the hope of a world moving toward justice, escaping old patterns of conflict and fear,” said Bush.

He added, “The founding members resolved that the peace of the world must never again be destroyed by the will and wickedness of any man.”

The U.N. was founded Oct. 24, 1945, by 51 countries. Today, 189 countries are members of the U.N.

The president recalled the Gulf War and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He said Iraq would have continued the aggressive behavior if the U.N. had not stopped him.

Bush began his case for war with, “By breaking every pledge — by his deceptions, and by his cruelties — Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.”

He mentioned the U.N. Commission on Human Rights’ findings last year that the Iraqi government continues to commit violations of human rights.

He accused Iraq of holding prisoners from other countries, including an American pilot who is missing.

Bush furthered his case by adding, “Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel and Western governments … And al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq.”

In a final push for action, Bush said, “Iraq continues to withhold important information about its nuclear weapons program … Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.”

He added that if Iraq was able to obtain fissle material, it would have nuclear capability within a year.

Iraqi Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri, will take Iraq’s case to the U.N. Friday.

In an interview with CNN, Sabri said, “Iraq is the victim of these threats. We have done nothing to provoke the United States; we have done … no harm whatsoever to American interests.”

“These are rumors that have been created by the extremist elements, extremist persons in the U.S. administration against Iraq.”

According to U.N. regulations, action against Iraq must be approved by nine ‘yes’ votes from the Security Council, which includes China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States and 10 other non-permanent members.

Bush said, “If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally foreswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material.”

“If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.”