News



DATE=        FEBRUARY 19, 1998
TYPE=        EDITORIAL
NUMBER=      0-07658
TITLE=       EDITORIAL:  IRAQI THREAT MUST BE COUNTERED

CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 
FEBRUARY 19, 1998.

ANNCR:
THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE 
VARIETY OF ISSUES.  NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

VOICE:

    THERE IS NO GREATER THREAT TO STABILITY IN THE MIDDLE EAST 
THAN IRAQI DICTATOR SADDAM HUSSEIN AND HIS PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR, 
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS AND THE MISSILES TO DELIVER THEM.
A NUMBER OF OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE SUCH WEAPONS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION.  BUT WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN THERE IS ONE BIG 
DIFFERENCE:  HE HAS USED THEM.  NOT ONCE, BUT REPEATEDLY.  NOT 
ONLY AGAINST COMBATANTS, BUT AGAINST CIVILIANS.  NOT ONLY AGAINST
A FOREIGN ADVERSARY, BUT AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE.

    THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL KNOWS THIS.  THAT IS WHY 
IT INSISTED THAT IRAQ ELIMINATE ALL OF ITS WEAPONS OF MASS 
DESTRUCTION AND BALLISTIC MISSILES, AS WELL AS ANY PROGRAMS TO 
DEVELOP THEM.  THIS WAS A CONDITION OF THE CEASE-FIRE THAT ENDED 
THE 1991 PERSIAN GULF WAR.  BUT FOR SEVEN YEARS, IRAQ HAS 
OBSTRUCTED U-N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS.  DESPITE IRAQ'S EFFORTS TO 
DECEIVE AND DELAY THEM, THE U-N INSPECTORS HAVE DONE A REMARKABLE
JOB.  THEY HAVE FOUND AND DESTROYED NEARLY FORTY-THOUSAND 
CHEMICAL WEAPONS, FORTY-EIGHT OPERATIONAL MISSILES, THIRTY 
WARHEADS FITTED FOR CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS, AND A 
MASSIVE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS FACTORY EQUIPPED TO PRODUCE DEADLY 
ANTHRAX AND BOTULINUM.

    BUT THE U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS' JOB IS FAR FROM DONE.  
STOCKPILES OF CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL MUNITIONS AND SCUD-TYPE 
MISSILES REMAIN UNACCOUNTED FOR.  IRAQ STILL HAS THE CAPACITY TO 
REBUILD ITS WEAPONS PROGRAMS.

    THIS SITUATION CANNOT BE TOLERATED.  IRAQ MUST MEET ALL OF 
ITS OBLIGATIONS TO THE UNITED NATIONS.  THE UNITED STATES WOULD 
PREFER A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION TO THIS CRISIS.  BUT THE U.S. WILL 
NOT ACCEPT ANY PROPOSAL THAT WOULD DIMINISH THE EFFECTIVENESS OF 
THE U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS.  THEY MUST HAVE FULL AND UNFETTERED 
ACCESS TO ALL SUSPECTED SITES IN IRAQ -- WITH NO EXCEPTIONS.

    AS PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SAID, MILITARY FORCE SHOULD NEVER 
BE THE FIRST ANSWER, BUT SOMETIMES IT IS THE ONLY ANSWER.  IF 
SADDAM HUSSEIN ACCEPTS THE U-N WEAPONS INSPECTORS, SAID PRESIDENT
CLINTON, "FORCE WILL NOT BE NECESSARY.  IF HE. . .CONTINUES TO 
EVADE HIS OBLIGATIONS THROUGH MORE TACTICS OF DELAY AND 
DECEPTION, HE AND HE ALONE WILL BE TO BLAME FOR THE 
CONSEQUENCES."

ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED 
STATES GOVERNMENT.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, 
PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 
20547, U-S-A.  YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043.  
YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.

18-Feb-98 3:52 PM EST (2052 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.