News




DATE=2/20/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227070
TITLE=CLINTON / IRAQ (L)
BYLINE=DEBORAH TATE
DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

*INTRO:  PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS IRAQI LEADER SADDAM HUSSEIN WILL 
BE TO  BLAME IF THE STANDOFF WITH BAGHDAD OVER U-N WEAPONS 
INSPECTIONS ESCALATES TO MILITARY CONFRONTATION.  V-O-A WHITE 
HOUSE CORRESPONDENT DEBORAH TATE REPORTS MR. CLINTON MADE HIS 
REMARKS IN A VIDEOTAPED MESSAGE FOR BROADCAST TO THE ARAB WORLD. 

TEXT:  MR. CLINTON'S SIX-MINUTE ADDRESS IS AIMED AT KEEPING 
PRESSURE ON THE IRAQI LEADER TO OPEN ALL SUSPECTED WEAPONS SITES 
TO U-N INSPECTORS -- OR FACE THE PROSPECT OF U-S MILITARY ACTION.

                     // CLINTON ACTUALITY //

         NOBODY WANTS TO USE FORCE.  BUT IF SADDAM REFUSES TO 
         KEEP HIS COMMITMENTS TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, WE 
         MUST BE PREPARED TO DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE THREAT THESE 
         WEAPONS POSE TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE,  TO IRAQ'S NEIGHBORS, 
         AND TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.  EITHER SADDAM ACTS -- OR 
         WE WILL HAVE TO.

                          // END ACT //

THE PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS COME AS U-N SECRETARY GENERAL KOFI ANNAN
IS IN BAGHDAD MAKING A LAST-DITCH EFFORT TO FIND A PEACEFUL END 
TO THE CRISIS.

WHILE ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS SUPPORT MR. ANNAN'S MISSION, THEY 
HAVE MADE CLEAR ANY DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION MUST ALLOW FOR "FREE AND 
UNFETTERED" U-N INSPECTIONS, AND MUST PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF 
THE INSPECTION PROCESS.  

MR. CLINTON ARGUES THE IRAQI LEADER WOULD BEAR THE BLAME IF 
DIPLOMACY FAILS AND MILITARY ACTION BECOMES NECESSARY.

                     // CLINTON ACTUALITY //

         SADDAM HIMSELF UNDERSTANDS THAT THE INTERNATIONAL 
         COMMUNITY PLACES A  HIGHER VALUE ON THE LIVES OF THE 
         IRAQI PEOPLE THAN HE DOES.  THAT IS WHY HE USES INNOCENT
         WOMEN AND CHILDREN AS HUMAN SHIELDS, RISKING WHAT WE 
         CARE ABOUT -- HUMAN LIVES -- TO PROTECT WHAT HE CARES 
         ABOUT -- HIS WEAPONS.  IF FORCE PROVES NECESSARY TO 
         RESOLVE THE CRISIS, WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO 
         PREVENT INNOCENT PEOPLE FROM GETTING HURT.  BUT MAKE NO 
         MISTAKE:  SADDAM HUSSEIN MUST BEAR FULL RESPONSIBILITY 
         FOR EVERY CASUALTY THAT RESULTS.

                          // END ACT //

U-S OFFICIALS SAY MR. CLINTON'S BROADCAST WAS DONE IN CONNECTION 
WITH FRIDAY'S U-N SECURITY COUNCIL VOTE TO ALLOW IRAQ TO MORE 
THAN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF OIL IT CAN SELL UNDER THE U-N 
OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM. 

IN HIS MESSAGE, MR. CLINTON SAID THE UNITED STATES WOULD MAKE 
SURE THE FUNDS RAISED BY THE EXPANDED PROGRAM WOULD BE USED TO 
HELP, IN HIS WORDS, THE 'ORDINARY PEOPLE OF IRAQ'.  (SIGNED)

NEB/DAT/JO

20-Feb-98 4:26 PM EST (2126 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.