News


DATE=2/20/98
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-39036
TITLE=WASHINGTON AND THE WORLD REVIEW
BYLINE=MIKE MORAVITZ
DATELINE=WASHINGTON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

                     /// FOR WEEKEND USE ///

INTRO:  PRESIDENT CLINTON PRESENTS HIS MOST EXTENSIVE PUBLIC 
EXPLANATION FOR POSSIBLE MILITARY STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ....MR. 
CLINTON'S FOREIGN POLICY TEAM RECEIVES A MIXED RECEPTION WHEN 
DISCUSSING THE ADMINISTRATION'S IRAQI POLICY...AND MEMBERS OF 
CONGRESS OFFER THEIR VIEWS ON THE CRISIS.  V-O-A'S MIKE MORAVITZ 
REPORTS ON THESE STORIES IN THIS WASHINGTON AND THE WORLD REVIEW 
OF U-S FOREIGN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS THIS PAST WEEK.

TEXT:  PRESIDENT CLINTON TRAVELED TUESDAY TO THE PENTAGON  TO 
MAKE HIS CASE FOR POSSIBLE MILITARY STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ.  MR. 
CLINTON ACCUSED IRAQ OF HARASSING UNITED NATIONS WEAPONS 
INSPECTORS, LYING TO THEM, DISABLING MONITORING CAMERAS, AND 
SPIRITING EVIDENCE AWAY FROM INSPECTORS.

THE PRESIDENT SAID U-N INSPECTORS BELIEVE IRAQ STILL HAS 
STOCKPILES OF CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL MUNITIONS, A SMALL FORCE OF
MISSILES, AND THE CAPACITY TO QUICKLY RESTART ITS WEAPONS 
PRODUCTION PROGRAM.  MR. CLINTON SAID HE GUARANTEES IRAQI LEADER 
SADDAM HUSSEIN WOULD USE HIS WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IF LEFT 
ALONE BY U-N INSPECTORS.

THE PRESIDENT OUTLINED THE PURPOSE OF ANY MILITARY STRIKES 
AGAINST IRAQ.

                    // CLINTON ACTUALITY // 

         IF SADDAM REJECTS PEACE AND WE HAVE TO USE FORCE, OUR 
         PURPOSE IS CLEAR:  WE WANT TO DIMINISH THE THREAT POSED 
         BY IRAQ'S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION PROGRAM.  WE WANT 
         TO SERIOUSLY REDUCE HIS CAPACITY TO THREATEN HIS 
         NEIGHBORS.  I AM QUITE CONFIDENT FROM THE BRIEFING I 
         HAVE JUST RECEIVED FROM OUR MILITARY LEADERS WE CAN 
         ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVE AND SECURE OUR VITAL STRATEGIC 
         INTERESTS.  

                          // END ACT //

MR. CLINTON REPEATED THAT THE UNITED STATES PREFERS A DIPLOMATIC 
SOLUTION TO THE CRISIS.  HE SAID MR. SADDAM COULD END THE 
STANDOFF BY SIMPLY AGREEING TO ALLOW FREE, FULL, AND UNFETTERED 
ACCESS TO SUSPECTED WEAPONS SITES ANYWHERE IN IRAQ.  THE 
PRESIDENT HAS REFUSED TO GIVE A DEADLINE BEFORE MILITARY STRIKES 
WOULD BEGIN, BUT HE SAID IRAQ MUST AGREE SOON TO FULL WEAPONS 
INSPECTIONS.

                               -0-

THE PRESIDENT'S FOREIGN POLICY TEAM -- SECRETARY OF STATE 
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, DEFENSE SECRETARY WILLIAM COHEN, AND NATIONAL
SECURITY ADVISOR SANDY BERGER -- TRIED TO BUILD PUBLIC SUPPORT 
FOR THE ADMINISTRATION'S POSITION THIS WEEK.

HOWEVER, AT A TOWN MEETING  AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY IN COLUMBUS,
OHIO WEDNESDAY, THE THREE OFFICIALS FACED SOME HECKLING AND SHARP
QUESTIONING.  AUDIENCE MEMBERS ASKED ABOUT THE LACK OF 
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR BOMBING IRAQ, THE POTENTIAL FOR 
CIVILIAN CASUALTIES AND THE FEASIBILITY OF REDUCING IRAQ'S 
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.

DEFENSE SECRETARY COHEN, OVER THE HECKLING, DEFENDED U-S POLICY.

                         ///COHEN ACT///

         THE QUESTION IS ALSO DOES SADDAM HUSSEIN HAVE THE MORAL 
         RIGHT TO USE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION -- CHEMICAL AND
         BIOLOGICAL -- AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE? THE UNITED NATIONS
         HAS DETERMINED THAT HE SHOULD NOT POSSESS CHEMICAL OR 
         BIOLOGICAL OR NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND WHAT WE HAVE IS THE 
         OBLIGATION TO CARRY OUT THE U-N DECLARATION TO MAKE SURE
         HE DOESN'T POSE A THREAT OF AN IMMORAL MAGNITUDE TO HIS 
         NEIGHBORS AS HE HAS DONE IN THE PAST.

                          ///END ACT///

MR. COHEN, HOWEVER, STOPPED SHORT OF ADVOCATING A MILITARY 
CAMPAIGN TO OVERTHROW SADDAM HUSSEIN.  HE SAID SUCH A CAMPAIGN 
WOULD REQUIRE MASSIVE LAND FORCES, AND THE GOAL OF U-S POLICY IS 
TO CONTAIN MR. SADDAM -- NOT  OUST HIM.

                               -0-

THE U-S CONGRESS IS ON A HOLIDAY RECESS UNTIL FEBRUARY 23RD.  
WHEN LAWMAKERS RETURN, THEY ARE EXPECTED TO TAKE UP A RESOLUTION 
TO SUPPORT ANY U-S MILITARY STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ.

SOME LAWMAKERS ARE ALREADY EXPRESSING OPINIONS ABOUT THE CRISIS. 
REPUBLICAN SENATOR, ARLEN SPECTER OF PENNSYLVANIA, SAYS PRESIDENT
CLINTON SHOULD  NOT  ATTACK IRAQ UNTIL CONGRESS APPROVES SUCH A 
MOVE.

ANOTHER REPUBLICAN SENATOR, KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON OF TEXAS, 
ADVOCATES FURTHER STEPS, IN ADDITION TO BOMBING, TO CONTAIN MR. 
SADDAM.

                      /// HUTCHISON ACT ///

         WE HAVE GOT TO TAKE THE SECOND STEP.  WE HAVE GOT TO SET
         UP A RADIO FREE IRAQ AND START TALKING TO THE IRAQI 
         PEOPLE.  WE HAVE GOT TO TAKE OUT HIS COMMUNICATIONS 
         SYSTEMS.  WE HAVE GOT TO SET UP MAYBE A NO FLY ZONE, 
         MAYBE A NO DRIVE ZONE SO THAT WE CAN ENFORCE THE 
         CONTAINMENT OF HIM. 

                         /// END ACT ///

SENATOR HUTCHISON CALLS ON PRESIDENT CLINTON TO CONSULT WITH 
CONGRESS ON WHAT SHE CALLS AN ENTIRE STRATEGY REGARDING IRAQ.

IN THE END, THE CONGRESS IS EXPECTED TO SUPPORT THE U-S MILITARY 
IF IT GOES INTO BATTLE AGAIN AGAINST IRAQ.  PUBLIC OPINION POLLS 
INDICATE THREE OUT OF FOUR AMERICANS WOULD SUPPORT ANY AIR 
STRIKES AGAINST IRAQ.  (SIGNED)

NEB/MLM/PLM

20-Feb-98 11:04 AM EST (1604 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.