News

 

DATE=3/2/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227487
TITLE=SENATE-IRAQ-SADDAM (L-ONLY)
BYLINE=DAVID SWAN
DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE HEAD OF AN IRAQI OPPOSITION GROUP IS ASKING THE U-S 
GOVERNMENT AND CONGRESS FOR OPEN, DIRECT SUPPORT OF AN EFFORT TO 
OVERTHROW PRESIDENT SADDAM HUSSEIN.  V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN REPORTS, 
THE SENATE TOOK UP THE ISSUE (MONDAY). 

TEXT:  THE SHOWDOWN OVER U-N WEAPONS INSPECTIONS HAS SET OFF AN 
UNUSUAL PUBLIC DEBATE OVER WHAT MIGHT NORMALLY BE A COVERT 
OBJECTIVE - TOPPLING A FOREIGN LEADER.  BUT MEMBERS OF BOTH 
PARTIES FEAR THE U-N AGREEMENT WITH BAGHDAD WILL NOT LAST AND THE
CRISIS WILL NEVER END AS LONG AS PRESIDENT SADDAM HOLDS POWER.

THE LEADER OF THE IRAQI NATIONAL CONGRESS, AHMED CHALABI, ECHOED 
THESE CONCERNS.  APPEARING BEFORE A SENATE PANEL, HE DENOUNCED 
THE U-N DEAL AS APPEASEMENT AND SAID U-S AIR STRIKES WOULD BE 
FUTILE.  MR. CHALABI ALSO REJECTED THE NOTION OF A COUP AGAINST 
PRESIDENT SADDAM.  HE SAYS THE ONLY ANSWER IS A POPULAR UPRISING,
WITH OVERT, NOT SECRET, AMERICAN SUPPORT.

                         /// CHALABI ACT ///

         SADDAM IS THE IRAQI PEOPLE'S PROBLEM AND WE ARE PREPARED
         TO BEAR ANY BURDEN TO REMOVE HIM FROM POWER.  ALL WE ASK
         IS A CHANCE TO FREE OURSELVES. WE LOOK TO THE UNITED 
         STATES TO GIVE US THAT CHANCE.

                           /// END ACT ///

THE I-N-C WANTS TO START THE PROCESS BY SETTING UP A PROVISIONAL 
GOVERNMENT IN SAFE HAVENS INSIDE IRAQ, WITH AMERICAN PLANES 
PROTECTING THESE ZONES FROM GOVERNMENT TROOPS. SOME MEMBERS OF 
CONGRESS HAVE SUGGESTED OTHER STEPS, INCLUDING A NAVAL BLOCKADE 
OF IRAQ AND A BROADCAST PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN.

BUT THE WHITE HOUSE HAS REACTED CAUTIOUSLY TO THESE CALLS, SAYING
SUCH EFFORTS DID NOT ALWAYS WORK IN THE PAST. FORMER PRESIDENTIAL
AIDE RICHARD HAAS, WHO SERVED IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DURING 
THE GULF WAR, GAVE SENATORS A SIMILAR ASSESSMENT.  HE SAYS WHILE 
OUSTING PRESIDENT SADDAM IS DESIRABLE IT MAY BE IMPOSSIBLE, WITH 
HIS DOMESTIC OPPONENTS DIVIDED AND IRAQ'S NEIGHBORS UNWILLING TO 
TAKE PART.

                           /// HAAS ACT ///

         WHAT HAPPENS IF A LITTLE BIT OF AMERICAN HELP ISN'T 
         ENOUGH, IF A LITTLE BIT OF HELP TO PROTECT AN ENCLAVE 
         ISN'T ENOUGH, IF A LITTLE BIT OF AIRPOWER ISN'T ENOUGH? 
         WE ARE THEN ON THE HOOK OF ONE OF TWO DECISIONS. EITHER 
         WE LEAVE PEOPLE IN THE LURCH, WHICH I WOULD THINK IS 
         MORALLY INDEFENSIBLE, OR WE HAVE TO GET INVOLVED 
         COMPLETELY.

                  /// END ACT ///                   

STILL, THE IDEA OF OVERTHROWING PRESIDENT SADDAM IS ENDORSED BY A
GROWING NUMBER OF LAWMAKERS.  MEANWHILE, THE UNITED NATIONS AND 
ITS DEAL WITH IRAQ FACE MOUNTING CRITICISM.(SIGNED)



NEB/DS/WDC/PT

02-Mar-98 6:11 PM EST (2311 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.