Action on Iraq to be “clearly articulated”

IF US President George W. Bush ordered military action against Iraq, he would explain clearly to Americans his decision to try to remove Saddam Hussein from power, a White House aide said yesterday.

“President Bush also understands if we go forward, if he decides that we need to take action to minimise the threat that he now poses, that he will do so in a way that will clearly be articulated to the American people, clearly articulated our friends and allies,” the president’s communications director, Dan Bartlett, said.

“And you’ll find, because of the abysmal record of Saddam Hussein and the threat that he causes in the region, and to us as well, that we will have support,” Mr Bartlett said.

The Bush administration has accused Iraq of supporting terrorism and of rebuilding its banned weapons of mass destruction programme.

Many US allies are resisting the push to oust the Iraqi president, arguing that an invasion could not be justified without firm proof that Iraq was developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

President Bush has said he has no timetable for deciding on a military strike or policies over Iraq.

Congressional hearings this month examined ways to achieve the US Government’s policy of seeking a regime change in Baghdad.

“An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardise, if not destroy, the global counter-terrorist campaign we have undertaken,” Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser under Bush’s father and President Gerald Ford, said.

In Congress, there was growing unease about the wisdom of taking pre-emptive military action against Iraq without just cause.

Senator Richard Lugar, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said support from American allies was crucial.

“We need to have our NATO allies. This is going to require heavy lifting,” Senator Lugar said.

“Unless we plan this carefully, we’re likely to destabilise other countries in the Middle East,” he said.

The president had planned weekend meetings with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

More in this section

Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd