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March 18, 2003 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-18

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 18, 2003 - 5

Govt. raises terror alert to orange, steps up security

WASHINGTON (AP) - Worried that war in Iraq could
lead to terrorist reprisals at home, the Department of Home-
land Security raised the terror alert yesterday to orange,
indicating a high risk of attacks, and -implemented enhanced
security measures nationwide.
"Operation Liberty Shield" was announced just as Presi-
dent Bush completed his speech giving Saddam Hussein 48
hours to leave Iraq.
The homeland security plan includes more Border Patrol
officers, stepped-up patrols at seaports, airports and nuclear
power plants, and increased safeguards over the nation's
food supply.
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge also called on
governors to deploy National Guard troops or extra state
police to protect bridges and other key infrastructures.
The terror alert was raised from yellow, or elevated, to

orange, the second-highest level on a five-color scale. Coun-
terterrorism officials said the decision was based on threats
from 41-Qaida, Iraqi operatives and freelance terrorists.
"A large volume of reporting across a range of sources,
some of which are highly reliable, indicates that al-Qaida
probably would attempt to launch terrorist attacks against
U.S. interests claiming they were defending Muslims or the
Iraqi people rather than Saddam Hussein's regime," Ridge
said in a statement.
He also referred to "reports of suspicious activity in and
around military facilities, ports, waterways, general infra-
structure and targets that are considered symbolic to U.S.
power and influence."
The FBI has increased surveillance on certain Iraqis in
America and other suspected terrorists or terrorist sympa-
thizers. Homeland Security officials said any asylum-seek-

"Should enemies strike our country, they would be attempting to shift our
attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail."
- President Bush

ing Iraqis and people from 33 other countries would be
detained for background investigations.
In his address, Bush warned of the possibility of terrorist
attacks and cited some of the steps the government has
taken to protect U.S. citizens and interests.
"In recent days, American authorities have expelled from
the country certain individuals with ties to Iraqi intelligence
services," the president said. "Should enemies strike our coun-
try, they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic
and weaken our morale with fear. In this, they would fail."

This is the third time the administration has raised the ter-
ror alert since the system was put in place about a year ago.
It is the first time the level was raised by the Homeland
Security Department, which took over the color system
from the Justice Department on March 1.
U.S. counterterrorism officials say the most specific infor-
mation points to possible attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle
East. A recent statement from Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-
born leader of al-Qaida, declared some solidarity with Iraqis,
although he referred to Saddam's government as infidels.


closes offices, workers leave Iraq

tary-General Kofi Annan ordered U.N.
employees yesterday to leave Iraq, after
the United States, Britain and Spain
abandoned efforts to win U.N. backing
for military action. President Bush gave
Saddam Hussein an ultimatum to get
out of his country or face a U.S.-led war.
The dramatic announcements, on
the same day as the Security Council
met privately to address the Iraq crisis,
coincided with countries closing their
embassies there and some foreign jour-
nalists pulling out.
"We will withdraw the UNMOVIC
and atomic agency inspectors. We will
withdraw the U.N. humanitarian work-

ers," Annan said. Journalists outside
the Canal Hotel, the Baghdad head-
quarters of the inspectors, saw Iraqi
U.N. employees leaving with boxes of
personal belongings.
The suspension of the U.N. humani-
tarian program will cut off food and
medicine to about 60 percent of Iraq's
20 million people.
There are 156 U.N. inspectors and
support staff in Iraq from the Interna-
tional Atomic Energy Agency, which .
is in charge of nuclear inspections,
and the U.N. Monitoring, Verification
and Inspection Commission, known
as UNMOVIC, which is responsible
for inspecting chemical, biological
sh's failure

and long-range missiles.
The decision by the United States,
Britain and Spain not to call for a vote
on their resolution seeking authoriza-
tion for military force represented a
crushing diplomatic failure for Ameri-
ca and the United Nations on the eve
of what looks like war. It left the world
body bitterly divided and Washington
marching toward a military confronta-
tion without international support,
which would have been invaluable.
Even in the face of imminent mili-
tary action, the Security Council
scheduled a meeting tomorrow at the
request of France, Russia and Ger-
many, who oppose a rush to war and

want to make a last-ditch effort to
achieve Iraq's peaceful disarmament.
The three countries want foreign min-
isters to set a timetable to carry out a
dozen key disarmament tasks set by
chief U.N. inspector Hans Blix. It wasn't
clear how many of the 15 council for-
eign ministers would come to New York.
Germany's U.N. ambassador, Gunter
Pleuger, said it was important to make a
100 percent effort even if there's only a
"1 percent chance of keeping the peace."
Russian President Vladimir Putin
condemned military action against
Iraq, saying earlier yesterday that war
would be a mistake that could imperil
world security.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte, right, folds up his statement
after announcing that the United States, Britain and Spain withdrew their resolution.

Democratic leaders criticize Bu

to win U.N. support

Republicans hope Congress
will unite to lead an impending
wvar against Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democratic
Leader Tom Daschle said yesterday that Presi-
dent Bush failed "miserably" at diplomacy, forc-
ing the United States to go to war with Iraq.
Daschle's comments were denounced by
Republican National Chairman Marc Racicot
as "divisive and brazen political posturing."
Daschle, of South Dakota, supported a con-
gressional resolution last year authorizing Bush

to use force in Iraq, but he has criticized the
president for failing to win the support of the
U.N. Security Council.
"I'm saddened, saddened that this president
failed so miserably at diplomacy that we're
now forced to war" Daschle said in a speech to
the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees. "Saddened that we have
to give up one life because this president could-
n't create the kind of diplomatic effort that was
so critical for our country."
Racicot said "it is disheartening and shame-
ful for Senator Daschle, who has previously
advocated and authorized the use of force in

Iraq, to now blame America first."
At the White House, Bush briefed about a
dozen top members of the House and Senate
before his speech. Vice President Dick Cheney
continued the briefing after the president left to
prepare for his remarks.
There was no talk of how much the war will
cost, but White House press secretary Ari Fleis-
cher said Cheney promised a supplemental
appropriations request would be sent to Capitol
Hill as soon as final costs were estimated.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of
the House Armed Services Committee, said he
hoped that after hearing Bush's speech, "the Con-

gress- Democrats and Republicans -will
close ranks behind the president and our foreign
policy will leave the shore with one voice."
Many Democratic lawmakers yesterday
lamented Bush's failure to win a new Security
Council resolution on Iraq, but said now is the
time to unite as war appears inevitable.
"Those of us who have questioned the
administration's approach, including this sena-
tor, will now be rallying behind the men and
women of our armed forces to give them the
full support that they deserve as it now seems
certain we will soon be at war," Sen. Carl Levin
of Detroit, top Democrat on the Armed Ser-

vices Committee, said on the Senate floor.
Levin and other Democrats said the lack of
U.N. support could result in less international
assistance in the fight against terrorism, trigger
more terrorist attacks and make it more diffi-
cult to win international contributions for
rebuilding Iraq after a war. "The path to a safer
world and, a more secure America has rarely
come from a go it alone approach," Levin said.
Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a presi-
dential candidate, said U.N. Security Council
members are partially to blame for world divi-
sion because they did not enforce the resolution
calling on Saddam to disarm.

to freight
BUCHANAN (AP) - With the
United States gearing up for a possi-
ble war against Iraq, this is a busy
time for David Money, a freight
hauler who says 80 percent of his
business involves military equipment.
Money said moving a 176,000-
pound electricity generator or a
139,000-pound Abrams tank across the
country is no problem for his
Buchanan-based company, in far
southwestern Michigan about five
miles from Indiana.
Money Freight Services, which was
based in Battle Creek until two years
ago, is an agent for Jacksonville, Fla.-
based Landstar, one of the nation's
largest trucking companies.
"I've never turned down a load," he
told the South Bend (d.) Tribune for
a story published yesterday. "I've
never told someone I couldn't get
something done."

Continued from Page 1
gin, generally supports military action
against Iraq to remove Saddam, a
slight increase from recent weeks,
according to a CNN-USA Today-
Gallup poll out yesterday. Opinion was
evenly divided when people were
asked about an attack without an
attempt to gain U.N. backing.
In spite of

tially dangerous precedent for interna-
tional relations, as many countries cur-
rently pursuing nuclear arms programs
might be compelled to increase their
efforts to protect against American
"I don't think it's wise to say a pre-
emptive war, even against (Saddam's)
regime is legally permissible. Current
American behavior will probably just
hasten nuclear proliferation," Singer
I said.

U.S., British governments urge
citizens to evacuate Kuwait

this public sup-
port, experts at
the University
were critical of
Bush's address
and of his fail-
ure to achieve a
approach to the

the war by a 2-1
margin. But only half
approve of an attack
without U.N. support.

Political science
Prof. Kenneth
Lieberthal said that
'Bush has a legitimate
complaint against
Iraq for failing to
comply with U.N.
He added that the

KUWAIT CITY (AP) - The United States and Britain
urged their citizens to leave Kuwait immediately as war
loomed yesterday, citing the risk of chemical or biological
attack by Iraq or terrorists.
The warning came as U.N. observers stopped all
patrols at the heavily fortified Iraq-Kuwait border ahead
of a possible U.N. evacuation. Iraq accused the United
Nations of abandoning its "responsibility in maintaining
world peace and security."
The United States and Britain have nearly 300,000 troops
in the Persian Gulf, mostly in Kuwait, poised for a possible
invasion of Iraq.
President Bush issued a one-day deadline Sunday for
final diplomatic attempts to avert war, meaning the start of
fighting could be just days away.
The State Department ordered all U.S. government
dependents and nonessential staff out of Kuwait, Syria,
Israel and the West Bank and Gaza, citing the "deteriorating
security situation in the region." Britain likewise pared its
embassy to a skeleton staff yesterday.
Both countries warned their nationals against travel to
Kuwait and urged those already there to get out while com-
mercial flights are still running.
"What we would like is for people to take that advice

as I say, the word is 'urgently,"' a spokesman for the British
Embassy said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The British Embassy was considering extra flights to help
evacuate the 3,000 to 3,500 Britons and other Common-
wealth citizens in the country, the spokesman said.
U.S. Embassy officials said it appeared regular commer-
cial flights could handle the American departure. Embassy
authorities believe between 500 and 1,000 Americans would
leave as a result of the latest warning, U.S. Embassy
spokesman John Moran said.
Most of the 8,000 American civilians who remain in
Kuwait are military contractors, journalists and children or
spouses of Kuwaiti nationals, he said.
Kuwait's international airport was calm early yesterday. Any
exodus, if it comes, was expected to start with evening flights.
Diplomats said yesterday's warnings were based on an
overall assessment or risk, rather than any new intelli-
gence or threats.
With Kuwait the launch pad for any attack, its airport is
expected to close for civilian flights if hostilities begin, pos-
sibly for several days.
The British and U.S. warnings cited the possibility of
attacks not just from Iraq, but from insurgents within

conflict within the Security Council.
Political science Prof. J. David Singer
harshly criticized the Bush adminis-
tration for its handling of the situa-
tion, saying that the United States has
no legal legitimacy for launching an
invasion on Iraq.
"Despite the fact that there are some
incentives for having this war, it is a
serious mistake morally, legally and
pragmatically,." Singer said.
"The fact that Iraq is treating its peo-
ple badly or possesses weapons of
mass destruction --- neither of those .
are a legal basis for starting a war."
Singer added that the Bush adminis-
tration's reasoning establishes a poten-

president used inaccurate information
last night in his assessments of Sad-
dam's current military capabilities and
his ties with the Al-Qaida terrorist
The president urged journalists and
weapons inspectors to leave the coun-
try immediately and requested that
Iraqi citizens and military comply with
the United States' requests by not seek-
ing combat or burning oil wells.
Bush assured the Iraqi people that
by cooperating with U.S. forces, they
would avoid facing the repercussions
of war.
-The Associated Press contributed to
this article.

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of up to
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