8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 2002
Bush lobbies Congress for support against Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, opening a public-relations offensive
against Saddam Hussein, pledged yesterday to seek congressional approval
before taking action against the Iraqi leader and warned wary allies their "credi-
bility is at stake" as they decide whether to back the.United States.
The president will argue his case before the United Nations General Assembly
next week after a weekend huddle at Camp David with British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, virtually alone among overseas leaders in supporting Bush's intent to
see Saddam overthrown.
"Saddam Hussein is a serious threat. He is a significant problem and some-
thing the country must deal with," Bush said after meeting with congressional
leaders at the White House. "Doing nothing about that serious threat is not an
option for the United States."
The president is strongly considering a U.N. Security Council resolution that
would set a deadline for Iraq to open its weapons sites to unfettered inspection
and to imply punitive action if he refuses, three administration officials told The
To get the resolution through the council, and past a threatened veto by China
or Russia, the resolution would not spell out the threat, but it would be obvious to
Saddam, said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Some two 'dozen ideas are circulating within the administration, and among
them is the notion of "coercive inspections" - forcing Iraq to open its suspect
sites to inspectors by deploying thousands of American ormultinational troops in
or near Iraq who would launch an attack if inspectors were denied, a senior U.S.
"I am in the process of deciding how to proceed," Bush wrote in a letter given
to members of Congress in their Cabinet Room talks. The president also wrote
that he is committed to an internationalist approach and, in addition to meeting
with Blair, will "reach out" to presidents Jacques Chirac of France, Jiang Zemin
of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia - all three currently opposed to military
action against Iraq.
As for an eventual congressional resolution, Bush suggested in his letter that he
could ask for essentially a blank check. "At an appropriate time 0 I will seek con-
gressional support for U.S. action to do whatever is necessary to deal with" Sad-
dam, Bush wrote.
The resolution could include "any number of things, including the option of
military force," said White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, reiterating that
the administration believes it already "has the authority it needs" to wage war.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, (R-Ill.), said Congress would vote before the
Nov. 5 elections on a non-binding resolution about what to do about Iraq. Military
action is not a done deal, he and other leaders agreed.
"It would not be my assumption that the military course is the only action avail-
able to him today," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, (D-S.D.). "We're hop-
ing for more information and greater clarity in the days and weeks ahead."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee,
said she told Bush he had to be honest about what war with Iraq could bring. "We
have to level with the American people that, in addition to everything else, we are
talking about a long occupation of Iraq," she said.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was headed to the Capitol later Wednes-
day for classified meetings to "talk more specifically about options and strate-
gies," Daschle said.
Fresh off a monthlong working vacation in Crawford, Texas, Bush opened what
he said would be a series of consultations with lawmakers and U.S. allies.
President Bush meets with top Democratic and Republican lawmakers in the Cabinet
Room of the White House yesterday as Vice President Dick Cheney looks on.
Schroeder speaks out against requests for
European aid in possible U.S. action in Iraq
BERLIN (AP) - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
rebuffed calls by Britain for Europe to help the Unit-
ed States against Iraq, saying yesterday that Germany
won't tone down its opposition to military action and'
won't "submit" to Washington.
In blunt comments, Schroeder said Tony Blair does
not speak for all Europe, a day after the British prime
minister declared Iraq "a real and unique threat" to
world security and said the United States "should not
have to face this issue alone."
The exchange highlighted international opposition
to the prospect of a U.S. attack on Iraq - despite
Blair's attempts to rally support for Washington.
At the World Summit in Johannesburg, top Euro-
pean Union leaders met with Secretary of State Colin
Powell yesterday to lobby against any unilateral U.S.
action to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, saying
Washington should work through the United Nations
for a return of weapons inspectors.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
said Powell has assured him that Washington puts
"the strongest importance" on international involve-
ment in the Iraq case.
Schroeder defended his outspoken opposition to an
attack on Iraq, which he has said could hurt the war
on terrorism and cause chaos in the Middle East.
"Friendship cannot mean that you do what the
friend wants even if you have another opinion," he
told a news conference in Berlin. "Anything else
would not be friendship, but submission - and I
would consider that wrong."
"With all respect for Tony Blair: Just like anyone
else, he will not speak for Europe alone on this issue
or on others," he said. "We have absolutely no reason
to change our well-founded position. Under my lead-
ership, Germany will not take part in an intervention
Schroeder also confirmed that Germany would
withdraw six armored personnel carriers equipped to
detect nuclear, chemical and biological warfare from
Kuwait if the United States launches an attack on
Iraq. The vehicles were deployed as part of the U.S.-
led war on terrorism.
In Washington, President Bush was to meet with
leaders from Congress yesterday and administration
officials said he would promise to seek congressional
approval once he decided how to deal with Saddam.
Bush says ousting Saddam is a priority but that he
hasn't decided what action to take. Vice President
Dick Cheney and others in the administration have
called for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq, which is
accused of seeking to develop weapons of mass
Blair has said his government plans to publish a
dossier on Saddam's weapons programs, and a
British Foreign Office official said yesterday he
believed the report would be "very convincing."
"As far as nuclear weapons are concerned we
believe that (Saddam) is in the process of developing
that capacity," Mike O'Brien, a junior minister in the
Foreign Office, told British Broadcasting Corp.
Referring to ballistic missile technology, O'Brien
said, "We believe he's in the process of trying to get
that, so we'll set out all the details and the evidence
in the dossier." He did not say if the report would
"Friendship cannot mean
that you do what the
friend wants even if you
have another opinion.
- Gerhard Schroeder
have any previously unpublished information.
In Cairo, Arab foreign ministers opened a meeting
yesterday at which the U.S. threats on Iraq were high
on the agenda. Baghdad has been seeking Arab sup-
port, but some Arab governments have been pressing
for Iraq to accept U.N. weapons inspectors.
In his talks with Powell in South Africa, Den-
mark's Fogh Rasmussen said that while there is "no
doubt" Saddam is dangerous, Washington should not
try to deal with the Iraqi leader alone.
"It is vitally important to pursue the U.N. track,"
said Fogh Rasmussen, whose country holds the rotat-
ing EU presidency.
Powell has said the United States should first try to
force a return of U.N. weapons inspectors to Iraq
before deciding the next step, though Cheney has
said making inspections a priority would be counter-
productive. Heading to Johannesburg, Powell
acknowledged there were differences in the adminis-
tration, adding, "Some are real, some are perceived,
some are overhyped."
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'The Los Angles Times
LONDON - In a sign of the
political battle to precede any mili-
tary strike against Iraq, British Prime
Minister Tony Blair yesterday
encountered resistance at home and
among European neighbors to his
call for ousting Iraqi President Sad-
A day after Blair declared support
for the Bush administration's cam-
paign against Hussein, the reaction in
Britain was decidedly mixed. Voters
and leaders of Blair's own center-left
Labor Party expressed misgivings
about the prime minister's willingness
to use force against Hussein.
Britain remains the closest U.S.
ally, but even here polls show consid-
erable opposition to Washington's war
talk. And that sentiment is widespread
throughout Europe: German Chancel-
lor Gerhard Schroeder responded to
Blair's speech with a sharp rebuff yes-
terday. Schroeder's opposition to the
Bush policy on Iraq has been a center-
piece of his campaign for re-election
Debate in Britain yesterday cen-
tered on Blair's promise to make the
case against Iraq by presenting a
dossier of evidence to support the
claim that Hussein's regime is devel-
oping nuclear, chemical and biologi-
Critics predicted that the dossier
would not produce compelling new
arguments to prove Blair's assertion
that Hussein poses "a real and unique
threat" to world security.
"I have my doubts that hard evi-
dence will be produced in time to
allay the great fears that people have
in this country of delivering action
against Saddam Hussein," said Ian
Gibson, a Labor Party member of