The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 20, 2002 - 10A
CONFLICT IN IRAQ
WASHINGTON (AP) - As ten-
sions rise between the United States
and Germany over differences on Iraq
policy, the White House yesterday
called a German government minister's
comparison of President Bush to Adolf
Hitler "outrageous and inexplicable."
Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-
Gmelin told a small group of labor
union members on Wednesday that
Bush was going after Iraq to divert
attention from domestic problems.
"That's a popular method. Even
Hitler did that," the German newspa-
per, Schwaebisches Tagblatt, quoted
her as saying.
The minister called the report
misleading but did not deny the
"I would regret it very much if
this matter were to cast the slightest
shadow on my respect for the presi-
dent of the United States," she said.
Opposition conservatives vying to
defeat Chancellor Gerhard Schroed-
er's Social Democrats in Sunday's
parliamentary elections called for
"This shows what Schroeder and
his Social Democrats really think of
our American allies," said Thomas
Goppel, an aide to conservative
challenger Edmund Stoiber.
A German government spokesman
said Schroeder could not imagine
Daeubler-Gmelin had meant to liken
Bush to Hitler.
"If anyone were to compare the
American president with a criminal,
they would have no place in the gov-
ernment," Schroeder said on Ger-
man television network ZDF.
With the balloting approaching,
Schroeder has offered repeated and
outspoken opposition to Bush's
drive for action against Iraq's Sad-
dam Hussein, creating discord
between the two allies.
Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer
sought to downplay the impact on
the relationship between the coun-
tries, but reacted strongly to the
"The United States and Germany
have a very long and valuable rela-
tionship, and relations between the
people of the United States and Ger-
many are very important to Ameri-
cans," Fleischer said. "But this
statement by the justice minister is
outrageous and inexplicable."
In yesterday's editions of The
New York Times columnist William
Safire quoted former German
Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping
as telling a meeting in Hamburg last
month that Bush wanted to over-
throw Saddam to please "a powerful
- perhaps overly powerful - Jew-
A spokesman for Scharping,
Thorben Albrecht, said the ex-min-
ister spoke at the closed-door event
but never made the remark.
Bush asks Congress
for more control;
Hussein denies claim
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush
asked Congress yesterday for authority to "use
all means," including military force if necessary,
to disarm and overthrow Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein if he does not quickly meet United
Nations demands that he abandon all weapons
of mass destruction.
At the U.N., Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
delivered a defiant written message taunting the
United States while claiming that Iraq has no
chemical, biological or nuclear weapons - and
saying he welcomed inspections to prove it.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Sad-
dam's latest statement itself represented a back-
ing away from his earlier promise to grant
weapons inspectors unfettered access.
The proposal Bush sent to Capitol Hill would
give him broad war-making authority. "If you
want to keep the peace, you've got to have the
authorization to use force," he told reporters in
the Oval Office.
.The president worked to build support for a vote
by Congress before lawmakers go home to cam-
paign for the Nov. 5 elections, and legislative lead-
ers said the vote could come in two weeks. Bush's
proposed resolution says Iraq has repeatedly violat-
ed U.N. resolutions and international law by pos-
sessing chemical and biological weapons, seeking
nuclear weapons, repressing the Iraqi people and
consorting with terrorists.
Although Democratic leaders predicted quick
approval of a resolution on Iraq, they said they
might want to make changes.
"We don't want to be a rubber stamp, but we
do want to be helpful and supportive," said Sen-
ate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).
"Congress has a role here, and we'll assert that
role whenever it is necessary or appropriate."
Some Senate Democrats, who met behind
closed doors yesterday evening to discuss Iraq,
assailed Bush's proposal. Sen. Russ Feingold
(D-Wis.), said the measure was "incredibly
broad" and unacceptable.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman
Carl Levin (D-Mich.), said he would like the
resolution to specify that Bush needs a U.N. res-
olution backing the use of force. "Going alone
has some very significant risks," Levin said.
"One veto in the U.N. Security Council
shouldn't obstruct us doing what we have to
do," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).
GOP leaders praised Bush's proposal. "I'm per-
fectly happy with the language," said Senate
Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.). He said he
expected a Senate vote the first week in October.
As drafted, Bush's resolution would authorize
him to use force - unilaterally if he deemed
necessary - without waiting for the U.N. to act.
It reads: "The president is authorized to use
all means that he determines to be appropriate,
including force, in order to enforce the United
Nations Security Council resolutions, defend
the national security interests of the United
States against the threat posed by Iraq, and
restore international peace and security in the
Bush spoke to reporters after meeting with
Powell on his difficult diplomatic effort to draft
a U.N. resolution against Iraq.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers testifies on Capitol Hill yesterday before the House
International Affairs Committee Hearing on Iraq.
Polls show Bush's approval rating on the rise
Approval rises to over 70 percent after
gradual decline over last few months
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush has reversed
months of gradual decline in public support, according to polls
taken as the anniversary of Sept. 11 refocused attention on the
war against terrorism and Bush began talking of working with
the United Nations and Congress on Iraq.
The president's job approval has bounced back from the low
60s a few weeks ago to 70 percent or more in some polls
released in the past week and from 60 percent in late August to
67 percent in results released yesterday by the Pew Research
Center for the People & the Press.
"He has just totally dominated the news," said Charles
Jones, a presidential scholar and professor emeritus at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "He clearly is moving in
the direction that everybody thinks he ought to move on Iraq
- consult with Congress and consult with the United
Just over half in the Pew poll, 52 percent, said Bush has
clearly explained what's at stake, compared with 37 percent
who felt that way in late August. Other recent polls have shown
an increase in general support for his Iraq policy, as well as the
belief that he's explained his goals.
"He's made progress in getting people to think about Iraq
and made dramatic progress in convincing people that he's
clearly explained what's at stake," said Andrew Kohut, director
of the Pew Research Center.
Bush's progress in regaining the initiative with the public,
both personally and with his Iraq policy, has not had much
effect to this point on the public's feeling about the November
elections, Kohut said.
When people are asked whether they would support a Demo-
crat or a Republican in congressional elections, the race
remains very close - as it has been for months.
"It's almost as if people have one mind on the president and
another mind on these congressional races, which may be local
and appeal to their general partisan instincts," Kohut said.
Public attention to the elections is about the same as it was
four years ago, even though news about the campaign has been
overshadowed by Iraq and the continuing terrorism threat.
The Pew report was based on poll of 1,919 adults focused on
congressional elections and the anniversary of Sept. 11 taken
Sept. 5-10 and an additional poll of 1,150 taken Sept. 12-16
that focused largely on Iraq. The first poll had an error margin
of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points and the second 3.5
Other polls also have shown that Bush has reversed a
months-long decline that had moved his job approval rate down
to more normal - though still strong - levels.
Recent Newsweek and CNN-USA Today-Gallup surveys had
his support at 70 percent.
"We moved from a period over the summer from bad news
on the economy and corporate scandals and much public dis-
sension on his statements on Iraq," said Thomas Mann, a politi-
cal analyst at the Brookings Institute.
The Pew poll indicated that seven of 10 respondents thought
Bush did an excellent or good job in his speech on the anniver-
sary of Sept. 11. Slightly fewer, about six in 10, thought he did
an excellent or good job in his speech about Iraq to the United
The poll suggested that Democrats and Republicans are
equally motivated about the elections, but Republicans hold a
slight advantage on which party can best handle corporate
accountability. Democrats have hoped to make that
a key cam-
President Bush responds to reporters' questions during a meeting
last week with Central African leaders in New York.
UN: Iraq has
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Iraq is free of
nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, Saddam
Hussein told the United Nations in a speech read
yesterday by his foreign minister. The White House
dismissed the speech as a "disappointing failure."
It was the first comments attributed to the
Iraqi leader since Iraq's surprise announcement
this week that it would accept the unconditional
return of international weapons inspectors nearly
four years after they left. The decision, which
followed a tough speech on Iraq last week by
President Bush, has divided the major powers on
the U.N. Security Council.
"Our country is ready to receive any scientific
experts, accompanied by politicians you choose to
represent any one of your countries, to tell us which
places and scientific installations they would wish to
see, particularly those about which the American
officials have been fabricating false stories, alleging
that they contain prohibited materials or activities,"
Foreign Minister Naji Sabri told the world body,
quoting the Iraqi president.
"I hereby declare before you that Iraq is clear of
all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons," Sabri
said, further quoting Saddam.
The speech to the U.N. General Assembly - one
week after Bush addressed the gathering - was
greeted with loud applause by diplomats from
.around the world.
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OPEC refuses to
raise oil output as
war on Ir
OSAKA, Japan (AP) - OPEC
ministers decided yesterday to keep
oil production levels unchanged
through year's end, despite calls
from the West for more output and
fears a U.S. war on Iraq could dis-
Consuming nations had lobbied for
an increase in output to cut rising
fuel bills, but OPEC figured the mar-
ket is adequately supplied and any
increase in price has been based on a
"war premium" whipped up by
Washington's saber-rattling about
toppling Iraqi President Saddam
"I think they are political prices,
not market prices," said Qatari oil
minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-
Attiyah, who was named yesterday as
the new president of the Organization
of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
OPEC's most important player,
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi, said
oil is now at a good level for buyers
and sellers alike, adding he would
like to see its price average $25 per
barrel, a "magic number" slightly
below the current level but more
headquarters in Vienna to take a fresh
look at the market.
OPEC pledged more oil would be
pumped if the price moves too high,
with some saying they would watch
closely for any action against Iraq
that might lead to supply shortages,
or hoarding by consumers that could
nudge prices upward.
"We'll have to follow the develop-
ments and act accordingly," said
Nigeria's presidential oil adviser, Ril-
wanu Lukman. "We have to keep our
wits about us."
Lukman said OPEC would raise
production if the price breaks out of
its target range of $22 to $28 per bar-
rel. Premium grades of crude traded
on the New York and London futures
markets have been higher than that
lately, but OPEC said its benchmark
price was just $26.92 on Wednesday.
On the New York Mercantile
Exchange, nearby October crude
futures rose 2 cents to $29.50 a bar-
rel. On London's International Petro-
leum Exchange, nearby November
Brent futures gained 6 cents to
$28.38 ner barrel
Iraqi soldiers chat as they stand guard Wednesday outside of the United Nations offices in Baghadad, as U.N.
weapons inspectors prepare to enter the country
the United Nations to pass a get-tough resolution.
In the speech, the Iraqi president said he want-
ed a comprehensive solution to its problems with
the United Nations to "bring to an end the
cyclone of American accusations and fabricated
crises against Iraq."
The ce heavil priticij'A tIhe UniteA CState
Middle East oil supply.
"The U.S. administration wants to destroy Iraq
in order to control the Middle East oil and conse-
quently control the politics as well as the oil and
economic policies of the whole world," the for-
eign minister said.
T-T elsn charoed that the United States was