or Peace? The Choice is Iraq’s
By Jim Garamone,
— "The choice between war and peace will not be made in
Washington, or indeed in New York," Defense Secretary Donald
H. Rumsfeld said. "It will be made in Baghdad, and the decision
is facing the Iraqi regime."
that the inspectors have not yet come up with new evidence of
Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program could itself be evidence
of Iraq’s noncooperation, Rumsfeld said during a Pentagon news
He said the
Iraqi government has designed weapon programs with denial and
deception in mind. The programs can continue even as inspections
progress. He stated the burden of proof is on Iraq to prove it
is disarming and to show U.N. inspectors where the weapons are.
is not the responsibility of U.N. inspectors to find the weapons,"
he said. "It is not their duty nor do they have the ability
to find weapons of mass destruction hidden in a vast country."
States stands ready to provide U-2 surveillance aircraft to the
U.N. inspectors and has shared intelligence with them. Rumsfeld
said the United States believes that U.N. inspectors should take
Iraqi scientists and their families out of the country for questioning.
That proved successful in the past, and he believes it would be
the case today.
Bush has not made a decision on conflict with Iraq, and the United
States continues to hope that Saddam Hussein "will change
course and that Iraq will disarm peacefully and voluntarily. No
one wants war," Rumsfeld said.
said the situation is a test for the United Nations. He stated
that the credibility of the organization is at stake and likened
the situation the international organization faces today to the
one that faced its predecessor organization in 1936 when Italy
invaded Abyssinia (today Ethiopia).
of Nations, formed after World War I, condemned the aggression,
but did nothing against Italy. Adolf Hitler took note of the League’s
vacillation and remilitarized the Rhineland. The League of Nations
proved a paper tiger. Then-Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King
said at the time, "Collective bluffing cannot bring about
akin to 1936 is facing the United Nations today, Rumsfeld said.
Iraq freely agreed to comply with 16 U.N. resolutions. U.N. Security
Council Resolution 1441, passed Nov. 8, 2002, declared Iraq in
material breach of its agreements and declared itself that country’s
"last chance" to cooperate with the international organization.
lesson is clear," Rumsfeld said.