IRAQ - Oct. 7 - Bush Speaks Of Baghdad Threat.
During his first primetime TV address on Iraq, US Pres. Bush calls
Saddam Hussein a "homocidal dictator addicted to weapons of mass
destruction". He says: "The time for denying, deceiving and
delaying has come to an end. Saddam Hussein must disarm himself - or,
for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him".
Bush says his administration is increasingly concerned that Baghdad has
"a growing fleet" of unmanned aerial vehicles which could hit
US targets with chemical or biological weapons. He says he hopes the
disarmament of Saddam's Iraq would not require military action, but
that it may: "Military conflict could be difficult".
Bush's speech offers little new intelligence on Saddam's
weapons programme, but reiterates Washington's concern that Baghdad
could have a nuclear weapon within a year. Bush also addresses the role
of UN weapons inspectors, saying that an entirely new and more forceful
inspections regime is necessary. It needs to have access to any sites
within Iraq, without prior notice. Bush also demands that people who
have been involved in Iraq's "illegal activities" - i.e.
weapons programmes - should be interviewed outside the country and
allowed to leave with their families to prevent intimidation by the
Baghdad regime. Bush reiterates his administration's view that
there are links between Baghdad and Al Qaida. (Intelligence officials in
Europe have said they have found no convincing evidence of a connection
- see last week's Recorder). Bush says the US administration knows
of a senior Al Qaida figure who had medical treatment in Baghdad in