U.N. to Vote on Iraq Resolution, Bush Says
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2002 The United Nations Security Council will vote Nov. 8 on a U.S. and British proposal to disarm Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, President Bush said today.
"The resolution we put down is a tough new resolution," Bush said in a televised press conference. "It talks about material breach and inspections and serious consequences if Saddam Hussein continues to defy the world and not disarm."
Bush said he had spoken to his French and Russian counterparts today, and said he is "optimistic" the Council will approve the resolution. France and Russia have opposed such a resolution.
The president described the proposed resolution as a statement of intent to disarm Saddam Hussein "once and for all."
"He is a threat. He's a threat to the country; he's a threat to people in his neighborhood," Bush said. "He's a real threat, and it's now time for the world to come together and disarm him."
Bush said he is not anxious to go to war with Iraq and dismissed a suggestion that he is obsessed with defeating Hussein. But, he added, he is willing to do what it takes to disarm that country's dictatorial government.
"I am insistent on one thing about Iraq, and that is that Saddam Hussein disarm," he said.
The president also delivered a message directly to the Iraqi people. "The Iraqi people must hear this loud and clear," Bush said. "This country never has any intention to conquer anybody; that's not the intention of the American people or our government. We believe in freedom, and we believe in peace, and we believe that the Iraqi dictator is a threat to peace."
Bush brushed off criticism on how he has handled the North Korean admission in October that it is actively working to develop nuclear weapons. He noted he's always maintained that different situations call for different solutions.
"Each threat requires a different type of response," Bush said. "With North Korea, we're going to work with countries in the neighborhood to convince North Korea that it is not in the world's interest that they develop a nuclear weapon."
The president also used this press conference to urge the Congress to work together during the upcoming lame-duck session to pass a bill to set up a Department of Homeland Security.
The legislature will have one more session before the 107th Congress dissolves in December. Several members were voted out of office in this week's elections, but there are still several important issues before the House and Senate.
"We have a responsibility to protect the American people against threats from any source," Bush said. "The single most important item of unfinished business on Capitol Hill is to create a unified Department of Homeland Security."