Bush Calls Iraqi Offer a 'Ploy'
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2002 President Bush said Saddam Hussein's offer to let U.N. inspectors back into Iraq is "his latest ploy," and said a strong U.N. resolution was still necessary.
Bush spoke following a breakfast meeting with members of Congress. "We talked about how it was important for us to work with Congress to pass a strong resolution," he said. "I told the members that within the next couple days, this administration will develop language that we think is necessary, and we look forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats to get a resolution passed."
Staffers on the House Armed Services Committee said they expect a congressional resolution before the November election.
The Bush administration is also working with U.N. Security Council members on a resolution that will make Iraq live up to past resolutions, set deadlines for that compliance and specify options available to the world body.
Iraq delivered a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Sept. 16 saying it would allow the return of U.N. weapons inspectors. Bush said Hussein has used this delaying tactic time and again.
"I'm convinced that the world understands the ploy," Bush said. "One of the jobs the United States has is to remind people about not only the threat but the fact that his defiance has weakened the United Nations.
"And the United Nations, in order for the world to be a more peaceful place, must rise up and deal with this threat and hold him to account. That's what we expect out of the Security Council."