Powell Working to Put Teeth in U.N. Iraq Resolution
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 16, 2002 President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have said time and again that the war on terrorism will be fought on many fronts. Now, it is diplomacy's chance to lead the charge.
Secretary of State Colin Powell is in New York negotiating with U.N. Security Council partners for a U.N. resolution condemning Iraq for failing to live up to agreements and setting a timetable for compliance.
Powell, a retired Army general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said any security resolution must have three elements. The first is "a clear recognition that Saddam Hussein is in material breach of all the obligations that he entered into as a result of these many U.N. resolutions," he said Sept. 15 on NBC's "Meet the Press."
The second element of any resolution has to be what action Iraq must take to mend this breach. Third, the United Nations must spell out what it will do if Saddam Hussein does not comply.
State Department officials said Sept. 16 that they believe the president's strong speech at the United Nations Sept. 12 has galvanized nations for action. "President Bush said that if the United Nations doesn't act in the face of flagrant violations, then it would risk becoming irrelevant," one official said. "No one wants to see the U.N. become irrelevant."
Powell said he expects action on the resolution -- or resolutions -- to be completed in a "matter of weeks, not months." He said the permanent members of the Security Council -- Russia, France, China and Great Britain -- agree that Iraq has flouted U.N. resolutions.
The United Nations should not negotiate with Iraq, Powell said. "The Iraqi regime, Saddam Hussein, knows what he has to do," he said. "It's been out there for years. So we don't need to give them a lot of time, because we are not entering into a negotiation."
He said Iraq must make a quick decision on whether to comply or not comply. "The issue isn't so much inspectors/no inspectors, ultimatums/no ultimatums," he said. "The question is: Are the Iraqis finally going to obey international law? And if they are, that's one issue. If they are not, then the U.N. has to be prepared to act."
Other fronts of the war on terrorism have also heated up. Pakistan announced Sept. 13 it had captured al Qaeda operative Ramzi Binalshibh, who's suspected of helping to plan the Sept. 11 attacks on America. He was captured along with 10 al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan's commercial center, Karachi.
Buffalo, N.Y., area law enforcement officials arrested five men starting Sept. 13 and charged them with providing "material support" to al Qaeda terrorists. A sixth man affiliated with the group was arrested in Bahrain and voluntarily returned to Buffalo, where he was arrested Sept. 16.
Finally, Singapore authorities announced Sept. 16 they had arrested 21 people suspected on plotting attacks on U.S. businesses and activities in the island republic. The arrests occurred in August.